Corporate Director Briefings Presentation September 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the presentation from the Corporate Director (DCS) Briefings held on the 15th and 16th September.

CD Briefings Sept 21



Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


The Buckinghamshire Challenge – SIGN UP FOR UNIVERSAL OFFER

Dear Headteachers and Chairs of Governors,

Following the letter from Gareth Drawmer which was sent on Friday (attached again above for information) with the full Buckinghamshire Challenge offer for schools, we are now asking all schools to sign up to the Universal Offer and nominate their lead member of staff.

Buckinghamshire Challenge Board Programme FINAL

Please can you complete this quick survey, by end of play on Friday 24th September, to let us know your school’s participation in this year’s Buckinghamshire Challenge and the name and position of your nominated member of staffBuckinghamshire Challenge Universal Offer Sign Up Survey.

We can now confirm the exact timing for all six conferences and workshops for your diaries:

  Conference Workshop
Autumn 1st Oct 2021


1st Nov 2021

11.00am – 1.00pm

Spring 31st Jan 2022


11th Feb 2022


Summer 20th May 2022


10th June 2022


Key Questions on the Universal Offer

 What is the Universal Offer?

The Universal Offer is a conference and workshop programme for all schools.

 What will my school get out of the Universal Offer?

At the end of the Universal Offer programme all participating schools will have robust strategies for addressing disadvantage. It will align and support schools with DfE expectations on the use and impact of Pupil Premium and national good practice.

 What is our commitment?

These sessions are online, available to all schools and will last two hours each. The nominated member of staff should attend all 6 sessions throughout the academic year, commit to undertaking the required intersessional tasks and disseminate the learning throughout their school. 

 Who should the nominated member of staff be?

Ideally the Pupil Premium/Disadvantaged Lead or a member of the SLT.

 Can other members of our staff team attend?

Yes, the Universal Offer conference programme is open to all staff members and governors who wish to attend.  The workshops, however, will be for the nominate leads only, to ensure that they are of a manageable size to enable contribution and discussion by all attendees.

Many thanks for your support for this exciting project,

The School Improvement Team

Buckinghamshire Education and Skills Strategy Review

Education and Skills Strategy Review

 The Education and Skills Strategy was approved in 2018 and was designed to act as a compass for implementing continuous improvement in educational provision in Buckinghamshire until 2022. In light of many changes that have taken place since that time, it would be helpful to review the Strategy with as many of our key stakeholders as possible so as to help us to confirm if the aims and key objectives are still correct and what our priorities should be going forward. As was the case with the development of the original Strategy, we want to collaborate with our early years settings, schools, governors, post 16 providers, and key agencies so as to develop the Strategy that will set the agenda for change and improvement for the next four years before we share this through a public consultation early next year. Therefore, we would like our schools and governing bodies to comment on the existing Strategy using the Strategy Review template on the areas they feel are relevant to them by providing feedback on the following:

Education and Skills Strategy Review Template Autumn 2021

  1. How far we have progressed in achieving our vision, our aims, and key deliverables
  2. Identifying any gaps or priorities that need to be addressed in the Strategy going forward
  3. Providing any other evaluation commentary in relation to the Strategy as a whole

You can refer to the current Strategy by using the following link: – you will see the Strategy listed on this page.

We would like governing bodies to complete the sections that are relevant to them and to return completed templates to Maria Edmonds, Education Strategy Manager by email at by Wednesday 20 October 2021. The feedback will be used to refresh and revitalise the Strategy, with key findings being shared later this term.

Buckinghamshire Challenge Board Programme

Dear Headteacher and Chair of Governors,

Please find attached above a letter from Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning, outlining the Buckinghamshire Challenge Board offer to schools for academic year 2021/22.  This includes:

  • A Universal Offer – a conference and workshop programme for all schools in Buckinghamshire.
  • A Targeted Offer – focused support for one school per liaison group, to cascade learning.

The programme will be on the agenda for discussion at the liaison groups which start next week.

Buckinghamshire Challenge Board Programme FINAL

Kind regards,

The School Improvement Team

Parent Governor Co-optees on the Bucks Children’s and EducationSelect Committee

Dear all,

Please find attached introductory information for sending to your relevant Governors/Heads and also a copy of the nomination forms for the 3 types of potential co=-optees – for primary, secondary and special school reps.

Request for nominations – primary, secondary and special

Initial information about PGRsInitial information about PGRs

Many thanks


Katie Dover

Senior Scrutiny Officer

Democratic and Election Services

Deputy Chief Executive Directorate

Buckinghamshire Council


Governor Training Programme Autumn 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to a new term.  Please find attached details of the Governor Training programme for the Autumn term, further information regarding the sessions, costs and how to book.

BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training

Governor Training Autumn 2021

At present, all training remains online using Teams.

Kind regards,


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


For COVID-19 updates visit:

NGA Annual Membership 2021-22

Dear Colleagues,

Maintained Schools

Buckinghamshire Council are delighted to be able to offer the Standard NGA annual membership, for Buckinghamshire maintained schools for 2021-22, Free of Charge. The package for 2021-2022 covers the Standard membership and Learning Link for all Governors and Clerks in maintained schools.  This has been purchased for all Buckinghamshire maintained schools and those schools do not need to register.

Bucks NGA Membership 2021-22

Maintained schools that wish to upgrade to the Gold package are required to register on the BESST web page  (Bursar log in required) and will be charged £159.

Please register for your upgrades by Thursday 30th September 2021.


Buckinghamshire Council are also pleased to offer membership at the discounted rate of £94 for the Standard package to all Bucks Academies.  The NGA do recommend that academies take the Gold package, which is also discounted at £253.   If you wish to purchase Learning Link the cost is £69 per school.

To confirm purchase of your annual membership and the package required please visit the BESST web page  (Bursar log in required).

All packages should be purchased by Thursday 30th September 2021.

Full details of membership and support from the NGA are here  Any queries should be sent to


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training

Dear Chair of Governors and Governor Clerks,

Please find attached above a newsletter introducing BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training, a new traded school improvement and governor support service from Buckinghamshire Council.  BESST services are starting small and will be focused this term on governor support & training, the area where our research with headteachers, chairs of governors and clerks has told us the need is greatest.  More information about BESST is available to view on our new webpages.

A comprehensive governor training programme will be running throughout this academic year and will be starting with two sessions week commencing 20th September:

  • Governor Priorities – Autumn Term Agendas, a one-hour session with Paul Randall and Anne Sheddick from the BASG, on Wednesday 22nd September.
  • Prevent Duty – Guidance for Governors, a one hour training session with Alison Watts, Prevent Education Officer at Buckinghamshire Council on Thursday 23rd September.

The whole autumn term training schedule, including the above two sessions, is available to book online.

We will also be running a New Governors Welcome Package, in both the autumn and spring term, to support newly appointed governors get up to speed as quickly as possible.  Please book online for the autumn cohort, before the 29th of September.

Buckinghamshire Council will be renewing the NGA membership for maintained schools for this academic year.  Academies and free schools can purchase NGA membership at a discounted rate and maintained schools can upgrade to gold membership through the BESST webpages.  Please see the details and links in the newsletter for more information.

We hope that your governing boards will find this new service of use and we look forward to welcoming you onto BESST training throughout the year.

BESST newsletter Autumn 1 for governors

Kind regards

The School Improvement Team.

Changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education Update from the HR Team


Dear Colleague,

You may well already be aware that the statutory guidance document “Keeping Children Safe in Education” has been revised from 1 September 2021. Please find attached a slide that you may wish to show staff at training sessions or in team meetings to raise awareness of the new document.

As a consequence of the changes in the document when recruiting staff the questions related to criminal records need to be removed from the application form and a new self-declaration form should be created.
The self-declaration form should be sent together with the interview invite and completed only by the shortlisted candidates.

Please update your school’s application forms accordingly but in the meantime feel free to use a BC application form should you require to advertise a position with us. When sending an advert to please let the advertising team know that you wish to use a BC teaching or non-teaching application form. We are in the process of updating the schools web and working on the accessible version of the application forms.

BC Application Form Teaching (Updated August 2021)

BC Self declaration form (Update August 2021)

BC Application Form Non Teaching – DBS (Updated August 2021)

KCSiE – slide for HT INSET day Autumn term 2021


Thank you for your help,


Anna Falek                                                                                                                         Bev Black MCIPD

Schools, Early Careers and Safeguarding Resourcing Advisor                            Senior HR Consultant

DfE Educational Settings Status Form

Sent to all Headteachers


Dear Colleagues

At the start of this new academic year, please can we remind all schools that daily completion of the DfE Educational Settings Status Form is essential. The information on how to complete the form is here

Whilst we appreciate the administrative burden, it is vital that both the DfE and Buckinghamshire Council receive this information on a daily basis, so that we can understand the pressure on schools and consider pragmatic solutions which will help you. The DfE will discuss each school closure with us, so it is key that we have this information in advance.

When you are considering a move to remote learning for either groups of pupils or all pupils, based on the guidelines and thresholds in the new contingency framework, please follow the below process:

If you have to close down a class or more then this must be recorded on the SchoolsWeb closures form. We would ask that you refer to this as a move to remote learning rather than labelling it as a closure. Two new categories of reason have been added to SchoolsWeb closure page:

  • Moved to remote learning – whole school
  • Moved to remote learning – specific pupil groups only

It is important that you include additional details, such as which year groups, how many pupils are affected and how many (if any) staff are affected.  In the situation where the whole school moves to remote learning, whilst the school buildings may be closed, you and your staff are still providing education to the children and the above descriptors better articulates this to parents.

Thank you for your assistance with the above process, which will help provide clarity for all.

Richard Nash                                                                       Simon James

Corporate Director, Children’s Services                         Service Director, Education