Revised NGA Skills Audit and Code of Conduct – Friday 6 September 2019

This week I highlight the NGA’s revised Code of Conduct and Skills Audit and Matrix, confirmation of school spending over the next 3 years and a series of DfE announcements including the removal of Outstanding schools from Ofsted inspections; the publication of the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education and guides on what parents and schools can expect from new inspections.

Revised NGA Skills Audit and Code of Conduct
Today the National Governance Association published its updated skills audit and matrix and revised model Code of Conduct. I will compare our current Code of Conduct with this revised model and bring any proposed changes to Governing body meetings this term.

The skills audit remains structured around the DfE’s six features of effective governance, as referred to in the Competency Framework for Governance. However, it now includes an additional section titled “positive contribution”, which covers the experience and skills that characterise an effective and experienced governing team with capacity to develop and improve further. At the same time the skills audit has been streamlined with fewer questions to make it more manageable.

Announcement on school spending
On Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer used his autumn statement to officially announce that school spending will rise by £7.1bn over the next three years. Secondary schools will be given a minimum of £5,000 per pupil by 2020-21, while primary schools will receive £4,000 per pupil by 2021-22.

The Government also plans to raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 within three years whilst the budget for supporting children and young people with special educational needs will rise by £700m compared to 2019-20 funding levels. A further £400m was pledged to boost further education for 16-19 year olds.

Recent DfE announcements
Improving school standards – the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has revealed a number of new measures designed to improve school standards. One of these measures includes schools judged as ‘outstanding’ no longer being exempt from Ofsted inspections. The new measures are intended to ensure that parents have up to date information regarding the quality of education being provided as well as ensuring that school standards remain high.

Safeguarding guidance – the latest edition of the Government’s safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019, was released this week with minor revisions. Governors must ensure that they are compliant with the document and are aware of their responsibilities as a board.

Guides on inspections – Ofsted has confirmed that the primary audience for inspection reports will be parents and has released guides on what parents and schools can expect from new inspections. It details what schools can expect before, during and after inspection and how parents and schools can share their views with the inspectorate.