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!

Phew – we are nearly there! Amongst the joy of glorious sunrises and sunsets, the numerous challenges brought by the weather and the relentless pace of life in and outside of our schools, I would imagine that this newsletter finds you in eager anticipation of the Christmas holidays.
Doubtless this long term will have included for you, many meetings on dark and damp evenings involving critical thinking about assessment, monitoring and progress, and which our brains have to find space for amongst all the other competing thoughts surrounding our families, paid work and the desire to please everyone to the best of our ability. Fitting in the many commitments of the governor can sometimes feel especially tricky around this season when the demands on our time, as well of those school leaders and staff that we work with, seem to require the skills that even a master juggler would aspire to.

I hope therefore that you do not find this letter to be just another thing that you have to make time to read, and that instead you find the contents below to be useful and helpful. As I pick up the authorship of this communication from my colleague Neil Revell, I am aware that he would want me to ensure that the critical message you hear from all of us here at the SDBE is ‘Thank You Governors!’ – your commitment and dedication to ensuring the best outcomes for the children in our schools is something we could not value more highly, and I deeply echo this sentiment which he has so frequently expressed!

Dan Roberts
Foundation Governor Adviser
Throughout this document, ‘governors’ refers equally to ‘trustees’, ‘directors’ and ‘members’. Furthermore the ‘SDBE’ means the ‘Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education’.


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Governor Briefing- Wednesday 17th January 

On Wednesday 17th January between 9.30 a.m. and 12 p.m. (tea/coffee available on arrival from 9.00 a.m.), I will be running the Term 2 Governor Briefing at the Diocesan Education Centre in Wilton. All governors are welcome to attend, and whether you are new to governance in a church school, or have been in the role for many years, then this session will provide vital updates and an opportunity to work with and learn from other governors from a broad range of contexts and experiences.

If your school has signed up to the PSA, then for 1 credit (Non-PSA £120 + VAT), you may attend all 3 sessions scheduled across the academic year. The website has further details here.

Continued Professional Development
Don't forget, our training courses are being updated all the time. Search for the latest ones here. If you have a query, feel free to contact Anna Tucker, as below.
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ISDR Release

Many of you will be aware that the Ofsted data dashboard has now been replaced with the Inspection Data Summary Report. These were made available to schools in the middle of November, and are a potentially very useful tool to assist governors in their conversations with school leaders. An aspect of the IDSR that some governors have found particularly useful is the quintile (i.e. divided into 20% brackets) bands as this usefully shows three year trend information for your school, and also the scatter plots which enable identification of pupil groups and their individual performance according to national average attainment and progress measures.
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SIAMS and SIA visits

The new SIAMS framework will come into effect for all inspections from September 2018 onwards. The framework document is undergoing final revisions at present and is expected to be released early in the New Year. The SDBE will be holding information sessions and convening update training to examine this with governors and school leaders, and through the SIA (School Improvement Adviser) team will be providing bespoke support to individual schools as part of the PSA and CASP arrangements. Neil and Mandy have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you this term as part of these visits.

For more information on the PSA in particular, and details of what is included in the £575 subscription, please email Lizzie McCaighy.
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Foundation Governor Adviser

Some of you will be aware of, and indeed some of you will have been involved in, the action research project I have been conducting since being appointed into this role. The purpose of the project was to investigate some of the causes and possible solutions to the issues that exist with Foundation Governor vacancies and in the health of the link between schools and parishes. This project was undertaken with 14 schools in the first instance selected from a wide range of contexts, both maintained and academies, and it has proven immensely useful in deepening my understanding and deriving learning that we will now be able to apply more widely and incorporate into future strategy.
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'Bold Beginnings' Report

“During the summer term 2017, Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) visited successful primary schools in which children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds1, achieved well. This report examines the provision in their Reception Year and the extent to which it was preparing four- and five-year-olds for their years of schooling and life ahead.” Extract from ‘Bold Beginnings - The Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools” – published 30th November by Ofsted. The full report can be found here.
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GDPR - are you ready?

The new General Data Protection Regulations will come into force on the 25th May 2018, and will require schools to make changes to the way in which they store and use data, particularly that which relates to personal information. Guidance can be found here.
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State of the Nation report

This report became even more newsworthy several days after it was published when all four members of Theresa May’s Social Mobility Commission stepped down in protest over what they termed the administration’s lack of progress towards a ‘fairer Britain’.

The report includes a large number of noteworthy findings and some important recommendations that are expected to further influence government policy and crucially, the potential allocation of additional resource, to support schools and community in ‘hot spots’.

The full report can be found here.
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News from our Cathedral

Retiring soon?

"At Salisbury Cathedral Education Centre, we are keen to recruit newly retired teachers as volunteers to assist us with our workshops. Flexible days and times to suit you, pick and choose what you do, what ages you like working with and help us to provide a valuable affordable experience for young people. We cover a wide range of curriculum subjects in all key stages in a lively and interactive way. It’s a great opportunity to continue to use your skills and have this iconic building as your classroom."

Interested in finding out more? Please email Susan Hayter.
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Changes announced to Ofsted short inspections

More details of these changes can be found here.
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Forthcoming courses

New Foundation Governors
•    31st January 2018, Dorford Centre, Dorchester, 0900 – 1200
•    2nd February 2018, St John’s Parish Centre, Trowbridge, 1300 – 1600
•    26th March 2018, D.E.C., Wilton, 1800 – 2100

Returning Foundation Governors
•    24th April 2018, D.E.C., Wilton, 1800 – 2100

TERM 3 Governor Briefing
•    11th May 2018, D.E.C., Wilton, 0930 – 1200

To book on any of these courses please click here, or visit our website.
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And finally...

Some of you may find this information useful as you seek to support your school leaders and staff. The long overdue emphasis on wellbeing is to be warmly welcomed and for many schools and governors, this issue remains critical as we all seek to remain at our very best for those children and other adults whom we seek to lead and serve.

Thank you for all that you do; thank you, governors!
Dan Roberts
Foundation Governor Adviser
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Main Contacts

Lead School Improvement Adviser & Challenge and Support Partner
Neil Revell
01722 746952
Neil leads governor strategy and the School/ Academy Improvement Team.
Foundation Governor Adviser
Dan Roberts
01722 746952
Dan supports foundation governors in their role and works with schools and parishes in governor recruitment, retention and training.
Education Services Assistant
Pam Clemett
01722 746952
Pam handles data processing for governor body members, minutes of meetings and renominations.
Course Administrator
Anna Tucker
01722 746943
Anna administers all our courses, including bookings.
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