Governance Monthly Bulletin - September 2019
For all governors, trustees, clerks and school leaders
Welcome to the first Monthly Bulletin of the new academic year. We hope you have returned to your Governance role rested and refreshed after the summer break. Our Governor Conference is next month and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!
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 updates
This updated Statutory guidance regarding safeguarding children & safer recruitment takes effect from 2nd September 2019; it applies to all schools and colleges; please review your policies.
From September 2019 schools are encouraged to move away from full annual reviews that can prove to be time-consuming. We recommend that schools continue to use the current templates until new versions are released.
This non-statutory guidance is intended to help schools maintain high levels of school attendance & plan school hours, term & holiday dates. It provides information about interventions to address pupils’ poor attendance & behaviour.
To help academy trust boards set and review executive salaries, ESFA has published new guidance on setting executive pay ; it aims to help Boards feel confident & accountable for the decisions made regarding their executive salaries. It sets out key factors that should be used by academy trust boards when setting or reviewing executive salaries, so they’re set at fair, reasonable and justified levels.
This guidance provides the steps education providers must take to remain compliant with data protection laws when the UK leaves the EU.
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.
This special edition of the SIU focuses on the transition arrangements for section 5 inspections under the Education Inspection Framework (EIF), as well as applying the transition to section 8 inspections of good schools.
These documents provide inspectors & schools with information & guidance about Ofsted’s new IDSR, including general guidance on using the IDSR & guidance on areas of interest.
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.
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.
At the NGA Summer Conference, Amanda Spielman (HMCI, Ofsted) reiterated advice regarding Governance checks and the SCR:
"We have had some queries from NGA members on safeguarding, which is the responsibility of governors. Let me reassure you again. As governors and trustees, you are responsible for making sure that safeguarding procedures are properly followed in schools. But that doesn’t mean you have to go through your school’s central record yourself. You need to make sure the overarching culture is right. What is your school doing to identify children that may be at risk of harm? How is your school helping those children and fulfilling its duties? This, too, is when it’s more helpful to look up at the big picture, rather than down into the detail."
The updated, 2019 model code of conduct remains anchored in the Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life; the new version has been strengthened & includes the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education; this should help school leaders when making difficult decisions. The model code of conduct can of course be tailored to suit your governing board & school structure; please be sure to make use of this free, valuable, updated resource.
The NGA skills audit and assessment matrix audit & assessment matrix are now free to access by all (they had for a while, been available to NGA members only). Please be sure to use the updated versions when reviewing your Board.
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!
NGA’s research report reveals the views, experiences, practice & demographics of almost 6,000 school governance volunteers from schools across all types, phases and regions.
Kent Governance Association (KGA)
Minutes, presentations & documents, dates, times & venues of County Assembly meetings, together with the association’s aims, objectives & details of how you can get involved to support your local district can be found on KELSI
The Education People, Governor Services updates
Chairs and Clerks should ensure that the FGB review & agree this policy at the next full board meeting, in line with the new KCSIE (mentioned above). This is especially important for those schools in the Ofsted window.
Clerks and Governing Bodies are respectfully reminded of the following requirements; to be sent to the Diocese please, using this email address [email protected] :
- an electronic copy of FGB minutes as soon as possible after a meeting
- updates re resignations of Foundation Governors, Chair of Governors, Clerk and Headteacher changes
- name and email contact information for a new Clerk, Chair and Vice Chair
- requests for alterations to the Instrument of Government; approval must be given by Diocese prior to contacting The Education People for the production of a new Instrument of Government.
On occasions, Governors may find themselves as a member of a panel hearing. This new course, Panel Hearings - The role of the Governor enables Governors to understand when hearings may take place, the policies & procedures they need to follow; it will provide an understanding of ACAS advice & guidance for personnel issues regarding the Governors’ role on the panel.
We are aware that not all governors 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.
- 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.
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.
Could all Clerks please make it their 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.
Governor Services Manager
Area Governance Officers:
- North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks) - Jude Johnson: [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]
Governor Training, In House, Bespoke and the Core Programme
Have you as a full Governing Board considered the whole Board’s governance training needs?
Would an ‘in house’ or bespoke session with all your Governors together in the same room enable shared insight and evaluation on the effectiveness of governance?
If yes, then book a Board training session from the ‘in house’ list below.
The ‘In house’ training courses listed below are available in addition to the Core Governor Services Training Programme.
Each session costs £300 for 20 governors, if you have subscribed to the Governor Services Service Level Agreement (SLA), £400 for those who don’t. Costs could be lessened by sharing with Boards within your collaborations.
Those who have commissioned ‘in house’ Board training comment on the impact of all Board members hearing the same message; being able to immediately and collectively discuss areas for Board development, with discussions and action planning being formulated within, and continued outside, of the training session.
Please also see our Core Programme event catalogue ; this can be searched by both subject and Governor role.
- Monitoring Visits - To gain understanding of how Governor monitoring visits to the school will have impact as part of Board monitoring and evaluation for either the circle or committee-based governance structures.
- Ofsted Preparation - To understand the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and the governance evidence required.
- Packtypes – Understanding your Board - Understanding the individuals within your Board to ensure team working. This can also reveal those who have the characteristics and traits required as part of succession planning.
- Questions and Challenge - How to ensure your Board is effectively holding the executive school leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; to consider if and how challenge is evidenced.
- Self-Evaluation for Good Governance - To aid your Board in evaluating your effectiveness in triangulating
- self-evaluation and school priorities.
- Vision and Values - To unpick the Boards core role in ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. Ideal for the summer or early autumn term as the Board and school evaluates and reflects on the mid and long-term vision.
- Understanding Governance – Making the Connections -To understand the Boards role as described in the Governance Handbook and Competency Framework for Governance; covering the six key areas of effective governance.
- Website Workshop – Ideal for collaborations; access to a working computer suite will be necessary. This session affords Governors dedicated time to review the website compliance checklist, ensuring that school websites are compliant; governors will also look for information from both navigation and parent perspectives.
Should you require a more personalised course to meet your collective training need, we can offer a bespoke session tailored to your topic and Board. Please ask your Area Governance Officer for further details. Remember - the cost could be shared by inviting Governors from neighbouring schools or your collaboration (where appropriate).
- Consultancy - for a charge of £65 an hour (with SLA) we can review succession planning, evaluation, best practice.
- Governing Board Observations - £450 (with SLA) provides a short feedback report including recommendations to improve practice.
- Reviews of Governance – a variety of models to suit your Board’s needs.
Governor Services SLA; to enable booking, this document also includes information on setting up your ‘account’ on CPD online:
Clerking Service SLA: