Recruiting School Governors

Recruiting School Governors

Andrew Doran attended an HfL course a while ago and, building on his experience of this course, has written the following illuminating article about how he went about recruiting.  This article has been reposted with permission; Andrew often posts commentary, random thoughts (such as this humdinger “Does the Friendly Giant really need the prefix ‘Big’? Isn’t that just a given? “), and Continue reading “Recruiting School Governors”

HASG at Herts Show

Herts Country ShowHASG at Herts Show

Including lots of great attractions, the Herts Show will also see HASG supporting the Governor Recruitment Roadshow this year.  Located in the Herts County Council Marquee why not pop along and say hello?

Other attractions include:

  • Motocross Stunt Show,
  • Devil’s Horsemen,
  • Scurry Driving display,
  • All Human Circus,
  • Traditional Crafts,
  • Titan the Robot,
  • Eagle & Vulture Show,
  • Victorian Travelling Show,
  • Farm animals,
  • Suffolk Punch Horses,
  • Food hall,
  • Shopping and much more!

The show runs on 28th & 29th May and tickets are on sale now with advance tickets at a 20% discount:

  • Adult – £14.80
  • Child – £7.20 (5yrs – 15yrs, under 5’s free)
  • Family – £36.80 (admits two adults and two children)
  • Senior – £13.20

Call 0344 850 2111 to book or visit their website to book online.


January 2016 HfL Chairs’ Briefing

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



Call for Parent 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.

Volunteer Governor in News

HCC's Horizons AUtmn 2015Volunteer Governor in News

This report about a volunteer governor was published in the Autumn edition of HCC’s Horizons publication (click the image to view the whole magazine).

Across Hertfordshire, volunteers play a part in and make a real difference to their local communities. From leading health walks to allowing carers to take breaks, volunteers are increasingly helping our residents stay healthy and thrive.

John de Braux, from Rickmansworth, volunteered to become a school governor, this is what he has to say:

Volunteer Governor John de BrauxFor me being a school governor is a very important responsibility, it has given me so many new opportunities and a sense that I am contributing in my own small way to our children’s futures for the good of the whole community. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the future of young people.

If you’re interested in becoming a school governor, or volunteering in any other role, visit our website

Key Role of Governors

cometGovernors play a key role in the success of all our schools

The following article, written by Michael Scandrett, Chair of the Herts Association of School Governors, was published in the 3rd September edition of The Comet:

Comet article 3rd September 2015 - key role of school governorsDespite what you may hear to the contrary, our education system in the UK is not all doom and gloom.  In fact, we have an education system of which we should be rightly proud, and in Hertfordshire we have a track record of excellence that rates us among the best in the country – as recent successes at GCSE and A-level help to demonstrate, although that’s not to be taken as the only measure of a successful school.

However, that success does not happen by accident.

It is all due to the dedication, commitment, caring and professionalism of our headteachers, teachers, caretakers, lunchtime supervisors, nursery specialists, classroom assistants and the myriad of others who deliver their best for our children.

They are worth their weight in gold. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The school governor, though, is one role that does not always get the credit it deserves.

All schools, including academies, have a governing body made up of men and women from the locality, from all walks of life, and with the role of holding the school to account and ensuring that standards are maintained.

Governors are unpaid posts yet form a key part of a school leadership team but they are not there to run schools – that falls to the head teacher.

However, they are accountable for the appointment and performance of the headteacher, to steer the school vision with its
aims and objectives, and to ensure financial best value and support to enable the staff to provide an excellent learning environment.

In Herts we have more than 500 schools, including academies.  This means that there are more than 5,000 governors across the county, but about 10 per cent of the posts need to filled. Our schools need people like you!

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a school or academy governor, email or alternatively check out the website at

Remember being a governor is not just about attending meetings. It is much more about being part of your local school and local community while making a contribution towards the development and learning of young people who are the citizens of tomorrow.

Governors are there to ensure that schools are run well, to shape their future and that children thrive and enjoy learning. Being part of that is a reward in itself. And if you are already serving in this role, you should be proud to be a governor – I know I am.

Local Pensions Member Schools

herts-county-councilLocal Pensions Member Schools – Substitute Member Required

HCC are seeking a substitute governor member to the HCC Local Pensions Board.  Board members will be paid reasonable expenses for their attendance at board meetings.  If you would like to be considered as the member to represent schools and employers on the Local Pension Board then please send a CV together with a completed Expression of Interest Form setting out your relevant skills and experience to no later than 21/10/15.

Background Details

Hertfordshire County Council established a Local Pension Board at the beginning of the Financial Year 2015/16. Regulations required all local administering authorities to establish a Local Pension Board by 1 April 2015, and the Board to be operational within four months of establishment. The Hertfordshire County Council Pension Board is part of the governance arrangements for the Hertfordshire Pension Fund as an oversight body. The Pension Board will is responsible for assisting the Administering Authority or Scheme Manager in securing compliance with:

  • The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations;
  • Any other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the Pension Fund;
  • Requirements imposed by The Pensions Regulator in relation to the Pension Fund; and
  • Ensuring the effective governance and administration of the Pension Fund.

The constitution of the Hertfordshire Board includes a member and substitute member to represent schools and employers.  It was agreed by Schools Forum earlier in 2015 that members will be nominated by them.  The current substitute member has taken up the role of member and Schools Forum is now inviting applications from School Staff and Governors interested in becoming the substitute member.

Ideally the substitute member will have knowledge and understanding of public sector pensions and the Local Government Pension Scheme.

It is proposed that members of the board will serve for a term of four years and that a board member can sit on the Board for no more than three terms of office.

Board members will be paid reasonable expenses for their attendance at board meetings.

If you would like to be considered as the member to represent schools and employers on the Local Pension Board then please send a CV together with a completed Expression of Interest Form setting out your relevant skills and experience to no later than 21/10/15.

The appointment process is by invitation to any interested and suitably qualified school staff and governors, with the final appointment being approved by the Chair and Vice Chair of Forum based on a recommendation from Hertfordshire County Council’s Pensions, Treasury and Client Team. The Pensions, Treasury and Client Team will review expressions of interest and CV’s make a recommendation based on the experience and skills detailed in the expressions of interest and CVs. The nomination of the substitute member will be at the discretion of the Chair and Vice Chair of Schools Forum and will be subject to approval by the Deputy Chief Executive.

Role Description

1. Role and responsibilities of the Pensions Board/Substitute member:

1.1 The members of the Local Pension Board will assist Hertfordshire County Council as Scheme Manager:-

  • To secure compliance with the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations;
  • any other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the Scheme;
  • To secure compliance with requirements imposed by The Pension Regulator in relation to the Scheme; and
  • In such other matters as the LGPS regulations may specify;
  • To secure the effective and efficient governance and administration of the LGPS for the Hertfordshire Pension Fund;
  • To Provide ongoing evaluation of the governance, delivery and monitoring mechanisms of the LGPS administrator, the LPFA, and recommend improvements where required so that members and employers interests are safeguarded;
  • To ensure the scheme administrator, the LPFA, supports members with a range of tools to improve their understanding of their pension benefits;
  • To provide the scheme manager with such information as it requires ensuring that any member of the Pension Board or person to be appointed to the Pension Board does not have a conflict of interest.

1.2 As a member of the Pension Board you will help ensure that the Hertfordshire Pension Fund is managed and administered effectively and efficiently and complies with the code of practice on the governance and administration of public service pension schemes issued by the Pension Regulator.

2. Qualities required for the role of a Pensions Board member

2.1 To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment, specifically:

  • You must be a member of the Hertfordshire Pension Fund or represent an active employer body;
  • You must have a good knowledge of public sector pensions and the capacity/ability to undertake additional learning specifically with regards to the Local Government Pension Scheme;
  • You must be aware of the requirements of The Pension Regulator’s public service schemes Code of Practice;
  • You should be able to comprehend financial reports and data;
  • You must be able to act impartially in the interests of both employers and members;
  • You must be able to act prudently, responsibly and honestly;
  • You must be an effective communicator and team player to promote excellent working relationships within the Local pension Board and gain the confidence of its stakeholders including the Scheme manager.
  • You must be able to commit to a term of membership of four years.

2.2 You must be able to attend up to four meetings each year and up to two training sessions each year.

Hemel Roadshow hits the papers

Hemel Roadshow hits the papers

The Hemel Roadshow recently attracted interest from the local newspaper ensuring that the message gets spread even further.  hemeltoday reported the event as follows:

hemeltoday logo

Hemel Roadshow in hemeltoday
Governors roadshow comes to Hemel Hempstead – Mike Scandrett, chairman of the Herts Association of School Governors is 2nd on left.




A school governor recruitment roadshow will be stopping off at the Volunteer Centre in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, on Saturday, June 27.

Schools and academies are being rallied with the support of the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG) and Herts for Learning, to recruit people for their governing bodies.

The district of Hemel Hempstead has been identified as having recruitment problems currently, which is why HASG are delighted that the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Robert Mclean and MP Mike Penning are supporting this event, to raise the profile of the role and encourage people to volunteer.

Mike Scandrett, chairman of the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors said:

Being a governor is not just about attending meetings. It is much more about being part of your local school and local community while making a contribution towards the development and learning of young people who are the citizens of tomorrow. Governors are there to ensure that schools are run well, to shape their future and that children thrive and enjoy learning. Being part of that is a reward in itself. Be proud to be a governor. I am.

As a school governor you are part of the strategic leadership team for the school. You will steer the school vision, aims and objectives, ensure financial best value and support and enable the staff to provide an excellent learning environment. Could you be a school governor?

  • If you have the time and commitment to help improve the education of the pupils in your chosen school
  • If you are prepared to attend governors’ meetings and visit the school
  • If you are prepared to attend training to ensure that you fully understand your role then you would make an ideal school or academy governor.

There has already been a successful event in Stevenage earlier in June, when local MP Stephen McPartland said:

It is really important we get people with the right skills to volunteer as School Governors. It is an incredibly rewarding position and makes a massive impact on the quality of education locally. School Governors work closely with staff to ensure the resources are available to make a difference to every child’s education and help them succeed in life.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a school or academy governor, email or alternatively check out the websites at or

Training Times – July 2015

Front page of July 2015 edition of Training TimesTraining Times – July 2015

The July 2015 edition of Training Times is now in schools, with a spotlight on mental health, Exchanging Excellence and our Vulnerable Groups Achievement team alongside the usual HfL and schools’ news.

The link to the online version can be found here:

This edition includes:

  • mental health – the pressures facing young people:
    ‘Homework ban to save pupils from depression’, read one headline in The Times last month; ‘Give children a good start in life’, pleaded top national mental health organisations to the new government in the wake of the general election.
  • new Head of School Recruitment Services has now joined HfL:
    Justine Hammond joined HfL on 1st July.
  • Exchanging Excellence – an impressive journey from RI to outstanding at Brockswood:
    The school is one of the first in the country to move straight from RI to outstanding between only two inspections under the current framework.
  • HfL’s first Investor in Parents award winners, Newberries Primary:
    Anna Traxon, Headteacher, commented “We are delighted to have been awarded with Investor in Parents status and to be the first school in Hertfordshire to receive the accolade.”
  • National Conference for school business managers:
    Organised by HfL last month, this national conference on the topic of being creative and inspirational during times of challenge & change, had three keynote speakers and 12 workshops.

…and much more!

Changes ahead

Following feedback from the recent Training Times survey, we are currently reviewing and refreshing the format, content and name of this publication for September.

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 with your feedback or if you would like your school to be included.