October 2015 Forum
The Hertfordshire’s Association of School Governors Forum in October included the following speakers/activities:
- Andrew Simmons – Deputy Director for Children’s Services, Education
Andrew’s presentation (see download below) reviewed progress, inspection frameworks, Headteacher Updates and Prevent/WRAP:
- The Hertfordshire Strategy for School Improvement seems to be bearing dividends as the percentage of schools receiving good and outstanding inspections continues to improve ahead of peer areas. All Key Stages outcomes are, or appear to be, in line with expectations.
- Ofsted have a new Common Inspection Framework across all providers of education and introduce short inspections for good providers, revised standards for independent schools and revised notice arrangements. Schools will normally be judged on 4 metrics and there will be a clear statement as to whether safeguarding is effective, those schools considered good providers (short inspection) will only be assessed on two measures, whether the school is still good and on safeguarding.
- The Hertfordshire Headteacher Updates were discussed and it was announced that during the Spring Term there will be a new evening update which will also be open to Governors to attend.
- WRAP is the Home Office’s training package (free to attend) on anti-radicalisation, Herts will be running this training half-termly.
- Simon Newland, Assistant Director (Education & Access Provision)
Simon introduced a number of indicators giving good insights inot how budgets will be under very real pressure. He identified £28m of cost increases offset by just £5m of cost savings in 2016/17. Already this year he saw that secondary schools are most pressured with many in deficit, primaries can expect problems to come especially as rolls reduce. To address these issues HCC & HfL are working on a Value for Money Programme with a handbook, electronic payment systems, a range of HR initiatives and looking into collaborations and federations. He advised governors to work with Heads to plan ahead, consider choices, try to maintain reasonable balances and, most importantly, if it seems likely your school will be going into deficit, let HCC know.