HASG was invited to participate in this event by the Herts Sports Partnership (Sport Performance & Development Centre, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield AL10 9EU www.sportinherts.org.uk), the following report is from David Royle who attended:
DAVID ROYLE 230115
The Hertfordshire Association of School Governors was asked recently to help Hertfordshire County Council by organising elections to two key Committees.
The first election, between all Hertfordshire Schools was for appointment to the statutory Schools Forum. There were three vacancies arising at the beginning of 2015 as a result of terms of office of current members expiring. The following were elected:
For more information about the Schools Forum in Hertfordshire see http://www.hertsdirect.org/your-council/hcc/childserv/aboutcs/polplanrep/schoolsforum/
The second election, between HASG Member schools, was to elect a Governor to the ICT Partnership Working Group. Originally one vacancy was arising as a result of the current incumbent standing down. HASG recommended that the number of Governors should be increased to two to ensure a better balance of representation between Primary and Secondary Schools. This was agreed.
The two candidates elected were:
Further details of the ICT Group can be found here: http://www.thegrid.org.uk/eservices/management/steering/
HASG wishes them all every success in their new roles.
On Tuesday the 20th of January 2015 Hertfordshire Sports Partnership will deliver the second Primary PE Conference in partnership with Youth Sport Trust and Herts for Learning.
The focus for this year’s conference is ‘PE and school sport supporting whole school improvement’ and is aimed at both Headteachers and PE subject leads.
This full day will comprise of a mixture of key note addresses, interactive workshops looking at areas such as ‘How to assess an outstanding PE lesson’, ‘Using apprentices within your school’ and Health & Safety in primary schools’. After the opening address Headteachers will have a targeted workshop followed by question and answer sessions where representatives for afPE, DfE, CSPN among others will be present. PE subject leads will have a choice of 15 practical and theoretical workshops to learn more about the focus areas that are most relevant to their professional and school needs.
Throughout the day there will be a ‘Demo Zone marketplace’ set up where local organisations, projects and National Governing Bodies of sport will showcase the products, services and support they have available to work in partnership with primary schools and enhance the activity provision.
Please click to see the PE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS document to view all the workshops that will be taking place.
Cost: £142 – 2 for 1 when Headteacher and subject lead book on.
To book on to the conference log on to www.hertsforlearning.co.uk/events/primary-pe-conference
The final, Festive, Training Times of the autumn term is in schools with a spotlight on Herts for Learning’s Early Years team. The link to the on-line version can be found at http://bit.ly/TTdec14, or click the picture.
See page 7 for the HASG Outstanding Governors of the Year as awarded in November! Other articles are on CPD, HfL’s Parent2Parent ® programme, Website refresh, Funding for Closing Gaps, the North Herts Transition Project and selected school news.
This HfL monthly newspaper has something for governors and staff based in schools, whether looking for a little light reading on current educational news or for courses to further your professional development. It aims to keep you up to date with what’s on offer from HfL, to share news from local schools, explore current issues from the education sector and to inform you a little more about your Schools’ Company – who we are and what we do.
If 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.
Please contact our journalist Jessica Broadbent at firstname.lastname@example.org your feedback or if you would like your school to be included.
The penultimate Training Times of the autumn term is in schools, with a spotlight on Herts for Learning’s Governance team. The link to the online version can be found at http://bit.ly/1uW72br (or click the picture).
This HfL monthly newspaper has something for governors and staff based in schools, whether looking for a little light reading on current educational news or for courses to further your professional development. It aims to keep you up to date with what’s on offer from HfL, to share news from local schools, explore current issues from the education sector and to inform you a little more about your Schools’ Company – who we are and what we do. Next edition: look out for the HASG Outstanding Governors of the Year as awarded in November!
If your chair of governors would like to receive extra copies for the governing body please email Jessica Broadbent who would welcome any feedback or content suggestions for future editions.
Please contact Jessica Broadbent at email@example.com with your feedback or if you would like your school to be included.
The DfE has recently issued supplementary advice regarding school staff and volunteers (including governors) of schools/academies which have children under the age of 8.
The changes come into effect immediately.
If you are the Chair of a primary or nursery school/academy – the advice from DfE is that it applies to all staff and volunteers.
If you are the Chair of a secondary school/academy – the advice is that it will only apply to staff who may carry out teaching in primary schools or children’s centres.
All existing governors in primary/nursery schools and academies will have to complete a governor declaration form and give it to either the Chair or Headteacher to countersign.
A copy of the Governor Declaration Form can be downloaded below: section 2 on this form is new – it covers the additional areas which the declaration by governors now has to cover. The other 3 supplementary documents cover the DfE’s advice and frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) which governors may ask . It is essential that all existing governors complete the declaration form. You may find it easiest for these documents to be issued in advance of a GB meeting and then returned completed by governors at the meeting.
All new governors in primary/nursery schools and academies – will be sent the new form to complete by HfL Governance.
Head teachers have been written to separately by HfL Schools HR with regard to how these changes affect school staff.
The documents referred to above are provided here either in ‘cut-and-paste’ form or as downloadable documents:
Note: In the following we use “staff” to cover staff, volunteers and governors
The DfE have not provided a satisfactory answer to this – they simply said “The Department was asked to clarify what the position was for schools and it became clear that some supplementary advice to sit alongside the Keeping children safe in education guidance would be helpful for schools.”
The DfE said: These regulations have been in force for a number of years and we would expect that schools will take appropriate action where individuals may be caught by the requirement, or where they are made aware that someone working at the school should be disqualified. Legal advice confirms that the Regulations must be enforced and HR will support schools with action arising from any positive declarations.
There is no requirement to check DBS certificates for existing staff/governors and there is no evident process for verifying if someone has a childcare order or other restriction against them. It seems that self-declarations are acceptable. For new staff, the individual should sign a declaration and the DBS certificate should be checked against the list of offences in the Schedules. Of course, other offences may also lead to non-employment under normal DBS assessment processes.
Note: Governors of maintained schools should only be asked to complete a DBS form where the GB has agreed that all new governors complete these; all governors in academies and free schools are required under the academies regulations to complete DBS forms.
The DfE’s response: It is not the employer’s role to carry out a check on individuals other than those they employ, however employers should have effective systems in place to ensure that staff are suitable to work in childcare. Employees who work in the specified early and later years provision should be asked to provide the necessary information about any person who lives in the same household as them.
The DfE simply indicates that information must be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations require employers to pass information to OFSTED and such statutory duties are allowed under the Data Protection Act. Clearly schools must handle and store all information in school carefully, in accordance with normal Data Protection rules.
The DfE says: The Childcare Act stipulates that a disqualified person should not be employed in connection with early or later years childcare and that they should not be directly concerned in the management of that provision. A person who sometimes works in the relevant childcare provision would be included in this definition; however, decisions need to be taken by schools on a case by case basis subject to their individual circumstances.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that persons caring for children are suitable to work with children. In the case of workers that are supplied by an agency or third party organisation, schools should ensure that the agency or organisation has carried out the relevant checks.
The DfE says: It is a matter for Ofsted who have the responsibility for granting a waiver or not. The time it will take to process a waiver application will undoubtedly vary from case-to-case; whilst many should be straightforward, others will unfortunately be more complex and take time to resolve.
Neither the DFE Guidance, nor the Regulations, require this check to be on the SCR although schools may feel more secure adding it on.
a) Do Governors need to be asked to complete a disqualification declaration?
The Regulations are unclear but we conclude that Governors fall under the category “those who are directly concerned in the management of such early or later years provision” and are therefore covered by the Regulations.
Governorance will be issuing, via Clerks, an updated Governor Self-Declaration Form (dated November 2014) which all Governors should sign and which should be used for new Governors.
Secondary school Governors would only be covered by the Regulations if the school provides child care for under 8s.
b) What constitutes childcare outside of the normal school day?
Child care includes breakfast clubs, homework clubs, nursery and crèche provision provided by the school.
Where activities are run by other providers on school premises but not managed by the school (eg lettings, football clubs), these are not covered as they are not child care provision.
a) Where are the disclosable offences set out?
The relevant crimes are listed in Schedules 2 and 3 although it is appreciated that these are complex to understand. The key offences are any offences against or involving children and any sexual offence against an adult. We believe that in the vast majority of cases, people with relevant offences will have been declined employment through the DBS process but we appreciate this may not always be the case (particularly in the case of long standing staff who may never have had a DBS check).
b) Are offences like GBH and ABH of adults included?
We have recently clarified that violent offences against adult which do not have a sexual element are not grounds for disqualification. So only offences such as rape, sexual assault etc would be covered.
c) The reference to Burglary in Schedule 2 seems anomalous – why is it there?
This refers to Burglary under the 1968 Theft Act which was actually Burglary involving rape so would only be applicable if someone was charged with this specific offence – which in turn comes under key offences outline in Q4.
d) Schedule 2 refers to repealed statutory offences – does this mean they do not apply?
No – “repealed” does not mean these no longer apply, it means they have been superseded by other legislation but would still be a cause for disqualification if someone has been convicted of, cautioned etc. for any of these offences.
e) What if a person is not sure whether they have a relevant offence?
We would advise declaration of anything that they think may be relevant and schools can check with the DfE (firstname.lastname@example.org) or we can seek advice from legal.
a) How is it that it has only just been decided to apply these Regulations in schools?
We understand that the Regulations were designed for child care organisations – aimed at protecting children e.g. where people are doing child care in their home etc. The DfE had therefore determined that they were not applicable to educational organisations. This has now been overturned and so the DfE has had to advise on their implementation in schools.
b) Who is going to check that schools comply?
This is unclear but we imagine that OFSTED will include this as part of their overall safeguarding/Single Central Record checks.
c) Are people required to ask their householders if they are disqualified?
No we do not believe there is any requirement for this. Staff are required to declare “to the best of their knowledge” and schools can accept declaration at face value.
d) Is the Disciplinary Procedure being updated?
We are looking at this but do not envisage many, if any, changes are necessary.
We have received supplementary advice to the “Keeping Children Safe” Statutory Guidance from the DfE detailing a new requirement for childcare disqualification checks to be carried out on relevant staff working in schools and academies. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/362919/Keeping_children_safe_in_education_childcare_disqualification_requirements_-_supplementary_advice.pdf
These checks arise from the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009, which in turn arose out of the Education Act 2006.
The Regulations prohibit anyone who is disqualified themselves under the Regulations, or who lives in the same household as a disqualified person, from working in a relevant settings, including in schools.
The following categories of staff in nursery, primary or secondary school settings are covered by the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009.
The Regulations refer to employing a person “in connection with” these provisions and we therefore conclude that:
In Infant and Nursery Schools – All staff will be covered
Primary/Junior Schools – All staff are covered as it is unlikely in such settings that staff are always exclusively working with those over the age of 8.
Secondary Schools – will need to undertake checks on relevant staff (including managers) where any services are provided where under 8s may be in attendance eg childcare facilities, before or after school clubs
“Staff” includes volunteers and, therefore, includes governors
A person is disqualified if any of the following apply:
Full details of what constitutes “disqualification” are in the Schedules to the Regulations http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/1547/contents/made.
There are four key actions required
i. know now of anyone in their employment who is or may be disqualified
ii. receive a positive declaration from any member of staff/governor
Anyone who is disqualified will need to be immediately removed from the relevant setting (probably through suspension in the case of employees) and OFSTED must be notified within 14 days.
You will need to set a short deadline for the return of the form – one week would be reasonable. Where a member of staff or volunteers/governors do not complete and return the form, it may be necessary to take action to remove them from work. Please seek Schools’ HR Advice in these cases.
Schools’ HR will make contact with Trade Unions and Professional Associations regarding this matter so that they are aware of our advice.
The Schools’ HR team (01438 844873) will support schools in dealing with cases where a disqualified person is identified. A disqualified person can apply to OFSTED for a waiver. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/applying-waive-disqualification-early-years-and-childcare-providers
OFSTED may grant a full or partial waiver, including a waiver that would allow an individual to work in a relevant school setting. Whilst a waiver application is under consideration the individual must not continue to work in these settings.
Where a waiver is not granted, the employee will need to be dismissed unless redeployment options are available.
The outstanding work of school governors in Hertfordshire has been recognised this weekend at the first Outstanding School Governors Awards 2014. The awards, run by Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG) and the UK’s largest, not-for-profit School company, Herts for Learning, took place on Saturday 15th November at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage and formed part of the Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference.
The awards, the first of their kind in Hertfordshire, have been established to publicly recognise, not only the contribution of individual school governors, but to celebrate the dedication and commitment of all governors in Hertfordshire’s 525 schools.
Schools across the county were asked to nominate a governor/s who they believe has really made a difference and helped to improve the educational outcomes of children in their school. Many nominations were received and reviewed by an independent panel of judges from HASG and Herts for Learning, and from these, a short-list of 38 governors was drawn up. After further review, eight finalists were selected, with three receiving the Outstanding Governor of the Year award; winning £500 for their school and a £50 individual prize.
The eight finalists represent schools in South Mimms, Hitchin, Berkhamsted, Stevenage, Watford, St Albans, Tring and Ware.
The five runners-up were:
The shortlisted candidates merited their selection through some glowing nominations some key elements of which are given below:
Commenting on the Outstanding School Governor Awards 2014, Paul Rosen, Chair of Hertfordshire School Governors Association said:
We are delighted to be able to celebrate our governors in Hertfordshire for the efficient and dedicated work that they do within their schools to support children and young people in receiving the education they deserve. We had an overwhelming response from schools across the county to the awards, and whilst we chose three awards this year, we could have chosen 33 or 300 – it still wouldn’t be enough!
We value enormously the contribution made by governors in this vital role and thank all of them for willingly giving up their time, expertise and commitment to support our schools.
The Hertfordshire Association of School Governors is an independent organisation that supports and informs school governors, to ensure their views are heard and to promote high standards in school governance.
Herts for Learning Ltd, is the UK’s largest School company. Developed from Hertfordshire Local Authority’s education services, the company is 80% owned by schools (20% by Hertfordshire County Council), with 98% of Hertfordshire schools now owning a share of the company.
A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising standards and improving teaching and learning, Herts for Learning Ltd provides high quality teaching, learning, leadership and business support to schools and education settings in Hertfordshire and beyond.
In addition to the eight finalists, the other 30 short-listed governors were:
For further press information, please contact Jo Leigh at Herts for Learning
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”.
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 email@example.com for a booking form and details of the Conference Seminars.
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:
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:
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 may include:
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:
The 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.
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.