It has been a busy and productive term for the governance team at TheSchoolBus. In partnership with our experts, we have created over 40 resources specifically for governors and clerks to governors. These have included: guidance documents, 3-Minute Reads, templates, checklists and answers to questions submitted through our Need Further Help? service.
Our resource packs have proven to be very popular with governors and clerks. Each resource pack includes a number of related resources that are grouped together to save governors and clerks having to search the site for complimentary resources. The most popular governance resource packs this term have been:
- Late Autumn Governing Board Meeting Resource Pack
- Clerk to Governors Resource Pack
- Link Governor Resource Pack
If you have an idea for a resource pack you would like to see on the site, please email our Governance Lead, Nicki Wadley, at email@example.com
Our Facebook group, School Governance Forum UK, now has over 600 active members who regularly engage in the group and offer support to each other.
Through the Facebook group we have hosted four live events, each with a specific topic voted for by group members. Governors and clerks join us once a month to discuss the most popular topic – in December our topic of discussion was ‘working as an effective team’. Ideas and experiences are shared and members go away with practical ideas to implement within their own governing board.
We have given away 38 resources within the Facebook group to members who do not have access to TheSchoolBus – this can be anything from a mental health wellbeing poster for pupils, to agenda templates for governors. Our #FreebieFriday poll enables governors and clerks to vote for the free resource they would most like to receive each month. If you are not yet a member of the group just follow this link to join, you will be very welcome.
Whether you are new to the group or have been a member for a while, remember to take a look at the files section to see if there are any resources you can use or share with your governing board.
Keeping members up-to-date this term
There have been a number of updates from the DfE since September. Here at TheSchoolBus we really do understand that as busy volunteers it takes even more of your time to ensure you remain up-to-date with all you need to, so we make it easy for you. Our editorial team ensure that for each update from the DfE, guidance outlining the key points is available to members as soon as possible – in most cases on the same day.
Here is a round-up of the DfE updates from this term and a reminder of the resources that we created for members:
- National funding formula
The DfE published ‘The national funding formula for schools and high needs’ in September, ahead of its introduction in April 2018. Our The National Funding Formula for Schools and High Needs - 3 Minute Read explains the changes the government is making to the school funding system in order to support the introduction of the national funding formula, and summarises the DfE’s policy paper, highlighting the key changes to school funding and how they will be implemented.
- Consultation on primary school assessment
In March, the DfE launched a 12-week consultation to seek views on the government’s key proposals for the statutory primary assessment system. In September, the DfE published its response to the consultation. We created our Primary Assessment in England Consultation Response - 3 Minute Read on the same day, and it outlined the main points of the government’s response to the consultation and included the equality impact assessment.
- Rochford Review consultation
Also in September, the DfE published its response to the earlier consultation on the recommendations made in the Rochford Review regarding how pupils in primary school working below the standard of national curriculum tests should be assessed. Our Rochford Review Recommendations Consultation Response - 3 Minute Read summarises the actions the government has said it will take in light of the responses received.
- Implementing Your School’s Approach to Pay
Implementing Your School’s Approach to Pay is non-statutory advice for maintained schools and LA’s and was updated by the DfE in September. Our Implementing Your School's Approach to Pay - 3 Minute Read was updated to reflect the DfE’s changes to their guidance.
- School inspection handbook update
In October, Ofsted released updated versions of the section 5 and section 8 school inspection handbooks. We created a 3-Mminute Read and guidance for each update detailing all the changes in each of the handbooks, and making sure all school leaders are up-to-date with how Ofsted conducts section 5 and 8 inspections of schools.
- Changes to the School Inspection Handbook – Section 8 (October 2017)
- School Inspection Handbook Section 8 - 3 Minute Read
- Changes to the School Inspection Handbook – Section 5 (October 2017)
- School Inspection Handbook October 2017 - 3 Minute Read
- T-Level action plan
The DfE's ‘Post-16 technical education reforms: T level action plan’ outlined the government's progress on reforms to technical education. Our 3-Minute Read of the action plan – Post-16 Technical Education Reforms: T-Level Action Plan - 3 Minute Read – summarises the most pertinent points regarding the government's progress in designing and implementing T-levels.
- Emergency adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) update
In October, the Department of Health issued new guidance that permitted schools to keep spare AAIs for emergency use on pupils assessed as being at risk of severed allergic reactions. To reflect the new regulations, we updated our Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy and Allergen and Anaphylaxis Policy. We also created a template Register of Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (AAIs), Emergency Adrenaline Auto-injector (AAI) Consent Form, Adrenaline Auto-Injector (AAI) Record and Guidance on Allergic Reactions Leaflet.
- Secondary accountability measures: Guide for maintained secondary schools, academies and free schools
Also in October, the DfE updated its guidance ‘Secondary accountability measures: Guide for maintained secondary schools, academies and free schools’ with new information on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) accountability measures. Our Secondary Accountability and the English Baccalaureate guidance document collates, summarises and interprets all the information within the DfE guidance relating to the EBacc – making it simple to find EBacc-related accountability information in one place.
- Technical education and apprenticeships: Raising awareness
In November, the DfE published guidance for schools and academies on providing pupils in Years 8-13 with access to providers of post-14, post-16 and post-18 education. We created a guidance document – Everything You Need to Know About Provider Access – and a Provider Access Policy Statement to help schools comply with their duty to publish a statement on their website explaining how they manage access requests from providers. We also updated our Governing Board Annual Schedule of Work, Spring Governing Board Agenda Template, Website Audit Checklist for Maintained Schools and MAT, Academy and Free School Website Information Checklist to ensure that governing boards are compliant with their responsibility to make sure information is published on the school website.
- Mental health Green Paper
Last week, the DfE and the Department of Health released a Green Paper, and an accompanying consultation, setting out the government’s plans for helping young people and their mental health. Our The Mental Health Green Paper – What Schools Need to Know guidance outlines the core proposals from the Green Paper and the wider actions relating to education that will be undertaken to support these proposals – we are offering this free for all readers of the newsletter! Just click on the above link!
One of our highlights this term was the publication of our template; The Role of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Governor. This role descriptor was included in governance resources we produced, without charge, for the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools Mental Health Award governance module. It was also a freebie on our Facebook group, and is still available to download!
On 25 May 2018, the EU GDPR, a new legal framework for data protection, will come into effect in the UK. The UK government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not prevent the introduction of the GDPR, so it is important that governors and trustees begin to consider any potential impact!
The introduction of the GDPR, arguably, heralds the biggest shake up of EU data protection law in nearly 20 years. To ensure your school and governing board is up-to-date, we created our GDPR Resource Pack which contains policies, guidance, 3-Minute Reads, checklist and templates to ensure you are prepared for the introduction of the GDPR.
TheSchoolBus Christmas Giveaway
Is there something on your to-do list that will be nagging away at you over the Christmas break? Will working on it take you away from enjoying time with family and friends? Let us help.
Enter our draw for the chance to ask our expert education research team any question, or to create you a bespoke document of your choice – this can be a school-specific policy, a checklist, job description or even a risk assessment! You only have until 20 December to enter the draw and the request will be valid from 2 January 2018.
To enter, visit our Facebook page and like and share the competition post.
Access to TheSchoolBus
Did you know that your school only needs one subscription to TheSchoolBus? This includes unlimited access for all members of staff and governors. Quite often, a school will purchase a subscription from us, but may not inform all their staff (easily done considering work pressures!). Your school may have a subscription to our service already! And you can become a user at no additional cost today! To find out if your school subscribes to our service, call us on 01625 467 530.
We understand that, due to funding cuts and external pressures, securing a subscription of TheSchoolBus from your senior leadership team can sometimes prove a challenge. Because it is Christmas, we are offering a 10 percent discount on our annual subscription for those who sign up before 5 January 2018. And, because we are feeling extra generous, anyone who signs up between now and January 2018 will be entered into a raffle to win a £50 book voucher for your school!*
For more information on this offer, email our Marketing Manager, Daisy Heath-Abbott.
*This offer applies for new customers who sign up between 15 Dec 2017 and 5 January 2018