On 22nd March, DfE issued updated Governance Guidance. The new Governance Handbook sets out the roles, functions and legal duties of governing boards in maintained schools, academies and multi-academy trusts. It also describes the main features of effective governance and where governing boards can find support. Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association, gave it a lukewarm welcome: Continue reading “DfE Updates Governance Guidance”
These FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy through to media interest. Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article. Continue reading “FrontFoot News – July 2016”
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 email@example.com
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.”
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 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.
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. http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/inspiring-governors/governors-sign-up-as-a-volunteer/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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 April 2016.
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 email@example.com. A paper copy signed by the Chair of Governors should be kept at the school.
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 Saturday19th 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016 will increase the base rate of pay for lower graded staff over the age of 25 to £7.20 per hour, rising to £9 per hour in 2020.
A dialogue has been ongoing between the Trade Unions (representing employee interests) and the National Employers (representing employer interests, primarily local authorities) in response to the announcement of the National Living Wage by the Government.
Discussions to date
The Trade Unions have been calling for:
deletion of nationally and locally agreed pay points for non-teaching staff which fall below the level of the National Living Wage, and;
a flat rate increase of £1 per hour on all other pay points.
This would have entailed pay points 6 to 15 becoming obsolete between 2016 and 2020, for those schools using them, and a £1 per hour increase being applied to all other pay points.
Latest pay offer
The National Employers have made a final offer to the Trade Unions. This offer, rather than deleting the lower pay points for non-teaching staff, applies a significant increase to the lower pay points to bring them in line with the National Living Wage over the next two years. It also applies an uplift to higher pay points as well, to ensure a differential is maintained between lower and higher pay points.
This offer does not accept the Trade Union proposal of allowing for deletion of lower pay points that would otherwise become obsolete with the introduction of the National Living Wage.
Implications for schools
The introduction of the National Living Wage would have entailed a gradual increase in staff costs for schools. The latest offer from the National Employers is likely to result in significant immediate cost to many schools from April 2016 as a broader range of pay points will be affected.
Full details of the proposed increase to pay scales are included in the detailed guidance.
The Schools HR service will be holding a Termly Briefing for School Leaders on date 1st and 2nd March 2016 to include the latest pay offer. The topic will also be covered at the School Business Manager briefing on 20 January 2016.
You can also contact the Schools HR Service on 01438 844873, Financial Services for Schools on 01992 555713 or School Business Management Service on 01438845529 for further advice.
Some news updates that might have passed you by are listed with brief synopses and links to the sources are shown below in 3 main groupings, News/guidance/policy, Research and good practice/statistics and Downloaded documents & articles:
The Education Committee has issued a call for evidence regarding teacher recruitment and retention.
Written submissions are invited addressing the following points:
whether there is a ‘crisis’ in the recruitment and retention of teachers, including at senior levels of the profession, at a regional level, and by subject, and how the situation may develop during the 2015 Parliament
what the root causes of the current situation with regard to the supply of teachers are
what further action should be taken by the Government to tackle teacher shortages.
The deadline for receipt of written submissions is midday on Friday 20 November 2015. It is expected that the oral evidence session will take place later in the year and will inform the focus of further Committee work in this area.
Sir Andrew Carter, leader of the government’s teacher training review, has said schools can help avoid a recruitment “crisis” by using virtual teachers from other countries and “embracing unqualified teachers”.
Laura McInerney in the Guardian addresses teacher shortages, saying that recruiters should talk up the challenges of teaching in tough areas rather than talking them down, saying people are more likely to click on teacher recruitment adverts if they sell the challenge of the job rather than its social purpose. She also suggests the UK follows a model used in Europe where teachers decide how many classes they wish to teach and renegotiate their hours annually as personal circumstances change.
Head teachers of schools in struggling coastal towns are using innovative techniques to lure new graduates away from cities. A report by the Future Leaders Trust said some posts had only one or two applicants. When only one person applied for a job at Meadow Primary School in Lowestoft, Suffolk, Nadia Paczuska, the head teacher, placed an advertisement inspired by a wartime poster calling on men to enlist. She then had 155 applications.
As of 31st October, teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers will be legally required to report child cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to the police. Legislation announced earlier this year will make such disclosures mandatory and professionals who fail to report the illegal practice in under-18s could face the sack.
On 6 October the government announced its intention to introduce new provisions to recover unpaid penalty notices directly through parents’ child benefit and, where parents do not receive child benefit, through the courts. Local authorities will also be given a new duty to pursue all penalties. Government will set out its plans for implementing this proposal in due course and this will include a consultation.
New DfE guidelines will call for headteachers to appoint senior staff as gender champions, ban sexist words and phrases and help encourage students to study subjects traditionally more associated with the opposite gender. Janice Callow, deputy head at Fairfield High School in Bristol which was one of the scheme’s pilots, said: “We are making it clear to staff that any kind of sexist language is not acceptable. We used to say, ‘Man up, cupcake,’ we’ve stopped that. Saying, ‘Don’t be a girl’ to a boy if they are being a bit wet is also unacceptable. Language is a very powerful tool. You have to be so conscious of what you are saying to children.”
The Telegraph is reporting that the Government’s behavioural tsar Tom Bennett has urged schools to make better use of detentions as he says today’s teachers are too soft to keep badly behaved students back after class.
The Sunday Times is reporting that new government-backed guidelines are being sent to all schools in England this week to urge head teachers to ensure that sexist phrases become as unacceptable as racist language
Time to Change will be running a mental health anti-stigma campaign during November. They are asking every secondary school in England to take their pupils through the Make Time 4 Mental Health programme, aimed to make it easier to talk about mental health. The free resources consist of 4 ‘scripted’ 10 minute sessions which can be delivered in an assembly or class room setting.
The PSHE Association Chief Executive launches a new report setting out the latest compelling evidence for making PSHE education a statutory part of the curriculum. The full report A curriculum for life can be found here.
DfE: Intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools:
21 October 2015
The DfE are launching a consultation on proposals to allow the government to intervene quickly in failing schools.
The Independent is reporting new research suggesting science teachers are the most likely to consider quitting the classroom with many feeling overwhelmed by having to run practical lessons. The full report Why Teach by Pearson and LKMCo can be found here
New research on schools that have converted to academies since the coalition government suggests they are unlikely to see the same positive results as the original converters under labour. The full report can be found here
World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) England National Report
This Department of Health funded study included over 5000 young people from across England.
The report paints an important picture about the health and wellbeing of young people in England today and how young people’s health has changed over the last decade. Traditional risk behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and fighting are declining – with many showing the lowest reported prevalence since 2002. However healthy behaviours such as physical activity and healthy eating have not mirrored these positive changes over the last decade. The report also highlights young people’s emotional wellbeing as an area for concern.
You will find quotes from young people embedded throughout the report. Youth engagement is an important element of the HBSC England study, and it is important to capture young people’s interpretation of the findings.
Please take a look at the report and share within your networks. Publicity is very welcome! The team will be tweeting from the @HBSCEngland account using #HBSCEngland – please feel free to join in and retweet! Below are suggested tweets including key search terms:
How has the #health and #wellbeing of #YoungPeople changed over the last decade? http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG #HBSCEngland
#HBSCEngland latest report on #adolescent #health & #wellbeing and social determinants http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG
The BBC is reporting that spending per pupil in schools in England is likely to fall by 8% in real terms over the next five years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns. The report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies can be found here