Governors may be aware that it had been planned to launch the above strategy at a meeting this Thursday (3rd April). If you had planned attending this meeting can you please note that the date has changed so please remove 3rd April 2pm from your diary
In order to enable as many schools as possible to take part in the discussions about implementing Hertfordshire’s new school improvement strategy, the date of the launch will be rearranged for early in the Summer Term.
Governors will have the opportunity to learn about the strategy at the Hertfordshire Governors’ Forum meeting on Thursday 15th May at 7pm, details of which are now online. The Forum will take place in the Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage and will be relayed interactively to other locations.
In the meantime, two hard copies of the strategy will be sent to all schools early next term will be available on line at the end of this term. Hard copies will also be sent to schools next term.
Professor Chris James
Professor Chris James, University of Bath, is undertaking research into the state of school governing.
Six years ago, he surveyed school governors in England to find out about the state of school governing but now there have been a number of changes to the education landscape many of which have affected the important work school governors undertake. The survey is being undertaken in partnership with the National Governors Association. Of course other organisations with an interest in school governing are supporting the survey — ASCL, the Education and Employers Taskforce, the CBI, National Co-ordinators of Governor Services, and Governors for Schools (SGOSS), and HASG will be looking closely at the results.
All governors are invited to complete the research questionnaire. It is available here until 14th April: https://www.survey.bath.ac.uk/schoolgovs. All your responses to the research questionnaire will be completely confidential.
A report of the survey findings will be available on the National Governors Association website –http://www.nga.org.uk/ – in mid-May 2014.
Herts for Learning (HfL) appoint new primary phase non-executive director
HfL have issued the following announcement:
We are pleased to announce that Kate Beaumont, Headteacher at Manor Fields Primary School, has been elected as the new primary phase non-executive director (NED) on the HfL Board as from 1st April 2014.
Kate brings a wealth of educational experience including overseas teaching, leading on curriculum innovation projects and working closely with the Department for Education on a range of consultations.
The vacancy for primary non-executive director arose as John Grubb, Governor at Wheatcroft Primary School and current Chair of the HfL Board, announced that he would be standing down from the HfL Board as from 31st March 2014 due to other work commitments.
The HfL Board includes six elected non-executive directors; Kate will join Kim Frazer and Amanda Godfrey as the three primary phase NEDs.
Meanwhile, HfL have also had a very strong field of candidates interested in the two co-opted NED positions which have been advertised to bring new skills and expertise to the HfL Board. With nearly 40 applicants who had a strong track record of commercial and board experience, we have been very pleased with the level of interest in these voluntary positions.
The two successful candidates for the additional NEDs will be ratified by the HfL Board at their next meeting on 26th March 2014, at which the Board will also elect a new Chair to replace John Grubb.
17th March 2014
Need to Know – Free School Meals
The Department for Education has issued an advice document on this subject. In summary:
What legislation does this advice relate to?
The Children and Families Bill places a legal duty on state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2. Subject to Royal Assent, which is expected in March 2014, the duty will come into force from September 2014.
Who is this advice for?
This advice is for:
- School leaders and governing bodies in all maintained schools, academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision with children in reception, year 1 and year 2
- Local authorities
- In the 2014 to 2015 academic year schools will be paid funding at a flat rate of £2.30 for each meal taken by newly eligible pupils. Initial provisional allocations will be based on an estimate of national take-up and then adjusted once the department has details of the actual number of meals taken in individual schools
- Additional one-off funding will be provided in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to small schools (those with up to 150 pupils in total) to help with transitional costs
- The government is providing £150 million of capital funding in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to support the rollout of UIFSM
- Targeted advice and support will be provided to schools and local authorities through the UIFSM implementation support service.
To download the full document please click the link – DfE Advice on Universal infant free school meals
Summaries of Herts for Learning’s 2014/15 contract services (previously known as traded contract summaries), will be issued to schools this week. HfL confirm they are holding prices at their current level for the 2014/15 financial year.
Two copies of the contracts will be sent to each school/academy, one marked for the attention of the headteacher and one for the chair of governors. Each will contain a copy of the schools’ 2014/15 contract for all services currently provided by HfL along with a more detailed breakdown of the schools’ 2014/15 contract for School IT Systems Support (SITSS).
To support the contracts, a copy of Herts for Learning’s new contract services brochure will be included. The brochure contains details of all contract services available to schools through Herts for Learning and includes a number of new services for 2014/15.
Specific contact details for all services are detailed on your contract or within the brochure, however if you have any queries regarding your school’s contract or wish to make any changes to it, please contact HfL.Finance@nullhertsforlearning.co.uk.
HfL have said:
Schools will be sent two copies of the contracts and brochure, one for the attention of the CoG and one for the head.
Herts Coach Education Week 2014 sees the launch of the Herts Sports Science Programme. Rob Hardwick, Coaching Development Manager with Herts Sports Partnership, commented:
Increasingly, sports science is used by top level coaches to achieve the best results possible.
We’re delighted to be launching our sports science programme during Coach Education Week. These short workshops will help coaches to understand how they can get the best out of their athletes and teams.
There’ll be more workshops running through the year, offering coaches a real opportunity to raise their awareness of sports science.
Running 15th to 22nd February this event offers 70 courses in 20 sports for up to 1,500 coaches, teachers & students looking to develop their coaching qualifications & leadership skills.
To find out more please click this link.
Herts for Learning launch new best practice programme for Hertfordshire schools
Exchanging Excellence is an exciting new programme being run by Herts for Learning (HfL) for Hertfordshire schools. It is the umbrella programme for all of the work HfL are doing and plan to do in the future, to find and share best practice and professional learning with their customers on a range of current and relevant topics.
HfL are launching the programme with a cross phase project 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.
This first project within the Exchanging Excellence programme is called “Closing Gaps” and will be taking place over the next few months.
The project is being led by David Birch and Marc Rowland. They will be working with the Teaching Alliances, other school leaders and HfL staff, identifying practice where there is evidence of most impact, in schools and settings in different circumstances and geographical areas across the county. They will draw upon work that is already taking place in specific phases, such as the primary phase RANGe project (Raising Achievement Narrowing Gaps effectively) and work being led by the Teaching Alliances; bringing all of the relevant professional learning together, identifying common themes and threads and supplementing that with evidence based research taking place nationally.
Information about the project and its findings will be shared and exchanged under the Exchanging Excellence section of the HfL website and regularly updated. There will be opportunities to attend conferences in the summer term to hear more about the findings and to examine the practice that might be most relevant and useful to your school or setting.
For further information:
New Annual Outstanding Governors Awards
At the annual conference in November HASG announced the Outstanding School Governor Awards 2014, sponsored by the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors, and organised in association with Herts for Learning.
We aim to celebrate outstanding and distinguished service by school governors in Hertfordshire. The winners of the first awards will be announced at the Hertfordshire Governors’ Annual Conference in November 2014.
Nominations Closing date: Friday 23rd May 2014
NOMINATIONS NOW CLOSED..
Awards & Prizes
- Each winning governor (total of three) to be awarded a £50 cash prize
- Prizes of £500 – to be awarded to the schools of the three winning governors, as given on the nomination form. The £500 is to be spent so it directly benefits the students; it is not to be spent on teaching or teachers and we would like the money to be spent on something the school hasn’t already budgeted for.
- All nominators will be put into a prize drawn and three will be drawn at random and be awarded a £25 cash prize.
The half-day conference previously announced for May 10th 2014 is no longer taking place, our regular Forums, though, will still provide you with lots of networking and idea sharing opportunities.
Do you have something to say about the Government’s consultation on a new SEN code of practice? If so remember the SEN consultation period closes on 9th December 2013.
The Children and Families Bill, currently in Parliament, will bring changes to the special educational needs (SEN) framework, subject to royal assent.
This consultation proposes replacing SEN statements (for schools) and learning difficulty assessments (for young people in further education and training) with single 0 to 25 education, health and care plans.
To review all the documents and participate in this consultation you need to go online at:
… where fuller information is available.
We hope you enjoy our new-look website. It should help us keep you more up to date in a user-friendly way but, as with all things new, it may take a little while to get used to it – please do bear with us. Also please be aware that the site remains under construction and review for the next few days at least.