Friday Update – 30 January 2015

This week we highlight sections (focusing on British values) from two recent Ofsted inspections carried out in the region, a DfE consultation on introducing new regulations to make school governance in maintained schools more transparent and the announcement of the 2015 Pupil Premium Summer School programme.

OFSTED JUDGEMENTS ON THE TEACHING OF BRITISH VALUES
Many Governors will recall that back in November I reported on the release of Department for Education guidance on promoting British values in schools.  As many of you will be aware from the national and regional press two schools in the region, Grindon Hall Christian School and The Durham Free School, were recently inspected by Ofsted and were judged to be inadequate. Whilst Friday Update doesn’t  usually focus on news articles, I thought Governors might be interested in the sections in the respective Ofsted reports on British values and how these schools were judged to be inadequately preparing their pupils for life in modern Britain.

GREATER TRANSPARENCY PROPOSED FOR MAINTAINED SCHOOLS GOVERNING BODIES
The Department for Education (DfE) is currently consulting on introducing new regulations to make school governance more transparent. They are proposing that the Governors’ Register of Interests and a list of Governors’ names must appear on the school website for maintained schools. The consultation also proposes that Governing bodies should be able to set different terms of office for individual Governors, and that it should be permissible for staffing functions to be delegated to subgroups that include an associate Governor or Governors.

The consultation is not public and has only been given to the bodies that sit on the DfE’s Advisory Group on Governance (which includes the National Governors’ Association and National Co-ordinators of Governor Services).  It closes on 19 February and any changes are expected to become effective this September.

INTRODUCTION OF THE 2015 DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION PUPIL PREMIUM SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAMME
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced details of the funding for its pupil premium summer schools programme for 2015. The funding is available for Secondary schools to run summer schools for pupil premium eligible pupils joining their year 7 in September 2015. Schools will receive £250 (if running a one-week summer school) or £500 (if running a two-week summer school) for every eligible pupil who confirms they wish to attend the summer school.  Schools can invite eligible pupils from other year groups, but the funding is limited to pupils joining year 7 and summer schools are expected to retain a strong focus on preparing eligible new pupils for the transition to secondary education.  The deadline for funding applications is 29 May 2015.