BESST Newsletter – Jan 23

Dear Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals,

Happy New Year!

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

BESST Newsletter Jan 23

We look forward to seeing you at BESST briefings and training sessions soon!


BESST Governor Training | Buckinghamshire (

Emergency Contact Information

Sent on behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Dear Colleagues,

Following an incident prior to Christmas where it was necessary for us to use the Schoolsweb Emergency Contacts list, it was apparent that some schools had not updated changes to their Headteacher and/or Chair of Governors contact details.  These telephone numbers and names are vital for swift and effective action to be taken in urgent, unforeseen matters.

In order to update your details you must log in to the Schoolsweb Emergencies page here:

Select the following option:

If you do not know your log in details contact

We appreciate your assistance in this matter.

Kind regards,



Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning



Buckinghamshire Challenge Event 16th January 2023 – Agenda and times

Good afternoon,

Please find attached the draft agenda for the Buckinghamshire Challenge event on January 16th (note the end time has changed).  We hope that Headteachers, Governors, Deputy Headteachers, Disadvantage Leads, and Project Leads are able to join us to share the stimulating feedback from Marc Rowland and schools involved in projects.

Bucks Challenge Review January 23

This event is the mid-year review of the liaison group projects, where those involved can review the progress made on the whole project so far, to share learning, discuss strategy progress review findings and their application across all Buckinghamshire schools.  We would like this to be an interactive session, working collectively as a group to identify themes for the development of the Buckinghamshire Challenge Handbook for Schools.  Governors are invited to encourage the importance of support to your schools regarding the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.  We plan to invite a representative from the NGA to present an item in addition to those listed on the agenda.

The latest newsletter from Marc Rowland is also attached, for further detail and resources.

Newsletter Autumn 22

To book your places please use the link here:

Further details will be sent out to everyone in the new year.

Kind regards,


Hazel David

School Engagement Officer

Equalities & Improvement Team



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:

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 (


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