DfE School Governance Update notification

Welcome to the November 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) Message from Baroness Barran
2) Understanding your data: a guide for school governors and academy trustees updated
3) National Leaders of Governance – Eligibility for funded support and new designations
4) Free services for finding skilled volunteers to become school governors and academy trustees
5) Webinar for governors on implementing flexible working
6) View my financial insights (VMFI) tool has been updated with your latest data (academy trusts only)
7) Update your information – Get Information about schools (GIAS)

Here is the link to the page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-governance-update/school-governance-update-november-2021

If you would like to provide us with any further feedback on the content or format of this update please email: schoolgovernance.update@education.gov.uk.

If you are no longer on a governing or trust board – please contact your former school/academy trust and ask them to update their records on their Get Information About Schools (GIAS) database. This will ensure you do not receive any further communications from the department.
Thank you,

School Governance Unit

Department for Education


Ofsted Update from Sue Cox, HMI, 18th October

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to all those that were able to attend the Ofsted Update on Monday 18th October with Sue Cox, HMI.  Attached is the presentation from Sue.

EIF Refresher October Buckinghamshire LA


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Statement regarding families remaining abroad

Good evening, please see below with correct email address for queries

 Sent on behalf of James Fowler, Education Entitlement Manager

For queries regarding the email and attachment please contact childrenmissingeducation@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

 Dear Colleagues,

We are aware that many schools have pupils who have travelled overseas during the pandemic and who have not yet committed to a return date.

Please see the attached statement that gives advice on what actions schools can take in these circumstances.

Statement re families remaining abroad

Kind regards


James Fowler

Education Entitlement Manager

Children’s Services – Education

Buckinghamshire Council

Have any questions about coronavirus? Follow the links below to find further information.

 Schools FAQs page: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/covid-19-corona-virus-latest-advice/

Support for families: https://www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/coronavirus






BASG Committee Meeting Minutes for 13 September 2021 and 11 October 2021

Please find copies of our minutes from our recent BASG Executive Group Meetings

BASG Executive minutes 13 September 2021

BASG Executive minutes 11 October 2021


Chairs Network Meeting – Chesham / Amersham / Wendover / Great Missenden Area – Monday 1st November 2021 7pm

The next meeting for chairs in the Chesham/Amersham/Wendover/Missenden area is on Monday 1st November at 7pm using Microsoft Teams.

Key topics that seem to be of interest are:

  1. Mental Health of Pupils
  2. Wellbeing of Staff
  3. Closing the Gap (referencing Bucks programme)
  4. The new traded services from Bucks Council

but other topics can be added – do let me know of anything specific you want covered.  If you are a new chair it could be general questions about the role.

Please contact me on abrown1@chacademy.co.uk to let me know you are going to attend.  To join the meeting use this link.

Andrew Brown

Chair, Chiltern Hills Academy

Governor Vacancy at Speen Church of England School

Speen Church of England VA School

As a small church infant school, we are looking for a foundation governor. They needn’t be a church go-er necessarily, but be happy to support our Christian ethos. We are specifically short of skills on our curriculum committee so would ideally welcome someone who has worked in primary education if at all possible.

Speen Church of England
(VA) School

Flowers Bottom Lane
HP27 0SX

Headteacher and SENDco: Mrs Jacquie Coles
Email: head@speenschool.com

Tel: 01494 488321

Ofsted Briefing by Sue Cox HMI 18th October

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the next Ofsted Briefing will be held on Monday 18th October.  Our regional HMI, Sue Cox, will provide a free update for all schools on Monday morning, 9.30 – 11.30 via Teams.

Sue has asked for questions to be submitted prior to the briefing.  Please follow the link HERE to send in your question by Tuesday 12th October 4pm.

To register your attendance use the Eventbrite link HERE


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

For COVID-19 updates visit: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/covid-19-corona-virus-latest-advice/

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:

www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/childrens-services-strategies – 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 Maria.Edmonds@Buckinghamshire.gov.uk by Wednesday 20 October 2021. The feedback will be used to refresh and revitalise the Strategy, with key findings being shared later this term.