Closing the Gap in Bucks Workshop – Register now!

Closing the Gap in Bucks Workshop Dec 2020 Agenda

Closing the Gap Workshop Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Following on from the conference held in November, we are pleased to invite all Headteachers and Chairs of Governors to a workshop on Friday 11th December 2020, 1pm – 3pm.  The focus will again be Closing the Gap in educational attainment for vulnerable children, specifically Culture.

Attached is a letter from Gareth Drawmer which provides more information, as well as the agenda, which features Marc Rowland (Education Endowment Fund) and Sarah Soyei (Equaliteach).

Please register on Eventbrite by following the link here: closing-the-gap-in-bucks-culture-workshop-tickets The workshop is online using MS Teams.

Any problems with registration, please contact me directly.

Kind regards,


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street


HP20 1UZ

DfE School Governance Update December 2020

Welcome to the December 2020 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) Governing and trust boards role and meetings during coronavirus (COVID-19)
2) (Academy trusts only): View my financial insights (VMFI) tool update is now live and available to academy trustees
3) Diverse Governance Webcast Series
4) Efficiency savings with Teaching Vacancies services
5) ‘Something’s Not Right’ Home Office campaign
6) Get funding and support to set up a digital education platform
7) Information about the transition from the European Union for schools and academy trusts

Here is the link to the page:

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

BASG Executive Minutes 09.11.2020




Date & Time: 9 November 2020 at 18.00 hours


Location: Virtual meeting through Zoom







Paul Randall (Chair), Anne Sheddick (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull,

Joanne Marchant, Gwyneth Langley, Peter Learner, Bernadette Allison (Secretary)



Jo Pearce joined the meeting at 18.25




Agenda Subject






Apologies for absence







Notification of any other business







Declaration of interest



Maggi Bull – Chair of NGA

Gwyneth Langley – BEP




Approval of minutes from the meeting held on 12.10.2020



Matters arising within the minutes including follow up actions are covered within the agenda.


Minutes approved.
















New members to join BASG Executive Committee – PR intends to follow up with governors who expressed an interest at the last AGM.












BEP update


BASG wish to ensure that concerns and questions raised by governors are being fed back into to the communication network within Bucks.


GL highlighted the following matters which have been raised most recently by governors:

·         Challenge of Governor visits to schools during the present pandemic

·         Ongoing Training

·         Child Protection Policy not being updated by BC

·         Completion of SFVS by 31.12.2020


The group was reminded that there is a BEP Chair’s briefing (for all Chairs with or without training membership) on 13.11.2020 from 9.30-11.30

BEP will mention BASG events at the briefing and for governors interested in joining Executive Committee to contact Chair (PR)


PR and MB will follow up on the review of policies within BC


PL requested that a short paper be prepared to explain what the issues are and any consequences with a relevant timeline.

This will then be reviewed in the light of future Consultative Board meetings.


JP joined the meeting at 18.25
























PR/MG-to follow up














Discussion took place regarding the difficulties for schools to manage when half a class is isolating and the staffing issue of who teaches the other half of the class while the teacher is isolating.


COVID19 tests kits are being replenished in schools.

Teachers in maintained schools are being prioritized for testing.


Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are carrying out spot checks in Buckinghamshire Schools with one week’s notice. The focus is on the Risk Assessments used for opening schools. They are reporting on health and safety provisions during COVID for adults / workers at the School.

They look at the risk assessments for re-opening prior to the visit and then tour the school to see the safety measures ‘in action’.













Networking groups


Aylesbury networking group

In an attempt to avoid a clash of dates with BASG, the Aylesbury networking group have delayed arranging a date for the next meeting.


Jordans networking group – met virtually on Saturday 7th November, 2020.

Discussion took place around Disadvantaged funding and how this is allocated across the authority. The group felt it was important to have transparency regarding this funding and the opportunity for open and honest discussion. The only purpose being to facilitate the best possible use of funds for the Disadvantaged. This is an on-going discussion within the authority.

Discussion also took place around the use of DSG money outside of Buckinghamshire.

This is also an on-going discussion.


No news on Chesham or Wendover Networking groups.














BASG events


BASG AGM – 14.01.2021 with Keynote speaker Emma Knights OBE (Chief Executive NGA)


In addition:


BASG Spotlight on Disadvantage with Sam Henson (Director of Policy and Information NGA) on either 30.11.2020 or 01.12.2020 tbc by PR.















Communication with BC


PR continues to keep in regular contact with BC which continues to facilitate a positive and growing trust across the authority for the role and purpose of governors.











Consultative Board


As Chair of the Consultative Board, PL reported that he had a positive 1:1 introductory meeting with Simon James.



The next Consultative Board meeting will be held on 9th December, 2020.







School meals

AS expressed the need for clarification on what arrangements there are within BC for the funding of the increase in FSM.






Date and venue of next meeting


It was recommended that all meetings continue in the Autumn Term 2020 in a virtual format.


The date for the next meeting of the BASG Executive group TBC


Meeting closed at 19.34




Governor Training – Places still available

Dear Colleagues,

We still have places available on the evening sessions as per the attached list.  Book your place using the Eventbrite link and you will receive a confirmation email. Apologies for having to cancel a couple of sessions but this has been unavoidable.

Governor training programme Nov 2020

All sessions are conducted using Teams, so please ensure the device you plan to use is compatible prior to the start of the session.  Once registered a link will be sent to you 24 hours before the session. If you do not receive the link contact me at It is recommended you test the link before the session starts.

Some sessions have documentation to be sent out prior to or after the date, if you are not registered on Eventbrite you will not receive this information. Also, if we have to make changes to a session and you have not registered you will not be contacted.

We have not yet finalised any dates for the Spring term but will be in contact as soon as possible.



Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street


HP20 1UZ

For COVID-19 updates visit:

Summary of Guidance New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020 for schools and OOS activities

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

Dear Colleagues,

You will no doubt be aware of the DfE guidance for schools that was published yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. Whilst the document was mostly a reiteration of previously published guidance, the School Improvement Team have summarised it for you.

Summary of Guidance New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020 for schools and OOS activities

At the Local Authority we all recognise the pressures that all school staff, but especially school leaders, have been placed under in recent months. It is a challenging time and we are grateful for the dedication and professionalism that you have shown. As we enter a second lockdown it is clear that we will need to draw further on our reserves to be resilient in the face of the work ahead.  Teams at the Local Authority are here to offer guidance and support to you and hope that you find this valuable.

 Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Press release – New guidance for schools, colleges and early years

Guidance for education settings published ahead of national restrictions coming into force

Published 4 November 2020

Closing the Gap Newsletter – Autumn 2020

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

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the first newsletter concerning our strategy, Closing the Gap in Bucks.

Closing the Gap newsletter Autumn 2020

The first event is the conference this Friday, I look forward to seeing you there.

Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Closing the Gap in Bucks Nov 2020 Agenda

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

Dear Colleague,

Thank you to everyone who has already signed up for the Closing the Gap conference on Friday. Please do register if you are keen to hear from primary and secondary schools, both within and outside of the county who have developed strong models of support for pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.

Closing The Gap

The agenda for the session is attached to this email.

Closing the Gap in Bucks Nov 2020 Agenda

This is the first piece of outward facing work that we are carrying out to support the agenda of closing the gap in Buckinghamshire and will be followed by a series of events to support school leaders in this area.

I appreciate that this is a hugely challenging time for you all, but I hope that you will make time on Friday afternoon to attend the conference. We all recognise that the attainment gap is not going away and that the events of the past six months have compounded the issues for many of our children.

I look forward to seeing you (albeit virtually), on Friday.

Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire County Council

County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UZ

Chairs’s Networking Opportunity – Jordans – Saturday 7th November 2020 at 9.30am

Dear everyone

Welcome to the invite for this term’s Jordan’s meeting.  We decided to delay our meeting to just after half term in the hope that as we would be preoccupied with the immediacy of full school return there would be more certainty about the future by now in troubled times.  Well,  in some sense there is now ;- we know we are going to be in a COVID world of ‘bubbles’ and now ‘tiers’ and also tears (sorry – pun intended!) for the long haul.

This of course presents challenges for how to do governance within this new normal.  We now have to do all the governance stuff that was put on the ‘back burner’  last spring.  So it seems timely to be sharing our ideas and experiences in the light of DFE/NGA advice received of how we are doing this, what is happening in our schools so we can raise questions, share concerns and build on local good practice.
Jordans Chairs Group Meeting

Saturday 7th November 2020 9.30-10.45am via MS Teams

Click here to join the meeting

As ever we have put together a loose topic led agenda to inform the discussion:

1. Staying Strategic in current times

2. Focus of your Boards Agenda’s and Headteacher Reports on areas of focus for your schools

3. Remote Education

4. High Needs Update

5. Headteachers Standards updated

6. Ofsted!

7. Free school Meals – Christmas/Easter holidays?

Please can you email me ( if you would like to share any experiences, raise questions  by anything on the list in advance of the meeting as this will aid chairing the meeting on-line.

Please do invite any other chairs/Vice chairs with whom you are in touch

The meeting will be on MS teams and the invite link is here:  Click here to join the meeting

Anne Sheddick

DfE: EHE guidance pieces for parents and LAs

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

Good Afternoon,

Please see the document attached, thank you.

EHE Your Duties Our Expectations

Kind Regards

Tracey Erasmus

Side by Side Support Officer and Educational Visits Coordinator

Children Services

Buckinghamshire Council