Message from governor services manager
Message from Governor Services Team
The Department for Education has been very busy in the past few months and, as a result,
this edition of the Briefing Sheet contains a lot of information about changes which affect
governing bodies from September.
In particular, you should be aware of changes to the Ofsted inspection framework,
requirements to publish online information and the possibility of changing the constitution of
your governing body. You should already be aware of the new appraisal and capability
regulations which affect the process of appraising headteachers.
We also urge as many governors as possible to attend the forthcoming consultation events
relating to the Department for Education school funding reforms. These sessions are for
school clusters, so there should be a session in your local area.
Some of you will be aware that our Manager, Chris Hustwick, has been away from work for
several weeks due to illness and hopes to return in the Autumn. As a result, our Annual
Conference will take place later in the academic year than usual. We will let you know as
soon as the details are confirmed.
Many thanks for all your good wishes to Chris and we wish you a restful summer holiday!
Governor Services Officer Governor Services Officer
Governor Services Administrator
On behalf of:
Governor Services Manager
Does your Governing Body know this?
Updates for Governor and Clerks
North Somerset News
Recent Government Initiatives
Does your Governing Body know this…?
New edition of Governors’ Guide to the Law
The new edition of Governors Guide to the Law, dated May 2012 is now available to download from the Department for Education (DfE) website:
Please look out for a further version of the Guide, since the DfE intends to issue another revision to the document in a different slim-line format, to take into account new regulations which come into force in September, including the new constitution regulations which are referred to below.
Flexibility in governing body size and composition from September
The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 take effect from September 2012 and set out arrangements for the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools, which includes maintained nursery schools, in England. The underlying principle of the new regulations is to move from a ‘stakeholder’ model (where each category of person with an interest in the running of the school is allocated a specified proportion of seats on the governing body), to a ‘skills based’ model (where there is just a small core of prescribed seats that must be filled by a specific category of stakeholder and flexibility over the rest). This ensures governing bodies have the opportunity, by use of the new ‘co-opted’ category, to appoint governors with the specific skills, experience or background needed by the governing body. Please note that these new regulations will only apply if your governing body decides to reconstitute, otherwise your existing membership composition can continue. Those governing bodies that remain constituted under the old regulations will continue to abide by the original stakeholder model, and will still have Community Governors (not Co-opted) and Authority Governors (not LA Governors). Reconstitution is triggered by a governing body decision to change the size or make-up of it’s membership, a change of school status (e.g. Community school to Trust school, federation with another school etc) or (surprisingly) a change of school name.
Under the new regulations, there must be a minimum of seven governors, comprising:
2 elected parent governors
The head teacher (provided they choose to be on the governing body)
1 elected staff governor
1 local authority governor. (nominated by the local authority and appointed by the
The governing body may, in addition, appoint such number of co-opted governors as they
consider necessary, provided the following requirements are met in respect of governing
bodies of foundation and voluntary controlled schools:
Voluntary controlled schools must have at least two Foundation Governors (making up no
more than 25% of total GB)
Voluntary aided schools must have sufficient Foundation Governors to outnumber the others
There is also provision for appointment of partnership governors, and associate members but
Sponsor Governors are not mentioned in the new regulations.
Community governors will now be known once again as Co-opted governors.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body on the basis that they have “the
skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school”.
The number of co-opted governors who are eligible to be staff governors, when counted with
the HT and the Staff Governor, cannot exceed one third of total membership. Subject to that
limit, there is no maximum number of co-opted governors.
Governing bodies set up under the old regulations will continue to have their (several)
Authority Governors appointed by the Local Authority as previously. Reconstituted governing
bodies will be expected to liaise with the LA to identify the skills requirements (the eligibility
criteria) for their one LA Governor position. The nomination will be made by the LA and the
appointment made by the GB. There is no guidance yet about what would happen if the
nomination is not acceptable to the Governing Body.
If a change to the constitution results in a surplus of governors in some categories, a 'last in,
first out' rule applies. This is explained fully in the regulations. Any governing body considering reconstitution for any reason should seek guidance
from Governor Services.
The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 - information to be
published on a school’s website
From September 2012, new regulations no longer require schools to publish a prospectus and have a curriculum policy, thus avoiding duplication of effort, and unnecessary cost. Instead, schools will be required to publish key information online.
The minimum ‘key’ information areas for all schools to publish online are as follows:
• details of the school’s pupil premium allocation and plans to spend it in the
current year; and, for the previous year, a statement of how the money was spent and the impact that it had on educational attainment of those pupils at the school in respect of whom grant funding was allocated;
• details of the school’s curriculum, content and approach, by academic year and
by subject (including details of GCSE options and other qualifications offered at Key Stage 4 (for secondary schools), and approach to phonic and reading schemes (for primary schools));
• where applicable, details or links to the school’s admission arrangements,
including its selection and oversubscription criteria, published admission number and the school’s process for applications through the local authority ;
• details of the school’s policies on behaviour, charging and SEN and disability
• links to the school’s Ofsted reports and DfE School Performance Tables and
details of the school’s latest Key Stage 2 and/or Key Stage 4 attainment and progress measures as presented in the School Performance Tables;
• a statement of the school’s ethos and values.
Academies and Free Schools are already required to publish much of the above information through their Funding Agreements, the Independent Schools Regulations or the information is published centrally by the DfE. This includes their SEN policy, approach to the curriculum, arrangements for admissions, discipline and exclusions, behaviour and anti-bullying policy, as well as the results of attainment tests and public examinations.
Funding Agreements will also ensure new academies publish the same information as maintained schools, including their Pupil Premium allocation, spend and impact on attainment.
Schools will need to ensure they have the facility to publish the specified content online and staff resource to create and maintain the content.
For those parents who cannot access the internet or who find hard copies of materials more accessible, the regulations require schools to continue to provide paper copy without charge to parents on request - this requirement can be simply met by printing a hard copy of the online information.
Schools will, of course, be free to continue to market themselves through a printed prospectus if they so wish.
Support available for Chairs of
recruited the first cohort of ‘National
If you are a Chair of Governors who would
highly effective chairs of governors who
use their skills and experience to support
from another Chair of Governors in North
Somerset, Governor Services can facilitate
links so that one Chair acts as a ‘mentor’ to
If you would like to work with a National
Many governing bodies will be considering appointing governors to the headteacher's
appraisal panel. In view of the new regulations that come into force from 1 September 2012,
it is vital that people with the correct skills and training (with an understanding of the new
regulations) are selected. The following personal attributes will help to ensure that the
appraisal process is robust and effective. Members of the panel should be:
• confident and objective in analysing evidence including performance data
• able to communicate clearly and concisely
• have well developed interpersonal skills – able to challenge and support assertively
a clear understanding of the school’s priorities and of the head’s role in shared
• have an awareness of the current national and local agenda for education and the
• have an understanding of the many and varied opportunities that exist for the
professional development of headteachers
We are often asked if the chair of governors should be a member of the appraisal panel. There is no legal reason why the chair of governors cannot be on the appraisal panel - however, best practice is that the chair remains outside of the process. The reason for this is that the chair has a unique and important relationship with the headteacher which could be undermined by the outcomes of the appraisal. The appointment of the panel needs to be determined by the whole governing body
Governor Services is running a training session for panel members in Term 1 which will take
them through the process in the context of the new regulations. Anyone wanting to book
on the session should do so using cpd online. Need to Know Information for Governors and Headteachers
The Department for Education has released a document outlining the important information
that is needed in order for headteachers/principals and governors to plan and implement
changes throughout the academic year. They have also updated the myths and facts
document, which addresses some of the misconceptions about bureaucracy.
Need to know:
Myths and Facts:
Updates for Governor and Clerks
Governor Services training programme
– Terms 1&2
A copy of the training programme for terms
The calendar of courses is also available
1&2 has been sent to all governors and
clerks on our database with a valid e-mail
address. If clerks and/or chairs are aware
Another new inspection framework from September
Following a consultation, Ofsted has released its new inspection framework, which will take effect from September 2012. There are a number of changes to the January 2012 framework. The four areas of inspection remain the same (achievement, quality of teaching, quality of leadership and management, and behaviour and safety of pupils), but the grading system is changing. - To be rated as ‘outstanding’, schools will have to have ‘outstanding’ teaching. - To reflect the view that ‘good’ is the acceptable standard of education, the category of ‘satisfactory’ will be replaced with ‘requires improvement.’ - Schools that ‘require improvement’ will usually be re-inspected within two years and if the school remains in that category for three consecutive inspections, it is likely to be placed in ‘special measures.’ - ‘Notice to improve’ category will be replaced by ‘serious weaknesses.’ This will be applied to schools which are inadequate overall, but have the leadership capacity to improve. Schools with ‘serious weaknesses’ will be re-inspected within 18 months - Inspectors will also look at anonymised teacher performance appraisal data. - Notice of an inspection will be given usually on the afternoon of the working day before the start of the inspection – one of the areas in which Ofsted amended its original proposals. Inspectors will be instructed to examine the impact of leaders at all levels, including governors. Inspectors will evaluate how effectively governors challenge and hold senior leaders to account for all aspects of the school's performance and will consider how well governors:
• ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
• contribute to the school’s self-evaluation and understand its strengths and
• support and strengthen school leadership
• use performance management systems, including the performance management of
the headteacher, to improve teaching, leadership and management
• ensure solvency and probity and that the financial resources made available to the
• operate in such a way that statutory duties are met and priorities are approved
• use the pupil premium and other resources to overcome barriers to learning.
After the inspection team has reached its conclusions, the judgements will be presented and briefly explained to representatives of those responsible for governance at the school and the senior leadership team. Ofsted has published a useful leaflet for schools which outlines the revised framework:
Updated Safeguarding Policy
The North Somerset model Safeguarding Policy has been updated and can be accessed via the
If you have any questions about the policy, please contact Sarah Mellor, Safeguarding in
Education Officer at or 01275 885507.
Online Safer Recruitment training
The online training is now accessible via the Department for Education website:
If you prefer face-to-face training on this topic, training sessions can be booked using our cpd
on-line system. Please see your training calendar for dates of next sessions. E-Safety training - places available for governors
We live in a world in which change now happens faster than ever before, which is why it is so
important that we all keep up with all the latest developments in the world of E-Safety.
It is with this thought of constant change in mind that the South West Grid for Learning
SWGfL has created this half day introductory session to E-Safety; an opportunity to gain an
insight to opportunities and issues that the Internet presents.
This half day course is part of North Somerset Safeguarding Children Board's (NSSCB) Inter
Agency Training programme and is designed for practitioners from all agencies.
The course aims to:
Introduce any professional working with children to the online and mobile technologies that
children and young people use and the associated risks
Through understanding raise confidence
Provide an array of relevant and practical resources and programmes
The course will enable delegates to:
Discuss the online opportunities and issues with their colleagues
Consider how e safety is provisioned on return to their organisation
Ask questions of experts
Consider if further organisational or personal information is required
The course will consider:
The risks and benefits of using modern online and mobile communication technologies
How children and young people use online and mobile technologies and how this differs to
How the issues may impact each agency
Who has a role with safeguarding children and young people on line
The latest practical strategies and solutions for organisations and agencies to use.
The dates for this training are as follows:
7 September 9.30-1pm at Castlewood, Clevedon 27 November 9.30-1pm at Castlewood, Clevedon Places can be booked by contacting Sue Rabbitts, Governor Services Administrator
Changes to Criminal Records and Barring Arrangements
The Protection of Freedoms Act received Royal Assent in May. As a result of the passage of
the Act, a number of changes to the Criminal Records and Barring system are coming into
effect from 10 September 2012.
The most significant of these changes from the point of view of schools is a change in the definition of ‘regulated activity’. This change has the potential to effect who is Barred List checked and who is CRB checked in schools. We understand that paid workers directly employed or engaged by schools will still be within the definition of regulated activity; however 'supervised' volunteers and some categories of contractors (those employed by third parties) will no longer fall within the definition of regulated activity.
Those who do not fall within the new definition of regulated activity cannot be ISA Barred List checked; they will however still be eligible to be enhanced CRB checked if they fell under the old definition of regulated activity (whether an enhanced CRB check was carried out in such cases will be a matter of discretion).
One aspect of the change to the definition of ‘regulated activity’ – that relating to what constitutes a ‘reasonable level of supervision’ - is still ongoing. Once the outcome of this consultation is known and the definition of reasonable supervision is established, North Somerset’s Schools HR Service will issue updated information.
Please note that school governors will not fall into the new definition of ‘regulated activity’
because they are school governors. In other words, if a school governor was to be involved
in unsupervised voluntary work with children in a school, they would be undertaking
regulated activity, but only because they were undertaking unsupervised voluntary work, not
because they were a school governor.
For information on this and the other changes to Criminal Records and Barring arrangements
being made from 10 September please see the following guidance:-
If you have any questions, please contact Piers Hartridge, Senior HR Advisor,
Exclusions – New Regulations and Guidance
The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012 make
provision re the power of head teachers of maintained schools, teachers in charge of PRUs
and principals of Academy schools and alternative provision Academies, to exclude pupils
under s51A Education Act 2002.
The DfE has released new exclusions guidance for local authority (LA) maintained schools,
academies and pupil referral units. This includes guidance for governing bodies. The link for
the guidance is:
The guidance and new regulations will take effect from 1 September 2012. Website updates since the last Briefing Sheet
The following updates have been published on our web pages:
Removal of the duty placed upon the local authority to consider complaints.
This page contains links to current government e-consultations which governors may wish to
Removal of the duty to prepare and publish a School Profile and details of the requirement to
publish certain key information online.
Information about the new exclusion arrangements for schools which will come into effect on
1 September 2012.
Links to the DfE document that summarises the legal powers and duties that govern
behaviour and attendance in school.
A new page to enable members of the public to express an interest in becoming a school
North Somerset News
As we reach the end of this academic year, it is time to say farewell to a number of our
Headteachers who are leaving North Somerset. Ruth Newton from St John the Evangelist,
Carole Sharp from St Mary's Portbury, Linda Grogan from Winscombe, Mike Scriven from
Portishead Primary are all retiring at the end of this year. Stephanie Quayle from St.
Katherine's School is moving to more exotic climes!
We are also saying farewell to a number of colleagues from Children and Young People’s
Services who work with schools. David Amos, currently interim Headteacher at Hillside First
School, and formerly a School Adviser, will be leaving at the end of the year. David has done
a wonderful job in steering the school community through very challenging times. Claire
Adams from VLS is moving to a post at Westhaven School. Kevin Katner, Future Schools
Adviser and Sue Harding, Theresa Howell and Prue Chapman from VLS and Glyn Toller,
Head of The Larches PRU are also leaving us.
On behalf of North Somerset Council, I would like to thank each of these colleagues for their
service to children and their families and their contribution to the wider education community.
We wish them every happiness for the future. Sheila Smith, Director of Children and Young People’s Services
School Funding Reform Consultation
On 28 June the Department of Education (DfE) issued the final arrangements for schools
funding for 2013 – 14. significant changes are being introduced to the way that schools are
funded in April 2013.
A consultation document outlining full details for schools in North Somerset will be issued on
10 September initiating the start of a consultation period which will end on 8 October.
It is critical that the views of school leaders, governors and other stakeholders can be heard
and can be considered as part of the decision making process. To support this, each school
cluster has been offered the opportunity of having a consultation briefing session for any
school stakeholders in the cluster during the consultation period.
If you are unable to make your cluster meeting you are welcome to attend one in another
cluster, the dates of which are below:-
Portishead and Pill
12th September 5.30 – 7.00pm Gordano School Special Schools
13th September 4.30 – 6.00pm Baytree School WASPS
18th September 9.00 – 10.30am Worle School South Weston
19th September 8.30 – 10.00am The Healthy Living Centre Churchill
20th September 5.00 – 6.30pm Churchill School 6th Form Centre Backwell
21st September 12.00 – 1.30pm Backwell School Nailsea
27th September 5.00 – 6.30 pm Nailsea School Clevedon
5th October 9.15 – 10.45am Yeo Moor Primary School
If you would like to book a place please contact Julie Bishop, email: [email protected]
somerset.gov.uk or telephone 01934 634643.
An updated briefing note on the plans and proposals set out by the DfE is available via the
following link: Louise Malik, Service Leader (Resources)
The Governors Association for North Somerset (GANS)
GANS is an independent body, which promotes effective education services by encouraging
co-operation between governing bodies and schools, providing opportunities for the
exchange of ideas and information amongst governors and is a corporate voice for any
consultations and relevant matters. Whilst an independent body it works closely with North
Somerset Council and Governor Services and the GANS Executive meets regularly with the
Director for Children and Young People and Education and the lead councillor.
GANS is seeking to employ an Administrator. Duties will include setting agendas, taking
minutes at 6 meetings per year, attendance at a minimum of one seminar per year,
organisation of the annual planner, drafting information for a newsletter (3 times per year)
and keeping a database of members. This is a paid position. CV's via e-mail to
closing date for applications 08 August 2012, interviews will take
place week beginning 13th August.
Executive Committee - vacancy
The Executive Committee for GANS has a vacancy for a School Governor. We meet 6 times
a year, have 3 seminars, and put out a newsletter to member schools 3 times a year. You
would be expected to contribute to all of the above, and we would welcome applicants from
any and every walk of life. The only stipulation is that you are a School Governor. Come
along and join a lively, vocal group which works to benefit all schools. For an informal
discussion please give your teDelyth Lloyd-Evans our current chair will contact you.
Recent Government Initiatives
Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) proposals
On May 15 the Department of Education (DfE) published its response to last year’s consultation on SEND Green Paper - Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - Progress and Next Steps.
Although much of the press coverage centred on ‘personal budgets for parents,’ there were other important issues covered in the announcement. Sarah Teather (DfE Minister for Children) confirmed that statements would be replaced with Education, Health and Care Plans, and that these would retain the statutory protection currently provided by statements but would extend to cover young people from age 0-25. Personal budgets are being tested and this does include some educational provision. For children without statements the DfE has confirmed that it will abolish the school action and school action plus designations and replace it with a single school based SEN category. Schools will need careful guidance to ensure children are appropriately designated and no child slips through the net.
The DfE press statement can be accessed via the following link:
Queen’s Speech announces Children’s and Families Bill
The Queen’s speech announced that in early 2013 a Children and Families Bill would be introduced into Parliament. The Bill will cover family law, shared parenting, and strengthen the role of the Children’s Commissioner, but will also put into effect some of the proposals from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Green Paper published last year.
replace SEN statements with a single assessment process (the Education, Health and
Care Plan), which will protect children and young people up to the age of 25, instead of the current age of 16
give local authorities a requirement to publish a local offer setting out the support on
offer to children and young people with SEND
give the right to a personal budget for their support to young people with an Education
Finally, the bill will strengthen the remit of the Children’s Commissioner giving an new overall function to ‘promote and protect children’s rights,’ including the functions of the Children’s Rights Director at Ofsted. The term of office will be limited to a single six-year term.
Governor Services Manager
Monday – Friday
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01934 427 643
Governor Services Officer
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01934 427 381
Governor Services Officer
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01934 427 345
Governor Services Administrator
Monday – Friday
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01934 427 448
Walliscote Grove Road
Weston Super Mare
Governor Services Helpline
Email: [email protected]
Tel:01934 427 381
MICHAEL FINN DGA ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Producer: Wayne Morris. Director: Mike Elliott. Producer: Wayne Morris. Director: Steve Rash. Producer: Don Tynes, Doug Gordon. Director: Steve MaddoxDOUBTING THOMAS (as Production Supervisor ) Producer: Bob Abramoff, Scott Lumpkin. Director: Mark Blutman. Producer: Paul Sirmons Director: Reza BadiyiProducer: Steve Cubine
Nigeria: Experts Discover New Malaria Drugs Medical experts in the field of malaria cure in Ibadan have said they have discovered a new drug for the cure of malaria whose sickness they said has claimed the lives of over 300,000 children in the country annually. The experts led by Prof. Akin Sowunmi of the Clinical Pharmacology, University College Hospital, Ibadan had diagonised at the launc