Friday Update – 9 October 2015

This week I highlight the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, the Government’s continued commitment to retain universal free school meals and news on the publication of a re-branded version of the Governor’s Handbook.

ALL SCHOOLS TO BECOME ACADEMIES!
On Wednesday, David Cameron caused a stir with his Leader’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester when he declared:

“Head teachers are growing in confidence as they throw off the shackles of local council control……raising the aspirations of children, parents, communities. This movement is sweeping across our country. So my next ambition is this. 500 new Free Schools. Every school an academy……and yes – Local Authorities running schools a thing of the past.”

Mr Cameron didn’t mention that currently decisions on academy conversion in schools performing well are taken by Governing bodies and not the Government.

UNIVERSAL INFANT FREE SCHOOL MEALS TO CONTINUE
Rumours that universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) are to be cut in the government’s November spending review have been dismissed by the Prime Minister. Mr Cameron restated a commitment the Conservative party made in their 2015 election manifesto, saying that the government was “committed to free school meals in England”.

NEW GOVERNANCE HANDBOOK
At yesterday’s National Co-ordinators of Governor Services Conference in Nottingham, it was announced that a re-branded version of the Governors’ Handbook – to be known as the Governance Handbook – is due out sometime in late October 2015.