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

What lies ahead of us in 2019? One month in and a few clues have begun to emerge.

In this edition of Thank You Governors, I have tried to look for items to include that will help us both to look back and to look ahead. 
Looking back at the journey through 2018 to remind us how far we have travelled in just one year, and looking ahead to prepare us as best we can for the rough and the smooth that 2019 will surely bring. Experience tells me that working hard to recall detail from stories we have played a part in helps to set our feet better for the next steps, and this is the familiar emphasis within the ‘Renewing Hope’ vision from Bishop Nicholas that so many of us have now come to greatly appreciate.

This reflective practice also serves us well in the consideration of our ethos and vision. In the last newsletter, I connected the search for a deeply Christian vision for our church schools with the examination we all do at times of our own hearts to establish what is inside and how that drives how we act. The emphasis within the SIAMS evaluation schedule on vision - as one which gives our actions meaning and purpose - is also consistent with the emerging emphasis from Ofsted regarding intent driving implementation and impact. In our church schools therefore, the process of establishing and refining our visions is crucially important.

All of us at the SDBE are immensely grateful to you all for your commitment to pursuing the best possible outcomes for the children and adults in our schools through your persistence in faith and ventures to continually improve. You truly are ‘living out God’s transforming presence’ in the schools, academies and Trusts where you find yourselves. It is my prayer that in this coming year, we will all be guided well in our journey and that we will seek, with the help of God and others around us, to draw out of our experiences all the treasure that we can to make us even more useful in the schools and academies in which we serve.

‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)

Thank You Governors, and I look forward to seeing many of you in 2019.

Dan Roberts, SDBE Foundation Governor Adviser, February 2019.


Throughout this document, ‘governors’ refers equally to ‘trustees’, ‘directors’ and ‘members’. Furthermore the ‘SDBE’ means the ‘Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education’. Click a link to jump to a section.

Your crucial updates...

For each topic within this newsletter, I have added a question relating to that topic from the ‘Bringing the Vision Alive’ suite of resources also called ‘Ethos Enhancing Outcomes’ (EEO). These are available to purchase here.

1. Curriculum developments

“How would a visitor to your school know the values that underpin your curriculum decisions? How could they tell? What would they see?”
- EEO Activity 6, p22

•    Plans for compulsory Health and Relationships Education (Health, Sex and Relationships in Secondary Schools) from September 2020
•    New list of activities for children to experience is to be shared with all schools
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2. Social, Emotional and Mental Health (new acronym SEMH)

“To what extent do you see your pupils ‘flourishing together’ – what would you like to see more of, and how could you achieve this?”
- EEO Activity 6, p13

•    Build Sound Minds from ‘Action for Children’
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3. Sustainable school improvement and Standards

“How does your school’s breadth of curriculum, collective worship and enrichment activities contribute to school improvement?”
- EEO Activity 8, p15

•    The Sutton Trust findings and recommendations summary
•    364 Primary Schools below the floor standard in 2018
•    Sustainable improvement in multi-school groups GSR report
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4. Funding and resources

“If wisdom includes ‘discovering how to live before God in family, friendship, community and nation’ in what ways does this inform budget setting priorities?”
- EEO Activity 8, p16

•    Plastic free schools by 2022 - this may be an opportunity for our schools to issue a challenge to all our suppliers!
•    Charges made by Councils on schools to replace revenue lost when the ESG was scrapped
•    Comparing LA schools and academy schools fund balances from 2017-18
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5. Removing disadvantage

“If we see each child as God sees them, what barriers would still remain?”
- EEO Activity 6, p11

•    Review of 2018 in SEND
•    For schools in Wiltshire, there is an open invitation to an event hosted by the Wiltshire Governors’ Association (WGA):
"6.30 - 9pm on Tuesday 4 March in The Arts Centre, Rowdeford School (click here for map).
Tea and coffee will be served from 6.30pm and the event will start at 7pm.
Both Members and Non-Members are welcome. Tickets are available here, or contact Clare Tunnicliffe.
Keynote Speaker: Tom Fellows who is the Senior Research Lead for the National Governance Association. Tom will be presenting on pupil premium and the title of his presentation is
'Spotlight on disadvantage: the governing board’s role in spending, monitoring and evaluating the pupil premium.'
An Ofsted/ HMI Inspector in Wiltshire will then share with us the local view.
Helean Hughes, Director of Education and Skills at Wiltshire Council, will also be with us."
•    SDBE core provision training ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ is free to attend.
The dates for 2019 are;
1)    5 March 2019, Venue: Dorford Centre, Dorchester, 1.30 - 4pm
2)    6 March 2019, Venue: St. John’s Parish Centre, Trowbridge, 1.30 - 4pm
3)    11 March 2019, Venue: Diocesan Education Centre, Wilton, 1.30 - 4pm
To book onto one of these, or any other SDBE courses, click here.
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6. Workforce

“What decisions has the governance board made recently to support the continuous professional development of all staff, reduction of workload and their wellbeing?”
- EEO Activity 8, p16

•    Review of his first year in post by the Secretary of State
•    Finding of NFER research into teacher supply
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7. Ofsted

“‘Education can be one of the greatest blessings in anyone’s life’ – how could the same ever be said about an inspection, whatever the outcome?”
- EEO Activity 8, p18

•    Ofsted launch consultation on the new framework and the inspection handbooks – read the Foreword by HMCI here, find the draft handbooks here and the draft framework here. Some identified ‘highlights’ would include the suggested emphasis on books over internal data, and the comments made regarding the focus being on English and Maths in KS1 with the focus extending to greater breadth from KS2 onwards.
•    Ofsted report on phase 3 of their curriculum research
•    Comment from HMCI on her second Annual Ofsted report, including the comment on the ‘what’s measured is what gets done’ mentality
•    New guidance on the IDSR
•    New guidance on Ofsted Summary Evaluations of MATs
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8. Governance

“How do you, as a Governing Body, balance a rigorous approach to standards in the narrowest sense of performance tables, with the confidence to build a broader curriculum? What is really valued in conversations with leaders?”
- EEO Activity 6, p36

•    The next Termly Governor Briefing will take place on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at the DEC, Wilton, 1.30 - 4pm. If you have not yet booked your place, then please use the link here.
The date for the Summer Term Governor Briefing is Thursday 4 July and in response to the requests we have had from many of you, this session will take place from 6 - 8.30pm.

•    A few people have asked if we could put on a special ‘Service of Commissioning’ for any Foundation Governors who have received training for the role since April 2017 but attended one of the courses before we had introduced this service at the end of these sessions. If this is something you would like to take part in, then please can you contact me by 15 February?

•    Finally, as a DBE we are working hard to support the development of joined up working across the South West to support all schools. The Regional Teaching Schools Council, led by Tony Bloxham, is at the forefront of this work and has set up a representative group to bring partners together. Our diocesan Director of Education, Joy Tubbs, is a member of the steering group (Team South West). A portal has been established (link here) to draw all of the work of partners together; this is in its infancy but is already helpful. Joy wrote to all Headteachers and Chairs to share with them the work that Team South West have begun, and encourage them to access the portal. I hope you will also take a look. I include below further exciting news which I hope will really support governance across our diocese, and we are grateful to Keith Clover, National Leader of Governance and regional lead for governance within Wiltshire and Dorset for all his work.

Keith says:
“I have good news that we are finally in a position to appoint Local Leaders, train them and support them through the Teaching Schools Council (TSC). The appointment process is all going to be driven through the TSC portal.

"On this portal you can download the flyer, the application form and the reference request forms. There is also going to be a handbook published very shortly which should answer many of your questions, but I wanted to give you this information as soon as possible in the hope that you’re still interested in applying to become a LLG [Local Leader of Governance].
"What are Local Leaders of Governance?
Leaders of Governance are a crucial part of the self-improving and sustainable school-led system as they improve the quality and capacity of governance. National Leaders of Governance are now managed at a regional level by the Teaching School Council in each of the nine regions. Local Leaders of Governance will be carefully selected to ensure that they have the appropriate experience, skills and knowledge. They will be provided with induction, training and support.

"What do they do?
Local Leaders of Governance respond to the needs of individual chairs, schools and trust boards, helping governors to help themselves. They will undertake deployments into other schools, for example: Mentoring chairs and governors, Chairing and/or being a member of an interim executive board (IEB), Joining a governing board of a school in need of support, Mediating difficult relationships, Providing a fresh pair of eyes: even the best practitioners can improve, Deployments may be requested by LAs, Dioceses, RSC, heads, chairs, Teaching Schools or MATs and will be brokered by the Project Manager and the three Regional Governance Leads.

"Who can apply?
There is no requirement for the school of an applicant to be in a good/outstanding Ofsted category, but applicants should fulfil the following criteria:
   o    Have at least 3 years’ governance experience as a member of a Trust board, chairing local board/ committee in a MAT, or serving on a local authority school board within the last 4 years, with 2 of those years in a chairing role
   o    Be able to commit to the time expectation of providing 5 days free support each year
   o    Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a track record of:
        -    providing governance leading to school improvement
        -    management of positive relationships
        -    the ability to use mentoring and coaching skills

"Come and join our team
We recognise the unique value of effective governance which provides stability, continuity, accountability, and acts in the long-term interests of its community. Governors are busy people, but if you want to develop your practice and you might consider becoming an LLG, the work is incredibly rewarding, and the learning opportunities are endless. It is also very enjoyable to work as part of the Leaders of Governance team, who are ready to share with, and learn from each other.

"Message received from a Chair of a Primary School in Cornwall: ‘I just wanted send a quick email to say a big thank you for your support over the past term. It’s felt informative and practical and the guidance is already sparking conversations about governor roles, responsibilities, strategy and decision making - hooray for that! I feel like our next FGB meeting on Wednesday will be very much about school improvement.’

"The Application Process
Part A: Complete an application form and provide two references on the relevant forms (one from your current school and one from an external source, preferably related to governance).
Part B: Your Regional Governance Lead will contact you to arrange a brief telephone conversation.
Part C: Attend an induction day to ensure on both sides that there is a good fit between the requirements, the team, and the individual. The first induction day is in Taunton on Saturday 16 March between 10am and 3pm, (save the date now if you think you may apply).
If you have any questions before applying, please contact the Project Manager.”
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And finally...

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 Claire Kielty, as below.
Thank you again for all that you do; thank you, governors!


Dan Roberts
SDBE Foundation Governor Adviser
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Main Contacts

Foundation Governor Adviser
Dan Roberts
01722 746952
Dan leads on governor strategy 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.
Education Services Assistant
Claire Kielty
01722 746943
Claire administers all our courses, including bookings.
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