Curriculum and Assessment Conference, 11th May 2021

Dear Colleagues,

You are invited to register for the Curriculum and Assessment Conference on Tuesday 11th May at 1pm.  This will be online, conducted via MS Teams.

This conference sets out to explore current and considered approaches to assessment and recovery learning in the light of lessons learned throughout the pandemic. Speakers with national, regional, and relatable individualised perspectives will present their thoughts on the future of assessment and curriculum design in schools.

The conference will offer a positive and proactive response to the unique circumstances that have engulfed the sector since March 2020, seeking to reflect upon challenges and opportunities in order to address losses and inequalities, as well as promoting and capitalising on gains and advances where these can be seen.

We invite practitioners and school leaders to rethink assessment and consider the curriculum afresh to best serve the needs of our pupils in a changed and changing world.

To register your place please click on the link HERE



Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services


For COVID-19 updates visit:

BASG Executive Minutes 19th April 2021

Meeting Minutes



Date & Time: 19 April 2021 at 5.00pm


Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom





Paul Randall (Chair), Anne Sheddick (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull,

Peter Lerner, Bernadette Allison, Jo Pearce, Martin Baxter, Andrew Brown, Gwyneth Langley (Secretary)



Agenda Item




1. Apologies for Absence  



There were no apologies for absence.


2 Notification of Any Other Business  

There were no items tabled for discussion under Any Other Business


3 Declarations of Interest  



Gwyneth Langley – BEP

4 Approval of Minutes From the Meeting Held on 1 March 2021 and Review of Actions  



The minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2021 were approved.


BASG Bank Account (Minute 4) – All outstanding payments from the BASG bank account had now been arranged.   The ongoing issue relating to correspondence was being resolved with the bank.





 JP / PR


5 Local Networking Groups  




Aylesbury Group


The Aylesbury Group had met on 23 March 2021.

There were a number of topics for discussion including an update on a recent Ofsted Inspection.   It was noted that there had been a strong focus on safeguarding during the inspection. Governing Board meeting minutes had been scrutinised to establish how well governors were challenging the leadership team in this area.


The next meeting would be on 4 May 2021. It was confirmed that the meeting was open to all governors.


Jordans Group


The Jordans group had met on 27 March 2021.  There had been a number of topics for discussion including:

–       Well-being

–       Review of the return to school

–       Managing allegations

–       Safeguarding

–       Policies


It was considered that the meeting had been more upbeat than the previous session.


The next meeting would be on 12 June 2021.


The Chesham, Great Missenden, Amersham and Wendover Group would meet on 24 May 2021 at 7pm.


PR would signpost future meeting dates at the LA Executive Directors Briefings w/c 19 April 2021





























6 BEP  

GL highlighted that there had been a number of recent discussions with current Chairs regarding succession planning for their roles.  BEP were advising on potential options, including Co-Chairing.


It was agreed that the LA should be encouraged to extend invitations to events to Vice-Chairs and other Governors to support succession planning and development of potential future Chairs.









7 Communications with Bucks Council  

PR, AS and PL had met with Simon James and Gareth Drawmer regarding BASG and its current / future role.   There had been two meetings and they had both been positive.


Historical issues with HR support for governors had been discussed at the second meeting and Simon James would be meeting with the Bucks HR team to discuss this.  AS was encouraged that there had been engagement on this issue following the paper that had been written.


There had been a number of other topics for discussion during the meetings including:

–       Learning Link

–       Governor training

–       Networking Meetings


A pro-forma will be developed to facilitate feedback to the LA from local networking groups.   This would be anonymised but ensure that there was a mechanism for raising issues or areas of concern.


It was noted that the Marlow Networking Group had not met since June 2019.   There had been some interest in reviving this.  GL would contact Sally Brooks to establish whether there had been any progress with this.


JP had been elected to Schools Forum and gave an update on the meeting held on 23 March 2021.   There had been discussion and updates on a number of areas including:

–       Budgets

–       Contingency Funding

–       High Needs Funding

–       Special School funding

–       Sparsity funding


It was noted that contingency funding was still available and schools should apply if relevant.


Post-16 requirements were currently putting pressure on High Needs Funding.


JP would forward a copy of the Schools Forum Constitution along with current membership.    The next meeting would take place on 29 June 2021 and JP would feedback on this.































8 BASG Newsletter  

Future plans for newsletters would be considered at a later date.




9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  

MB gave an update on the Buckinghamshire Challenge Group (formerly the Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Reference Group).


The group had met on 19 April 2021.


MB considered the meeting to have been more positive than previous meetings.  Gareth Drawmer had attended and listened to suggestions from group members.


It was noted that only 1 of the original 9 Headteachers had attended the meeting.


It was highlighted that many schools now had more pupils eligible for Pupil Premium funding as a result of job losses during the Covid crisis.

A workshop  Does it make a difference: evaluating the impact of your disadvantage strategy on learners, led by Marc Rowland, would take place on Thursday 22 April 2021 and governors had been invited to this.

MB had written a paper proposing options for governor training in this area.  Georgina Masefield was currently reviewing this.


JP highlighted that Gareth Drawmer had suggested that BEP would be approached to deliver Pupil Premium training to governors in the Consultative Board meeting on 17 March 2021.    It was unclear whether this had been agreed. GL confirmed that BEP had not been contacted on this as yet.


MB would forward a report on the meeting on 19 April to the committee.





















10 BASG Event  – Governance for SEND and Inclusion – 27 May 2021  

Approximately 80 governors had registered for the event to date.  This was scheduled to take place via MS Teams.  AS was exploring other platforms should numbers grow to a level where MS Teams may be unstable.




11 Governance Consultative Board  

PL gave an update on the meeting that had taken place on 17 March 2021.    It was felt that the meeting had gone well.  It had been very helpful that written input from board members had been circulated in advance.


12 AOB  








Committee Membership


PR informed the group that Joanne Marchant had decided to step down from the committee. She had also resigned from her governor role at Heritage House School.       The committee acknowledged the significant work that Joanne had done for BASG and thanks would be passed on to her on behalf of the group.


Ofsted Inspections


MB highlighted that John Hampden Grammar School had not been inspected since 2008.    Members were aware of number of other schools in Bucks who were in a similar position.


13 Dates / Times of Future Meetings




Dates and times for future meetings were agreed as follows:


Monday 10 May  2021 5pm



The meeting closed at 6.55pm


The BEP Annual Governor Conference will run virtually on 18th June from 9.30am – 1.30pm. This year the title of the Annual Governor Conference is: Developing Despite Disruption. We will be exploring the lessons learnt from Covid-19 and how we can use these to our advantage as we move forwards in a different educational landscape.
Education Research
We are delighted that Jo Goodman, from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) will be our keynote speaker. The EEF have been a leading force in Covid-related education research this year and we are really excited to have their involvement.
We will be joined by Paul Edge a Microsoft Fellow and DfE demonstrator about the tech innovations and skills developed through the Covid-19 period, the impact of these and the opportunities they offer in the future in terms of education delivery and more broadly within the sector.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We will hear from a Mental Health and Wellbeing expert who will look at the impact of Covid-19 on Wellbeing and what this means for the interrelationship of Wellbeing and Education in the future.
Schools which subscribe to the BEP full package are offered 2 tickets free of charge subject to booking via GovernorHub by the end of April. Tickets are also available to purchase for £25 each. For more information please contact:

DfE’s Governance Update – April 2021 edition

Welcome to the April 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 meetings and visits into schools
2) National Tutoring Programme: subsidised tutoring available
3) ECF Statutory Induction Guidance Change
4) Honours nominations for those who work or volunteer in school or trust governance
5) Governor and trustee recruitment: Inspiring Governance and Academy Ambassadors
6) (Academy trusts only) How to complete or update your governance contacts on Get Information about Schools (GIAS)

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

You have received this email notification because you have either requested to be included or your email address is recorded in your school/academy’s Get Information About Schools governance record. If you are no longer involved in governance, please contact your previous school/academy to amend your record and you will no longer receive future DfE communication.

Children abroad – response needed by COP Wednesday 21 April

Sent to all HTs


Dear Colleagues,

The DfE and Local Authority are aware of a small number of pupils who are not in school because they remain abroad. Initial investigation by DfE suggests that over 2,000 pupils may be overseas, having not returned to school following the 8 March easing of restrictions.

There are various reasons why pupils went abroad with families in the first place and therefore varying reasons why they have not returned to school. The reasons include parents choosing not to travel back to the UK, restrictions preventing return travel, and the prohibitive costs associated with quarantine upon return if the family is travelling from, or through, a red list country. In some cases, parents have informed the school they will return but only after the Easter break. There are some instances where the departure from the UK was not triggered by the pandemic but by EU Exit. The exact numbers will depend on the specific demographics and communities within a local authority area. This number is constantly evolving because some families are starting to return to the UK.

DfE are particularly aware that the picture may have shifted somewhat over the Easter break and so are hoping to get a more accurate and up-to-date picture of the issue now that schools have returned.

The LA are therefore asking schools to complete a short survey to let us know about any pupils who are currently overseas.  The survey can be found at  It should only take a few minutes to complete.  If you do not currently have any pupils who are abroad then please still complete the survey – you just need to give us your school name and answer “no” to the first question.  Please complete the survey by 2pm Wednesday 21st April.

How do the DfE and LA intend to use the information provided? 

The DfE are hoping to get a better estimate on the numbers across all regions and to gather more information about what the response of schools to the issue has been. This will enable them to tailor support. This evidence may also be able to help DfE engage with OGDs should bigger actions be required to deal with a widespread problem. This will directly inform the policy approach the department takes for this issue.  We will only share a single aggregated response with DfE on behalf of the LA, and will not share information from individual schools.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.  I hope the first day of the summer term has been a good one for you all.

Kind regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Achievement and Learning

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


Woodside Junior School – urgent need for a temporary Chair of Governors

Woodside is a junior school in Amersham ( There are currently 241 pupils on roll with a large number of pupils on a waiting list. The school employs 13 teachers and was judged as ‘good’ in July 2017 following an Ofsted inspection. The school joined ODBST (Oxford Diocese Buckinghamshire School Trust) in December 2019.

The school is a happy, nurturing place with a good reputation. The governing body has an excellent relationship with the senior management team within the school who appreciate the support and challenge the board gives the school. The current board of governors is led by two Co-Chairs who will be stepping down this summer. The governing body consists of 5 new board members with a further 3 likely to join soon. As all the board members are relatively new in post, an experienced governor or Chair is required in the interim to help support the school and its new members. For anyone willing to take on this role, the current co-chairs and an experienced clerk will be on hand to help. If you feel able to help then please do make contact:

If you have any questions please contact us or as we would be happy to discuss the role in more detail.


Closing the Gap, Evaluation of Need Workshop, Thursday 22nd April 2021

Does it make a difference: evaluating the impact of your disadvantage strategy on learners.

This workshop is part of the Closing the Gap initiative in Bucks, working to address the needs of vulnerable pupils and raise educational attainment.

Led by Marc Rowland, Research Schools Network and Owen Carter, ImpactED

Attendees are requested to bring their current / draft Pupil Premium strategy with them.

The session will provide practical guidance on how to put in place a rigorous evaluation framework, which is fundamental to:

– Targeted activities

– Workload reduction

– Changing and adapting practices

– An evaluate, not prove culture

– Better outcomes for disadvantaged pupils

The session will be particularly helpful; for governors, leaders / those responsible for the leadership of Pupil Premium in schools. It is part of our ongoing programme of work to support better outcomes for disadvantaged learners in Buckinghamshire.

The workshop will be conducted using MS Teams, to book your place click HERE

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Chairs of Governors, Clerks and LA Governors and Woodside Junior Request

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you have had a restful Easter break, despite the weird weather, but we have seen the sun!

This is just a polite reminder to let me know of any changes to Chairs of Governors and Clerks via the mailbox.  There is no form to complete, just an email will suffice.

Woodside Junior School require an interim Chair, please see attached for further information.  If you are interested contact or

Woodside Junior School

New LA Governor appointments need to be approved by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Anita Cranmer.  I have attached the form that is used, just complete and send to me at .  The process can take between 5 to 10 working days.

Proforma for LA governor appointments.1

Many thanks for your help,

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Governor Times April 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Please visit the latest edition of Governor Times for news of training and briefings coming up this term.  To see all dates available, click the drop box indicated here:

There is an option of a Printer Friendly page (example attached).

Governor times April 2021

Items are also published in the School Bulletin. To access many pages you will be required to log in. Your school office or Headteacher will have the log in details.

The BASG have also sent information regarding their next event, Governance for SEND and Inclusion, 27th May at 5pm.  Visit the BASG web page HERE for further information.

Please distribute this message to all members of the Governing Body.

Kind regards,

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services