Important changes are happening across key areas of governing board responsibility this September, with several Department for Education (DfE) guidance updates coming into force.
We’ve summarised the changes you need to be aware of and highlighted useful resources to ensure you continue to fulfil the requirements of your role.
A new version of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) is now in force, with changes including new safeguarding training requirements for governing boards. Read our safeguarding guidance to get up to speed and gain a deeper understanding of your responsibilities.
New Working together to improve school attendance guidance from the DfE outlines governing board responsibilities for developing and maintaining a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of high attendance. The guidance, which is non-statutory, makes clear that all schools should have a school attendance policy and details what should be included in it. There is also an expectation that boards will review attendance data to monitor the impact of school-wide attendance efforts. Use our attendance information sheet to prompt your conversations with school/trust leaders about meeting the new requirements. You can also watch our attendance webinar which explores what improving and maintaining good attendance might look like in practice.
Behaviour policy and management
New DfE Behaviour in schools advice sets out what effective behaviour management in schools looks like and what must be included in a school behaviour policy. Our updated behaviour management guidance explains the governing board’s role in influencing behaviour policy and practice and monitoring its implementation. We encourage you to use our guidance to support your board’s behaviour management oversight.
Suspensions and exclusions
DfE statutory guidance covering suspension and exclusion has been updated. Among the changes are new requirements relating to who headteachers must notify when making the decision to suspend (previously known as a fixed term exclusion) or permanently exclude a pupil and withdrawing such decisions. Updated NGA exclusions resources reflect the changes and are designed to support members of an exclusion panel as well as governance professionals providing procedural support. NGA Learning Link subscribers can also complete a minimising exclusions e-learning module.
Planning for the year ahead
If you’re a chair or governance professional, you’re likely spending time this month planning for the year ahead. We recommend that you make use of our policy review schedule and annual governance planner to help construct meeting agendas in partnership with your executive leader.
Head of Content
As Head of Content, Ella takes the lead on coordinating content development across the organisation. She also oversees NGA’s Knowledge Centre, ensuring members can find information and guidance on a range of governance topics.