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7 October 2019
By Governor Services

Governance Monthly Bulletin - October 2019

For all governors, trustees, clerks & school leaders

Welcome to this October edition of the Monthly Bulletin. 

Please ensure that this bulletin, which is also published on GovernorHub & The Education People website, is a standing agenda item for both your full Governing Board & Committee meetings.

Department for Education update

The School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document 2019 (STPCD) – action required

STPCD was published on 20 September. It applies to teachers employed in local authority-maintained schools and to teachers in academies who were employed under the STPCD at the point where their employment transferred to the academy trust (unless they have since renegotiated). Pay recommendations based on the new STPCD must be backdated to 1 September 2019.

School governance update – information

The DfE has launched 3 new GOV.UK pages, in response to feedback from Governors, Trustees, Chairs and Clerks. The pages are designed to help those working in school governance to more easily navigate governance content online, please see Important news and communications from the DfE relating to governance in maintained schools and academy trusts in England

If you did not receive an email directly from the DfE, it’s because they do not hold an up-to-date email address for you. To ensure you receive future updates directly, please ensure your school admin team updates your contact details on the Get Information About Schools (GIAS) national database.

Related party transactions: information for academy trusts – information

This guidance has been updated and includes guidance for church academy trusts and instructions for using the new online form. The DfE has also added a checklist to help you when preparing to complete the online form.

Finance – Maintained and Academy schools – information reminder

Governors and Trustees are reminded that to meet their statutory responsibilities for the financial management of schools and to safeguard the large amounts of public money for which they are responsible, it is important that monitoring reports are produced regularly and shared with the relevant governance body (Trustees/Governors/finance committee).

The 2019 to 2020 checklist guidance (Maintained schools, item 3) for the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) and Academy Financial Handbook May 2019 (Monitoring the Budget, item 2.19), both recommend that monitoring reports are received at least 6 times a year.

Understanding your data - information

This guide for school governors and academy trustees, provides information on, how to collect and analyse data and what your collected data can tell you about your school's performance.

Statutory policies for schools and academy trusts – action required

This guidance provides information on the policies and documents that governing bodies and proprietors of schools must have.  All Boards should ensure that their school/trust is compliant.

Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE) – reminder

This updated Statutory guidance regarding safeguarding children & safer recruitment took effect from 2nd September 2019; it applies to all schools and colleges; please review your policies. A summary of 2019 changes can be found on page 108.

  • Maintained School Governors and Clerks – please see sections 173 and 174. Although checks are not mandatory for Associate Members, Governing Bodies may consider it appropriate to include a requirement for checks for Associate Members to be included in the Governing Body Code of Conduct and Standing Order/s for the Appointment of Associate Members.

Ofsted update

Ofsted's Chief Inspector – information

Amanda Spielman, discusses accountability and autonomy and how you cannot have one without the other.

Inspecting schools – information reminder

This guide, for maintained and academy schools, gives a summary of what schools should expect & what they need to do as part of an Ofsted inspection.

A suite of 7 short videos has been produced by Ofsted to assist Governors prior to inspection.

School Inspection Handbook – information reminder

The handbook is primarily a guide for Ofsted inspectors on how to carry out inspections of maintained schools & academies. From this page you will also find publications for schools & others regarding Ofsted’s inspection processes & procedures under the Education Inspection Framework (EIF), including guidance for section 8 school inspections & a guide for maintained & academy schools.

Outstanding Inspection Gradings – information reminder

New measures have been announced regarding the continued raising of standards in schools, the lifting the exemption on outstanding school inspections & more support for struggling schools.

Parent View toolkit for schools – information reminder

This toolkit explains important facts about Parent View & contains materials that can be adapted & used by schools to raise awareness of Parent View to parents.

National Governance Association update

NGA updated resources                        Membership packages and sign up

Leading Governance Programmes – action required

Demand & take-up for the courses held in Kent for both Chairs & Clerks (Level 3 accreditation) is high, additional cohorts are being launched; be sure to include these very cost-effective development opportunities in your training & development plans whilst the support funding is available! Please register your interest directly with the NGA.

The Education People, Governor Services update

Governors’ Conference – Healthy Curriculum, Healthy Mind - don’t forget to book your place !

Ashford International Hotel, Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8UX     

9AM – 1PM

Book your place

LA Governor Nomination Process – is changing! – action required

We have reviewed and simplified the LA Governor Nomination process; a new pack containing all the information needed for Clerks, new nominations and Governors wishing to serve a further term of office is available in one place.

The Local Authority Governor Nomination pack is available to view and download from the resources tab at GovernorHub, it contains:

  • Explanation of Process including closing dates for nomination submissions (First of each calendar month except for January, August and September)
  • Kent Guidelines for the Nomination of Local Authority Governors
  • The School Governance Qualifications and Disqualifications (taken from legislation)
  • Local Authority Governor Nomination Form – ONE FORM FOR BOTH NEW NOMINATIONS AND EXISTING LA GOVS
A MAJOR CHANGE – Please note

Governor Services will no longer contact existing LA governors regarding reappointment; It will be the responsibility of the Clerk, Chair & Governing Body to pay close attention to vacancies & terms of office; this will ensure that existing LA Governors’ nominations are submitted in good time, ensuring continuity of service; this is especially important if the LA Governor holds the office of either the Chair or Vice Chair.

All Clerks, Chairs and Governing Bodies should familiarise themselves with the new pack.  Please ensure this is an item for discussion and familiarisation on your next full Governing Body agenda.

Clerking Service Clerks Performance Management – action required

Chairs of Boards that purchase the Clerking Service will shortly be receiving a Chair’s questionnaire and an accompanying webinar, explaining what you should expect from the Clerk.

The questionnaire is for Chairs’ completion and forwarding onto their Service Clerk by the middle of November. Full instructions for completion were included within the accompanying email. Completion is part of the terms and conditions of the Clerking Service, Service Level Agreement (SLA) to enable us to ensure that we are providing you with at least our expected standard. Thank you for your contribution in making our service to you, the best possible.

GDPR – Reports to Governors: How do you know that are you remain compliant? – action required

How does your Governing Board ensure that data protection is monitored and that the school continues to remain fully compliant with the GDPR?

There is no prescription regarding how a Governing Board should monitor GDPR compliance, the approach may of course vary depending on your context.  Governing boards should be aware that, as with other statutory items, compliance is continuous.

It would prudent to implement systematic measures to ensure your Board is regularly monitoring and confirming whether the requirements under GDPR are being met.

Governor Services would recommend:

  • monitoring 3 times per year
  • establishing a regular data protection agenda item (full Board or in one of the Boards existing committees)

Some Boards may wish to appoint a Data Protection Link Governor or Data Protection Champion and if so, it is important to remember that the whole Board will remain responsible; GDPR should therefore still feature as an agenda item for the committee who provide regular updates at full Board meetings.

  • If an external Data Protection Officer service is purchased, a regular written report, together with the facility for Governors’ monitoring dialogue, should form part of the negotiated contract.

The Governance Handbook advises that various guidance on GDPR is available on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website; Governors and Trustees may find the guidance on accountability and governance and the associated ICO checklist helpful.

GovernorHub – statutory compliance reminder

All Maintained school Governors should have registered with GovernorHub; an email regarding access to the website, registration & password setting will have been sent to you by GovernorHub, your clerk and/or by whoever has admin rights.

GovernorHub is:

  • the Local Authority database portal, used for statutory information i.e. your contact details & email address
  • used by Governor Services as the main gateway for communication and your access to resources.

If you have not yet registered – Please do so urgently.  You should have received an email from GovernorHub requesting you to set up your account.  If you have not received this email please ask your clerk to invite you to register or email [email protected] and they will send you a registration request. For more information and help, please click on this link to GovernorHub.

You may have received some of our communications, however you will not be able to access resources valuable to your board, updates on training & development opportunities, conference information, legislation updates.

There is also a statutory duty to keep up-to-date information regarding Governors in Kent schools.

In addition - Clerks will be asking Governors to complete their declarations of business interests & confirm the reading & understanding of Keeping Children Safe In Education part 2 via GovernorHub; this will enable both Clerks & all members of the Governing Board to ensure collective responsibility for these statutory requirements whilst also providing visible and ongoing access in one place.

Chairs & Vice Chairs - Clerks will need to ensure that, for reasons of confidential communications, school email addresses for both the Chair and Vice-Chair are provided on the system; the additional email address box on GovernorHub could be used to facilitate this.

All clerks to please check - ideally after each Full Governing Body meeting, please make it your custom and practice to regularly check the Governing Board’s GovernorHub entries for accuracy e.g. terms of office for all Governors, positions of office for FGB and committee Chair/Vice-Chairs, school email addresses etc.

Suzanne Mayes: Governor Services Manager: [email protected]

Clerking Service: [email protected]

Governor Services: [email protected]

North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks): [email protected]

South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe): Tina Gimber: [email protected]

East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet): Lorraine Monkhouse: [email protected]

West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, T Wells): Julia Durcan: [email protected]