Governorsâ€™ bulletin May 2012 Autumn term 2014
Page 1 of 19
Contents Page: 3
Foreword Celebration event for Southwark Governors
Governing body reconstitution
Human resources issues
Free fruit for primary schools pupils
Report from St Johnâ€™s Catholic Primary School
News and information
Sensible health and safety management in schools
CCTV in your school â€“ what governors need to know
Governor training and development booking form
Dear Governor Welcome back to the new school term. Having taken on responsibility for Southwark's Children's Services and schools in May, and having been a school governor in Southwark, I am excited by the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I am a firm believer in providing the best education for our children and young people. Our primary schools have significantly improved levels of achievement in English and maths and 80% of primary schools have been judged good or outstanding by Ofsted, which is in the top quartile of performance nationally. Southwarkâ€™s secondary schools are currently ranked 33rd in England - a leap of 38 places from the previous year - putting Southwark in the top 25% in the country. Southwarkâ€™s GCSE results are continuously improving and the council is committed to working with all secondary schools in Southwark to ensure over 70% of students achieve at least five good GCSEs. As well as maintaining high academic standards, I am pleased that we are also delivering our Fairer Future promises by offering free healthy schools meals to all primary school children. Many of our primary schools will also start delivering our promise of free fruit as a morning snack during 2014/15. Once again, we are ahead of the curve and I hope that national government will follow our lead in taking one more step to ensure our children have the best possible start in life. I would like to thank all governors for the huge contribution they make to our schools and children. Your commitment is crucial to making sure that all our children are able to pursue and achieve their ambitions and goals. I look forward to working with you over the coming months.
Cllr Victoria Mills Cabinet Member for Children and Schools
CELEBRATION EVENT FOR SOUTHWARK GOVERNORS
Southwark Council will be hosting a celebration evening in recognition of governors who have served for 7-10 years as a governor in a Southwark school and did not receive an award at last yearâ€™s ceremony. This is a special occasion to thank governors for the commitment time, expertise, and experience they devote to serving the children and young people in our schools. The event will be held at Southwark Councilâ€™s offices, Tooley Street, on Tuesday 18 November.
Merril Haeusler Director of Education
GOVERNING BODY RECONSTITUTION Please remember that all maintained schools will have to reconstitute, if they have not done so already, by September 2015. Under the new regulations the minimum size of a governing body will be seven. Community schools must have one LA governor, at least two parent governors, one staff governor, the head teacher and any number of co-opted governors. However staff governors cannot make up more than one third of the total membership. It continues to be the case that voluntary and foundation schools also need to have two more foundation governors than the total of all the other governors combined. All newly appointed governors will have to be selected on the basis that they have “the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school”. Examples given are specific skills such as the ability to understand data or finance as well as general things such as the capacity and willingness to learn. Governing bodies are encouraged to make similar demands on elected governors. For parent and staff governor elections, governing bodies can set out for potential candidates what they expect of governors and publish information for those voting in the election on the type of person and /or skills they need and they can ensure that good information is published about candidates standing for election. Candidates can then explain what they can contribute to the governing body. Optimus has also suggested that governors should ensure that potential candidates for governorship have an understanding of the role of governors and that the relevant appointing bodies are aware of the skills and attributes that the governing body is looking for. The statutory guidance on reconstitution includes a recommendation that governing bodies carry out regular skills audits. Remember that prior to reconstitution your governing body needs to approve your new draft instrument for your reconstituted governing body at a full governing body meeting. At the point at which the new instrument takes effect all community governors will cease to hold office as this category will cease to exist. Surplus governors in other categories should also be removed at this point. The old governing body will need to have decided which governors will remain in office on the basis of their skills where there is a surplus in a particular category. The exception to this is in the case of foundation governors where the appointing body will make this decision. Don’t forget however that former community and surplus governors can be appointed as co-opted governors if you so wish and this includes staff governors. Governing Matters (July/August) pointed out that the National Governors Association (NGA) has always taken the view that retaining stakeholder representation and having governors with skills are not mutually exclusive aims. What is important for good governance is that the governing body as a whole has the skills it needs to operate effectively. The NGA also highlighted two findings of the research recently conducted by the University of Bath: 11-15 remains the most common size for governing bodies. Outstanding schools tend to have larger governing bodies. Interestingly, Lord Nash is now saying that, whilst his preference is for “smaller, tightly focused governing bodies”, he knows that others see this differently and there is therefore no central prescription from government on governing body size or for that of academy trust boards. You need now to consider your timescale for these changes. You can do it straightaway or wait until the summer term 2015 or some time in between to introduce them. Contact David Lister, governor development manager Tel: 020 7525 5313 Email: email@example.com
EARLY YEARS Early Y ears Pupil Premium At the end of August the consultation on the introduction of an early years pupil premium closed. The government was consulting on the proposal to give additional resources to early years providers that take disadvantaged children aged three and four and the introduction of participation based funding for the two year old entitlement. The proposal is that the early years pupil premium (EYPP) will be introduced in April 2015 and will close the gap at ages three and four between the support disadvantaged children get at two years old and the additional support they get in schools through the school pupil premium. It will pay early years providers an additional £300 a year for each eligible child that takes up the full 570 hours with them which equates to an hourly rate of £00.53 per child per hour. The government estimates that over 170,000 children will benefit in 2015-2016. Providers will be given additional funding along with their existing early education funding by local authorities (LAs) who will be paid through the dedicated schools grant. LAs will be required to pass on the full national rate to providers and will be unable to vary funding or place conditions on funding. Providers will be held to account by Ofsted for how they have used the EYPP to support their disadvantaged children through the regular inspection process. The inspection frameworks will be updated to set out that effective use and impact of the EYPP will be assessed under the leadership and management judgement. In addition in the consultation the government states that although they do not wish to impose conditions on how EYPP is spent they expect providers to consult the evidence on what works in improving quality. The children that will be eligible for the funding will be
Children from low income families (FSM) Children looked after by their LA for at least one day Children adopted from care Children who have left care through special guardianship Children subject to child arrangement orders (formerly residence orders)
Four year olds in reception classes in maintained schools will not receive the EYPP as they already receive the school-age pupil premium. There are no plans to extend the service premium into the early years. As 2015-2016 will be the first year of the EYPP an ‘Ever-FSM’ measure will not be introduced at this stage. The government estimates that the number of eligible children in Southwark will be 1,229 (or part time equivalent 1,172). This would equate to funding of £354,088 for schools in Southwark. From 2015-2016 the government will look at data from the new reception baseline at age four to get an indication at a national level of the impact of early years funding for disadvantaged children. Local authorities are required to fund providers rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ for the three and four year old entitlement as long as the provider is willing to accept the conditions of funding. LAs are also required to fund providers rated ‘requires improvement’ and have additional powers to attach conditions to funding that require providers to address Ofsted recommendations. It is advised that LAs should remove any funding for the entitlement from a provider rated ‘inadequate’ as soon as possible.
For further details please go to www.gov.uk/government/publications and search for early years pupil premium.
Ofsted - separate judgements for early years Following consultation Ofsted has announced that from September 2014 there will be separate judgements for early years (and sixth forms). Reference; Handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 (as amended by the Education Act 2011). Published July 2104 for use from September 2014. The revised school inspection handbook outlines that inspectors are required to report a numerical grade for the quality of education provided in the early years and write a section in the inspection report that summarises its effectiveness. Inspectors will judge the overall quality and standards of the early years provision, taking into account:
How well children, including those disabled, those with special educational needs and the more able, achieve so that they are ready for the next stage of their education How well the provision, including the quality of teaching, meets the needs of the range of children in the early years How well the provision contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, safety and well-being, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development How well the provision is led and managed.
Inspectors have been asked to consider:
The proportions of children who have made at least typical or better progress from their starting points, including disabled children, those with special educational needs and the more able
The attainment of children at the end of Reception compared with Early Years Foundation Stage Profile national figures, including the proportion that achieve a good level of development
Whether achievement is consistent across areas of learning, particularly in the prime areas and the specific areas of literacy and mathematics, and if any groups are underachieving
The quality of the approach to teaching phonics in Reception
How well teaching nurtures, engages and motivates children, includes a broad range of educational programmes and is based on accurate assessment of children’s learning and development, so that activities and experiences meet their needs
How well all staff work with parents, engage them in their children’s learning and keep parents informed about their children’s achievements and progress
Children’s attitudes to learning, including their participation and willingness to make choices and decisions, and the extent to which children are active and inquisitive learners who are creative and think critically
How well children behave, cooperate and share with each other, make friends, respect each other’s differences and build their understanding and respect for different families, people and communities beyond their immediate experience
The extent to which children behave in ways that are safe, understand how to stay safe and show that they feel safe
The rigour and effectiveness of systems to drive improvement, including: monitoring the quality of provision and children’s outcomes; the professional development of staff; evaluation of the impact of actions taken; and setting challenging targets
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures.
For further details and grade descriptors please go to www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/school-inspection-handbook page 73 onwards.
Outstanding early years practice If you are looking for guidance on what to look for in the early years, Ofsted have published a suite of six short films and a set of six examples of good practice in the early years foundation stage. ‘Right from the Start’ The examples in these six short films come from primary schools and nurseries (as well as childminders) and highlight the importance of adults getting to know their children well in order to teach them to develop skills, knowledge and understanding. To view the short films please go to www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources and type ‘right from the start’ into the search bar. ‘Are you ready?’ This set of six good practice examples was published in conjunction with the survey report Are you ready? Good practice in school readiness that was published in April 2014. The examples from primary schools, nurseries and childcare centres give practical ideas on how to support children and their families to be ready for school. To view these examples please go to www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/are-you-ready-goodpractice-school-readiness and download the relevant files.
Early years team Southwark has a team of early years consultants who work in schools advising on best practice in the early years. If you have any further questions about provision in the early years in your school please contact Georgia Pritchard, early years foundation stage adviser Tel: 020 7525 2344 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HR ISSUES Safer Recruitment From September 2014 the safer recruitment training no longer needs to be provided by a person approved by the Secretary of State. The safer recruitment training provided by the Teaching Agency through an e-learning tool will cease. The Southwark Safeguarding Board is reviewing the training provided and will be advising schools in relation to the future training. Regular courses for head teachers and governors to attend will still be arranged and details of the next course can be found in the governor training brochure.
School Teachersâ€™ Pay and Conditions Docum ent 2014 The STPCD 2014 introduces changes in setting the pay of school leaders. The main changes to the existing system are:
A simplified framework for leadership pay and greater autonomy for schools to set leadership pay in the light of the school size, context and challenge;
A simple approach to help governing bodies to set pay when appointing new head teachers, requiring them to assess the particular challenges and circumstances of their school and judge the extent to which these, together with the skills they are looking for, need to be reflected in the determination of a headâ€™s individual pay range;
Formal headroom above the current leadership maximum to incentivise and reward head teachers taking on some of the largest and most challenging leadership roles;
Removing spine points and fixed differentials - to provide greater flexibility for governing bodies to manage the performance and reward of school leaders, with individual decisions on pay progression to be made according to performance.
The changes are designed to enable governing bodies to exercise their judgement at the local level on the appropriate levels of pay for school leaders, according to the challenges and needs of the school. The DfE have also provided guidance to schools on:
Equalities consideration as part of the appraisal and pay determinations Managing pay appeals The use of evidence in appraisal and pay decisions
These changes and the guidance have been incorporated into updated model pay and appraisal policies that will be sent to chairs of governors and head teachers. Contact Joan Forrest, human resources manager - schools Tel: 020 7525 5118 Email: email@example.com
FREE FRUIT FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS As many of you will now be aware the Council have pledged to fund and provide a midmorning piece of fruit for all primary school pupils in Southwark. Currently infant pupils already receive a mid-morning piece of fruit funded through the Department of Health. From September 2014, the Council are offering to fund schools to provide the same for years 3 to 6. At this time 27 primary schools have taken up the opportunity, with another three indicating they will start in January 2015. The majority of those schools starting in September have decided to use the supplier who currently provides the fruit for the infant pupils. It is however, the schoolâ€™s decision to make. The Council will pay 15p per pupil per day for the pupils in years 3 to 6. This will be based on 190 days and your school roll. Contact Colin Gale, free healthy school meals project leader Tel: 020 7525 1107 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REPORT FROM ST JOHNâ€™S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL Our head teacher Janice Babb attended the Southwark excellence and good practice awards at the Council's offices in Tooley Street and received an award for outstanding pupil progress, as shown by the excellent KS2 results last summer. Our school is one of the top 1% of schools in the country in terms of the progress that pupils make from the beginning of their school journey to the end of their primary school career. This is a truly superb achievement. I was very pleased to be able to be there to cheer her on and give her our support. I attended this event with my two children as I was not able to organise childcare for them. The organiser was very accommodating, adding them to the guest list and preparing ID passes. When St John's name was read out and Janice received the award, at this point we cheered and clapped as loudly as we dared to show our support and appreciation. The second event was celebrating the arts talents of St John's. I raced back home to leave my two children with their dad, and dashed back to the Royal Festival Hall, to the Splash concert that Year 6 were participating in, alongside 16 other primary schools in Southwark. I happened to be sitting at the right hand side of the auditorium, and in front of me on the stage, as part of a 500 or so group of children singing, drumming and dancing, were Vera and Dee (Y6 teacher and Y6 teaching assistant) with our year 6 children, all dressed in red, performing with an energy, enthusiasm and talent that would put some professional theatrical companies to shame. The sound was stunning, the dancing and musicianship all of a really high quality. It was of a calibre far superior to the age and inexperience of the performers, thanks in no small part to the nurturing of their many talents and their self-confidence by St John's staff team under the leadership of Janice and Vera. It was a moving experience, and the thunderous applause at the end was welldeserved. Our year 6 had even been involved in writing some of the poetic lyrics during five workshops they had attended in preparation for the eight hour rehearsal today with the whole ensemble before this evening's performance. I felt so incredibly proud of this school, its staff and its children - to see the academic results being recognised by Southwark in the presence of not only the Mayor of Southwark but also Sir William Atkinson, and after that, to enjoy their creative and musical talents at the RFH.
St John's is a lucky school to have such good, strong, ambitious leaders and staff teams, who offer the children diverse opportunities and set them high standards in their academic work and educational experiences. Today's experiences highlighted this yet again for me. As Chair of Governors, with no educational background, and fairly new to school governance, I am also grateful for the support I receive from the school's leaders, my governor colleagues and the governor support services at Southwark Council. I have received excellent advice and guidance about all matters procedural and to do with policy, from Benjamin Washington, who also clerks our meetings efficiently and produces comprehensive, but concise minutes. Ela Cleary has organised bespoke training for our governing body in the past, and is most helpful when I have training queries. Without such professional and friendly support and advice, I would find being a Chair of Governors daunting and difficult. Instead it is a challenging, intense, and also very rewarding experience. Jane McManus, Chair of Governors, St John’s Catholic Primary School
NEWS AND INFORMATION In an important move Ofsted is to make all inspections in-house from 2015. This means that outsourcing to firms like CfBT, Serco and Tribal, which currently provide the majority of inspectors, will end. Lorna FitzJohn of Ofsted was quoted in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) (27 June) as explaining that this change will lead to “more centralisation, more flexibility and more opportunity to do more training (with inspectors)”. The National Governors Association (NGA) commented that they hoped that this move would improve the consistency and quality of inspection. The Optimus Hub reported in June that Ofsted’s approach to governors has changed over the last few years. They now hold governors fully to account and their view on governance can strongly influence the final outcome of an inspection. Since September 2013, where schools are judged to require improvement, Ofsted can call for a full review of governance. Inspectors will want to know how governors hold the school leadership to account and what sort of questions they ask. How do they know that the system of staff performance management is run fairly and how knowledgeable are they about the school’s performance data? Whilst some or all of these points may be familiar to many governors, they are worth repeating to help ensure that all governors are fully aware of what to expect when they meet Ofsted. From September 2014 there will be separate judgements in Ofsted inspection reports on early years and the sixth form. For early years a graded judgement will be accompanied by a paragraph evaluating the provision. Similarly for the sixth form there will be a numerical judgement accompanied by a paragraph that summarises Ofsted’s findings on its effectiveness. A letter from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw to head teachers outlined the above changes and also informed them that inspectors will in future spend more time looking at pupils’ work to see how much progress they are making and to evaluate how well they are doing against age-related expectations. He also said that, following the issues that arose about some Birmingham schools, unannounced inspections will take place when there are concerns about standards of leadership and management or the breadth and balance of the curriculum in a particular school. A further point that was made was that inspectors will not expect to see any particular assessment system operating in a school because they recognise that schools are working towards the full implementation of their preferred approach following the changes
that have been introduced nationally. However Sir Michael pointed out that inspectors might want to know how well governors are able to assure themselves of the rigour of the assessment that is carried out in their school. Sir Michael Wilshaw was later quoted as saying that Local Authorities (LAs) must do more to identify failing schools. “I believe there is clearly a middle tier in England’s education system and that is the Local Authority”. It is worth noting that many LAs, unlike Southwark, have not retained a strong advisory service. Finally, Ofsted produced an annual report on early years in the spring. In this they highlighted what they see as a national issue that some children from lower income backgrounds are falling behind their peers and are not “school ready” at the end of the early years foundation stage. Elizabeth Truss, still Children’s Minister at this stage, said that 100 teaching schools were working with nurseries to improve the quality of childcare provided and a further 20 teaching schools would be joining this initiative.
Dominic Herrington, the Director of the Academies Group in the DfE and a Southwark governor, has been appointed as the Regional School Commissioner for London and the South East. The eight regional commissioners appointed nationally are to be advised and challenged by head teachers’ boards consisting of heads or principals elected by all the academies in their region. This process is intended to fill the perceived lack of a middle tier to monitor the thousands of academies and free schools that have now been established.
This is a reminder that reformed GCSE examinations are coming in 2016 with a new grading system running from the highest grade 9 to the lowest grade 1. Linear examinations will replace mixed packages of coursework, school-based assessments and exams in the main. However the government has abandoned the scheme for a CSE style exam for the lowest performing 25% of students and the idea of having a single exam board for each subject. The TES pointed out though that “the key idea” of explicitly harder qualifications has survived. Thus grade 4 will be the equivalent of a C grade but students will be expected to achieve at least a grade 5 and a grade 9 will equate to only the top half of A* achievers. The actual content of GCSE courses will change in English Language, Literature and Maths in 2017 (affecting teaching from September 2015) and for many other subjects in 2018 (affecting teaching from September 2016). Some examples of other changes are that in modern languages many questions may be set in the language being tested. History will cover a wide range of periods. Further summary information will be given to you as it becomes available. Also to be introduced in 2107 is a national reference test devised by Ofqual which will be sat by a representative sample of students. This is intended to give the exam boards an independent measure of the ability of a year group because the same test will be set every year. The TES explained that the rationale behind this scheme is to prevent people from claiming that an increase in the percentage of students gaining higher grades is due to exams getting easier. Ofqual wrote to head teachers around the country in June to warn them to expect some variation in GCSE results this year due to the changes to the structure, timing and content of some exams. Examiners have been facing practical difficulties in dealing with the 15.5 million scripts facing them, an increase due to the reduction in re-sits and students moving to end of course assessment only.
The new framework for key stages one and two statutory tests will kick in 2016. They are intended to reflect the greater demands of the new national curriculum and the findings of the Bew Report. The Standards & Testing Agency has the responsibility for developing the new tests. The Optimus Leadership &Governance Hub reported in May that the key stage one maths test will be internally marked by teachers. There will be a 15 minute arithmetic test and a 35 minute test of mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning. The key stage two maths test will be externally marked. There will be a 30 minute arithmetic test and two 40 minute papers that test again fluency, problem-solving and reasoning. The KS1 Reading test will consist of two 30 minute papers. At KS2 there will be a single 60 minute paper which is likely to be significantly more challenging than what pupils face at present. For grammar, spelling & punctuation at KS1 there will be a 15 minute written task, a 20 minute test and a 10 minute spelling task. At KS2 there will be a 45 minute test paper and a 15 minute spelling test. A report published by the National College on the performance management of head teachers suggests that the challenges facing governors in this process include: • • •
Setting objectives which link together individual and school issues Identifying and interpreting appropriate performance information How to identify and tackle underperformance and how to reward successful system leadership.
It has also been reported that the DfE will be reviewing and updating the standards for head teachers.
Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have pledged to require all teachers to have qualified teacher status if they come to power following the 2015 general election. Labour says that all unqualified teachers currently working in state schools would lose their positions unless they were able to gain the required qualification within the next two years.
The Chancellor George Osborne has launched a campaign to boost participation in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with the aim of inspiring young people to train for “jobs that are essential to our economic prosperity”. Elizabeth Truss is also quoted by the NGA (9 May) as saying that rising numbers of students are taking maths and physics A level but these numbers are still very low.
A national network of maths labs designed to emulate the standards achieved by the top performing East Asian countries was launched by the then Education Minister Elizabeth Truss in early July.
120 specialist PE teachers have been recruited to join primary schools across the country in September. The intention is for them to “deliver advanced exercise lessons, provide healthy living advice and more competitive sport” (quoted by the NGA 6 June). This is in addition to sport premium funding.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the charity Family Action have jointly drafted advice for parents on how to behave with their children. They suggest that swearing, shouting and smoking should not take place in front of children and recommend that parents praise their children’s efforts as well as their achievements. Further points are that children should be asked to help prepare family meals, be encouraged to follow a balanced diet and to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Ofsted reported in July that English schools were starting to make more effective use of pupil premium funding, tracking the progress of eligible pupils more closely and reporting on outcomes more precisely. They found that the funding is most commonly spent on employing additional teachers and interventions such as booster classes, reading support and the provision of learning mentors. Under the new Ofsted framework from September schools will not be able to be judged as outstanding if disadvantaged pupils are not making sufficient progress. In that circumstance inspectors are likely to recommend that a governing body pupil premium review is organised. The excellent news was also reported that Southwark is among the five LAs nationally with the highest proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium achieving 5+ GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and maths.
A new Government scheme to recruit post-doctoral students as teachers will be partly funded by private companies. Firms including Barclays and Glaxosmithkline have agreed to sponsor this initiative, which is aimed at encouraging people with PhDs to become maths and science teachers with a starting salary of £40,000, which is clearly much higher than that which most other categories of new teacher can expect to earn.
The latest School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document removes the requirement for a pay differential between members of the senior leadership team and members of staff on TLR posts. Notably also the list of 21 tasks that teachers were not required to perform under the workforce reform agenda has been removed.
The Chairman of the Church of England’s Board of Education, the Bishop of Oxford was quoted (TES 11 July) as saying that the law requiring schools to conduct an act of collective worship should be scrapped for non-religious schools provided that they still allocated some time for spiritual reflection. The NGA had put out a public statement previously advocating a similar view. They pointed out that the abolition of the requirement to hold religious assemblies in non-faith schools would not preclude them from holding assemblies addressing a whole range of topics that could include faith and belief. They also pointed out that RE would continue to be taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
The DfE has announced that each council will receive a share of a £45 million fund to help prepare for the reforms to SEND provision, which are intended to provide support for young people and their parents to have a greater input into their personalised care.
The Government announced in June the introduction of a baseline reception test in 2016 to measure pupil progress in primary schools. The early years foundation stage will become non- statutory from then and the allocation of low prior attainment funding will be based on the outcomes of this test.
David Laws, the Minister of State for Schools, has announced a new scheme called Teaching Leaders Primary. The aim of this scheme is to recruit primary teachers working in challenging schools who have the potential to become outstanding leaders. They will then be given a two year training programme. Mr Laws was quoted by the NGA (13 June) as saying that “this body will allow teacher leaders to expand their success with promising teachers in secondary schools to those at primary level”.
The NGA is recommending that the provision of school places should be centrally coordinated and that resources should only be directed to setting up new schools in areas of need. They are also calling for a reduction in the number of new initiatives launched by central government and a consequent period of stability for schools.
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a new duty on the governing bodies of maintained schools and the proprietors of academies to support pupils with medical needs. Schools are expected to have a policy in place outlining their procedures and a named person with overall responsibility for its implementation. Some pupils will need to have an individual health care plan. New guidance has been issued by the DfE to help schools interpret the new regulation. This includes the advice that schools should have procedures in place for handing out medication and for ensuring all pupils are able to take part fully in additional activities including sport and school trips. They also point out that all this applies to pupils with mental health problems. All members of staff should have a general awareness of the issues around supporting pupils with medical conditions and have specialist training provided where they are supporting a particular child or a group of children with a medical need. The plan should include details of what staff should do in an emergency, the specific support that is needed and who will provide it and how. In future Ofsted inspectors are likely to ask governors about the support which the school provides for pupils with medical needs. A further point is that members of staff cannot be required to administer medicines. So the school management will have to identify those members of staff who are willing to volunteer for this role.
A poll of over one million children in the UK and the USA found that children want a far greater say on how schools are run and a greater focus on relationships. This was the largest survey of young people ever undertaken anywhere. It showed that students’ main demands are 1) 2) 3)
To feel that they matter individually To feel that they matter as a group To feel that their teachers care about them
The preponderant view was that they wanted teachers who enjoy working with them, make learning exciting and are willing to learn themselves.
A campaign has been launched to allow school students to become full governors. Currently the minimum age is 18, which only covers the oldest sixth formers. Younger students can become associate members but not full governors. Emma Knights of the NGA is somewhat sceptical about this idea and said that “encouraging students to give more feedback would be really useful to governing bodies but I don’t think there’s a need for them to become part of the governing body”.
A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research says that whilst successive governments have focused on the route through A Levels to degrees, little attention has been paid to vocational education even though a large number of the jobs likely to be created in the next few years will be in areas such as skilled trades that have always relied on vocational education.
The TES reported (2 May) that the NAHT is proposing ending the six week summer holiday and arranging shorter holidays throughout the year to ease the pressure on teachers. It then made the point that schools in England and Wales, along with those in Germany and Denmark, already have the shortest summer holiday break in Europe. However there is academic research which suggests that long summer holidays have a detrimental effect on children’s academic performance, with pupils in danger of forgetting some of what they have learned. The NAHT also suggested staggering school holidays in different areas in order to challenge the high cost of holidays for parents and teachers.
A report from the Royal Institute of British Architects recommended that ministers address an estimated £8.5 billion backlog of repairs to replace crumbling schools and ease overcrowding for pupils. The Coalition Government ended the Building Schools for the Future programme and replaced it by a reduced programme of spending.
As you are no doubt aware in a cabinet reshuffle in July Michael Gove was replaced as Secretary of State for Education by Nicky Morgan. He is now the Chief Whip. She was formerly the Minister for Women & Equality. The former Schools Minister Elizabeth Truss has been promoted and replaced by Sam Gyimeh. Nick Gibb returned as Minister of State and David Laws, Lord Nash and Edward Timpson remain as education ministers.
Michael Gove and Lord Nash launched Inspiring Governors on 15 May. This organisation has been established to celebrate and promote the importance of skilled and effective school governance. It aims to:
inspire more “high calibre people” to volunteer as governors inspire more employers to see the benefits of encouraging their staff to apply to become governors inspire more governing bodies to actively recruit governors on the basis of their skills
The Education & Employers Taskforce is behind this organisation, which is also supported by the NGA, the National Co-ordinators of Governor Services (NCOGS), the CBI, Business in the Community and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Following Ofsted’s investigation of 21 Birmingham schools, the Secretary of State Michael Gove announced that all schools in England would in future be expected to actively promote British values. These were defined by the Government as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Sir Michael Wilshaw then recommended that the Government gives serious consideration to the introduction of mandatory training for governors and the appointment of professional governors where governance was judged to be weak.
The NGA reported (20 June) that the Government was inserting new clauses into the model funding agreements for academies and free schools giving the Secretary of State the power to close a school or dismiss its governors if he thought that a member of the trust was unsuitable due to conduct aimed at undermining the fundamental British values outlined above. The intention was also to bring in changes to the Ofsted inspection framework and the Governors’ Handbook in relation to schools actively promoting British values. Contact David Lister, governor development manager Tel: 020 7525 5313 Email: email@example.com
SENSIBLE HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS
A sensible approach to health and safety in schools means focusing on how the real risks are managed. The HSE have recently published new web guidance to help those responsible for managing health and safety in schools to strike the right balance, encourage them to avoid being risk averse so that the real risks are managed and learning opportunities are experienced to the full. Sensible health and safety management should be straightforward and part of good school leadership. To view the web guidance please visit www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/sensible-leadership. The governing body has a key role to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. What you need to do: Take reasonable steps to make sure that the school is following the employer’s policy and procedures e.g. through regular discussion at governors meetings. Where the governing body is the employer, put in place sensible approaches to health and safety, with clear policies that focus on the real risks, and do not encourage unnecessary paperwork. Implement arrangements that manage the risks to staff, pupils and visitors who may be affected by the school’s activities. Tell staff about the real and significant risks in the school and the precautions they need to take to manage them. Check that the control measures have been implemented and remain appropriate and effective. Ensure staff have the relevant information and training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities. Promote a sensible approach to health and safety, making use of competent health and safety advice when required. Work in close partnership with the head teacher and senior management team to support sensible health and safety management and to challenge as appropriate.
Key messages The governing body have a key part to play in tackling risk aversion, helping to provide a wider sense of perspective and helping the school to get the balance right on managing risk. Good health and safety is about keeping things simple, being proportionate and focusing on the real risks. Procedures should be clear and concise with assessment of risk being practical – not a paper chase or an exaggeration of risk. For assistance or advice on sensible health and safety matter, please contact the health and safety team on 0207 525 3808 or visit the H&S pages on the Southwark website www.southwark.gov.uk/YourServices/educationandlearning/management/healthandsafety.html
Lee Tapping, health and safety manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CCTV IN YOUR SCHOOL – WHAT GOVERNORS NEED TO KNOW Is your school registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office? Do you use CCTV in your school? All schools should be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as they hold and process data on pupils (Data Protection Act). It is a criminal offence not to be registered. A quick survey has shown that many schools are in breach of this legislation. Furthermore, if your school uses CCTV (for example at the school entrance) they should be registered. It is also essential that governors are aware of the CCTV code of practice, 2008 published on the ICO website. This for example, cites the importance of carrying out risk assessments, ensuring it is clear who has access to images and how long data is stored for. Governor oversight is essential particularly in terms of safeguarding. Some schools now have policies on the use of CCTV which is now highly recommended.
Booking form: autumn term 2014 Please indicate the courses you wish to attend by ticking the last column.
Induction for new governors: Module
Governors' roles and responsibilities - part 1
Monday 13 October
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Governors' roles and responsibilities - part 2
Monday 20 October
6.30pm to 8.30pm
School curriculum (all phases)
Monday 10 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Special educational needs (SEN)
Wednesday 5 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Monday 17 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
School finance (non-academy)
Monday 24 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Other training and development courses: Course name
The new national curriculum
Thursday 18 September
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Changes to SEN in Southwark
Thursday 2 October
6.30pm to 8.30pm
6 February or 5 June (please delete as appropriate)
9am to 5pm
Preparing for an Ofsted inspection
Wednesday 22 October
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Safeguarding in schools
Tuesday 11 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
The pupil premium – what do governors need to know?
Thursday 13 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Southwark Governors’ Association
Wednesday 19 November
6pm for 6.15pm start
Tuesday 25 November
6.30pm to 8.30pm
RAISEonline – interpreting and using pupil performance
Wednesday 3 December
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Taking the chair part 1
Thursday 4 December
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Taking the chair part 2
Thursday 11 December
6.30pm to 8.30pm
data in primary schools
Name:___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Email address: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone number:______________________________________________________________________________________ School:___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please specify any special needs (wheelchair access, induction loop etc) you may have:
Please send your booking form to: E. Cleary, Governor Development, Southwark Council Children’s and Adults’ Services, 4th Floor, Hub 2, PO BOX 64529, LONDON SE1P 5LX, or email to: Ela.email@example.com; Tel: 020 7525 5107