May 2015 Forum
The Hertfordshire’s Association of School Governors Forum in May included the following speakers/activities:
- Andrew Simmons – Deputy Director for Children’s Services, Education
Andrew’s presentation (see download below) focussed on 3 areas, changes following the recent election (or not), budget challenges and school performance and outcomes:
- the incoming government have established some key pledges including protection of school funding, increases in free schools, zero tolerance for failure and increased childcare. Local government changes were also addressed;
- the budget challenges mean governing bodies need to think in long term about budgets as ‘real term’ funding is expected to reduce, possibly by as much as 2.3% in 2016/17 and 5% by 2018/19. Work will be undertaken through Schools Forum to help schools reduce costs and share resources;
- school standards in Hertfordshire continue to outperform the England average and also ‘statistical neighbours’, but work is still t be done in ‘closing the gap’ for underachieving groups.
- External Reviews of Governance – Pat & Mick Furness
Piloted by the National College for Teaching & Leadership between 2012/2013, and with 27 reviews having taken place in the past year, External Reviews are not Inspections through the back-door but a way of engaging with Governing Bodies in order to help them challenge for improvement. Ofsted/HMI reviews to date have found that some governors are not being ambitious about expectations and that there can be a lack of challenge and ‘holding to account’. Some governors rely too much on information from the Head or lack systematic and structured visits.
- Embedding the SEND Reforms – Dr Rona Tutt OBE
The SEND reforms now under way were first launched for consultation in 2011 by Sarah Teather and have now become law through The Children and Families Act (2104). The reforms aim to change the culture from early years through to further education colleges by taking account of :
- the wishes and aspirations of children and their families,
- ensuring that they are involved in decisions affecting them.
A new code of practice (see link below) has been introduced which supersedes the 2014 code although the 2001 code remains relevant for information about statements which will be phased out for March 2018.
- Governors Update SEND Reforms – Sarah Vize
Against the background of Dr Tutt’s presentation, Sarah, who is the SEND Reforms Regional Peer Network Lead, put the reforms into a local context introducing the 0-25 Integration Project, Strategic Operational Leadership and T&F Groups. The Regional Peer Network has identified a number of key priorities including involvement of health professionals both strategically and on an as-needs basis, personal budgets , social care and more.
Download documents & useful links
- Andrew Simmons – Governor’s Briefing May 2015;
- External Reviews of Governance – Pat & Mick Furness;
- Embedding the SEND Reforms – Rona Tutt;
- Governors update on SEND Reforms – Sarah Vize.
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