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!

Dear fellow governors,

At the very beginning, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for all that you do as governors in your roles and with all of your varied and numerous responsibilities.
I would also like to encourage you by saying that what you do in governance can, and does, make the most enormous difference to the lives of our children and young people, and also to the staff and colleagues with whom we lead and serve in our schools across the Diocese.

I am crucially aware of the importance of sending this encouragement to you now, as I know that this can be an especially tough time of year in the school calendar for a great many of us in these governance roles. I recognise, for example, that this edition of the newsletter will come to you at a time when many of you will be making, and will in many cases have already made, some very difficult decisions about the next academic year in what is such a challenging educational environment at present.

These hard choices may be related to budgets, staffing, structures (both material and in governance) or the level of your own personal involvement, and so it is my prayer that you will be guided by God as you do this, and that He may bless you, and those with whom you share leadership, with the gifts of wisdom, prophecy and knowledge.

I am writing to you as we continue to celebrate the season of Easter (until the 20th May) and speaking personally, I find myself renewed and refuelled by the glorious inspiration of Christ’s resurrection and the promise that from His death and resurrection comes life – in all its fullness!

I seem to be seeing John 10:10 everywhere at the moment and rightly so as it feels like a pertinent message for our times. Every week, it is my privilege to come into contact with loyal servants of Christ in our schools, both staff and governors, who carry the aroma of Christ and speak through their words and actions of this great promise.

On behalf of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, I would like to express my sincere and heart-felt thanks for your commitment to this crucial task - the more of you that I meet, the more I am in awe of the tremendous commitment and perseverance that I see! Thank You Governors!

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13: 20 – 21, New International Version.

Dan Roberts, SDBE Foundation Governor Adviser, April 2018.
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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Latest News and Updates from the SDBE Office 

1.    Partnership Service Agreement
There is very important information from our Director of Education, Joy Tubbs, about subscription to our diocesan Partnership Service Agreement (PSA) for 2018-2019. Read it here.
This was sent out to school leaders a few weeks ago.  As you will see, much of the PSA work will be focussed on the new SIAMS Inspection Framework which comes into effect from September 2018.  We strongly advise schools to subscribe and look forward to working with you. Thank you.
PSA information leaflet here
Re-subscription form here
Subscription form here

2.    Ethos Enhancing Outcomes
Here at the SDBE, as an adviser team we are all very excited about the new resources that have been produced by the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership called ‘Ethos Enhancing Outcomes’. The resources are designed to help governors and school leaders to draw inspiration from the Church of England’s Vision for Education as they seek to bring their own school’s vision for education alive.
The aim is to unite academic rigour and excellence with the broader flourishing and well-being of young people and school teams, which is a key plank of the national vision ‘Deeply Christian: Serving the Common Good’. 
I will unpack this in more detail at the Termly Governor Briefing. If you want to learn more, it is not too late to sign up!
Book here for the Term 3 Governors Briefing, Friday 11th May, 0930 – 1200, Diocesan Education Centre.

In the meantime, I offer two questions from the resource suite for you to ponder;

“How does the governance board provide hope and aspiration in the context of limited resources and difficult budgeting choices that might impact individual staff?”

“If ‘Jesus inspires perseverance, patience, gratitude, openness to surprises and celebration’ how should these inform a panel in making a performance related pay recommendation?”

3.    Participation in a Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) bid submission
The Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education is partnering with two other Dioceses and the SW Teaching Schools Council to submit a bid to the national SSIF, with a view to research the impact of governance on school improvement through a governor training project aimed at boosting governance capacity and effectiveness.
This involves a small group of church schools who have been selected based on specific criteria and have agreed to be part of the project. This is a very exciting initiative and, if the application is successful, it will be the first project ever within the scheme that has governance as its sole focus.
The implications and potential from this relatively small scale project are enormous – not only to raise the profile of the importance of the governor role nationally, but also to demonstrate what a difference excellent governance can make to pupil outcomes and progress.

4.    New SIAMS evaluation schedule and self-evaluation form have been published
Very shortly, our team will be writing to all school leaders with very important information about the new SIAMS framework which will come into effect from September 2018. Watch this space!

NB: If your school is due for inspection in 2018, SDBE encourages you to attend this course.

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National Round-Up (and other updates that you may have missed)

5.    Commons Education Select Committee investigation into school funding

“…to inform the Department for Education’s bid for funding for schools and colleges, and to consider whether a longer-term vision needs to be taken of education funding in England.” Link here
The enquiry is inviting submissions from governors and schools in writing by the 30th May 2018 to include comment on;
•    What the Department for Education’s priorities should be for the next Spending Review period as they relate to schools and colleges
•    Whether the spending review cycle is the best mechanism for determining overall expenditure on schools and colleges, and what that level should be
•    The effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium, and its relationship to core education funding
•    The practical implementation of the national funding formula

6.    Changes to the Ofsted short inspection
Posted by Sean Harford, here, on the 13th April 2018;
“Effective immediately;
•    We are extending the usual timeframe within which good schools receive a short inspection from approximately 3 to 4 years
•    The maximum period in which we would return remains the statutory 5 years from the end of the academic year of the previous inspection, as at present for schools
•    We are aligning the re-inspection window for requires improvement, serious weakness and special measures schools to up to 30 months (from 30, 18, and 24 months, respectively)”

7.    Announcement regarding the new Reception Baseline Assessment
The Department for Education has announced that it has chosen a preferred supplier to deliver this, working towards a full roll-out by the end of 2020. Details here (use this link to visit the website of this preferred supplier).

8.    ESFA letter to academy trusts regarding executive pay
Eileen Milner, Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency has written to all academy Trusts that are paying two or more salaries between £100 – 150k. Page here

9.    £514m allocated to C.I.F. for improvements to academy buildings
Lord Agnew announced the amount allocated to projects through the Condition Improvement Fund for improvements and extensions to academy buildings. Read the news story here

10.    Academy leaders speak on academy autonomy and funding
The Sutton Trust has reported on latest research completed for them by the NFER with persons employed in academies;
“The polling of 1,246 teachers and school leaders across England by the National Foundation for Educational Research found that…schools in the United Kingdom are increasingly using the pupil premium to plug funding gaps resulting from the real terms spending cuts facing many schools. One in three senior leaders (34%) say the pupil premium is being used to plug gaps in their budget, up from 30% last year.
"Over 70% of secondary school leaders say that their schools have had to cut teachers over the last year, with a similar proportion saying the same about teaching assistants or support staff. Staff cuts are lower, but also on the rise in primary schools with 60% cutting teaching assistants and 24% classroom teachers.” News piece here

11.    NFER research suggests ‘reduce working hours to tackle teacher retention’
The issue of teacher retention has been looked at by the NFER team and the findings suggest that reducing workload would make the biggest difference.
Press release here

12.    Religious Studies rated very low in the ‘most important school subjects’ poll
YouGov report here

13.    The Church of England Education Office has published a response to the proposed changes to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE)
Click here for the page
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Important information for all church primary schools in relation to Ramadan and SATS

Guidance and advice provided through the Church of England Education Office;

“Some of you may be aware that this year the beginning of Ramadan coincides with SATs exams for pupils in year 6. The following advice is from the Deputy Secretary General, Dr Omer El-Hamdoon, on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain;

“The Month of Ramadan is a great spiritual month for Muslims. It is an opportunity to achieve piety and to become more conscious of God, ourselves and others.
Muslims throughout the world fast the days of this month. They fast from dawn to sunset. The fast is obligatory on those who have passed puberty. However, as a form of practice, children under puberty are encouraged to fast to get into the habit of fasting and also to share in the communal dimension that is apparent as the whole family fasts together and breaks fast together.
As Islam is also a pragmatic religion, it recognises that there are instances or circumstances in which people cannot fast. One such circumstance is when one is undertaking important examinations or tests. If one feels that they are unable to concentrate well to carry out the test, then they have the religious dispensation to break the fast.
The decision to do this should remain that of the individual child directed and guided by the parent(s).
When one doesn't fast for this reason, they can make up their fast after Ramadan and they will be rewarded equally for doing so, as their intention was to fast, but they had a valid reason not to do so.”
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Forthcoming Courses from the SDBE

RE Assessment and Progression: Beyond Levels

Thursday 10th May, 0915 – 1500 at the DEC, Wilton. Book here

TERM 3: Governors Briefing
Friday 11th May, 0930 – 1200 at the DEC, Wilton. Book here

SMSC: What the inspector is looking for
Tuesday 22nd May, 0900 – 1530 at the DEC, Wilton. Book here

Better Learning, better teaching and better leading of RE
Wednesday 13th June, 0900 – 1530 at the DEC, Wilton. Book here

FREE RE Briefing: Understanding Christianity
Tuesday 19th June, 0900 – 1230 at the DEC, Wilton. Book here

Governor Enabling Training for Headteacher Performance Management Review
Friday 13th July, 0930 – 1230 at the DEC, Wilton. Book 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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And finally...

Thank you again 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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