Updates, News & Resources
Disclosure and Barring Checks for Governors
The Department for Education has amended the 2012 School Governance Constitution Regulations in order to require governing boards of maintained schools in England to apply for an enhanced disclosure check in respect of any of their governors that do not currently hold one.
The change in legislation is intended to provide reassurance to the governing board that an individual is not disqualified from holding office as a governor due to criminal convictions. The checks will only be made on those governors that do not already have a certificate. This will bring the arrangements in the maintained sector into line with the requirements in place for trustees in academies and free schools.
Further information on the requirements may be downloaded below
Governance Skills Audit and Matrix (National Governors’ Association Model)
Governing Bodies are recommended to regularly conduct an audit of individual governor’s skills and experience in order to gain an overall view of the Governing Body and identify areas where further skills and knowledge may be required. This enables governing bodies to ensure that they have sufficient expertise to carry out their core duties effectively.
This information gained from the outcome of the audit can also assist Governing Bodies when reviewing their constitution in order to identify the skills required for prospective governors.
The National Governors’ Association (NGA) has provided a useful model skills audit to assist Governing Bodies in this process, which is based upon the core functions of the governing body as defined in the Governors’ Handbook. To make it easier to get a view of the skills across the governing body as a whole, the NGA have also produced a handy matrix, which can be used to collate governors' responses from the skills audit. The matrix is colour coded so it is easy to identify areas of particular strength.
For further advice and support in conducting a skills audit for your Governing Body, please speak to your Clerk to Governors.
The audit form and skills matrix is available to download via the NGA Website using the following LINK
Twenty key questions for the governing board to ask itselfThe second edition of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Governance and Leadership ‘Twenty key questions for the governing board to ask itself’ is available to download below. Three years ago the first edition of the Twenty questions was developed by the ‘National Governors’ Association’ (NGA) and ‘The Key for School Governors’ to encourage more governing boards to challenge themselves. Since then they have been used extensively by many governing boards across England when reviewing their governance practice, and it was timely to review them in the light of that experience.Governor Services would like to engage as many governing boards as possible in a simple exercise to reflect on their practice, and suggest that every governing board should use the Twenty questions.
Best Practice Advice for School Complaints Procedures 2016The Department for Education (DfE) has revised its guidance on managing complaints within schools and published new advice for governing boards and school leaders on 6 January 2016.This advice applies to local authority maintained schools and nursery schools and provides best-practice for creating and revising complaints procedures and how to deal with complaints. Departmental advice helps you understand how to comply with the law or explain what policies mean in practice. You do not have to follow the advice as it is non-statutory; however, all schools must have a complaints procedure in place that is easily accessible.The Local Authority Governor Services Team have produced a Model School Complaints Policy which is available for Schools and Governing Boards to use as appropriate. This is available via the internal schools extranet service.
A copy of the DfE advice may be downloaded via the following LINK
Bolton Virtual Schools for Children Looked AfterAs a group, Children Looked After and young people (CLA) under achieve both throughout their school years and also into later adult life. Statistically they grow up to become over represented on the caseloads of agencies providing social and financial support to adults. Over recent years we have developed a model of ‘Virtual Schools’ to ensure we are effectively watching and supporting our young people throughout their school years.
Further information may be downloaded below
Publication of Governor Details on School Websites - Maintained SchoolsGovernors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities.In accordance with statutory guidance and in the interests of transparency, the Department for Education (DfE) has stated that from 1 September 2015, a governing board should publish up to date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible form on the school website.Further information about this requirement may be downloaded below
Publication of Governance Arrangements on School Websites - AcademiesAcademy members, trustees and governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school(s) and wider communities.In accordance with the Academies Financial Handbook, and in the interests of transparency, the Education Funding Agency has stated that academy trusts should publish up to date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible form on the school website.Further information about this requirement may be downloaded below.
Framework for Governance – NGA and Wellcome TrustThe National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Wellcome Trust have jointly developed the Framework for Governance, an essential document for all governing boards to help them effectively carry out their vital role. It is a flexible guide, so can be used by any school regardless of phase, type or governance structure.Strong school governance is arguably more important now than it has ever been – governing boards have more responsibility and are held accountable for the performance of the school more rigorously than ever before. The Framework for Governance aims to help governors and trustees successfully meet these challenges. It sets out how governors can evaluate their own practice, using Twenty key questions for a governing board to ask itself; how to set the strategic direction for a school; and how to monitor progress against the strategy using high-level performance indicators that go much further than just exam results.A copy of the Framework can be downloaded be using the following link
Disqualification Under the Childcare Act
In October 2014 the government published supplementary guidance to Keeping Children Safe in Education which detailed a requirement for childcare disqualification checks to be carried out on relevant staff. On 26th February 2015 this guidance was revised to provide some clarification on issues which arose with the original guidance.
More information can be found at the following LINK
Expectations of Governing Boards and School LeadersThe National Governors' Association, Local Government Association, ASCL and NAHT have produced a joint paper which aims to improve the effectiveness of school governance; underpinning it is an expectation that governing boards and school leaders will jointly develop effective working practices which are mutually supportive and respectful of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
A copy of this paper can be downloaded below.