SCHOOLS NorthEast Northern Governance Conference – Friday 20 April 2018

This week I am reporting from the SCHOOLS NorthEast Northern Governance Conference at St James’ Park in Newcastle.  The conference aimed to support those in school governance roles in carrying out their duties confidently and effectively.

Keynote Speeches
Laura McInerney, Contributing Editor, Schools Week
Laura talked about the 3 key education trends this year which were funding, teacher workload and a teacher shortage.  She didn’t believe more money would be given to schools because the Education Secretary was a firm believer in using finances more effectively rather than providing more money into the system.  Laura discussed teacher workload and issues around when the working day ended and expectations around responding to emails.  She also talked about the teaching shortage which will develop over the next 5 years when there are less NQTs in the system and that there had been an  increase in teachers leaving to teach abroad.

Julia Harnden, Funding Specialist, ASCL
Julia looked at the next steps for school funding with the implementation of the national Funding Formula.  She explained how the system would work for 2018/19 and 2019/20 and that the additional £1.3 billion additional investment over the next 2 years was not new money the DfE had been given.  Julia talked about the implications of next year’s Comprehensive Spending Review and that schools needed to be honest when submitting their 3 year budget forecasts.  In the sector schools had dwindling reserves and growing deficits and the unfunded cost pressures of cost of living rises, on costs risks, the Apprenticeship levy and supply costs would all impact on budgets.

Iain Veitch, Vice Chair of SCHOOLS NorthEast and Head Teacher of Park View School
Iain talked about preparing for inspection and that the new Chief Inspector for Schools had opened a new research facility looking at evidence based approaches.  He talked about the new short inspections and that there were now two types of ‘Good’ judgements and there would be a new Inspection Framework in September 2019.  The IDSR had replaced the Inspection Dashboard and Governors must familiarise themselves with this as the first page identified areas to investigate which Inspectors would look at when they came to inspect the school.  Iain emphasised that Governors needed to understand the narrative of their school’s curriculum as they signed off the school’s Curriculum policy.

Sessions
A range of sessions for attendees to choose from included:

  • using evidence to support your school
  • what the General Data Protection Regulations meant for Schools and Governors
  • does the Headteacher’s Report help you to hold the school’s Senior Leadership Team to account
  • how to be an effective Link Governor for SEND/Pupil Premium

If you would like more information about SCHOOLS NorthEast you can visit their website or contact them on 0191 204 8866 or via email – info@schoolsnortheast.com.