Friday Update – 28 November 2014

This week we have a jam packed update highlighting new guidance from the Department for Education on promoting British values, revisions to the 20 Key Questions for School Governing bodies,  a new campaign to encourage more foreign exchange trips, a series of free national careers roadshows for Governors and new guidance on the purchase, installation and maintenance of defibrillators in schools.

NEW DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION GUIDANCE ON PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES
The Department for Education issued a press release yesterday regarding new guidance on promoting British values in schools.

The guidance aims to help schools understand their responsibilities in this area. Until now schools have been required to ‘respect’ these values, but as a result of changes brought in earlier this year all schools must now have a clear strategy for embedding these values and show how their work with pupils has been effective in doing so.

REVISED 20 KEY QUESTIONS FOR SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership is holding its next meeting on 8 December 2014 in the Houses of Parliament. The discussion will be centred on Neil Carmichael MP’s new bill for school governor appointments which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons in January 2015. His bill is designed to address the changing role of school governing boards, their greater autonomy and responsibilities.

The Group will also be considering an update to the 20 key questions for school governing bodies which has been updated by the National Governors’ Association and the Wellcome Trust as part of the new Framework for Governance: A flexible guide to strategic planning which is due to be launched soon.

NEW CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE MORE FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRIPS BETWEEN SCHOOLS
This week, the British Council has launched a new campaign designed to encourage school foreign exchange trips. Its aim is to allow more children to learn about foreign countries and gain vital language skills.  In conjunction with this the British Council has published a survey into the take-up of foreign exchange programmes. The findings reveal that only 39% of secondary schools currently run foreign exchange trips. This is despite the fact that, of all the foreign exchange students consulted in the survey, 62% outlined that the experience had made them pursue a language degree. Responses from the 450 schools taking part suggested that health and safety fears, and a reluctance to take pupils out of school in term time, were the main deterrents for schools considering running an exchange programme.

FREE NATIONAL CAREERS ROADSHOWS FOR GOVERNORS
The National Careers Service, in partnership with national charity Career Academies UK, is launching a series of six roadshows called Let’s Do Business across the UK in 2015.  The first event is scheduled for 15 January 2015 in Liverpool with  other venues to include Birmingham, Teesside, London and Manchester.  The events will provide an opportunity for Headteachers and Governors to meet with employers who are keen to engage with them and their students.

The roadshows will support schools to understand what opportunities are available to work with local and national businesses, as well as what services are offered by the National Careers Service and their contract partners. They will also hear from teachers and businesses who are already engaged through the Career Academy programme, about how an employer engagement programme can be incorporated into the curriculum and budget, and how it can be embedded within the school to support students across all year groups.

The Roadshows are free for governors to attend and for more information contact Karen Marriott, Career Academies UK, at karen.marriott@careeracademies.org.uk.

AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILATORS IN SCHOOLS
The Department for Education has announced it has negotiated a substantial discount for schools when buying defibrillators and published a new guide covering the purchase, installation and maintenance of them. Children die every week of sudden cardiac arrest, often due to previously undiagnosed heart conditions, and this scheme and guidance is intended to help prevent such tragic incidents by giving schools access to tools and information.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation supports the announcement and is also offering free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training kits to all secondary schools.

Schools wishing to purchase a defibrillator through this programme are able to do so by contacting NHS Supply Chain by emailing medicaldevices@supplychain.nhs.uk or telephoning 0113 385 4858.