London East Governor and School Support Services

Clerking advice

Posted: April 24th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The ‘Competency framework for clerking’ published on 21 April 2017 sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards. This has been produced by David Carter (National Schools Commissioner) to complete the trio of 2017 resources setting expectations for the role and function of governance in schools. It may be used by governing bodies to

  • understand the role of professional clerking and how it can improve the quality of governance in an organisation
  • help with recruiting a clerk
  • set their clerk’s objectives and inform their performance appraisal process
  • identify where improvement may be required in the services they receive from their clerk.

Exclusion guidance 2017 – consultation

Posted: March 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

DfE are seeking views on revisions they are proposing to make to the statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils. (link to consultation and draft documents) They have made changes in a small number of areas to make the rules that apply to exclusions and the process of review clearer. Responses needed by 25 April

 

The changes are intended to provide greater clarity to head teachers, independent review panels and governing bodies on their responsibilities when considering exclusion decisions.

DfE have also added two non-statutory annexes to the document, one for headteachers and the other for parents, to help them understand the exclusion process.

 

The revised guidance will come into effect on 1 September 2017 and will be published in summer 2017 “to give time to those involved in the exclusion process to familiarise themselves with the clarifications”

https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-absence-and-exclusions-team/statutory-exclusion-guidance/

 


Staffing and workload advice

Posted: February 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

A number of updates and information on staffing from the DfE were published on 24 February including

  • Staffing and employment advice for schools -new non-statutory guidance replacing statutory Guidance on Managing Staff Employment in Schools. The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 as amended remain in force and schools should be aware of the responsibilities placed upon them to comply with applicable legislation within the regulations
    Link here
  • Flexible working in school -produced to help teachers who are considering working flexibly and to help schools and employers considering how best to encourage, support and enable flexible working requests
    link here

 

  • Reducing teacher workload – including recommendations from three working groups, joint DfE/union guidance and a commitment to giving schools a minimum lead-in time for significant changes to policy in accountability, curriculum and qualifications
    Link here

 


Governance Handbook and competency framework

Posted: January 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

A new ‘Competency framework for governance’ has been published by DfE with the updated ‘Governance handbook’ – now structured around the 6 main features of effective governance.

The ‘Governance handbook’ explains:

  • school governors’ roles and functions
  • their legal duties
  • where they can find support

 

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the knowledge and skills that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.

 

In schools maintained by local authorities, these guides apply to governors, headteachers, clerks and others involved in their governance

Link to documents

 

What has changed in this edition of the Governance Handbook ? (as summarised in the document)

  • the Governance handbook now contains a summary description of the six key features of effective governance (Section 1) This provides the (new) structure for the six sections that follow and also for the department’s new Competency framework for governance.
  • The most significant changes to the content within other sections include:
  • Section 2: Strategic Leadership
  • A new section bringing together material about the board’s role as the key decision-maker (2.3)
  • Section 3: Accountability
  • A stronger emphasis on ensuring financial propriety (3.4.)
  • Section 4: People
  • Updated text to reflect the new requirement that all those involved in governance in maintained schools, as well as in academy trusts, must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (4.1.2)
  • New advice on conducting informed elections (4.1.4.)
  • New sections bringing together material on the important role of the chair and the clerk (4.3, 4.4.)
  • A new explanation of the risks associated with close family relationships between those involved in governance or between them and senior employees.(4.8)
  • Details of the duty on boards to provide information about individuals involved in governance via Edubase at (4.8)
  • Section 5: Structures
  • Clarification that all boards are required to publish a scheme of delegation to explain their governance arrangements, together with new guidance on what makes an effective scheme of delegation (5.6)
  • Section 6: Compliance
  • New advice on handling allegations of abuse made against other children ( 6.7.1)
  • Confirmation that an individual on the board should take leadership responsibility for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements, which include its Prevent duty (6.7)
  • Section 7: Evaluation 
  • Updated content on schools causing concern and on coasting schools (7.4)

Some points to note from the Competency Framework for Governance

  • The document has been introduced by Sir David Carter (National Schools Commissioner for England) but the sources of the advice or any evidence for its effectiveness has not been included
  • It sets out to define more clearly the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for governance to play its full part in the government’s vision for education.
  • The framework is non-statutory guidance and sets out the competencies needed for effective governance and should be read alongside the Governance Handbook
  • The framework begins with the principles and personal attributes which, alongside the commitment of time and energy to the role, underpin effective governance.
  • Following on from this, the knowledge, skills and effective behaviours required for effective governance are organised into those which are essential for everyone on the board; those which are required of the chair and those which at least someone on the board should have. (there are over 130 items required of all governors with a further sixty needed by the chair)
  • It is for governing bodies, training providers and “others with an interest in the governance of schools”
  • The framework is made up of 16 competencies grouped under the headings of six features of effective governance (and the three core functions)
  • The principles and personal attributes that individuals bring to the board are regarded as important as their skills and knowledge
  • Duties should be carried out in line with the seven principles of public life (the Nolan principles) and take into account responsibilities under equality legislation, recognising and encouraging diversity and inclusion.
  • In addition, all those involved in governance should be Committed, Confident, Curious Challenging, Collaborative, Critical and Creative

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/governance-handbook

 

Note these are separate from the Ofsted Guidance on Improving Governance published in December


School attendance

Posted: January 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

There has been considerable publicity to court cases on school attendance. The Statutory guidance for schools, local authorities and the police on dealing with poor attendance and behaviour in school has been reviewed by DfE and confirmed as up to date (5 January 2017). However they also note that the guidance will be kept under review and updated as necessary.Link to document


New guidance for governors- keeping children safe on line

Posted: January 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety Education Group has developed guidance for school governors to help governing boards support their school leaders to keep children safe online. Governors can use it to: gain a basic understanding of the school’s current approach to keeping children safe online; learn how to improve this approach where appropriate; and find out about tools which can be used to improve the approach. The document includes examples of good and outstanding practice, as well as identifying when governors should be concerned.

The guidance and more information about UKCCIS is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/uk-council-for-child-internet-safety-ukccis

 

This guidance is non-statutory and should be read alongside the Department for Education’s Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562876/Guidance_for_School_Governors_-_Question_list.pdf


Improving Governance – Ofsted Report

Posted: December 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) commissioned this survey to investigate the challenges facing governing bodies in schools. The report draws on evidence from visits to 24 improving primary, secondary and special schools that are situated in some of the poorest areas of the country to look at their governance arrangements.

 

It also uses evidence from routine inspections and monitoring visits over the last year and from 2,632 responses to a call for evidence initiated by HMCI in November 2015. The report identifies the barriers faced by governors in these schools and the actions taken to strengthen their professional skills and fulfil their roles as effective, strategic school leaders.

 

Summary of key findings

  • Many governors lack the expertise needed in an increasingly complex education system to hold school leaders to account.
  • Governors need better access to highly skilled people who have the educational expertise to help them meet the increased demands of their role.
  • Recruitment and retention of governors is a serious challenge
  • Clarity about lines of accountability, roles and responsibilities is an essential part of effective governance.
  • Weak governance, including in some of the poorest areas of the country, is at risk of going undetected until the school is inspected by Ofsted
  • Paying the chairs of governing bodies can act as a means to achieving a professional and open relationship between governors and school leaders
  • Governors from within the community make an essential contribution

Recommendations (for schools)

Governing boards should:

  • ensure clarity of roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability for governance, particularly where multi-level governance makes accountability complex
  • publish information about governance on the school website in line with statutory requirements (or the academy funding agreement)to ensure transparency and clarity of roles and responsibilities
  • ensure that they have a robust review method in place to assure themselves that the board is effective
  • secure professional support and governor training as needed to ensure effective governance.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-governance  

The National Governors Association said that “the Ofsted report is a missed opportunity. It largely covers old ground and is not as helpful as their last report on learning from the best. They haven’t taken into account much of the existing activity to improve governance”.

LEGSSS comment – it is likely that a busy Ofsted inspector will pay more attention to their own report rather than comments from NGA so the recommendations warrant governors’ attention


Funding Formula Consultation

Posted: December 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

DfE are introducing a national funding formula “to make funding fair for schools and children.” A consultation open to 22 March2017 seeks views on the detailed design of the formula, building on the earlier consultation on the principles and structure.

 

The executive summary outlines the proposals and the effect on schools, and the consultation document explains these in detail. You can look up the effect on each school in the impact tables

 

https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/


Financial Sustainability of Schools

Posted: December 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The National Audit Office report examines the value for money of the Department for Education’s approach to managing risks to schools’ financial sustainability in light of increasing cost pressures

They conclude that the Department of Education’s approach to managing the risks to schools’ financial sustainability cannot be judged to be effective or providing value for money until more progress is made

 

The Department estimates that mainstream schools will have to find savings of £3.0 billion (8.0%) by 2019-20 to counteract cumulative cost pressures, such as pay rises and higher employer contributions to national insurance and the teachers’ pension scheme. It expects that schools will need to make efficiency savings through better procurement (estimated savings of £1.3 billion) and by using their staff more efficiently (the balance of £1.7 billion). However, the Department has not clearly communicated to schools the scale and pace of the savings required. While it can show, on the basis of benchmarking analysis, that schools should be able to achieve such savings without affecting educational outcomes, it does not know whether schools will achieve them in practice.

 

https://www.nao.org.uk/report/financial-sustainability-in-schools/


School Cuts

Posted: November 17th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

NUT and ATL say the Government’s proposed ‘Fair Funding’ reforms will not make matters any better. Without additional funding, a new funding formula will simply spread an already inadequate amount of money around more thinly.

 For every school which gains from this, others will lose – and almost every school will lose when the impact of inflation and other cost increases, against which the Government’s funding freeze offers no protection, are also taken into account.

 Unless the Government allocates additional money, schools and academies will lose huge amounts of money – rising to £2.5 billion a year in real terms by 2020. We estimate that 92% of schools could lose out, even after the introduction of a new funding formula. These cuts will hurt us all.

 

The NUT and the ATL are calling on the Government to take immediate action to inject much needed money into an already beleaguered system and protect schools from rising costs. It is the only sensible solution to a crisis with which schools are already dealing and which is set to get worse.

 

take a look at the map to see how schools in your neighbourhood will be affected.