BASG Executive Committee Minutes: Monday 13th December 2021

Meeting: BASG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Date & Time: Monday 13 December 2021 at 6.00pm

 

Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Present:

 

 

Paul Randall (PR) (Chair), Anne Sheddick (AS) (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull (MBL), Bernadette Allison (BA), Andrew Brown (AB), Gwyneth Langley (GL) (Secretary), Martin Baxter (MBR)
   

Agenda Item

 

 

Action

1. Apologies for Absence  
 

 

 

Jo Pearce (JP) and Peter Lerner (PL) had sent apologies for absence.

 

Andrew Brown (AB) advised that he would need to leave the meeting at 6.30pm

 

 
2 Notification of Any Other Business  
   

It was agreed that the following item would be discussed under Any Other Business:

 

–       School places in Burnham

 

 
3 Declarations of Interest  
 

 

 

Gwyneth Langley – BEP

 

 
4 Approval of Minutes from the Meeting Held on 8 November 2021 and Review of Actions  
 

 

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2021 were confirmed as an accurate record and approved.

 

 

 

5 Communications with Bucks Council

 

There had been limited communication with the LA over the past two weeks due to the ongoing Ofsted inspection.

 

It was noted that the LA had consulted BASG members about governance issues and structures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Local Networking Groups  
 

 

 

 

 

The following dates were planned for the Spring Term 2022

 

Aylesbury Group – Monday 24 January 2022

Chesham, Amersham, Wendover and Great Missenden Group – February date (before half term).  AB would confirm this.

Jordans Group – February date (after half term). AS would confirm this.

 

The inclusion of governors / Chairs from across the LA, regardless of geography, was discussed.  There were some pros and cons of this but the issues facing Governing Boards were similar throughout the County.

 

Jordans Group – Feedback

 

The Jordans Group had met on 20 November 2021.

 

A concern had been raised within the discussions about the current SEN consultation.   There had been very little awareness of the consultation amongst networking group attendees.    A key change proposed was that services recommended within EHCPs would no longer be provided directly but would be replaced by advice to teachers.  It was thought that there were many questions around how this new arrangement would be supported, managed and monitored.

 

A number of the meetings at which the consultation would have been discussed had been postponed due to the current inspection of Children’s Services.   MBL confirmed that the consultation had not been raised at the Education Select Committee meeting in November 2021.

 

The consultation was due to end on 19 December 2021.

 

Following discussion it was agreed that MBL would contact Hero Slinn to express concern about the limited awareness of the consultation and inform her of the discussions at the Jordans Networking Group and  BASG.  There would be a request that the consultation be extended.

 

 

 

 

 

AB

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MBL

 

 

7 BEP Update  
  GL updated the group that BEP continued to support multiple Boards with panel processes to the end of term.  Concern was expressed about the number of issues that schools were currently dealing with.  

 

 

8 BASG Newsletter  
   

PR had provided content for inclusion within the BEP end of Autumn Term newsletter and was thanked for turning this round within the tight deadlines.

 

 

 

 

9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  
   

MBR updated the group on the activities of the Buckinghamshire Challenge Group.

 

There had been two communications sent to Chairs w/c 6 December 2021 with information on current plans.    MBR noted that much of this information had been available since June 2021 and expressed frustration at the delay.

 

There had been a meeting of the Challenge Group on 17 November 2021.   Marc Rowlands had not been present at this meeting.   A new Headteacher, Jo Divers, had joined the group.        The attendees had provided challenge to Gareth Drawmer on all aspects of the plans.   Katherine Wells had presented a useful set of slides. It had been requested that these be made available to circulate to governors.

 

Andrew Brown left the meeting

 

It was noted that the budget for the Challenge Group was £34,000, of which £15,000 was committed to consultancy fees.

 

MBR expressed concern that the overall vision for the programme had not been shared with the Challenge Group.

 

Governance of the Closing The Gap project would be through the Buckinghamshire Challenge Group going forwards.  MBR shared detail of the Terms of Reference as follows:

 

The Challenge Board will:

 

–       Review of the implementation plans and monitoring and evaluation of milestones. 

–       Take final decisions as they arise in relation to the implementation of the programme.

–       Quality Assure the delivery of the programme.

 

It was currently unclear who would be undertaking the quality assurance work and whether there was a budget to do this.

 

It was highlighted that small schools were struggling to release staff to attend the planned sessions.

 

A Challenge Group newsletter had been sent to Chairs w/c 6 December. 2021.  Concern was expressed that not all Chairs had received this.  PR would forward the newsletter to the group and would contact Hazel David to highlight the distribution issue.

 

There had been a literacy session held on Friday 10 December 2021.  MBR had attended this and considered it to be very good and practical input.   It would be helpful if this could be made available to all schools and governors via a recording.

 

It was noted that the BEP / EEF presentation on developing evidence based Pupil Premium strategies (12 November 2021) had been well received. Recordings of this had been made available on request.

 

There would be another Challenge Group meeting w/c 20 December 2021. MBR would feedback to PR after this meeting.

 

MBL would ask questions relating to the work of the Challenge Group in advance of the Education Select Committee meeting in January 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MBR

 

 

 

MBL

 

10 Side by Side Board  
   

There had been a meeting of the Side by Side Board on 16 November 2021.   There had been a number of useful slides shared at the meeting but there had been no follow up and no future meeting dates had been set despite the Terms of Reference for the Board.   PR would pick this up.

 

PR expressed concern that it was difficult to hold the LA to account on the Side by Side work due to the structure and last minute nature of the meetings.

 

The group discussed that the reports and meetings held as part of the Side by Side programme were of variable quality.   Some were very helpful and others were much poorer.  The QA process was unclear. It was unclear how the impact of the work was being measured.

 

MBL would ask questions on the programme at the meeting of the Education Select Committee in January 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MBL

 

 

11 Schools Forum  
   

There was no update on this occasion.

 

 

 

12 Governance Consultative Board  
   

The meeting of the Consultative Board scheduled for December 2021 had been postponed. The next meeting date currently planned was in March 2022.  It was thought that this needed to be brought forward. PR / PL would pick this up.

 

 

 

 

PR / PL

 

 

13 AOB  
 

 

 

MBL highlighted that a working group was currently looking at non-selective school places in Burnham.   This had become an issue since the closer of Burnham Upper School.    There was concern that the Burnham Upper School site would be redeveloped for housing. Parents in Burnham were currently incurring costs to send their children to school in Slough, Maidenhead or to Bourne End Academy.

 

A member of the working group had attended the Education Select Committee meeting in November 2021 and had been allowed 5 minutes to speak on the issue.  This had not been sufficient time for him to explain the issue thoroughly unfortunately.

 

There was a concern that there would be a shortage of non-selective school spaces in Burnham in the future – particularly as Maidenhead was experiencing a boom as a result of Crossrail.  Anita Kramner was thought to be aware of the issue.

 

It was agreed that this should be raised at the next meeting of the School Governance Consultative Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PL

 

14 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  
 

 

 

 

A date / time for the next meeting was agreed as follows:

 

Monday 17 January 2022 5pm

 

 

BASG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES: Monday 8 November 2021 at 5.00pm

Meeting: BASG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Date & Time: Monday 8 November 2021 at 5.00pm

 

Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Present:

 

 

Paul Randall (PR) (Chair), Anne Sheddick (AS) (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull (MBL), Bernadette Allison (BA), Andrew Brown (AB), Gwyneth Langley (GL) (Secretary), Martin Baxter (MBR), Peter Lerner (PL)
   

Agenda Item

 

 

Action

1. Apologies for Absence  
 

 

 

Jo Pearce (JP) had sent apologies for absence.

 

 
2 Notification of Any Other Business  
   

It was agreed that the following item would be discussed under Any Other Business:

 

–       Memorandum of Understanding with Buckinghamshire Council (circulated in advance by PR)

 

 
3 Declarations of Interest  
 

 

 

Gwyneth Langley – BEP

 

 
4 Approval of Minutes from the Meeting Held on 11 October 2021 and Review of Actions  
 

 

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2021 were confirmed as an accurate record and approved.

 

Actions from the meeting were reviewed as follows:

 

Minute 6    AS advised that the Jordans networking group would next meet on Saturday 20 November 2021.

 

Minute 6    AS had written a communication regarding Headteacher Performance Management processes and MBR had forwarded this to the Aylesbury networking group.

 

PR joined the meeting

 

 

 

5 Communications with Bucks Council

 

PR / AS gave an update on the BESST governor training programme.   Current take up of the programme was relatively low.   It was thought that the booking processes were clunky and there had been some communication and organisation issues. The requirement for governors to seek permission from their School Business Manager / Bursar before booking a course was thought to be a barrier.   It was also difficult to book multiple places on courses.

 

PR / AS would meet with Katherine Wells on Friday 12 November 2021 to discuss how things would be taken forwards.

 

PR / AS had fed back on the proposed job description for the Governor Support Officer but it was not thought that this role had been advertised as yet.

 

It was discussed that while training and input from Bucks Council trainers was extremely valuable to governors, a robust infrastructure was required to run a training programme at any scale.  GL explained that BEP had offered to support LA trainers with BEP infrastructure to run courses  – and a couple of departments were engaged with this – but generally there was not an ongoing dialogue relating to this.

 

The meeting with Councillor Patricia Birchley on Thursday 4 November 2021 was considered to have been positive. AB was thanked for setting this up.  It was hoped that contact with Cllr Birchley would raise the profile of governance at Bucks Council and that engagement with BASG would give Cllr Birchley some additional questions to ask.

 

Cllr Birchley’s invitation to BASG to raise questions at the Children and Education Select Committee was welcomed.  There would be a need to consider appropriate questions in advance of the Committee meeting on 20 January 2022 so that these could be submitted in advance.

 

PL raised concerns about the lack of engagement of Councillor Julie Ward.   Councillor Ward had been invited to attend the School Governance Consultative Board meeting but had declined this three times without adequate apologies. She has responsibility for education and SEND but there was little indication that she was engaged in these areas and this was a concern.

 

MBL highlighted that a number of papers on SEND had been circulated in advance of the Children and Education Select Committee meeting on Thursday 11 November 2021 and these were available online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR / AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All

 

 

6 Local Networking Groups  
 

 

 

 

 

Jordans Group

 

The Jordans Group would next meet on Saturday 20 November 2021. GL would circulate details via GovernorHub.

 

Chesham, Amersham, Wendover and Great Missenden Group

 

This group met on Monday 1 November 2021.  Approximately 20 Chairs had attended.

 

There had been discussion about the Bucks Challenge Group and the events organised by this group.  A number of Chairs were unaware of these activities.   Those that were aware suggested that short notice of event meant it was very difficult for some schools to send representatives. This was particularly the case for small schools.     There had been positive feedback from schools that had managed to attend.   Other schools would be interested in the output or feedback.

 

Discussion at the networking group meeting had been positive and valuable.  A number of new Chairs had attended. This included Chairs from standalone Academies – who were thought to be quite isolated in some cases.

 

The next meeting would take place in January 2022. AB would circulate the date when this was agreed.

 

It was noted that some Chairs from the Marlow area had attended the meeting.  It was understood that a group of Chairs in the Marlow were meeting regularly but they were keen to keep the group small.

 

 

 

AS / GL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 BEP Update  
   

GL updated the group that there had been a number of discussions with Boards about succession planning.  There were a number of Boards that did not have natural successors for the position of Chair at the beginning of the Autumn term.   These Boards were being supported and options discussed with them.   BEP would be raising the profile of succession planning at courses and briefings over the next few months to reinvigorate work in this area.

 

It was thought that a shortage of Clerks was a national issue and there had been recent discussion of this at NCOGS and ERCOGS.   The importance of the clerking community was agreed by the group.

 

A number of schools were finding it harder to attract parent governor nominees than in previous years.  This had been a surprise to a number of Boards where there has not been an issue historically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 BASG Newsletter  
   

GL confirmed that the next BEP newsletter would be at the end of the Autumn term 2021 and GL / PR would discuss this nearer the time.

 

 

GL / PR

 

 

9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  
   

MBR explained that the Challenge Group plans should have been rolled out to schools in the Summer Term 2021. There had been a delay to this and the plans had not yet been made public.

 

The next meeting of the Challenge Group was planned for Wednesday 17 November 2021.  It was thought that the plans that this group had developed may take up to five years to implement. The issues would not be quick to fix.

 

It was noted that there had been positive feedback on the Pupil Premium planning session held recently.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Side by Side Reference Group  
   

PR had followed up on meeting dates. The next meeting of this group was now planned for Tuesday 16 November 2021.   PR would remind the reference group that meeting dates should be set for the year in advance in line with the Terms of Reference.  Dates would need to dovetail with those set for the School Governance Consultative Board.

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

 

11 Schools Forum  
   

There was no update on this occasion.

 

 

 

12 Governance Consultative Board  
   

PL would be meeting with Simon James in advance of the next meeting of the School Governance Consultative Board.

 

There would be a reminder of some of the issues previously raised to ensure that they did not slip off the radar. These would include HR support and information that was outstanding from Gareth Drawmer.

 

PL asked that any issues to be raised be sent directly to him.

 

 

PL

 

 

 

 

 

 

All

 

13 AOB  
 

 

 

PR had drafted and circulated a Memorandum of Understanding between BASG and Buckinghamshire Council and this was reviewed by the group.

 

The following additions were proposed:

–       Bucks Council will circulate BASG information

–       Bucks Council will ensure that the views of school governors are made known to elected members who are making decisions on school related matters.

 

It was agreed that BASG representative on committees and working parties would not be limited to members of the BASG Executive Committee.

 

PR would make the amendments discussed and circulate this to PL and Simon James in advance of their meeting on 17 November 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

14 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  
 

 

 

 

A date / time for the next meeting was agreed as follows:

 

Monday 13 December 2021 6pm

 

 

The Buckinghamshire Challenge – Update for Chairs of Governors.

SENT FROM: THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CHALLENGE BOARD

Dear Chairs of Governors,

Update on The Buckinghamshire Challenge.

We wrote to you at the beginning of term to let you know our plans regarding The Buckinghamshire Challenge for 2021/22 (copy of letter attached above).  We now wanted to remind you of the offer and provide an update on progress of the project to date.

The Aims of the Programme:

For all schools across Buckinghamshire:

  1. to understand the impact of educational disadvantage on their own pupils,
  2. to understand how to best address long term disadvantage and the challenge of the pandemic on pupil attainment in their own schools,
  3. to build a long term, sustainable, schools-led source of knowledge, experience and application in raising attainment for disadvantaged pupils in Buckinghamshire.

Offer to Schools:

The Universal Offer – A conference and workshop programme for all schools in Buckinghamshire. Schools were asked to sign up to be part of the programme and nominate a member of staff to attend all 6 sessions throughout the academic year, committing to undertaking the required intersessional tasks and disseminating the learning throughout their school.

Output – all participating schools will have robust strategies for addressing disadvantage.

The Targeted Offer – Focused support for one school per liaison group, who will cascade experience and support throughout the local area.

Output – the development of a network of skilled and expert Side by Side Disadvantaged Champion Schools across the county, who have successfully implemented strategies for addressing disadvantage in their own schools. These Side by Side Disadvantaged Champion Schools will provide a long term, sustainable, schools-led source of knowledge, experience and application in raising attainment for disadvantaged pupils in Buckinghamshire, targeted at (but not limited to) supporting schools within their liaison group

Project Update:

  1. 145 schools signed up for the Universal Offer, with over 200 members of staff committing to attend the sessions.
  2. The first conference (1st October) and the first workshop (1st November) have taken place with the theme of Lessons Learnt, Culture, Curriculum and Assessment.
  3. Attendance at the conference was generally positive with 75% of nominated leads in attendance, although attendance at the workshop was lighter with only 57% of nominated leads attending.
  4. Feedback from both sessions has been extremely positive, with comments including: thought-provoking, fantastic starting point, passionate & knowledgeable speakers, great practical solutions and great to hear about other school’s experience.
  5. Disadvantaged Champion Schools have now been nominated in almost all liaison groups, and provide an excellent mix of schools age phases, size and pupil demographics.
  6. Liaison Group project funding has been confirmed and these influential local area research projects will be focused on raising the attainment for disadvantaged pupils and will be led by the Disadvantaged Champion School.

 

The Buckinghamshire Challenge Board ask that you support all schools who are actively participating in the universal programme to attend for all of the four remaining sessions throughout the year and ensure that opportunities for dissemination of the learning, from the school’s nominated lead to all staff members, are provided.  For schools who did not sign up for the project, there will still be opportunities to engage through their local Disadvantaged Champion School, the liaison group projects and participation at next year’s final conference.

This project is a comprehensive, research-based programme of support and, working together, will help us to collectively raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, both for now and the future.

1.Newsletter1 FINAL

Buckinghamshire Challenge Board Programme FINAL

Thank you for your support, and please do contact us with any questions or suggestions.

Kind regards,

The Buckinghamshire Challenge Board

DfE funded training now available

Deliver the best learning outcomes within your budget with free ICFP webinars

As a school governor, it’s your responsibility to lead the strategic direction of your school. Doing this effectively requires a competent understanding of what you can spend and how best to allocate the resources available to you, so that your pupils can thrive.

Entrust will once again be delivering a series of Department for Education (DfE) funded webinars to help you achieve this goal. The sessions are free and cover a variety of integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP) topics, whether you need a handy refresher or are new to your role.

We offer the following webinars:

•    ICFP metrics
​​​​​A practical working session that looks at the key benchmarking metrics and what they mean for your school.

•    ICFP tools 
This webinar covers the ICFP tools available for free on the DfE’s website, and how they can be used in your school setting.

•    Estates management 
New this year, this session explores the key areas of the DfE’s ‘Good Estate Management for Schools’ guide, including compliance, safeguarding, condition, suitability and sufficiency.

•    Procurement 
We’ll take you through a practical case study to explore the DfE’s procurement framework and the tools that can be used to support the procurement process.

•    Joint working 
This webinar will help your school business professionals to work collaboratively together and build key relationships within the senior leadership team to achieve strategic goals and objectives.

•    Benchmarking 
An introduction to benchmarking, its many benefits and where it’s been used successfully, using the DfE’s ‘Schools Financial Benchmarking Service’ and ‘View My Financial Insights’ tools.

For more details, or to book your spot, please visit:
www.schoolresourcemanagement.co.uk.

 

Specialist Teaching Consultation 2021

Overview

Buckinghamshire Council logo

Closes 9th January 2022

Opened 8 Nov 2021

What is the purpose of this consultation?

We are consulting on our proposal to modernise the way we provide specialist teaching across Buckinghamshire. Our proposal is designed to ensure we apply the skills and knowledge of our specialist teachers in the most effective way. We want all pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to receive high-quality education and ensure they can achieve the best possible outcomes.

What is specialist teaching?

The specialist teachers within Buckinghamshire Council are part of our Integrated SEND Service. They offer support and specialist knowledge so that children and young people with SEND are able to learn and achieve their personal best in education. Specialist teachers work with schools, parents, and other agencies to support children with a range of needs.

Which forms of specialist teaching does the proposal cover?

The proposal covers specialist teaching for children and young people with:

  • Autism and language needs
  • Difficulties with understanding, including Down Syndrome and specific learning difficulties
  • Physical difficulties

The proposal does not cover specialist teaching for children and young people with sensory impairments – hearing, visual or multi-sensory.

Reasons for proposing change

  • To reach more children and young people with SEND. Currently, only those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) receive specialist teaching support. This means that many children and young people are not able to access the Council’s specialist teaching resource, and opportunities for early intervention are lost.
  • To introduce a new and improved approach. This approach is based on research findings, best practice and what we have seen work well in other areas of the country.
  • To make best use of our specialist teaching resource. Our proposal is not about cutting the service and there are no plans to reduce the overall level of resource. It is about a different way of providing specialist teaching to more pupils, using the resources we have.

The proposal

To understand the full detail of our proposal, you will need to read the Specialist Teaching Proposal document below. It is also available to view and download at the bottom of this page

How to provide feedback

You can get involved in the consultation by:

  • Completing the online survey below (a printed version of the survey is available at the bottom of this page for download or you can contact us to request a printed copy)
  • Registering to attend one of our online consultation events by emailing us on engageeducation@buckinghamshire.gov.uk or phoning us on 0300 131 6000. We are holding these on the following dates:
    • Tuesday 16 November, 7-8pm
    • Tuesday 23 November, 11.30am–12.30pm
    • Friday 26 November, 11am–12pm

What happens next

We will review all the feedback we receive to guide us in making any relevant changes to the draft proposal. The final proposal will then go to senior leadership within the Council for approval before we publish it on our Specialist teachers webpage and start to promote it. We will update this page with the outcome of the consultation process.

Dependent on feedback and approval, a new specialist teaching approach would be implemented step-by-step over a period of time, starting from September 2022.

Privacy

We will use the information you provide here only for the purpose of this consultation. We will keep the information confidential and store it securely, in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions, please email us on dataprotection@buckinghamshire.gov.uk. or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

 

Specialist Teaching Consultation 2021 – Your Voice Bucks – Citizen Space

Training for Governors November/December 2021

Dear Governors,

There are places available on our 3 remaining governor training sessions for this term.  All sessions are virtual, using Teams and they are 1 hour, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.  The training costs £25 per person and we are able to offer a discount to bulk bookings per school.  To book your place please follow the links highlighted below:

  1. Supporting your School during the Ofsted Inspection – Tuesday 23rd November. During the Ofsted inspection the governing board or academy committee will be expected to meet with inspectors and to answer questions about the effectiveness of their school. During this session we will use insights from the latest Ofsted framework, our discussions with our local HMI and our experience of Ofsted inspections across Buckinghamshire this academic year to help you to get prepared for an inspection. A key session for governors of primary, secondary and special schools. For more information and booking please click here

 

  1. Completing Your Pupil Premium Strategy Statement – Thursday 25th November. With a deadline of the 31st December to complete the new DfE Pupil Premium Strategy Statement, this session will take governors through some key points to consider when reviewing the document. A key session for the Pupil Premium Governor, you will understand how schools must evidence how their Pupil Premium money is spent and demonstrate how spending decisions are informed by research evidence. For more information and booking please click here

 

  1. Building an Effective Board – A Guide for Development Governors – Thursday 2nd December. This training session, delivered by the BASG, will provide an update on what boards need to do to support the upskilling of governors and the development of their boards, and will signpost to available resources and training. A very useful session for all Development Governors who will understand how to make cost effective choices that ensure your board is kept up to date. For more information and booking please click here

We would be grateful if you could disseminate this information to the relevant governors on your board.

If you experience any problems with the booking system contact me at schoolgovernance@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Regards,

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

 

DfE consultation into School Improvement Funding

SENT FROM: GARETH DRAWMER, HEAD OF ACHIEVEMENT AND LEARNING

Dear Colleagues,

As you may be aware, the government has launched a new consultation Reforming how local authorities’ school improvement functions are funded.

As a summary, the government are proposing to:

  1. Remove the School Improvement Monitoring & Brokering Grant (‘the Grant’), which is currently allocated to local authorities to support school improvement activities; and
  2. Make provisions within the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations for the financial year (FY) 2022-23 to allow local authorities to fund all of their school improvement activity (including all core school improvement activities) via de-delegation from schools’ budget shares.

The recommendation in the consultation is that next years grant is reduced by 50%, with full removal of the grant by FY2023/24.

We would be grateful for school leaders to respond to the government consultation detailing how this would impact on your school.  Within Buckinghamshire this grant funds the Side by Side support for intervention and prevention schools and school improvement activities such for all schools, such as the Side by Side conferences programme, the development of Side by Side Champion networks, Liaison Group research work and The Buckinghamshire Challenge project for closing the gap.

If you would like to respond to the DfE, please click on here for the link. The DfE deadline for responses is Friday 26th November.

Kind regards,

Gareth Drawmer

Head of Achievement and Learning

Sticks and Stones may Break your Bones but Words can Really Change You

Sticks and Stones may Break your Bones but Words can Really Change You: The centrality of disciplinary literacy to effective curriculum design and delivery 

Dear Colleagues,

We are extremely pleased to announce our keynote speaker at the Side by Side literacy conference on Friday 3rd December is Matt Bromley.

Matt is an education writer and advisor with over twenty years’ experience in teaching and leadership including as a secondary school headteacher and principal, FE college vice principal, and MAT director. He is a public speaker, trainer, and school improvement lead, and a primary school governor. He remains a practising teacher, currently working in secondary, FE and HE settings.

In this session Matt will explore:

  • The principles of effective curriculum design
  • How to use the curriculum to tackle social justice issues
  • How to build cultural capital through disciplinary literacy
  • The importance of curriculum continuity and collaborative planning
  • The features of effective primary-to-secondary transition
  • How to close the gap for disadvantaged pupils

This conference is free and open to Headteachers, Literacy Leads, Senior Leaders and Subject Leaders.  It will be conducted via Teams and the link will be sent to those registered closer to the day.  The conference will begin at 1pm and end at 3pm.

To book your place please visit the Eventbrite page HERE

Kind regards,

Yvette Thomas

Equalities and School Improvement Manager

Governors Chairs Group Networking Meeting Sat 19th Nov

Sent on behalf of Anne Sheddick and Paul Randall, BASG

Dear Governor

This is both a reminder and an invitation to join us for a governors network meeting tomorrow – Saturday 20th November at 9.30- 11 am on MS Teams- link below

You are all welcome.  We shall be discussing current topics of concern and also the 2 consultations issued by LA in recent days regarding School improvement support and SEND

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible

Anne Sheddick and Paul Randall

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Chairs Group Networking Meeting 20th November

Sent on behalf of Anne Sheddick

Dear Governor

There will be a network meeting for Chairs and vice chairs to discuss the issues which matter to you right now next Saturday 20th November at 9.30  All are welcome- just click on the link to join us.  We formerly called ourselves the Jordan’s group because before going virtual we met at the Jordan’s Quaker centre; but now we are on line where you are located isn’t an issue so do please sign up by clicking the link to Join us on MS Teams

Typically we share the current concerns within the group and Paul Randall and I run the meeting quite informally .  We suggest a list of topics to discuss and then governors attending add to them by email.  We also feedback your concerns and views through Bucks Association Of School Governors newsletter and to the local Authority ands elected Members through the Bucks School Governors Consultative Board as agreed. We operate on the basis of Chatham house rules so everyone can speak freely and confidentially about whatever they want.

Current possible list for discussion

  • COVID – vaccination issues, absence, pupils and staff and wellbeing
  • Safeguarding Challenges and Mental health
  • Bucks Disadvantaged Challenge Group and Pupil Premium/Recovery-funding and new DFE requirements
  • SEND issues- including current Bucks consultation
  • LA BESST rollout and governor training
  • Governor succession planning and recruitment
  • OFSTED Feedback- (please drop me an email if you have had OFSTED this term)

Please add anything else or anything specific related to these topics.  They are all big issues, many of which have been top concerns for a while; so there may not be anything new- just ongoing.  But it is still useful to have your views on how things are going for you as well as new concerns

I look forward to seeing  you on line next Saturday  The link to Join us on MS Teams is attached. And below  Do email me with any questions you have or other issues you wish to raise

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Best wishes

 

Anne