London East Governor and School Support Services

Exclusion Guidance

Posted: December 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

DfE have updated Guidance for local-authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units on the exclusion of pupils from 5 January 2015

 The new document contains a small number of updates and clarifies:

•the power to exclude

•independent review panel processes

•governing body reconsideration


It applies to exclusions from 5 January 2015

Ofsted consultation

Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Ofsted are asking for views

(a) on their proposals to introduce a common inspection framework for all early years settings on the Early Years Register, maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education (FE) and skills providers – this framework will mean that the same judgements will apply in each of these remits (paragraphs

(b) short inspections for maintained schools, academies and FE and skills providers that were judged good at their previous inspection. These short inspections, conducted approximately every three years, will report on whether or not a provider has maintained its overall effectiveness but will not provide a full set of graded judgements

(c) if they should introduce a separate graded judgement for the curriculum

(d) how inspection methodology should be developed


Comments requested by 5 December for introduction from September 2015

Government Views of governance

Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Following his letter to Chairs in September, Lord Nash (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools at DfE) has now also written to Local Authorities on his view on the role of governance in schools and the opportunities for re-constitution. Links to both letter:

Governors Handbook updated

Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Department for Education (DfE) has updated the Governors’ Handbook. The Governors’ Handbook is departmental advice for governing bodies in maintained schools, academies and free schools. 

All schools should now ensure that they are using the September 2014 issue and discard previous versions.  The link to the revised handbook is given below.–3


P 117 lists the changes to the latest edition which include:


A more detailed explanation of what it means for governors to set and safeguard an appropriate ethos for the school in keeping with fundamental British values.

New text includes

  • ‘Effectively Managing Headteacher Performance’ research.
  • Appointing a headteacher.
  • Support and training for governing bodies – including a designated governor responsible for governor development and training.
  • Support provided by the NCTL.
  • notifying the Secretary of State of the intention to federate
  • Religious Education
  • Collective worship
  • Responsibilities of the governing body with regard to SEN
  • Admission of pupils with SEN
  • Teachers in mainstream schools with responsibility for SEN
  • departmental advice on universal infant free school meals
  • Pupil wellbeing

Other changes include

  • New links to EEF Toolkit and EEF DIY Evaluation Guide.
  • Updated lines on Accountability of governing bodies, including link to the seven principles of public life.
  • information on Ofsted’s inspection criteria for effective governance.
  • Updated information on External Reviews of Governance.
  • Updated lines on vacancy filling and ensuring prospective governors possess the required skills
  • New lines on governors sharing expertise
  • New section on the School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions

Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England says that from 1 September 2014 there is the new duty for governing bodies to make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions.

SEND code of practice

Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

 A series of Guides include one aimed school governing bodies (and others)  to help understand their statutory duties and responsibilities under the reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to children in their care who have or may have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) Advice includes that there should be a member of the school’s governing body or a committee with specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEN and disability.

Autumn Update

Posted: September 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

A briefing to highlight a number of areas where requirement or advice to governing bodies has changed

Reconstitution of governing bodies

In the new Academic year one of the issues facing many governing bodies* is ensuring their school conforms to the September 2012 constitution regulations by September 2015. The Department for Education has issued statutory guidance for this change and a separate advice note is being circulated from LEGSSS

* Governing bodies that have already re-constituted under the 2012 regulations or have otherwise changed since 1 September 2012 are not affected

The new guidance covers:

•the description of the different categories of governor

•how governing bodies are to be constituted

•terms of office

•removal and disqualification of governors

•instruments of government

•all aspects of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012    


Special educational needs and disability (SEND)

The special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms came into force from 1 September 2014. The categories of School Action and School Action Plus will be replaced with a new system called special educational needs support. Statements will be replaced with integrated Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) and will apply to children and young persons aged 0-25.

The Code of Practice is on the website

The Department for Education (DfE) has produced Information for Governors and highlights that while the Code of Practice recommends that governing bodies appoint an individual governor or committee with a specific remit for SEND, ensuring the delivery of the changes is the collective responsibility of the whole governing body and it should ensure that it is receiving regular reports from the senior leadership team about how implementation is progressing. A PowerPoint presentation is available

DfE have drafted letters for parents, local authorities, colleges and teachers working describe the changes being e introduced in September 2014 to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and asking to implement the reforms correctly..


Keeping Children Safe in Education


Schools and colleges must have regard to statutory guidance on safeguarding from the Department for Education issued under Section 175, Education Act 2002



The document contains information on what schools should do and sets out the legal duties with which they must comply. It should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) and replaces guidance on Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (December 2006).


Governing bodies

  • must ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation and  have regard to the guidance to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.
  • should ensure that the school contributes to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance
  • should ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the local authority as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB
  • should ensure a member of the governing body, usually the chair, is nominated to liaise with the local authority and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the headteacher,.
  • should ensure there is an effective child protection policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct).
  • should appoint a member of staff of the school’s leadership team to the role of designated safeguarding lead. This should be explicit in the role-holder’s job description
  • should consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social health and economic education (PSHE), and/or  through sex and relationship education (SRE).


It is noted that ” School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, regulation 9: at least one member of a recruitment panel must undertake safer recruitment training which, subject to parliamentary procedure, from September 2014 will no longer need to be provided by a person approved by the Secretary of State. Schools may choose appropriate training and may take advice from their LSCB in doing so. The training should cover, as a minimum, the content of this guidance.”

School Food

As well as introduction of free school meals for Infants (UIFSM) from September, DfE have now also issued revised school food standards regulations which come into effect on 1 January 2015. The new standards are designed to make it easier for school cooks to create imaginative, flexible and nutritious menus. They will be mandatory in all maintained schools, and new academies and free schools.

A user-friendly summary of the standards and guidance to help schools and other organisations implement them is available on the school food plan website

Governors’ Handbook 2014

The Governors’ Handbook (last published 15th May 2014) replaced the old Guide to the Law in 2012. (and is due to be re-issued in September 2014)–2

Ofsted School inspection handbook

In August 2014 Ofsted  reduced the number of guidance documents for inspectors, schools and other stakeholders to  just three guidance documents: The framework for school inspection; School inspection handbook  and Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies.

The school inspection handbook provides instructions and guidance for inspectors conducting inspections under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 . It sets out what inspectors must do and what schools can expect, and provides guidance for inspectors on making their judgments. It brings together guidance and briefings for inspectors that were previously spread across a number of documents.

On Page 47 Section 165. Says “ Inspectors should consider whether governors:

  • carry out their statutory duties, such as safeguarding, and understand the boundaries of their role as governors
  • ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain
  • ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, including long-term planning (for example, succession)
  •  contribute to the school’s self-evaluation and understand its strengths and weaknesses, including the quality of teaching, and reviewing the impact of their own work
  • understand and take sufficient account of pupil data, particularly their understanding and use of the school data dashboard
  •  assure themselves of the rigour of the assessment process
  • are aware of the impact of teaching on learning and progress in different subjects and year groups
  • provide challenge and hold the headteacher and other senior leaders to account for improving the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement and pupils’ behaviour and safety, including by using the data dashboard, other progress data, examination outcomes and test results; or whether they hinder school improvement by failing to tackle key concerns or (failing to) developing their own skills
  • use the pupil premium and other resources to overcome barriers to learning, including reading, writing and mathematics
  • ensure solvency and probity and that the financial resources made available to the school are managed effectively
  • are providing support for an effective headteacher
  • monitor performance management systems and understand how the school makes decisions about teachers’ salary progression , including the performance management of the headteacher, to improve teaching, leadership and management
  • engage with key stakeholders
  • are transparent and accountable, including in terms of recruitment of staff, governance structures, attendance at meetings, and contact with parents and carers.”


    School teachers’ pay and conditions: advice


    DfE have issued advice to help schools with:

Birmingham schools and governors

Posted: July 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

One of the reports into allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter is by Peter Clarke (July 2014) and includes recommendations affecting school governors. The government has yet to respond in detail or come forward with specific proposals covering



2. The Department for Education should ensure that the governing body of every school extends the responsibilities of the teacher designated Child Protection Officer to include Prevent within his/her role. …….


8. The Department for Education should consider the benefits of requiring academies to notify changes in the governing body to the Department, along with stronger powers for the Secretary of State to bar an individual from taking part in the management of any type of school (including maintained schools and academies).


11. The Department for Education should review guidance on governor appointments to make clear the expectations of the role, including: the difference between setting the strategic direction and running the school; and the skills and expertise required, and what appropriate training to improve these skills should look like. The Department should also consider the benefits of an accreditation scheme for governor training providers.


12. Unless there are genuinely exceptional circumstances, there should be a presumption that an individual will only be a governor at a maximum of two schools at any one time. All local authorities and multi-academy trusts should review their current governor arrangements, and where they identify an individual holding multiple positions they should consider the appropriate steps to ensure that a wider range of people are able to hold governor positions and that no single individual has undue influence over a number of schools.


13. All schools should include details on their website of their governing body. This should include the full name of the individuals, along with any committees they attend; the method of appointment (eg whether a local authority appointment or an elected parent governor); and the expected period of the appointment, in order to promote transparency over the running of schools.


14. The Department for Education should consider whether there is a case for preventing certain individuals from being involved in the management of schools.

The pupil premium: an update

Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

16 Jul 2014 Ofsted

The Ofsted report provides an update on the progress schools have made in using their pupil premium funding to raise achievement for pupils eligible for free school meals. It is based on evidence from 151 inspections carried out between January and December 2013, text review of 1,600 school inspection reports published between September 2013 and March 2014, and national performance data for 2013.

In the 86 good and outstanding schools considered in the report , governing bodies are taking strategic responsibility for ensuring the pupil premium funding improves the teaching and support for eligible pupils.

Data protection and Freedom of Information

Posted: June 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Good information handling provides a range of benefits as well as helping you to comply with the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.

ICO information rights checklist lists (Education) on the benefits and risks, along with practical suggestions for how to be open and responsible. And it shows you how to get it right first time.