Review into education in the Northern Powerhouse published – Friday 25 November 2016

This week I report on the publication of the long-awaited review into education in the Northern Powerhouse, the launch of the new online service proposing to make recruitment of governors easier and information on when we should expect to see the new Governor Competency Framework and updated Governance Handbook.

Independent review into education in the Northern Powerhouse
Yesterday, the Department for Education released “A Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy”, an independent review led by Sir Nick Weller, CEO and Executive Principal of Dixons Academies in Bradford. The report outlines a series of proposals to “tackle educational underperformance in the North of England” in the following five areas:

  • Building teaching and leadership capacity
  • School improvement capacity
  • Raising standards by closing the disadvantaged
  • Curriculum
  • System conditions

Whilst the Government has indicated it will invest £70m over three and a half years to improve capacity and raise standards in Northern Powerhouse schools, it is difficult to see how the recommendations in this review could all be taken on-board given the amount of funding available.

Launch of online governor recruitment service
Back in October last year I highlighted a new scheme launched by the Inspiring Governors Alliance to connect skilled volunteers interested in serving as governors and trustees with schools and colleges. It was formally launched on Tuesday this week and run by the National Governors Association (NGA) and Education and Employers, a careers charity, in partnership with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). It will receive funding from the Department for Education for four years.

I have taken the liberty of registering your school and using the skills and expertise gaps highlighted in your skills audits, will search for suitable matches.  I will flag up any suitable matches with the Chair of Governors and Headteacher.

Governor Competency framework and Governance Handbook
Publication of the Governor Competency Framework is expected around the end of this month and advance information suggests that it will not now be used as a basis for the national development of governor training. The new Governance Handbook will also be published at the end of the month. As soon as they are available I will provide governors with a link.