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:


Specialist Teaching Consultation 2021


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.


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


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


DfE consultation into School Improvement Funding


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


Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Learn more | Meeting options

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

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Learn more | Meeting options




Best wishes



Ransomware Information: Cyber Attacks on Schools and Public Bodies

Sent on behalf of Richard Nash, Corporate Director Children’s Services

Dear Colleagues,

Please see  attached information regarding  Cyber Attacks on Schools and Public Bodies.

Ransomware Information Sheet 101121

Ransomeware 101121

Kind Regards

The School Improvement Team

Risk Assessment Criteria


Dear Colleagues.

The Side by Side Board have requested that we share with you the criteria used by the School Improvement team to risk assess all schools across the County.  Please find below a slide which illustrates the different strands of information that contribute to the overall risk assessment, which will also take into account discussions with Headteachers and Chairs of Governors where appropriate.

The annual risk assessment process takes places in the summer term and will result in a letter to all schools detailing the school’s Side by Side categorisation for the forthcoming academic year.  The risk assessment is, however, a dynamic document and as such a school can change category through-out the year, following discussion with the school leadership, as circumstances and need change.


Please contact the School Improvement Team on sis@buckinghamshire.gov.uk if you have any queries on the above.


Kind regards

The School Improvement Team

Education Endowment Foundation – Using your pupil premium funding effectively

Helpful evidence sources for school leaders developing their pupil premium strategy


Using pupil premium | EEF (educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk)