Mental Health Week – 3rd – 9th February 2020 (Place2be)

Children’s Mental Health Week is now in its sixth year. The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Find your Brave’. Life is all about taking small brave steps every day. Bravery could be about sharing worries and asking for help when you need it, trying something new or making the right choices.

Life often throws us challenges. Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in. It’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself.

Place2be have created a range of age-appropriate assembly guides and class activities, along with top tips for pupils and parents. The free resources will help children and young people explore what it means to be brave.

More information and resources can be found here:

More resources can be found on the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families website here:


DfE School Governance Update

Welcome to the New Year edition of the DfE’s school governance update.
Here you will find key announcements and information to support you in your governance role. For this edition we have created separate updates for maintained schools and academies – the articles are listed below for information. Please click on the following link to go to the Governance Update page:

Local authority maintained schools articles
1. New Year message from Lord Agnew
2. Consultation on the removal of the outstanding exemption
3. NFER and DFE survey of governance sector – deadline for responding extended
4. Are you aware of the clerking competency framework?
5. Calling clerks – do you want to be heard?
6. Funded training and development programmes available now
7. Compare how much your school is spending on agency supply teachers
8. Keep your details on ‘Get Information About Schools’ (GIAS) up to date to receive email alerts direct

Academy Trusts articles
1. New Year message from Lord Agnew
2. Consultation on the removal of the outstanding exemption
3. NFER and DFE survey of governance sector – deadline for responding extended
4. Add your member and trustee email addresses to the ‘Get Information About Schools’ (GIAS) database
5. Are you aware of the clerking competency framework?
6. Calling clerks/governance professionals – do you want to be heard?
7. Funded training and development programmes available now
8. Compare how much your school is spending on agency supply teachers
If you would like to provide us with any further feedback on the content or format of this update please email:

Thank you,
School Governance Unit,
Department for Education

Health & Safety Training for Buckinghamshire School Governors, 30th January 2020

The next training event for Governors is Health and Safety, held on Thursday 30th January 2020 at County Hall, Aylesbury.

This is free and open to all Buckinghamshire school Governors and will start at 6.30pm to finish at 8pm.

Caron Owens, the Head of Health and Safety at Buckinghamshire County Council will lead the course.

Follow the link below to book your place:

Government announces plans for universal school inspections

Universal School Inspections

Ofsted will visit all schools judged to be outstanding within the next 5 academic years under Government proposals, bringing an end to the era of some schools going over a decade without inspection

The change will mean schools rated as outstanding by Ofsted will no longer be exempt from routine inspection, as is currently the case, and underlines the government’s position that school inspection serves a vital purpose in improving standards and behaviour.

Under the proposals in the consultation being launched today (10 January), all outstanding schools and colleges will be brought back into a regular inspection cycle – with Ofsted visiting every 4 to 5 years. This will affect around 3,700 schools and colleges rated outstanding when the exemption is lifted in September.

Ending the exemption, which was introduced in 2012, will mean all parents have up to date information about every school and can be confident that their children’s schools are continuing to deliver the best education. It will also help to maintain the rising standards that have enabled schools to help pupils get to grips with the new, more demanding curriculum at both primary and secondary level.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Parents want to know that they are making the best, most informed choices about their children’s education. Making sure that all schools are regularly inspected means they will benefit from the expert insight Ofsted provides when making these decisions.

We know parents trust Ofsted – and with good reason. It serves a valuable purpose as the only organisation that gives a clear, accessible and impartial view on school and college performance.

But it’s also far more than that – it’s a driver of improvement. Although we continue to trust our best schools and colleges to get on with the job of educating, without Ofsted standards would go unchecked and the exemption meant there is often not an up to date picture.

Last year the Department for Education announced plans to remove the exemption that means schools judged outstanding by Ofsted are not subject to routine inspection.

The proposals in the consultation, which will be subject to parliamentary approval, will prioritise those schools that have gone the longest without inspection. Ofsted is preparing so that it is ready to inspect from September 2020.

It means every school in the country will receive regular inspection, giving parents a clear picture of the standard of schools in their area.

The exemption was introduced in 2012 in part so that Ofsted could focus on failing and underperforming schools. Standards have risen since then, with the percentage of schools graded inadequate or require improvement dropping from 33% in 2012 to just 14% in August 2019, so now is the right time to end the exemption and restore universal inspection.

Chairs and Vice Chairs of Governors Network Meeting

For all of you who usually attend the Chairs and Vice Chairs Governor Network Meeting at Jordans Quaker Meeting House (or anyone new who would like to join), please note that the next date is 8 February 2020 at 9:30 am.

More details will be circulated at the end of January.

Aylesbury Governor Network Meeting

The Aylesbury Governor Spring Network Meeting has been arranged for 5th February 2020, 18.30-20.00hrs at Broughton Junior School. The meeting will provide you with an opportunity to talk with and listen to other governors about issues of the moment. The BCC Executive Director’s Briefings take place 7th and 9th January and these raise issues that are worthy of discussion.

An agenda for this event will be available at the end of January

Next week are the Executive Briefings for Headteachers, Chairs of Governors and Clerks – have you booked your place?

FAO: Headteachers, Chairs of Governors and Clerks

Executive Director’s Briefings – 7th and 9th January 2020

Buckinghamshire County Council invite you to attend an Executive Director’s (Children’s Services) Briefing. This meeting will provide an opportunity for Buckinghamshire Headteachers, Chairs of Governors and Governor Clerks to hear key strategic updates from the Executive Director and Heads of Children’s Services, regarding:

• Updates on national and local issues
• Important information regarding the Unitary council and the impact on schools
• Children’s Services Ofsted improvement
• The continued development of Side by Side, as a school-led model of school improvement
• Buckinghamshire County Council service updates
• Statutory updates for Headteachers and Governors

Two briefings have been scheduled for January 2020, one in the morning and one in the evening. Please book your place at one of the following:

7pm Tuesday 7th January, Mezz Rooms, County Hall, Aylesbury


9.30am, Thursday 9th January, Millbrook School, High Wycombe

Refreshments will be available 30 minutes prior to the meetings.

BASG AGM and Mick Waters – 27th November

On Wednesday 27th November 2019 the Buckinghamshire Association of School Governors (BASG) held their AGM; the main focus of the evening was for Mick Waters to talk about the Governors Role in Curriculum Effectiveness Balance in all Respects.

BASG had planned this event during the Summer Term, once they had heard about Ofsted’s approach to the changes to their Inspection Framework from September 2019, with a focus on the quality of education and the curriculum and its intent, implementation and impact.

There was a great turnout for the AGM, most notably to listen to Mick’s knowledge and experience on the curriculum.  Mick has a vast amount of experience as an Education Consultant and his previous role as the Director of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

Teachers, Headteachers, Governors, Chairs of Governors and even the Head of Achievement & Learning from Buckinghamshire County Council were in the audience.

Mick Waters spent two hours discussing the curriculum and taking questions at the end. The audience sat in silence as he discussed the importance of how you could use moments of news for the potential of learning and that pupils learn all of the time, whether we want them to or not! Mick spoke about what the curriculum is about, not just lessons, but routines, events, learning outside the classroom, what happens out of school and environments that children are involved in.

It was clear to the large number of Governors present that Governors, when visiting their Schools and talking to teaching staff, should check for themselves how much the children are gaining from every minute of their school-time experiences – it’s about more than the formal teaching of the curriculum inside the classroom.

Mick spent time focussing on what are we trying to achieve – intent. How do we organise – implementation. How do you know it is successful – impact and the leadership around these areas, Intent being integrity, implementation being to improve and impact to have insight.

The presentation had its moments of humour and was also thought provoking and inspirational.

Initial feedback on this event has been extremely positive, BASG will now aim to hold an event during the Spring Term with another high-quality speaker.

Why does our Board need to employ a clerk?

The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 require that ‘the governing body must appoint a clerk with a view to ensuring their efficient functioning and must have regard to advice from the clerk as to the nature of the governing body’s functions.’

What does the clerk to the GB do?

  • Professional governance advisor – advising on procedure, regulations and best practice.
  • Administrative support to the Board and Committees including minute taking and convening meetings and provision of focussed agendas
  • Ensure that the governing board is properly constituted
  • Manage all GB information effectively in accordance with legal requirements
  • Advise of statutory changes and education policy

Recruiting a Clerk

  • Recruitment to be undertaken by the Board with the assistance of the Headteacher
  • Should be someone independent of the school, trustworthy and good communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Consider the use of the NGA person/job spec.
  • Consider the use of the DfE Competency Framework to assess their suitability to the role.
  • Consider how you employ the clerk. See advice from the LA or your company financial provider.

Supporting and Training Your Clerk

  • Ensure your clerk has access to appropriate support and resources to learn and develop in their role.
  • Consider investing in an experienced mentor for your clerk.
  • Encourage your clerk to attend local network opportunities such as LA Exec Director Briefings, Clerks Briefings, online networking to build their local knowledge.
  • Performance management to be put in place, delivered by the GB.


Committee Meetings Dates Autumn 2019

Autumn 2019 September – December

Normally we would meet half termly, but due to the development of the new website, preparations for our Annual General Meeting and a review of how the Association works more strategically for all governors in Buckinghamshire have seen us meeting monthly.

Our next committee meeting dates are:

Monday 9th September 2019 19.00 to 21.00 at TBC
Tuesday 15th October 2019 19.00 to 21.00 at TBC
Monday 4th November 2019 19.00 to 21.00 at TBC
Wednesday 27th November 2019 AGM 18.30 – 22.00 at St Michael’s Catholic School, Daws Hill Lane, High Wycombe HP11 1PW.
Tuesday 10th December 2019 19.00 to 21.00 at TBC

If you have any items that you would like to raise with us as an Association to discuss at our meetings please contact us