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HASG Sponsors the 2014 Outstanding Governors Awards

Nominations now closed

Read more here.

Conference venue - location map

Venue map – click for larger copy

Annual Conference

The Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference for 2014 is taking place on Saturday 15th November at the Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage.  The headline subject is “Your role in Team Governance – Pupils, Progress, Potential”.

Keynote Speakers

  • Stephen Drew, Headteacher, Brentwood County High School.  (As featured in Channel 4’s “Educating Essex” and “Mr Drew’s School for Boys”)
  • Camila Batmanghelidjh, CBE. Founder and Director of Kids Company

Registration

Registration and refreshments are from 8.30-9.30am, the conference commences at 9:30 and is scheduled to finish at 4:30pm.

The Conference is free of charge to schools that subscribe to the Governor Training. There is charge for non-subscribers.

Places can be secured only on completion of a booking form and returning it to Herts for Learning; e-mail gov.courses@nullhertsforlearning.co.uk for a booking form and details of the Conference Seminars.

 

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Herts School Improvement Strategy 2014-17Extract focussing on governors’ responsibilities

The Hertfordshire school improvement strategy 2014-17 sets out the vision, aims and priorities to ensure a step change in improved performance for Hertfordshire schools, children and young people for the future.

The family of schools in Hertfordshire is strong. The creation of Herts for Learning, owned by Hertfordshire schools and the local authority, embodies a shared moral purpose and passion for continued improvement in outcomes for all children and young people. The strategy will be delivered by Herts for Learning in partnership with schools and the local authority.

The strategic priorities are drawn from the vision of sustained high achievement for all children and young people across the county and analysis of current performance in a context of a continued national drive for higher educational standards.

The strategy also aims to clarify the:

  • role and responsibility of the local authority in relation to Hertfordshire schools
  • the centrality of good and outstanding schools and system led leadership in school improvement
  • relationship between Hertfordshire local authority and Herts for Learning
  • the protocols and procedures in relation to Schools Causing Concern

The role of the governing body

The Hertfordshire school improvement strategy recognises that governing bodies have a crucial impact on ensuring school improvement whether it is in maintained schools, free schools or academies. This role has become increasingly important as schools gain more autonomy.

In all types of schools, governing bodies need to have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding the leadership to account for the educational performance of the school and its children and
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure that money is well spent.

Where governing bodies are well organised and focus effectively on these core strategic functions, it helps schools to thrive and they are far less likely to find themselves in difficulties.

A clear strand of this strategy is to promote high quality training, support and challenge for school governance.

Support for governing bodies

Support for governing bodies may include:

  • skills and training needs analysis
  • a review of the effectiveness of the governing body
  • bespoke training, coaching or support from governors with particular expertise
  • evaluation opportunities to identify the effectiveness of the school and governing body over time

Links for more information

 

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Herts for Learning - Closing GapsPupil Premium in Hertfordshire – Use & Impact

Exchanging Excellence® is Herts for Learning’s (HfL’s) framework for sharing best professional practice.  It is the umbrella programme for all of the work they are doing and plan to do in the future, to find and share best practice and professional learning with our customers on a range of current and relevant topics.

The programme was launched in January 2014 with a cross phase project “Closing Gaps”, designed to find practice that is having most impact in improving outcomes for pupils eligible for pupil premium; whilst ensuring that other groups continue to be stretched and achieve at least expected progress.

The research findings from the first phase of this project were shared as a ‘Synthesis of Best Practice’ at our hugely successful ‘Closing Gaps’ conference on Monday 7th July 2014.   The report ‘Pupil Premium in Hertfordshire: Use and Impact’ highlights the main research findings and recommendations; the report’s Introduction is shown here:

Closing Gaps - Pupil premium use and impactThe Pupil Premium was introduced in 2011, providing additional funding to help schools improve the learning of disadvantaged pupils, reduce the attainment gap and in doing so, reduce educational inequality. The funding is allocated per pupil, and initially covered children looked after, the children of service personnel and any children who were eligible for free school meals at any point in the past 6 years (the Ever6 measure) and children who have left the care system through adoption, residence orders or special guardianship orders, collectively referred to as ‘Post LAC’ (Looked After Children).

Nationally, the headline statistics that illustrate the achievement gap between children eligible for FSM and children looked after are now well rehearsed and rightly are the continued subject of much scrutiny and action.

In England early achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds are overtaken by their wealthier peers by age 7, the likelihood of a pupil eligible for FSM achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C including English and mathematics is less than one third of a non-FSM pupil, and a pupil from a non-deprived background is more than twice as likely to go on to study at university as their peers from deprived backgrounds.

Despite the efforts of schools and successive governments, the attainment gap remains a stubborn and entrenched feature of our education system. In 2013, at a national level,
63% of disadvantaged children achieved level 4 or better in reading, writing and mathematics compared to 81% of their peers at the end of key stage 2 (KS2). The gap remains in secondary education, with the three year average showing that 38.7% of disadvantaged pupils achieved 5+ A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and mathematics at GCSE, compared to 66.3% of their peers

In 2014/15, the Pupil Premium will increase to £1,300 per FSM Ever6 primary pupil, £935 per FSM Ever6 secondary pupil and £1,900 for children looked after and Post LAC.

This research project has been jointly commissioned by Herts for Learning (HfL) and Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) as a key initiative in addressing priorities within the Hertfordshire School Improvement Strategy.

This report seeks to: identify impactful practice in the use of the Pupil Premium grant within Hertfordshire and beyond; explore perceptions around the barriers schools face in closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils (henceforth Pupil Premium pupils) and their peers and to make some recommendations on the basis of this research.

HfL is a School Company with 509 Hertfordshire shareholding schools. It has developed a framework for sharing best professional practice - Exchanging Excellence®.  The findings from this Closing Gaps project will be shared widely as part of that programme.

Exchanging Excellence

We would like to express our appreciation for the warm, open and professional dialogue in which colleagues have engaged with us during this research. We have been particularly impressed by the importance schools in Hertfordshire attach to the Pupil Premium and their desire to learn from others to improve practice.

Supported by a suite of case studies the full report can be viewed at the HfL website: http://www.hertsforlearning.co.uk/content/exchanging-excellence.

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Herts for Learning - Parent2Parent pilotHerts for Learning launches Parent2Parent® pilot

Parent2Parent® (P2P) is a new and exciting programme that has been developed and is being piloted by Herts for Learning (HfL), to support parents in understanding how to make a real difference to the learning of their children.

As educators, they know that parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has significant effect on educational achievement, and continues to do so into adolescence and adulthood. This programme has been developed in response to feedback from schools that have highlighted the challenges parents face in supporting their child’s learning at home.

What makes Parent2Parent® different?

The Parent2Parent® programme lifts the lid on some useful teaching techniques and explores what teachers know about education and how we learn best. The key to its success is that the programme is being delivered by parents for parents. Trained by Herts for Learning’s expert advisers, parents will lead Parent2Parent® sessions and reveal the simple ways in which parents can support their children’s education and aid their learning – both in school and at home. Training will be delivered in a series of eight modules, each focused on a different learning technique.

Three pilot programmes are being run across Hertfordshire during 2014.  The first pilot, involving 15 link schools in Hemel Hempstead and the Link Family Services Centre launched in May and two parents are currently being trained to deliver the first P2P modules.  Two further pilot programmes will run during the autumn term across London Colney and Radlett, with Parent2Parent® launching to all Hertfordshire schools during the spring term 2015.

For further information on the programme, please contact Hannah East at Herts for Learning (hannah.east@nullhertsforlearning.co.uk).

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Herts for Learning - SponsorsHerts for Learning Board announces election of new primary phase non-executive director

HfL have released the following announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Graham Lane, governor at Redbourn Infant and Nursery school, has been elected as the new primary phase non-executive director (NED) to the HfL Board as from 11th June 2014.

Graham is passionate about education and brings with him a wealth of experience from the education and commercial sectors.  He is vice chair of the Corporation (Board of Governors) at Oaklands College, vice chair of the business group comprising Hertfordshire National Apprenticeship Service Ambassadors Network and a governor of Redbourn Infant and Nursery School.  In addition, Graham is managing director of a Hertfordshire IT business and sits on several business boards including Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The vacancy for primary non-executive director arose as John Grubb, governor at Wheatcroft Primary School and chair of the HfL Board, announced he would be standing down from the HfL Board as from 31st March 2014 due to work commitments.

The HfL Board includes six school elected non-executive directors, two council appointed non-executive directors and two Board appointed independent non-executive directors with commercial experience alongside one executive director, HfL’s Managing Director.  Graham will join Kim Frazer and Amanda Godfrey as the three primary phase NEDs

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Exchanging Excellence

Exchanging Excellence® Closing Gaps Conference 2014:

A synthesis of best practice!

Taking place Monday 7th July 2014, 9.30am to 4.00pm at the Hertfordshire Development Centre, Robertson House, Stevenage, SG1 2FQ.

This evidence-based cross phase conference is a must for ALL Hertfordshire schools as we bring together and celebrate best practice that is having the most impact in Closing Gaps and improving outcomes for pupils both nationally and across the county.

John Dunford keynote speaker Closing GapsNational Pupil Premium Champion, John Dunford (pictured), will be our keynote speaker and delegates will be able to choose from a range of practical and inspirational workshops which will draw upon best practice uncovered through the research phase of the Closing Gaps project, led by David Birch and Marc Rowland.

A detailed programme for the day will follow shortly.

This conference will:

  • Provide you with effective, tried and tested strategies on how to close gaps for pupils eligible for pupil premium and improve outcomes for all pupils, both in Hertfordshire and nationally
  • Demonstrate the impact of projects that are already underway in Hertfordshire including the primary phase RANGe project (Raising Achievement Narrowing Gaps effectively)
  • Give you opportunities to engage with other Hertfordshire schools to hear what they are doing, exchange best practice and develop collaborations
  • Offer workshops from a range of schools in different circumstances and contexts that have discovered  approaches that have really made a difference
  • Share our ideas and invite you to help shape Hertfordshire’s plans to take this learning to the next level

The subsidised cost of attending this conference for Hertfordshire schools is £50.00 per person (including all day catering).  To book your place at this event please visit www.thegrid.org/schoolworkforce/training using course code: 14CON/001A

Herts for Learning - Sponsors

Herts for Learning

Exchanging Excellence® is our umbrella programme for all of the work we are doing and plan to do in the future, to find and share best practice and professional learning with our customers on a range of current and relevant topics.  For further information:

Email: exchanging.excellence@nullhertsforlearning.co.uk

Visit the HfL web site: www.hertsforlearning.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @HertsLearning #HfLExchEx

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calendarGovernors may be aware that it had been planned to launch the above strategy at a meeting this Thursday (3rd April).  If you had planned attending this meeting can you please note that the date has changed so please remove 3rd April 2pm from your diary

In order to enable as many schools as possible to take part in the discussions about implementing Hertfordshire’s new school improvement strategy, the date of the launch will be rearranged for early in the Summer Term.

Governors will have the opportunity to learn about the strategy at the Hertfordshire Governors’ Forum meeting on Thursday 15th May at 7pm, details of which are now online.  The Forum will take place in the Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage and will be relayed interactively to other locations.

In the meantime, two hard copies of the strategy will be sent to all schools early next term will be available on line at the end of this term. Hard copies will also be sent to schools next term.

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Prof. Chris James' Research Questionnaire

Professor Chris James

Research Questionnaire

Professor Chris James, University of Bath, is undertaking research into the state of school governing.

Six years ago, he surveyed school governors in England to find out about the state of school governing but now there have been a number of changes to the education landscape many of which have affected the important work school governors undertake.  The survey is being undertaken in partnership  with the National Governors Association.  Of course other organisations with an interest in school governing are supporting the survey — ASCL, the Education and Employers Taskforce, the CBI, National Co-ordinators of Governor Services, and Governors for Schools (SGOSS), and HASG will be looking closely at the results.

All governors are invited to complete the research questionnaire.  It is available here until 14th April: https://www.survey.bath.ac.uk/schoolgovs.    All your responses to the research questionnaire will be completely confidential.

A  report of the survey findings will be available on the National Governors Association website -http://www.nga.org.uk/ - in mid-May 2014.

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Herts for Learning - SponsorsHerts for Learning (HfL) appoint new primary phase non-executive director

 

HfL have issued the following announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Kate Beaumont, Headteacher at Manor Fields Primary School, has been elected as the new primary phase non-executive director (NED) on the HfL Board as from 1st April 2014.

Kate brings a wealth of educational experience including overseas teaching, leading on curriculum innovation projects and working closely with the Department for Education on a range of consultations.

The vacancy for primary non-executive director arose as John Grubb, Governor at Wheatcroft Primary School and current Chair of the HfL Board, announced that he would be standing down from the HfL Board as from 31st March 2014 due to other work commitments.

The HfL Board includes six elected non-executive directors; Kate will join Kim Frazer and Amanda Godfrey as the three primary phase NEDs.

Meanwhile, HfL have also had a very strong field of candidates interested in the two co-opted NED positions which have been advertised to bring new skills and expertise to the HfL Board.  With nearly 40 applicants who had a strong track record of commercial and board experience, we have been very pleased with the level of interest in these voluntary positions.

The two successful candidates for the additional NEDs will be ratified by the HfL Board at their next meeting on 26th March 2014, at which the Board will also elect a new Chair to replace John Grubb.

17th March 2014

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Department for EducationNeed to Know – Free School Meals

The Department for Education has issued an advice document on this subject.  In summary:

What legislation does this advice relate to?

The Children and Families Bill places a legal duty on state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2. Subject to Royal Assent, which is expected in March 2014, the duty will come into force from September 2014.

Who is this advice for?

This advice is for:

  • School leaders and governing bodies in all maintained schools, academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision with children in reception, year 1 and year 2
  • Local authorities

Key points

  • In the 2014 to 2015 academic year schools will be paid funding at a flat rate of £2.30 for each meal taken by newly eligible pupils. Initial provisional allocations will be based on an estimate of national take-up and then adjusted once the department has details of the actual number of meals taken in individual schools
  • Additional one-off funding will be provided in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to small schools (those with up to 150 pupils in total) to help with transitional costs
  • The government is providing £150 million of capital funding in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to support the rollout of UIFSM
  • Targeted advice and support will be provided to schools and local authorities through the UIFSM implementation support service.

Download

To download the full document please click the link - DfE Advice on Universal infant free school meals

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