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.