Clerks News - Autumn 2016

Autumn timelines for schools and colleges: mandatory and useful information

The Department for Education publishes a timeline of forthcoming mandatory legal requirements to be implemented. This should help your governing board to plan ahead for the year. They also publish a timetable of other useful information. Both of these are broken down by school type.

The latest timelines were published on 15 September. Click here for more information.

Chair of Governors Leadership (CGLDP) and National Clerks' Development (NCDP) programmes – book now!

NGA is offering the following Chair of Governors Leadership (CGLDP) and National Clerks' Development (NCDP) programmes through its Leading Governance partnership.  The chairs’ programme is open to governors who are considering taking on the role of chair in the future, as well as serving chairs of all types of school. NGA has updated and improved the content of the Clerks’ programme over the summer.

The cost of both programmes is just £79 to the school as there are NCTL scholarships for the remaining £320 cost of the programmes.

We currently have upcoming cohorts for the Chair’s programme in:

  • Lewisham
  • Essex
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Manchester
  • Leicestershire
  • Enfield

Current locations for the clerks programme include:

  • North East London
  • Essex
  • Cheshire
  • Leicesteshire

We are in the process of confirming dates and venues of more cohorts across the country, so if you find that your local authority area isn’t listed below, please do get in touch by emailing leading.governance@nga.org.uk or by calling 0121 237 4600. We will be updating the NGA newsletter and the Leading Governance website as soon as details of new cohorts are finalised.

New in the Guidance Centre: Glossary

The NGA glossary has been updated for the new 2016/17 academic year and can be accessed here. This simple yet insightful tool is a must for new governors as part of their induction process and a handy accompaniment for any board member when attending meetings.

2017 Outstanding Governance Awards – nominations open

Nominations for the 2017 Outstanding Governance Awards are open until 1 December 2016. The awards celebrate the unique and inspiring contribution that school governors, trustees and clerks make every single day in schools around the country.

To find out more, including how to nominate an outstanding governing board or clerk, click here.

Leading Governance

NGA is offering the Chair of Governors Leadership (CGLDP) and National Clerks' Development (NCDP) programmes through its Leading Governance partnership.

The cost of both programmes is just £79 to the school as there are NCTL scholarships for the remaining £320 cost of the programmes. Please see the Leading Governance website for information about current cohorts.

We are in the process of confirming dates and venues of more cohorts across the country, so if you find that your local authority area isn’t listed on the website, please do get in touch by emailing leading.governance@nga.org.uk or by calling 0121 237 4600. We will update the Leading Governance website as soon as details of new cohorts are finalised.

Updates to statutory guidance on the constitution of maintained schools governing bodies

The Department for Education (DfE) has published its updated statutory guidance on the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools. Key updates include:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service checks
  • supplying information to the secretary of state about those involved in governance
  • clarified information on governors’ access to training
  • clarified information on parent governors

The new version of the guidance references the DfE’s Governance Competency Framework, which is expected to be published this autumn.

The guidance emphasises the role of the governing board in addressing both the training and development needs of individual governors. The NGA’s view is that if governors are going to carry out these serious and demanding responsibilities effectively then they need to be trained. Governing boards should set an expectation that, throughout their term of office, governors must have regard to their own professional development. The guidance also references NGA’s skills audit as a tool that can be used for both recruitment and training.

The DfE also seek to clarify that parent governors have a valuable perspective to offer and are a good source of knowledge about the school. However, parental engagement is a separate activity for which the whole governing board is responsible. Visit the guidance centre for more on NGA’s view on the importance of parent governors.

Statutory guidance: The constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools.

Guidance Centre: Legislation, policies and procedures.

NGA Clerks’ Conference

NGA is pleased to announce its first conference for clerks. The conference will be held on Monday 20 February 2017 in Birmingham and will be open to clerks who are individual members of the NGA or whose governing boards are members of NGA. More details will follow in the coming months but remember to visit the Clerking Matters section of the NGA website for more information and guidance on our works with clerks.  

Reviewing performance: it’s that time of year again…

Many governing boards will be in the process of undertaking their headteacher’s performance management review and will be carrying out the annual appraisal meeting. Governing boards in local authority maintained schools are required to commission an external advisor for this process, and many academy boards who recognise the value of the external view also commission such advice. Often boards source this advice from or through the local authority but in some cases the local authority do not offer the service. In others, the governing board opt to look elsewhere. NGA is able to provide external advisors who will guide boards through this sensitive process and ensure that performance management is both robust and developmental. Contact NGA Head of Consultancy Clare Collins (clare.collins@nga.org.uk) for more details.

In the Guidance Centre:

Whilst we’re talking about reviewing performance, many boards are expressing an interest in the chair reviewing the contribution that governors/trustees are making to the work of the board throughout the year. NGA has some guidance on this with a simple template to give ideas of the sorts of questions it may be helpful to ask: Reviewing governor/trustee contribution. Do bear in mind that this is a task that a busy chair could well delegate to the vice chair as mentioned in a recent Governing Matters article

New Department for Education guidance: what maintained schools must publish online

This week the Department for Education (DfE) has edited its guidance on what maintained schools must publish on their websites. The update clarifies what voluntary aided schools must publish in terms of their admissions criteria.

Governing boards are reminded that the DfE amended the School Information (England) Regulations 2006 in September 2016. This introduced a number of changes to what schools need to publish on their website, including additional information on the pupil premium and changes to assessment information. 

In order to help schools publish the relevant information, NGA has a comprehensive guide to what schools must published on their website. As well as statutory requirements, this guidance also includes a list of items schools may wish to publish in line with good practice. These are available for both maintained schoolsand academies.

Published: 30/11/2016, by Sam Henson
Last Updated: 30/11/2016, by Sam Henson

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