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
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