Governor Training Available Spring 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We have new online training sessions available for Governors in January and February 2021. Please see the links below to register via Eventbrite:

Managing Allegations, Wednesday 27th January, 6.30pm

PREVENT Duty, Tuesday 2nd February, 7pm

Both sessions will be conducted using MS Teams.

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street


HP20 1UZ


For COVID-19 updates visit:

BASG – AGM with Emma Knight OBE Chief Executive of the NGA

We are delighted to invite all school governors, school leaders and clerks to join us at our AGM

This will be held on Thursday 14th January 2021 at 5pm.

The AGM will be held virtually. Information on how to join the event and the meeting etiquette will be sent to you one week prior to the event.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite

Special guest and speaker Emma Knights OBE Chief Executive of the NGA

Emma Knights, OBE Chief executive of the National Governance Association

Emma leads the organisation under the direction of NGA’s board of trustees.

As chief executive of the National Governance Association (NGA), Emma Knights leads the charity to fulfil its aim of improving the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards in maintained schools and academy trusts and oversees the day-to-day operations of the organisation.

Emma promotes the interests of the school governance community and amplifies the voice of NGA’s members at a national level with legislators, policymakers, education sector organisations and in the media.

Emma is an accomplished writer and speaker on a range of school governance policy and practice topics, and has a particular interest in vision, culture and strategy; accountability; stakeholder engagement; disadvantage; ethical leadership; and diversity and inclusion. Emma is co-author of The Chair’s Handbook and NGA’s Moving MATs Forward: the power of governance report. Prior to joining NGA in 2010, Emma was joint CEO of the Daycare Trust and before that, worked in a number of roles in the voluntary sector. She was a governor at a secondary school in Warwickshire for eight years.

Working across the education sector, Emma has recently participated in the Department for Education’s headteacher standards review group, NAHT’s accountability commission, the Department for Education’s flexible working advisory group, and the Ethical Leadership Commission, and has previously sat on the Commission on Religious Education and the Knowsley Education Commission.

Under Emma’s leadership since 2010, NGA has grown to become the leading expert charity for guidance, research, advice and training for school governors, trustees and clerks, with over 40 staff and a strong presence in the education sector

AGM Timings are:

17.00 – 17.30 – AGM

17.30 – 18.00 – Guest Speaker – Emma Knights

18.00 – 18.15 – Questions for Emma Knights

Covid management update

Sent on Behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Service Achievement & Learning

 Dear Colleagues,

We are coming to the end of what has felt like a very long term. Everyone has had to manage the day to day complications of a school with significant Covid restrictions, and the vast majority of schools have had to make some very difficult decisions regarding the closure of bubbles, or in some case the whole school. We recognise the complexities that this term has meant for school leaders and the pressure that all of this has placed on you. We cannot thank you enough for your professionalism and careful consideration of the issues when making decisions that affect children and families.

Unfortunately, we are still seeing a significant number of cases across schools in Buckinghamshire with our highest number of schools needing to close yesterday. Even with the first people receiving the vaccine today, we have a long way ahead before life moves closer to normality, please continue your current strong monitoring of the staff and student populations and manage potential cases and individuals who have tested positively both sensitively and robustly. If you have to close down bubbles or even the whole school then we would ask that you refer to this as a move to remote learning rather than labelling it as a closure. Whilst the school buildings may be closed, you and your staff are still providing education to the children and this better articulates this to parents. When you take a move like this it is important for you that you have discussed this with public health as this provides you with a strong rebuttal if there is a challenge from parents. We also ask that you have a discussion with the Local Authority if you are making a decision to move the whole school to remote learning or if you have a substantial number of students who will have to stay at home. We will help you to sense check your thought processes and can give you a wider view based on our experience of other schools’ actions.

Throughout the pandemic, schools have supported children of keyworkers and vulnerable children very well, and we would ask that you continue to consider these children in your planning for moves to remote learning and where appropriate that they maintain a physical presence in your school. Where these pupils need to work at home, please maintain a high level of contact to ensure that they have the ability to access the learning, are engaging with it and are safe and secure. We all know that for many children, the approach of the holidays can be a period of acute anxiety and I know that this will be reflected in your thinking.

I hope that the last two weeks of term are manageable for yourselves and your staff, please contact us via the SIS mailbox or myself directly if there is anything that we can do to help.

Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

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