DfE School Governance Update notification

Good wishes for the holidays and New Year

This is the December edition of the DfE’s school governance update, where you will find key announcements and information to support you in your governance role.


For this edition we have created one version to cover both maintained schools and academy trusts– the articles are listed below for information.

1.   Increased Funding for Schools in Autumn Statement

2.   National Leaders of Governance Programme

3.   Supporting Schools to be Energy Efficient

4.   Access to Technical Education and Apprenticeships Providers

5.   Baroness Barran Message for Governance Professional Career Pathway

If you would like to provide us with any further feedback on the content or format of this update, please email: schoolgovernance.update@education.gov.uk.

Thank you,

Trust and School Governance Unit
Department for Education

Thank you for your incredible work this term – Department for Education

Teacher Bulletin

This is a very short Teacher Bulletin just to say thank you for another term of outstanding work. Every moment you spend supporting your students provides them with the tools for future success, and you do it brilliantly.

You have helped children and learners through the disruption of the pandemic and the challenges many families are facing right now You’ve been there for them through the difficulties, supported them to grow and celebrated everything they have achieved. Your own resilience and dedication through these challenging times has had an immeasurable impact.

As usual, we will be in touch in January with some updates and resources that you might find useful at the beginning of the spring term. But for now – please enjoy a well-deserved rest over the festive period.

For everything that you do – thank you.

Send a free thank you to a colleague who deserves it

Did you know that you can send a free personalised e-card to thank a colleague who has made a difference to you this term? Make their day by letting them know how much they help you and what they do that makes them special. You can send an anonymous message if you’d prefer, and they’re open to teachers, leaders, individuals, teams, support staff and anyone else working in schools.

Send a free thank you


Corporate Director Briefings and NGA Presentation for Bucks Chair & Clerks

Dear Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals,

Please see below reminders about briefings for Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals in early January.

 Corporate Director Briefings, January 2023 

Led by the Director of Children’s Services, John Macilwraith, these events are an opportunity to hear the latest news from Education, Social Care, SEND and the BASG teams.  They are open to all Headteachers, Chairs of Governors and Clerks. Both agendas are the same, just pick a time most convenient for you. Both meetings will be held on Teams.

Click to book:

Wednesday 11th January at 7pm
Friday 13th January at 9.30am

Governor Priorities & NGA Presentation for Bucks Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals (Free)

 Join Jackie Sweeting, South East Regional Lead from the NGA, alongside representatives from the Bucks Association of School Governors and Buckinghamshire Council school improvement service to hear about priorities for governors as we head into the new year. Jackie will provide national context and top tips on hot topics, such as supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils, and governor recruitment.

Click to book:

Tuesday 10th January at 6.30pm on Teams

We look forward to seeing you there!

 Natasha How

 School Governance Support Officer

Childrens Services Directorate

Buckinghamshire Council

Walton Street Offices, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UA

Please note my working hours are Monday – Thursday 11.00-15.30

BESST Newsletter- Dec 22

Dear Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals,

Please find attached the latest newsletter from BESST. Please share this with your governing boards.

This month’s newsletter includes information about the Therapies Strategy Consultation, a focus on the invaluable importance of professional clerking for governing boards, and reminders of dates for your diary.

BESST Newsletter 13.12.22

Many thanks,


  BESST Governor Training | Buckinghamshire (buckscc.gov.uk)


Bucks Challenge Autumn Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the newsletter from Marc Rowland which contains a wealth of resources for schools and details of the Buckinghamshire Challenge Review event on the 16th January 2023.

Newsletter Autumn 22

We will be sending out more information regarding the event very soon, so please keep an eye out for updates before Christmas.

Kind regards,



Side By Side Conference – 7th December – Sharing the Ofsted Experience

Dear Chairs of Governors,

Below is a summary of the remaining BESST Governor training and Side By Side conference events this term. Please consider which may be relevant for you and/or your governors to attend and book your places using the links provided.

  1. Side by Side Conference – Sharing the Ofsted Experience – 7th December, 09.30-12.00 (Free, online)


We are very pleased to confirm the programme (hyper-linked and attached) for the next Side by Side conference on the 7th December 2022 which is open to Buckinghamshire school leaders and Governors. The conference is free to all Bucks schools and will be held on Teams from 9.30am to 12pm.

The focus will be Ofsted inspections and we have 3 Buckinghamshire schools presenting their insight, following a recent inspection.  Hear key messages from primary headteachers and feedback from secondary school experiences. This will be an opportunity to hear the key lines of Ofsted inquiry and allow you to be prepared for the phone call.  To book your place visit HERE


  1. Getting the Most out of your Governor Monitoring Visits – 29th November, 18.30-19.30 (£25 pp, online)


An experienced Chair of Governors will talk you through what to think about before your governor monitoring visit, what to expect when you are in school and things to consider after your visit to make sure your governing work has lasting impact. For more information and to book your place visit the BESST Website


  1. Financial Control & Accountability Training – 1st December, 18.30 – 19.30 (£25 pp, online)


The session will focus on the Schools Financial Value Statement, an annual mandatory return for maintained schools. Completing the SFVS self-assessment aims to help your school manage its finances and provide assurances to the local authority that effective financial management is in place. For more information and to book your place visit the BESST Website


  1. Internet Safety, Keeping Children Safe Online – 6th December at 18.30-19.30 (£25 pp, online)


Join Alison Watts, Prevent Education Officer, to learn about new and emerging technologies that young people are using and the potential risks these pose. This session is relevant to all governors, especially those with responsibility for safeguarding. For more information and to book your place visit the BESST Website


We hope to see you at these events and future training from BESST next term.




Sent on behalf of Jo Whiteley, Head of HR Consultancy, Policy and Reward, Buckinghamshire Council.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you about the actions the council is planning to take following the Brazel vs Harpur Trust Supreme court ruling regarding holiday pay.

Please see attached our first information sheet about the plans to implement the changes to part year workers’ pay together with an advisory bulletin issued by the Local Government Association. Please read this information sheet carefully. At this stage there are no immediate actions for you to take. We will be writing to individual schools directly affected in the next 2 weeks.

 A mailbox for any queries you might have is being set up and the e mail address will be provided in our next letter.

Communication to Schools on impact of Brazel (221122)

LGA Employment law Advisory Bulletin 705 – September 2022

Yours sincerely,

Jo Whiteley


BESST Newsletter November 2022

Dear Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals,

Please find attached the latest BESST newsletter. Also attached for information only is a flyer about a Headteacher and School Leader well-being programme, referred to within the newsletter.

Please share this with your governing boards.

PAM Wellbeing_Practicing Resilience and Self-Care Workshop_flyer (22)

BESST Newsletter 22.11.22

Many thanks,


Natasha How

 School Governance Support Officer

Childrens Services Directorate

Buckinghamshire Council

Chairs & Vice Chairs of Governors Networking Group – 19.11.22

On behalf of the Bucks Association of School Governors, please share this email with your Chair and Vice Chair of Governors.


Dear Chairs and Vice Chairs of Governors,

There will be a chairs and vice chairs governor network meeting this coming Saturday  19th November from  09.30 to 11.30 on MS Teams

This is the former Jordans network group based around High Wycombe, but governors from across the county are more than welcome to join us.

The link to join the meeting is below. There is no need to pre-book or let us know you are coming in advance.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 347 238 543 249
Passcode: FrL7MG

Download Teams | Join on the web

Learn more | Meeting options

We are an informal group that have an open discussion about current issues in our schools, share good practice and concerns as well.

We operate informally but under confidential and Chatham House rules so that people feel free to share.

We do not have a formal agenda but a list of topics which we can add to in the meeting.

An outcome of past meetings has been to raise specific concerns with the LA via a letter, BASG and/or the LA School Governance Consultative Board as appropriate.

We imagine that people will want to discuss:

  • Impact of the financial crisis on children and parents
  • School budgets, staff cost rises
  • Meeting needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people disadvantaged and those with SEND
  • New Education Act and Academisation
  • Staff recruitment

Please email Anne Sheddick (Vice Chair of the BASG) directly if you would like to discuss other topics, on anne.sheddick@gmail.com

Alternative Education Guidance and Checklist


 Please send all questions and queries to manjit.bains@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

 Dear Colleagues,

 Please see attached for your information, Buckinghamshire Council’s guidance document and checklist on Alternative Education.

Alternative Education Checklist and Guidance 151122

If you have any questions on the guidance or would like further information, please contact Manjit Bains, Commissioner Education and Sufficiency, at manjit.bains@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Kind regards,

Gareth Drawmer

Head of Achievement and Learning

Buckinghamshire Council