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By Governors for Governors
By Governors for Governors
By Governors for Governors

HASG Sponsors the Outstanding Governors Awards

2016 Nominations Now Open

Read more here.

Read about 2015 winners here.

Newsbites – Mostly Ofsted

This newsbites is mostly Ofsted related with links to videos from Ofsted subject leads, segregation in independent faith schools & predicting ratings.

Ofsted’s specialists: videos

Ofsted have published a series of videos on their YouTube channel, these videos are part of a series from Ofsted’s national leads, focusing on their specialisms and key issues in these areas including subjects as diverse as:

  • Online safety,
  • Questions governors might be asked,
  • Modern languages in secondary schools,
  • Final feedback for governors,
  • SEND inspections,
  • Early years literacy,
  • Social care inspections – misconceptions,
  • Assessing EAL pupils,
  • Behaviour & attendance, and
  • Unannounced behaviour inspections.

Presentation: inspecting schools and improving education

Lorna Fitzjohn, Ofsted’s Regional Director, West Midlands gave the keynote address at ‘Be inspection-ready, not preparing for inspection’ at a conference by SSAT (the schools, students and teachers network) this month.

Ofsted correspondence: Sir Michael Wilshaw letter about segregation in independent faith schools

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector wrote to the Secretary of State for Education to raise concerns about segregation in independent faith schools.

Schools Week: Which Ofsted ratings you can predict (and which are given on a whim)

Schools Week is reporting that the two most extreme Ofsted grades of “inadequate” and “outstanding” are being dished out on the whims of inspectors, suggests analysis by data experts.


Martin Post - Regional Schools CommissionerRegional Schools Commissioner

Martin Post is Regional Schools Commissioner for South-Central England and North-West London having started in his role on 18 August 2014.  Before his appointment, Martin was Headmaster of Watford Grammar School for Boys. Earlier in his career he has also:

  • served as both a local leader of education and a national leader of education,
  • served as a trustee of the Teacher Development Trust.

The Regional Schools Commissioner for South-Central England and North-West London is responsible for making decisions about the academies and free schools in the following local authorities:

  • Barnet
  • Bedford
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Brent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Camden
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • City of London
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Harrow
  • Hertfordshire
  • Hillingdon
  • Hounslow
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Luton
  • Milton Keynes
  • Northamptonshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Reading
  • Slough
  • West Berkshire
  • Westminster
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Wokingham

More information about the responsibilities of regional schools commissioners is available.

If you have any questions email the commissioner’s office or visit their website:

Each Regional Commissioner has published a Vision Statement setting out their aims and objectives.  In the intro it the local version says:

NWLSC region has areas of excellent provision and areas of real challenge, geographically isolated schools and small primaries also face challenges going forward. We work across our region with a range of stakeholders, including LAs, and Dioceses, to improve outcomes for children.

Read the entire statement:


Newsbites – TES, Parent View, Academies

TES: More evidence that workload is driving the teacher recruitment and retention crisis

4th April 2016

The TES is reporting that there is more evidence that the rising workload is driving teachers away from the profession and exacerbating the recruitment crisis.  More than eight in 10 teachers have considered leaving the profession – with an overwhelming majority looking to exit because of workload, a new poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has found.

Read the article in full here.

Ofsted: Parent View Toolkit for schools

Ofsted have published information about the way they assess the Parents’ view of schools.  In the introduction they explain:

Parent View is an online questionnaire that allows parents and carers to give their views about their child’s school at any time. It is also the main mechanism for parents to give their views about their child’s school to inspectors at the time of a school inspection.

The document below goes on to explain how Ofsted uses Parent View.

DfE: Educational Excellence Everywhere

March 2016

The Secretary of State for Education has presented the document below to Parliament.   In the foreword to the document she opens with:

Education has the power to transform lives and, for me, is a matter of social justice – extending opportunity to every child, wherever they live and whatever their background. Good schools and a well-educated population make our country stronger, fairer, wealthier and more secure, and higher standards in the classroom mean better life chances for everyone. Investing in our education system is an investment in the future of our nation.

SchoolDash: Examining academies

12 April, 2016

A new report published by School Dash has delved into the data to try and determine whether academies get better results than local authority-maintained school.  Click the link to read the full article or:

DfE news story: 10 facts you need to know about academies

13 April, 2016

The DfE have published a document providing information intended to dispel some common myths and misconceptions about the academies programme.  The document addresses the following 10 ‘myths’:

  1. By making every school an academy, education is being privatised.
  2. Academies don’t lead to higher standards.
  3. Multi-academy trusts are national, remote organisations that don’t give local schools and communities a say.
  4. All schools will have to join multi-academy trusts.
  5. Academies won’t be accountable to parents.
  6. Academies will be forced to cut all ties with the local authority.
  7. Academies aren’t transparent.
  8. Becoming an academy will mean my good school has to change.
  9. Converting will be a bureaucratic and financial burden to schools.
  10. There is no longer a role for the local authority in schools.

Read the document here.


Newsbites – DfE, School’s Week, Speeches

Click on the headings for the individual stories:

DfE press release: Teacher workload: new measures announced

Education Secretary pledges more support to reduce teacher workload during landmark speech at NASUWT conference.

Schools Week: The ‘Workload Principles’: A one-page guide to the most useful parts of the workload reports

Schools Weeks summarises the recommendations of the three workload reports.

DfE speech: Stepping up to shape an education system which delivers opportunity for all

The Education Secretary addresses the NASUWT teachers’ union conference to discuss her white paper reforms and working together.

DfE speech: Edward Timpson speaks to virtual school heads

Children and Families Minister gives a keynote speech at the Annual Conference of Virtual School Heads. Includes: using data better to help understand and measure improvements in what children in care achieve, changing legislation to extend VSH role and the role and responsibilities of the school designated teacher for looked-after children to support children who have left care under an adoption order.

DfE consultation outcome: Intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools

Updated: Added government response and a link to revised statutory guidance about schools causing concern. The DfE was seeking views on the government’s proposals to address underperformance in local-authority-maintained schools. 

Publication: Education and Adoption Act 2016 c.6

Education and Adoption Bill receives Royal Assent.

DfE guidance: School performance tables: how to interpret the data

Updated: How to use school and college performance data to interpret pupil attainment and progress, and compare schools and colleges in England. Added information about changes to the way we count key stage 4 qualifications since 2014.]

Ofsted Blog: Government proposals for Ofsted inspections

This blog post clarifies what the white paper Education Excellence Everywhere, which announced the transformation of England’s schools, could mean for inspection.

Schools Week: Churches get special relationship with regional schools commissioners

Schools Week is reporting that an agreement will set out the relationship between churches and the government as all schools get set to become academies


Newsbites – Childcare, Excellence & Budget


Click the headings for the full article/briefing document.

DfE news story: Tax-Free Childcare – 10 things parents should know (updated)

18 March, 2016

Top ten things to know about the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme. Updated to reflect change to who is eligible – parents of the youngest children will now be able to apply first.  Expected that this will be available to around 2m households.

DfE policy paper: Educational excellence everywhere

17 March, 2016

A white paper setting out our vision for schools in England with an introduction by Nicky Morgan confirming intentions for all schools to become academies.

TES: schools white paper summaries and commentary

TES coverage and summary of schools white paper, a definite must-read diverse quotes included:

It is neither complete nor flawless, but there is stuff to like in this White Paper.


We need to learn from the junior doctors and beat the Tories at their own game.


Forced academisation, shambolic assessment, budgets shrinking, teacher morale in crisis: is this the perfect educational storm?

Schools week: summary – The Education Excellence Everywhere White Paper : Everything you need to know

Nicky Morgan today revealed her white paper for education to drive “Education Excellence Everywhere”. Here is everything you need to know.  The article considers a number of topics recruitment, great leaders, a school-led system, underperformance, expectations, accountability & resources.

Budget 2016

16 March 2016

The Independent: George Osborne – All schools to become academies within six years

16 March 2016

The Independent is reporting that George Osborne, in his budget today, will announce moves to force every English state school to leave council control and become an academy within six years.

Schools Week: 1,000 new multi-academy trusts needed by 2020, says national schools commissioners

11 March 2016

Schools Week is reporting that about 1,000 new multi-academy trusts will be created by 2020 with smaller chains having to grow to accommodate more schools, Sir David Carter warned as he explained his plans to carry out a “health check” of trusts before they could expand


March 2016 ExchangeMarch 2016 Exchange

The March edition of the paper is now in schools, with a spotlight on school business managers including how to become a consultant with HfL, information on the upcoming Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair, and also news from Hertfordshire schools and Herts for Learning.

This HfL monthly newspaper has something for all staff based in schools and school governors, whether looking for a little light reading on current educational news or for courses to further your professional development. The link to the online version can be found here:

This edition also includes:

  • what is meant by independent writing
  • revolutionising mathematical mindsets in Hertfordshire schools
  • supporting children to engage with the words on the KS2 word lists
  • Hertfordshire teachers recognised in New Years Honours List
  • and much more!

Do you have something you want us to cover? Get in touch! Please contact our editorial team with queries:

If you would like to receive extra copies please also get in touch. We welcome any feedback or content suggestions for future editions.


Spring 2016 Headteacher Update

The Spring 2016 round of Hertfordshire Headteacher Updates will be taking place throughout March 2016; there is an evening session for Governors and Headteachers to attend together on Tuesday 8th March between 6 – 8pm (Light refreshments will be served).   

If this event is successful, it is likely that more dates will become available in the future – please try and attend to ensure its success, we already have 63 confirmed attendances.

Please note that governing boards are limited to two members per board.


  • The Hertfordshire perspective,
  • Ofsted & DfE updates,
  • Children and young people missing from home or care,
  • Dealing with complaints,
  • Schools HR update,
  • Budget and funding update.
Beales Hotel, Comet Way, Hatfield AL10 9NG

Venue for Spring 2016 Headteachers’ Update on March 8th


Beales Hotel, Comet Way, Hatfield AL10 9NG


To assist with catering arrangements, please confirm your attendance with Caroline Inglis on


Two-Waters-PrimaryGovernor Vacancies in Hemel Hempstead

Two Waters School in Hemel Hempstead is an outstanding school with a strong governing body and has a requirement for 2 co-opted Governors.

We are a friendly, welcoming school set in the heart of the community of Apsley.  We cater for children from Nursery age to Year 6. We are a one form intake school with a mornings only Nursery and have the capacity for 240 pupils.

The school would be delighted to receive applications from people who have skills, experience or background in either finance or education. Whilst these skills are desirable, they are not essential. If you have plenty of drive, commitment and are passionate about giving children the best education, they would love to hear from you!

Please contact: Maj Ahmed (Chair of Governors) c/o

Two Waters is located in HIgh Ridge Close, HP3 0AU, you can find out much more about the school on their website.


Newsbites – DfE, Teenage Boys & More


Click the headings for the full article/briefing document.

DfE guidance: Counselling in schools

17 February, 2016

Departmental advice for schools about setting up and improving counselling services for pupils. Updated with new resources and guidance, including an additional section on vulnerable children in the section ‘Counselling in practice’.

DfE open consultation: Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography

16 February, 2016

This consultation is seeking views on protecting children from seeing pornographic material online.

DfE open consultation: Children and young people’s mental health: peer support

17 February, 2016

The DfE is seeking views on the most effective support methods to help improve the mental health of children and young people

DfE press release: £1.5 million to help young people spot signs of mental illness

17 February, 2016

Young people urged to help the government shape new peer support networks so they can talk openly about mental health.

Schools Week: Cuts to mental health services mean schools do more in-house

14 February, 2016

Schools Week is reporting that self-harm, exam stress, insomnia, and eating disorders are the main problems affecting young people today, professionals say

Telegraph: Teenage boys are increasingly worried about their body image, research finds

15 February, 2016

The Telegraph is reporting that a third of boys have admitted to dieting as a new report reveals body image issues is one of the most worrying aspects of life for young people today

The Mail: Increase in teenage girls poisoning themselves as form of self-harm

15 February, 2016

The Mail is reporting that doctors have warned of soaring numbers of teenage girls deliberately poisoning themselves as a type of self-harm

Research and good practice/statistics

Click the headings for the full article.

OECD report: Low Performing Students- Why They Fall Behind and How to Help Them Succeed

10 February, 2016

OECD has published a new report on low performing students which concludes that most countries have made little progress helping their weakest students improve their performance in reading, mathematics and science over the past decade.

The Conversation: Which countries must do more to help children who fall behind at school?

11 February, 2016

Dr Gijsbert Stoet, writing in the Conversation, reviews the new report from the OECD which compares the level of attainment of 15 year olds across the world


Left to Right: Cllr David Williams, Claire Barnard(Winner), Ian Hankin(Winner), Nicky Clarke(Winner), Marueen Bruce (Winner), Mike Scandrett(Chair HASG), Jan Paine (M.D. HfL)

2015 Winners Left to Right: Cllr David Williams, Claire Barnard(Winner), Ian Hankin(Winner), Nicky Clarke(Winner), Maureen Bruce (Winner), Mike Scandrett (Chair HASG), Jan Paine (MD HfL)

HASG School Governor Awards 2016

Nominations Open – Winners’ School Prizes Now £1000

The HASG are pleased to announce that nominations have opened for the School Governor Awards 2016. We aim to celebrate outstanding and distinguished service by school governors in Hertfordshire. The winners of these awards will be announced at the Hertfordshire Governors’ Annual Conference in November 2016. This year the executive committee has decided to increase the value of the winners prizes to £1,000.

About the Awards

This is an award for an individual school governor’s work, service or commitment.  The nomination statement will need to make clear the specific role that was played by the nominated governor.

You may wish e.g. to nominate the governor who:

  • regularly goes above and beyond a school governor’s typical commitment,
  • has successfully dealt with a crisis or has been recently successful with a specific project or initiative, which was driven by the individual governor,
  • has contributed to improvement in the schools sector – for example, by supporting other governing bodies to improve.

These are only examples and should not be considered as entry categories – other ways of outstanding or distinguished service will be equally worthy of consideration.

Awards & Prizes

  • Prizes of £1,000 will be awarded to the schools of the two winning governors.
  • Prizes of £250 will be awarded to the schools of the runners-up.
  • Each winning governor will be awarded a £50 prize
  • All nominators will be put into a prize draw and three will be drawn at random and be awarded a £25 prize.

The nomination form is downloadable from here:

Nominations close: Friday 27th May 2016



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