Governing bodies to have the power to remove elected parents and staff governors – Friday 5 May 2017

This week I report on changes to constitutional arrangements for maintained schools giving governing bodies the power to remove elected parents and staff governors, provide further information from the DfE on the replacement for RAISEonline and highlight a new report on financial pressures facing some schools who are cutting back on mental health provision.

Changes to constitutional arrangements for maintained school governing bodies
Late last week the Government published the School Governance (Constitution and Federations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 which will enforce changes to the constitutional arrangements of maintained school governing bodies (including federated governing bodies).

From 1 September 2017, maintained school governing bodies will have the power to remove elected parent and staff governors in the same way as they can remove co-opted governors – that is, by majority decision of the governing body.

From 1 May 2017, any person who has held office as an elected parent or staff governor and removed from the governing body during their term of office, will be disqualified from serving or continuing to serve as a school governor for five years from the date of their removal.

Information on the replacement for RAISEonline
The DfE has released a video with information on the replacement for the RAISEonline service. The new “Analyse School Performance” service will be a “sister service” to the DfE performance tables. Unlike the performance tables, it will require secure access and governors should speak to their school about obtaining access from the secure access approver. Any access provided should be in anonymised form. The anonymised data will also be available to Ofsted, local authorities, multi-academy trusts and dioceses.

The service will allow governors and trustees to “view and analyse details on key headline measures” and compare performance at “school and pupil group level against national averages”. The system allows for both overview and in-depth reports (eg breakdown by pupil groups) on headline measures. The new system also allows users to use scatter graphs to identify trends over time. This will help governors to see if “their school development plan and priorities” are being translated into better results in key areas.

New report suggests schools are cutting back on mental health provision due to financial pressures
A joint report conducted by the Education Select Committee and the Health Select Committee urges the next government to review the impact of squeezed school budgets on mental health services. It also advocates more training for teachers when completing their initial qualifications and greater consideration of children’s well-being by school inspectorate Ofsted.

While it welcomed the Government’s commitment to making PSHE a compulsory part of the curriculum, the report suggested the promotion of well-being cannot be confined to the provision of PSHE classes.