Governor Updates 2020/21 Dates Announced

Diary datesDates for 2020/21 Headteacher & Governor Updates

As we continue to be in uncertain times, we have 3 dates, two of which are taking an optimistic view that larger group meetings might be possible by spring.  These update dates are:

  • Autumn 2020
    Monday 30 November – 2 x webinars with an evening one at 5 pm for governors.  Register online here.
    Agenda items to include:

    • Hertfordshire perspective,
    • HR updates,
    • Safeguarding updates.
  • Spring 2021
    Wednesday 17 March – Hatfield (Governors), and
  • Summer 2021
    Thursday 17 June – Hatfield (Governors).

Read about previous updates here.


DfE Updates Governance Guidance

DfE Updates Governance Guidance

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”

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



Local Government (non-teaching) Pay Offer

Herts for Learning - AssessmentNew Local Government Pay Offer

Executive Summary


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.

Further information

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 01438 845529 for further advice.

Download Further Guidance

Newsbites 29th October 2015

Newsbites 29th October 2015

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:


School governors and inspection

19 October 2015

Following an inspection, any governors entitled to be at the final feedback meeting should be privy to the draft inspection report.

Teacher workload: Marking Policy Review Group

The group will consider effective practice on marking in schools which raises standards for pupils without creating unnecessary workload.

Teacher workload: Data Management Review Group

The group will encourage schools to reduce the burden of data collection, building on the work of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels. 

Teacher workload: Planning and Resources Review Group

The group will consider how effective lesson planning and use of resources can raise standards without creating unnecessary workload. 

Inquiry into supply of teachers

16 October 2015

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.

MPs to investigate teacher recruitment problems

16 October 2015

The TES is reporting that MPs have announced they are going to investigate whether there really is a crisis in teacher recruitment

Teacher recruitment crisis can be averted using Skype and unqualified teachers

19 October 2015

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”.

Teacher shortage lesson

20 October 2015

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.

Attracting head teachers

21 October 2015

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.

‘Everyone knows there’s a recruitment crisis. The consensus breaks down on what we should do about it’

12 October 2015

Ahead of a special conference on teacher supply organised by Policy Exchange and supported by TES, the thinktank’s head of education asks whether anyone has a solution to the problem of recruitment

FGM reporting mandatory from next week

20 October 2015

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.

Recovery of unpaid penalty notices for absence

6 October 2015

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. 

PM: New counter-extremism strategy is a clear signal of the choice we make today

19 October 2015

The government’s new one-nation Counter-Extremism Strategy launches to confront and defeat all forms of extremism.

Teachers to become gender champions

18 October 2015

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.”

Tom Bennett: make better use of detentions to discourage disruptive behaviour

18 October 2015

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.

Volunteer squads to report sexist language in schools

18 October 2015

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

Schools mental health anti-stigma campaign: Make Time 4 Mental Health

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 case for statutory PSHE education

21 October 2015

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.

Research and good practice/statistics

Science teachers most likely to consider quitting the classroom, research says

23 October 2015

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

Research and analysis: School improvement: effective school partnerships

15 October, 2015

Research into collaboration and partnerships between schools.

Father says parents have ‘nothing to fear’ after magistrates throw out term-time holiday case

16 October 2015

The BBC is reporting that a father at the centre of a legal battle has said parents who take children on holiday in term time have “nothing to fear” after magistrates dismissed the case against him.

Not all academies are the same – don’t assume they will all boost results

14 October 2015

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

September 2015

This Department of Health funded study included over 5000 young people from across England.

The full report can be found here:

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? #HBSCEngland
  • #HBSCEngland latest report on #adolescent #health & #wellbeing and social determinants
  • Hot off the press! #HBSCEngland report on #adolescent #health from 2002-2014

National Statistics: Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn 2014 and spring 2015

20 October, 2015

This release reports on pupil absence in primary and secondary schools across the autumn and spring terms of the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

National Statistics: Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn 2013 and spring 2014

20 October, 2015

Levels of overall, authorised and unauthorised absence by school type, with indicative statistics on persistent absentees.

Per pupil spending ‘to fall by 8%’ says Institute for Fiscal Studies

21 October 2015

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

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