BESST Training – Change of Date – Financial Accountability Training (SFVS) – 1st December @18.30 – 19.30 online

Dear Chairs of Governors and Governance Professionals,

Please share this email with your governing boards

Change of Date – Financial Accountability Training (SFVS) – 1st December @18.30 – 19.30 online

 BESST’s governor training course on financial accountability and the SFVS has been brought forward to Thursday 1st December 2022, at 18.30-19.30 online.

The SFVS is an assessment form for Local Authority (LA) maintained schools made up of a checklist and self- assessment dashboard. It’s an annual mandatory return. Completion of the SFVS assessment aims to help your school manage its finances and provide assurance to Buckinghamshire Council that you have effective financial management in place. Join Cheryl Stead, Schools Finance Advisor at Buckinghamshire Council, on 1st December at 18.30-19.30 online, to understand the purpose of the SFVS and the underlying messages from key financial metrics.

Course Title: Financial Accountability for Maintained Schools

Date: 1st December 2022 at 18.30-19.30 online

Cost: £25 per person pay as you go

To Book – Visit the BESST website

 Attached is the training schedule of BESST courses up to Easter 2023.

Training Schedule -BESST Governor Services

 Remaining topics this term are:

  • Overseeing SEND – 15th November (TOMORROW!)
  • Equality & Diversity – 17th November
  • Championing PSHE – 22nd November
  • Monitoring Visits – 29th November
  • Financial Accountability – 1st December
  • Internet Safety – 6th December

For more information and to book, visit BESST Governor Training | Buckinghamshire (

Many thanks,

The BESST team


BESST Governor Support & Training

Governor Support & Training

We believe that effective governance is essential to delivering school improvements. By supporting a committed network of governors, we can help to drive systematic change in schools across Buckinghamshire.

The BESST team are building a service to provide advice, information and training opportunities to schools and governing boards to enable them to work effectively and efficiently to promote high standards, fulfil their statutory responsibilities and raise achievement in schools.

Governor Training Packages for the Autumn and Spring terms

The following governor training packages are available to purchase for the Autumn and Spring terms of academic year 2022/23. These packages have been introduced with the aim of enabling governing bodies to cost-effectively plan for training needs.

Bronze Package
Access to 8 (one hour) Governor Training places over to the Autumn and Spring terms. £150 (saving of £50)

Silver Package
Access to 16 (one hour) Governor Training places over the Autumn and Spring terms. £300 (saving of £100)

Gold Package
Access to unlimited (one hour) Governor Training places over the Autumn and Spring terms. £600

Visit our shop to purchase one of these packages

Governor Training

Governor training is a vital element in every governing board’s effectiveness.  Recognising that governors need flexibility, we offer a comprehensive ‘pay as you go’ training programme for all governors throughout the academic year.  Delivered by expert Buckinghamshire Council teams and selected partners, the training is tailored to governors within the county.

Read more about this offer

NGA Membership

We are pleased to be able to offer Buckinghamshire schools a discount on membership to the National Governance Association. In 2022/2 maintained schools will receive a 50% discount on NGA standard membership.

Read More about this offer

New Governor Welcome Package

We are committed to ensuring newly appointed governors are up to speed and effective in their roles as quickly as possible. We, therefore, provide welcome support to all new governors, with two cohorts during the academic year 2022/23 – one starting in autumn term 2022, and the other starting in spring term 2023.

Read More about this offer

Bespoke HR Training for Governing Boards

The Buckinghamshire HR team can provide expert sessions for governing boards in a range of topics including safer recruitment, headteacher recruitment, capability, grievance and disciplinary action.

Please contact us for more information on these bespoke sessions.

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


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


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

Governor Training Programme Autumn 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to a new term.  Please find attached details of the Governor Training programme for the Autumn term, further information regarding the sessions, costs and how to book.

BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training

Governor Training Autumn 2021

At present, all training remains online using Teams.

Kind regards,


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


For COVID-19 updates visit:

NGA Annual Membership 2021-22

Dear Colleagues,

Maintained Schools

Buckinghamshire Council are delighted to be able to offer the Standard NGA annual membership, for Buckinghamshire maintained schools for 2021-22, Free of Charge. The package for 2021-2022 covers the Standard membership and Learning Link for all Governors and Clerks in maintained schools.  This has been purchased for all Buckinghamshire maintained schools and those schools do not need to register.

Bucks NGA Membership 2021-22

Maintained schools that wish to upgrade to the Gold package are required to register on the BESST web page  (Bursar log in required) and will be charged £159.

Please register for your upgrades by Thursday 30th September 2021.


Buckinghamshire Council are also pleased to offer membership at the discounted rate of £94 for the Standard package to all Bucks Academies.  The NGA do recommend that academies take the Gold package, which is also discounted at £253.   If you wish to purchase Learning Link the cost is £69 per school.

To confirm purchase of your annual membership and the package required please visit the BESST web page  (Bursar log in required).

All packages should be purchased by Thursday 30th September 2021.

Full details of membership and support from the NGA are here  Any queries should be sent to


Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training

Dear Chair of Governors and Governor Clerks,

Please find attached above a newsletter introducing BESST – Buckinghamshire Education School Support & Training, a new traded school improvement and governor support service from Buckinghamshire Council.  BESST services are starting small and will be focused this term on governor support & training, the area where our research with headteachers, chairs of governors and clerks has told us the need is greatest.  More information about BESST is available to view on our new webpages.

A comprehensive governor training programme will be running throughout this academic year and will be starting with two sessions week commencing 20th September:

  • Governor Priorities – Autumn Term Agendas, a one-hour session with Paul Randall and Anne Sheddick from the BASG, on Wednesday 22nd September.
  • Prevent Duty – Guidance for Governors, a one hour training session with Alison Watts, Prevent Education Officer at Buckinghamshire Council on Thursday 23rd September.

The whole autumn term training schedule, including the above two sessions, is available to book online.

We will also be running a New Governors Welcome Package, in both the autumn and spring term, to support newly appointed governors get up to speed as quickly as possible.  Please book online for the autumn cohort, before the 29th of September.

Buckinghamshire Council will be renewing the NGA membership for maintained schools for this academic year.  Academies and free schools can purchase NGA membership at a discounted rate and maintained schools can upgrade to gold membership through the BESST webpages.  Please see the details and links in the newsletter for more information.

We hope that your governing boards will find this new service of use and we look forward to welcoming you onto BESST training throughout the year.

BESST newsletter Autumn 1 for governors

Kind regards

The School Improvement Team.

Ofsted News – Issue 104 – August 2021



Our free monthly newsletter

Issue 104 | August 2021



COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘see all updates‘ on the page.

All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) – Updated pen portraits for HMI in the South East and South West regions.
Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings – A new section has been added to the policy about Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges and there are further references throughout the guidance outlining expectations of providers. There are also updates throughout to align with the Department of Education’s updated guidance ‘Keeping children safe in education’.
Gathering additional evidence to secure an incomplete inspection – The policy has been updated to give further clarification on the steps that will be taken if we decide that a further visit is necessary to gather additional evidence to complete an inspection.

School inspection handbook – Updates to the school inspection handbook. See ‘Summary of changes’ for details.
Ofsted’s plans: 2021 – Updated the ‘Non-association independent schools’ section to clarify that the inspection cycle will be extended by four terms.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2021. Date of proposed addition to future management information releases (the names of current multi-academy trusts and/or academy sponsors) changed from 12 August 2021 to 13 September 2021.

Children’s social care
Ofsted’s response to The Case for Change – Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, Yvette Stanley, writes to Josh MacAlister, Chair of The Case for Change, about Ofsted’s response to the review.
Children’s homes providing short breaks – An analysis of children’s homes that provide short breaks, usually for disabled children.
Inspecting local authority children’s services (ILACS) from 2018 – Updates to ILACS framework. See ‘Summary of framework changes’ for details.
Introduction to children’s homes – Revised guidance on applying to manage more than one children’s home.
Apply to be connected with a children’s social care service (SC2) – Clarified that responsible individuals only have to use this service when a new provider is applying to register with Ofsted. This is not a change in policy or law.
Inspection outcomes of children’s homes – Data published to cover the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.
Data on COVID-19 visits: social care providers – New transparency data uploaded for the period 1 September 2020 to 31 July 2021.

Further education and skills
Further education and skills inspection handbook – Updates to paragraphs 275 to 279 in the further education and skills inspection handbook. See ‘Summary of changes’ for details.

Early years and childcare
Early years inspection handbook – Updates to the early years inspection handbook. See ‘Summary of changes’ for details.
Ofsted EIF inspections and the early years foundation stage (EYFS) – Added information about how we prioritise early years inspections.
Reported coronavirus (COVID-19) notifications by registered early years and childcare settings – Added data for weeks beginning 12, 19 and 26 July and 2 August.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 July 2021.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Published data on joiners and leavers in the childcare sector in July 2021.


Child Protection Framework Policy – September 2021

Dear Chair and Headteacher,

There is a new CP Framework Policy on Schools Web (September 2021).


FAO DSL/Headteacher – Continium of Need Document; replacing theThreshold Document

Good afternoon everyone 

 As you will be aware, the Threshold Document has been due to be updated and we have been advised by the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership that the attached document (Continuum of Need) has been developed and will replace the Threshold document as from 23rd March 2021. 

A3 – COFN incorporating the Threshold guidance – February 2021 – 5[21758]

 As with the Threshold document, the Continuum of Need document is to be used by professionals when gathering information/decision with regards to safeguarding/child protection concerns in your own settings.  You will be able to find further information on the BSCP website

 Kind regards

 Julia Goodes

Safeguarding Officer

Education Safeguarding Advisory Service

Children and Family Services

Buckinghamshire Council