A termly update to all governors in church schools from Neil Revell at SDBE, the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education.
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Thank You, Governors!

Welcome to Thank You, Governors!, a new termly update to all governors in church schools from the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE)! The main purpose of this update is to list the themes which will be covered in this term’s SDBE ‘Governor Briefing’ and to highlight any key recent news/publications for governors.
As 2017 begins, a huge thank you from me to all governors for the tremendous commitment and dedication which you give to your role! Being a governor is a significant responsibility… and should also be incredibly rewarding!


[Click a link to jump to a section]
Governor Briefing- Tuesday 17th January
Head Teacher/ Head of School Appointments within the SDBE
Improving Governance Arrangements in Complex and Challenging Circumstances
Self-improving Governance Group
Main Contacts

Governor Briefing- Tuesday 17th January

On Tuesday 17th January, between 9am and 12pm, I will be running the second Governor Briefing of the academic year at the Diocesan Education Centre in Wilton!  All governors are welcome!  Please click here for further details and costs. The themes being covered at the Briefing, our termly update of matters about which governors need to be aware, will include:

  1. Governing Body Self-Evaluation
  2. Head Teacher Report to Governing Body
  3. CEO/ Executive Head Teacher/ Head Teacher/ Head of School/ Principal Recruitment [see next section below]
  4. The Annual Report from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2015/16 (published 01/12/16)
  5. Education for All Bill – Academies
  6. National Schools Commissioner Speech About Governance
  7. The Diocese of Salisbury Walks Alongside Its Schools and Academies…
  8. Group Discussion / Networking
  9. How Can We Find More Foundation Governors for Schools/ Academies In Our Diocese?
  10. Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education School Effectiveness Advisers/ Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education Challenge And Support Partners

I look forward to working with many of you on this occasion!

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Head Teacher/ Head of School Appointments within the SDBE

Regarding the third item on the Governor Briefing agenda, the SDBE continues to provide a totally free advisory service for all schools - including schools within MATs - to support the appointment of Head Teachers/ Heads of School. We recognise the hugely significant impact of leadership on the life and outcomes of a school. We also understand the vital importance of church schools being led by Heads who are committed to the notion of church school distinctiveness. While we do not have voting rights in the appointment process, it is important to us that we are invited to advise. This is why there is no cost for the service.
Our free advisory offer includes:

  • Discussing the formation of an appointment panel
  • Meeting with the appointment panel to plan and discuss the whole process prior to advert. We can guide on the compilation of adverts and any matters which support the panel
  • Advising on shortlisting, including attending shortlisting meetings
  • Advising on, and supporting, the structure of the interview day(s) and working with the panel throughout
  • Following up on any matters as agreed with the panel

All of our advisers have been successful head teachers of high-performing church schools in our diocese, trained in the head teacher / head of school appointment process.

"I think it's pretty safe to say that we could not have arranged these interviews without you."
(feedback from directors of an academy to diocesan adviser – 2016)

I would like to thank those of you who have worked, or are currently working, in partnership with us for Head appointments.  It is vital that the SDBE is informed about any Head Teacher/ Head of School vacancy within a church school.  It is also crucial that we are informed about any CEO/ Executive Head Teacher vacancies as, again, our service offer is free to work with directors in these appointments.
Your first point of contact at the SDBE for Head appointments is our Education Services Assistant, Samuel Ter Haar. You can email him or ring 01722 746944. Sam will link you with an adviser and we will then support you right up to the successful appointment of your next school leader!

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Improving Governance Arrangements in Complex and Challenging Circumstances

***Hot Off The Press!***
I recommend that governors read OFSTED’s ‘Improving Governance Arrangements in Complex and Challenging Circumstances’ (December 2016)
which concludes, among other findings, that

"Clarity about lines of accountability, roles and responsibilities (within a governing body) is an essential part of effective governance."

This has been proven time after time in OFSTED inspections. Such clarity brings focus, makes the work manageable and enables every governor to be confident of the specific work for which he/she has ‘strategic’ overview and responsibility for challenge/support. Please do email me or Pam if you would like the Diocesan Board of Education to work with your governing body towards this or any of the aspects which are referred to in this OFSTED document!

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Self-improving Governance Group

I am delighted to share a development in the Salisbury Diocesan Board Of Education’s work with governors. 
We have set up a ‘Self-improving Governance Group’, comprising some highly experienced and excellent Chairs of Governors – including MAT Directors – in order to increase the Diocesan Board of Education’s capacity to respond to the needs which schools identified in my December 2015 survey of governing bodies across the diocese. These include:

  • Recruiting a Governor: Advertising & Finding The Right Person
  • Recruiting a Governor: Interview and References
  • Effective Induction and Mentoring/ Buddy Arrangements: Ensuring Governor Retention
  • Committee Structure/ Organisational Design
  • Skills Audit: Ensuring That We Deploy ‘The Right People in the Right Places’
  • Role Profiles for Governor Posts: What Does, and Should, Each Governor Do?
  • Reviewing Structures: Annual Professional Interviews/ Review Meetings for Each Governor
  • Thinking of Becoming a Chair? Recruiting a Chair & the Role of a New Chair
  • Being a Successful Chair

If your governing body would value guidance on any of these areas, or in an area bespoke for your context/ work, then please email Pam Clemett  (Governance Administrator at the Board of Education) or ring her on 01722 746952. She will, in turn, share your need with me so that I can match you, if applicable, with a member of our Self-Improving Governance Group.

In the first instance, this member of our governance group will phone you for a free discussion lasting up to half an hour. Any further work which is arranged during that phone call will be charged to schools at a rate of £40 (+VAT) an hour (unless it is agreed in advance that the nature of the work leads to a different cost). The invoice will be sent to a school directly by the member of the group. This is deliberate as it reduces any central administration charges and, therefore, represents excellent value for money for schools. Indeed this whole offer constitutes, I believe, superb value for money and is only possible because the group members are utterly committed to working with colleagues to support the opportunities for children and young people across our diocese. I remain indebted to them and thankful for the huge expertise which they bring to their work with us.
The governance group members bring experience in the practical day-to-day matters of governance which many schools will, I am sure, find reassuring and a great opportunity to learn with and from others.
Just to remind you that we work with all governors as well as, specifically, with foundation governors.

Please do pass on our thanks to all of your governor colleagues for their commitment and utter selflessness in a volunteer role!

Remember that we are here for you! Thank you again!

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Main Contacts

School Effectiveness Adviser
Neil Revell
01722 746952
Neil leads Governor training, governing body strategies, development and recruitment.
Data & Information Assistant
Pam Clemett
01722 746952
Pam handles data processing for governor body members, minutes of meetings and renominations.
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Governors page
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