Friday Update – 27 November 2015

This week the DfE published the new Governance Handbook, an essential reference for all Governors and the Chancellor announced the Spending Review and Autumn Statement which included details of the DfE’s budget over the course of this Parliament.

The Governors’ Handbook has been re-named the Governance Handbook to make clear that it applies to all those involved in governance. It now refers throughout to the ‘board’ to emphasise that it applies equally to the governing body of a small maintained school as it does to the board of a large MAT.

The Governance Handbook is departmental advice from the Department for Education. It sets out the government’s vision and priorities for effective school governance, and:

  • outlines the core role and functions of the board of governors in maintained schools and academies;
  • summarises and provides a first point of reference on all the legal duties on boards, signposting to more detailed information, guidance and resources; and
  • provides information on the support available to boards to be effective.

It has been brought up to date with reference to the Prevent duty and tackling extremism as well as the new requirement for maintained schools to publish information on their Governing boards.

This week the Spending Review and Autumn Statement was published including details of the Department for Education’s budget. Over the course of this Parliament this means:

  • doubling free childcare from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for working families of 3 and 4 year olds;
  • protecting the schools budget in real terms, enabling a per pupil protection for the dedicated schools grant and the pupil premium;
  • making around £600 million savings from the education services grant (ESG) and supporting schools to realise efficiencies;
  • £23 billion capital investment over the Parliament to open 500 free schools, provide over 600,000 additional school places, rebuild and refurbish over 500 schools and address essential maintenance needs.