Mutual Support
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.

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




Newsbites – Research, Police & Mental Health

Does counselling pupils work – research project

The TES is reporting that researchers are looking for secondary schools to volunteer to take part in a major new study into whether professional counselling helps young people to cope with anxieties.  The £835,000 project will provide 18 schools with professional and experienced school-based counsellors at no cost for two years.

School staff will assist to identify pupils who may be helped by counselling and want to take part in the research. Students will then be divided into two groups, with half receiving up to 10 weeks of counselling and the other half being helped by the school’s existing support system.

Read more at – TES: Does counselling pupils work? Research project seeks schools to find answer.

Government considers Police establishing free schools for ‘troubled children’

The Guardian is reporting that home secretary Theresa May has announced that elected police and crime commissioners should be given the power to set up their own free schools to support “troubled children”.  The move will be part of a major expansion of the powers of police and crime commissioners into the areas of youth justice, probation and court services to be proposed after their second set of elections take place in May.

The home secretary said that the next set of PCCs should “bring together the two great reforms of the last parliament – police reform and school reform” to set up or work with “alternative provision of free schools to support troubled children and prevent them falling into a life of crime”.

Read more at – The Guardian: May wants police commissioners to set up free schools for ‘troubled children’.

Heads warn more needs to be done over pupils untreated mental health issues

At the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, the BBC is reporting warnings from headteachers that children’s untreated mental health issues could spiral into psychiatric problems later in life unless more is done in schools, with particular concern over the situation in primaries.  The National Association of Head Teachers says with a fifth of children having a mental health problem before age 11, it is a key concern.  A snapshot survey of 1,455 English heads suggests two-thirds of primary schools cannot deal with such issues.

Read more at – BBC: Heads warn over pupils’ untreated mental health issues.




Herts for Learning - AssessmentJanuary 2016 HfL Chairs’ Briefing

This briefing contains:

Chairs Service – 07580 884610/01438 843082

Helpdesk – 01438 843038

Chairs Networks

Venues and times:

1st February 2016 – Ramada Hotel, Hatfield, 6.30 networking and refreshments, for 7.00 p.m. start

11th February 2015 –- Theobalds Hotel, Cheshunt, 6.30 networking and refreshments, for 7.00 p.m. CANCELLED

David Kilgallon – Current Political Schools Landscape

Multi-Academy Trusts, Federations and Cooperatives

The meetings are free for up to 2 governors from schools which subscribe to the Chairs Service.  To book:

These networks are recommended for Chairs, Vice Chairs and Chairs of Committees particularly.  Those attending should feed back to their governing body. When you receive this briefing, you may like to forward it on to your Vice Chair and Chairs of Committees and also your Headteacher. If you have any queries about the Networks or topics you would like discussed, please contact

News Reports

Independent: Head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, backs the banning of Muslim girls’ veils in schools to ensure ‘equality for women

The independent is reporting that during an appearance on BBC2’s Newsnight on Monday, Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of schools in England and head of Ofsted, was asked if he would back the banning of the coverings in schools, to which he answered: “Yes, I would.”

DfE press release: New drive to protect children from “spell of twisted ideologies”

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announces package of measures to protect children from extremism

The Education Select Committee: Report the role of Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs)

The Education Committee’s report on the role of Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) finds that more work is needed to improve the transparency, accountability and working relationships of RSCs. Eight RSCs were appointed in 2014 with responsibility for approving and monitoring academies and free schools in their region.

Schools Week has published an article on The 24 recommendations in the Regional Schools Commissioner report – and what they really mean

DfE guidance: Schools financial efficiency: metric tool

A tool to provide schools in England with an indication of their efficiency compared with similar schools.

DfE guidance: Dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility

Departmental advice about dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility.

The following DfE timelines have been updated for spring 2016 :

Timeline for academies: mandatory

Information to help headteachers, principals and governors of academies plan for the academic year ahead.

Timeline for local-authority-maintained schools: mandatory

Information to help local-authority-maintained schools plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for free schools, UTCs and studio schools: mandatory

Information to help free schools, university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for pupil referral units: mandatory

Information to help pupil referral units plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for academies: useful

Useful information to help academies plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for local-authority-maintained schools: useful

Useful information to help local-authority-maintained schools plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for free schools, UTCs and studio schools: useful

Useful information to help free schools, university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools plan for the academic year ahead

Timeline for pupil referral units: useful

Useful information to help pupil referral units plan for the academic year ahead

BBC: Academy chain to scrap governing bodies

The BBC is reporting that an academy chain is scrapping the current form of governing bodies for its schools in England.

New NGA guidance: A Governors’ Guide to Sixth Forms

Schools with sixth forms are going through a time of transition. Over the next few years governing boards will be faced with difficult decisions around the 16-19 curriculum offer, budgeting, collaborations and, in some cases, the future sustainability of a school’s sixth-form. NGA has responded by producing a new comprehensive guide to assist boards in making these decisions. Although aimed at those governing in schools where a sixth form provision already exists, the guidance will also help boards considering the viability of opening new provision in their school.  See website for details.

Resources for your governors and school leaders

Make sure your governing board and school leaders are informed about the free resources on the NCTL open access platform  There is a range of useful toolkits and guides.

Governor Recruitment – Inspiring the Future Website

Inspiring the Future has released two new videos to showcase how its free online matchmaking service works to connect prospective governors with schools and colleges nationwide. Volunteers sign up to become a governor or trustee, giving their location and listing the skills and experience they can bring to a board. Governing boards seeking new governors can view all the volunteers in their area or specify the skills they’re looking for, connect with volunteers directly and begin the process of recruiting.   Click here to see the new videos

Do you know other chairs of governors who could be NLGs?

Our next designation round will open on Monday 22 February 2016. We’re looking for high quality, experienced chairs that have the capacity and expertise to support other chairs to improve their governing bodies. We’re particularly interested in chairs with experience of governance in multi-academy trusts. This round will be targeted geographically to ensure we have NLGs in the areas with the greatest need. Hertfordshire is a targeted area.

If you know any colleagues who meet the eligibility criteria, please encourage them to visit our web pages for potential applicants.

Local Opportunities and Information

Schools Financial Value Standard Return 2015-16

All maintained schools must submit a Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) Return for the year ended 31 March 2016 to their local authority.  In Hertfordshire, returns must be emailed to the Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) at by 15 April 2016.

Returns should be completed in excel using the 2015 template on the Grid at  This allows SIAS to analyse and use the data contained in all returns and comply with the requirement that data in the forms is used to inform audit coverage.

The template contains the Department for Education’s current SFVS guidance for completion of the 2015-16 return.

In order to complete the return, governors must consider the financial controls operating in the school over the past twelve months.  Dependent on arrangements in an individual school, the completion of the return should be an agenda item for either the full governing body or the finance committee.  Once complete, the return should be emailed to  A paper copy signed by the Chair of Governors should be kept at the school.

Further guidance on the SFVS can be found at

Details of ‘Completing your SFVS Return’ courses can be found  by e-mailing

Individualised guidance can be purchased from SIAS at a cost of £350 per day should your school need personalised support.

If you have a query that can’t be answered from the information provided on the Grid, then please contact Sally-Anne Pearcey on 01438 845516 or email

Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair 2016

Following the success of the first Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair in 2015, the Board of Herts for Learning has committed to proactively help fund and support Hertfordshire schools once again, by running a second teacher recruitment fair on Saturday 19th March 2016 at Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage.

All Hertfordshire shareholding schools are once again invited to attend and exhibit on a stand free of charge.

The event is restricted to HfL shareholding schools only and no third party agencies will be permitted to attend.

Stands at the event can be booked from Monday 18th January 2016. To book for your school/cluster of schools, please email  Space is limited and stands will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Closing date for booking a stand is Monday 7th March 2016. Guidance on putting a stand together will be provided by the Herts for Learning Events team and will emailed to you once your stand booking has been confirmed.

The recruitment fair will be open between 10.00am and 3.30pm and attending schools should have staff available on their stand for the whole day. Many attendees that arrived mid-afternoon last year were disappointed to find a number of schools had left prior to the end of the event. Wherever possible, materials for your stand should be delivered to Hertfordshire Development Centre during the afternoon of Friday 18th March.

Further information and marketing materials to promote the recruitment fair through governor, staff and parent networks will be sent out to schools over the coming weeks. We would appreciate it if you could disseminate these widely to promote the event and help to make it a success for all.

The Exchange – January/February edition

The January/February edition of the paper is now in schools, with a spotlight on science including ideas for science week, how to take part in Safer Internet Day 2016 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:

  • information on the 2016 Recruitment fair
  • discount rates for Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • how schools can benefit from a new budget toolkit
  • Hertfordshire school contacts British astronaut Major Tim Peake
  • P2P pilot launches in secondary school
  • and much more!

Do you have something you want us to cover? Get in touch! The Exchange Team – 01438 844331

If you or your chair of governors would like to receive extra copies for the governing body please get in touch. We welcome any feedback or content suggestions for future editions.

Training Opportunities


Call Jessica Broadbent / email on 01438 844 331 /

They are running events on the following date and times:

10th March at Robertson House, Stevenage:
(Sessions are 1.5 hours)

More Chairs Stuff

Chairs Advanced Training

For all Chairs – new, experienced, Chairs of Governors, Vice Chairs and Chairs of Committees.

It is advised to undertake the whole course, as the skills are built up throughout the two terms that it runs, from January to July every year. Book now on the website. 

CRW1Advanced Chairs: Report Writing25/02/2016Thursday6.30-9pmWare Priory
CLS1Advanced Chairs: Leadership Skills09/03/2016Wednesday6.30-9pmHilton, Watford
CRP2Advanced Chairs: Reflective Practice19/04/2016Tuesday6.30-9pmHoliday Inn, Hemel
CDD2Advanced Chairs: Dealing with Difficult People04/05/2016Wednesday6.30-9pmBarnwell, Stevenage
COM3Advanced Chairs: Coaching & Mentoring17/05/2016Tuesday6.30-9pmHoliday Inn, Hemel
CMD3Advanced Chairs: Mediation07/06/2016Tuesday6.30-9pmBarnwell, Stevenage
CCH4Advanced Chairs: Change Management15/06/2016Wednesday6.30-9pmHilton, Watford
CNV1Advanced Chairs: Investigations30/06/2016Thursday6.30-9pmRamada, Hatfield

 Hertfordshire Association of School Governors




Parent Governor Representative elections for Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Are you a parent of a child registered at a Hertfordshire maintained school or in some form of education provided by the Local Authority?  If so, you should have received an email from Governance.  The email was to let you know about the forthcoming Parent Governor Representative elections for the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and included the relevant information about the role and eligibility.  The closing date for receipt of nominations is Friday, 4th March 2016 at 12.00pm.

The elections are being run through Governance and Mike Scandrett (Chair of HASG) is the returning officer.  If you haven’t received an email and would like more details, please contact Cathy Irons requesting a copy to be forwarded.


January 2016 ExchangeJanuary 2016 Exchange

The January/February edition of the paper is now in schools, with a spotlight on science including ideas for science week, how to take part in Safer Internet Day 2016 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:

  • information on the 2016 Recruitment fair,
  • discount rates for Encyclopaedia Britannica,
  • how schools can benefit from a new budget toolkit,
  • Hertfordshire school contacts British astronaut Major Tim Peake,
  • P2P pilot launches in secondary school,
  • and much more!

Do you have something you want us to cover? Get in touch!

If you or your Chair of Governors would like to receive extra copies for the governing body please get in touch with Ryan Fisher at  who welcomes any feedback or content suggestions for future editions.


Herts for Learning - AssessmentNew Local Government Pay Offer

Executive Summary


The introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016 will increase the base rate of pay for lower graded staff over the age of 25 to £7.20 per hour, rising to £9 per hour in 2020.

A dialogue has been ongoing between the Trade Unions (representing employee interests) and the National Employers (representing employer interests, primarily local authorities) in response to the announcement of the National Living Wage by the Government.

Discussions to date

The Trade Unions have been calling for:

  • deletion of nationally and locally agreed pay points for non-teaching staff which fall below the level of the National Living Wage, and;
  • a flat rate increase of £1 per hour on all other pay points.

This would have entailed pay points 6 to 15 becoming obsolete between 2016 and 2020, for those schools using them, and a £1 per hour increase being applied to all other pay points.

Latest pay offer

The National Employers have made a final offer to the Trade Unions. This offer, rather than deleting the lower pay points for non-teaching staff, applies a significant increase to the lower pay points to bring them in line with the National Living Wage over the next two years. It also applies an uplift to higher pay points as well, to ensure a differential is maintained between lower and higher pay points.

This offer does not accept the Trade Union proposal of allowing for deletion of lower pay points that would otherwise become obsolete with the introduction of the National Living Wage.

Implications for schools

The introduction of the National Living Wage would have entailed a gradual increase in staff costs for schools. The latest offer from the National Employers is likely to result in significant immediate cost to many schools from April 2016 as a broader range of pay points will be affected.

Full details of the proposed increase to pay scales are included in the detailed guidance.

Further information

The Schools HR service will be holding a Termly Briefing for School Leaders on date 1st and 2nd March 2016 to include the latest pay offer. The topic will also be covered at the School Business Manager briefing on 20 January 2016.

You can also contact the Schools HR Service on 01438 844873, Financial Services for Schools on 01992 555713 or School Business Management Service on 01438 845529 for further advice.

Download Further Guidance


Connect with Tim PeakeConnect with Tim Peake

Schools are being invited to sign up to the Cosmic Classroom event which will give teachers and pupils the opportunity to connect with Tim Peake on the International Space Station.

Being organised by the TES together with the UK and European Space Agencies, teachers are being encouraged to ask their pupils for ideas on how they would spend 20 minutes in a live, public, connect with Tim Peake.

Lord Jim Knight, chief education adviser of TES Global, the digital education company, said:

This is a once in a generation opportunity, for British school teachers and pupils to make a live connection with a British astronaut in space. We want every teacher in the country to sign up now, to make it the world’s largest schools and space science event.

The countdown to the Cosmic Classroom begins now.


BBC R4 - The EducatorsBBC Radio 4: The Educators

BCC radio 4 is running a new series of the Educators.  The latest episodes are below:

  • Character Lessons– The KIPP school movement began 20 years ago in the US. It stands for Knowledge Is Power Program, and the schools focus on two things; academic achievement and building strength of character. Sarah Montague speaks to KIPP co-founder Dave Levin about how character is taught alongside traditional subjects.  She visits the KIPP Infinity school in Harlem and hears from Kings Langley Academy. To see an HfL case study on character education at Kings Langley School, click here.
  • What Finland Did Next– Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Sarah Montague interviews the city’s Education Manager Marjo Kyllonen and visits a Helsinki school, to see the changes being made to a world-leading education system.
  • Turning Schools Around– Schools in England have been warned that if they coast, rather than improve, they risk being closed down. Sarah Montague meets the new head teachers of a Birmingham secondary school involved in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal.
  • The First Teachers– The most important educator in most children’s lives is their parents, and the first five years is deemed to be critical. Sarah Montague meets Margy Whalley, the co-founder of Pen Green Children’s Centre and Research Base in Corby, Northamptonshire.
  • The World’s Best Teachers– Studies have shown that the most important thing in a child’s education is the quality of their teacher. A child at a bad school with a good teacher can learn more than someone at a good school getting bad tuition. Doug Lemov has trained thousands of teachers in the UK in how to use their classroom time effectively – keeping children focused with the most subtle of techniques and gestures.

School Food Standards

Milk Alliance promoting School Food StandardsThe School Food Standards, as you may be aware, came into force in January 2015 and legally require all schools, excluding academies established between September 2010 and June 2014, to make milk available to children at any time during the school day.

The School & Nursery Milk Alliance has produced a guidance briefing (reproduced below) to ensure that school governors are best positioned to fulfil their legal duty to require their schools to comply with the standards.  This will also enable children in their schools to enjoy the health, educational and social benefits for milk.

The Alliance’s briefing provides context to the requirements and offers advice on ensuring that children choose to drink milk – for example, by providing it as a mid-morning snack, and ensuring that it is chilled and appropriately packaged. References to the EU School Milk Scheme and the Nursery Milk Scheme as ways of helping schools meet the requirement are included. The Alliance has also outlined the health, educational and societal benefits of milk as a further incentive.

Adhering to the School Food Standards

Ensuring that children in your school receive the benefits of milk

Advice for school governors

The government’s Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014, which came into force in January 2015, require that schools must provide milk at least once during the school day. Milk is a healthy, nutritious and natural drink for children and young people, providing them with the nutrients and other benefits needed to help them thrive in school. The School and Nursery Milk Alliance is keen to ensure that as many children as possible benefit from milk in school, and so has compiled advice for school governors on complying with the standards, as well as background to the legislation itself.

The scientific community, the European Union and the Government all recognise the value of milk. From January 2015, all schools – with the exception of academies or free schools founded between September 2010 and June 2014 – are legally required to provide milk to children once during the school day. Over 1,400 academies and free schools that are not legally required have also signed up to the standards voluntarily.

Your duties as a school governor: milk must be provided once during the school day

Regulation 9 of the Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014 outlines that:

  • Lower fat milk and lactose reduced milk (sub-group D1) must be made available on every school day at a time during school hours.
  • For the purposes of this regulation, “school hours” means any time during a school session or during a break between school sessions.


A school’s governing body is responsible for ensuring compliance with the standards, according to the Department for Education’s guidance, School food in England: Departmental advice for governing bodies (2015).

The EU School Milk Scheme can assist with cost of providing milk to children over five, with schools receiving a subsidy of 4.4p per 250ml (Oct. 2015) and parents financing the difference. Free milk can be provided to under-fives via the Nursery Milk Scheme. Further information: and

Getting the most out of milk: advice and action for ensuring uptake

The School Food Standards recognise the benefits of milk to children during the school day. The School and Nursery Milk Alliance would like to see school governors ensuring that their schools comply with the standards, and that they actively work to ensure that as many children as possible drink milk during the school day. Better uptake is likely if the milk is:

  • Provided as a mid-morning snack – Milk is an ideal mid-morning snack due to its high satiety effect (it is filling and combats hunger) – conversely this makes it less suitable as a drink provided with lunch. Milk is also refreshing, providing children with extra energy needed to focus effectively through to lunch time. For some children it may be their first meal of the day, with 2013 research by Kellogg’s finding that 10% of children go to school hungry at least once a week.
  • Chilled – Chilled milk tastes nicer, which makes it more appealing to children. Some Alliance members have reported that some children find the taste of warm milk off-putting. Simply providing a jug of milk on the side at lunchtime is unlikely to make it appealing to drink.
    • Get in contact with local suppliers using DairyUK’s Find Me A Milkman (, and they will assist you with supply. Alternatively, visit
    • Ensure that you have fridges available to keep milk chilled. Schools participating in the Nursery Milk Scheme may receive a free fridge from some suppliers.
  • Appropriately packaged – Cartons enable easier milk consumption. Pouring milk takes up more time and leaves more washing up for staff.
    • Purchase single-serve cartons of 189ml (⅓ of a pint). This is a suitable quantity for a primary school child, as determined in the Welfare Food Regulations 1996, with less chance of spillage and the packaging can be recycled.

Beyond legislation: the health, educational and societal benefits of milk

Milk has an array of benefits which should be considered alongside the legal requirement to provide it:

  • Vitamins and minerals that ensure healthy teeth, bones and skin – Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, and C, as well as minerals like zinc and calcium. These minerals help guard against gum disease and tooth decay, as well as mouth sores and bleeding gums.
  • Natural and filling – Milk has a high satiety value (it is filling and therefore ideal as a mid-morning snack), is free of harmful free sugars and has a relatively low fat content (1.7% for semi-skimmed milk). These factors make it ideal an ideal element of a healthy diet, which combats childhood obesity.
  • Good for the British countryside – School milk is an additional market for the many British farmers who help maintain Britain’s green countryside.

About the School and Nursery Milk Alliance

The School and Nursery Milk Alliance was formed in 2011 with the long-term aim of ensuring as many children enjoy the health benefits of milk as possible. It works with the government, public health bodies and organisations across the health, dairy and children’s sector to encourage the uptake of milk.


For more information about the School and Nursery Milk Alliance, please contact or get in touch via 020 7089 2607. You can also visit our website at


Brandles School in BaldockGovernor Vacancies in Baldock

Brandles is a special  school, SEMH, for boys aged 11 to 16 in Baldock. The governing body is looking for two new governors to join our team.

Ideally, we are looking for someone with  a background in finance, the legal system, or  business skills, but we would welcome interest from anyone who would be willing to support us with the inspirational staff who work so hard to provide the best opportunities for all Brandles’ boys.

In return for your commitment we will support you with a mentor and training.  You will be asked to attend one or two meetings a term and make the occasional visit to the school.  We would be happy to show you around the school and answer any additional questions you might have regarding this very rewarding role.

Please contact the school or the chair of governors Pat Furness –

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