This week I highlight free governor training on governance roles and structure, information on the Government’s spending review and its impact on schools, publication of the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Winter Plan and details on the new teaching school hub programme.
Free webinar on Governance roles and structures on Thursday 3 December 2020 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Governors for Schools are offering this webinar facilitated by Better Governor and will explore the new guidance published by the DfE on governance roles and structures. Governors will look at the DfE’s latest expectations for maintained schools and academies and bring clarity to their view on the roles and responsibilities of school governors moving into 2021.
It will be a mix of input from them alongside real-time opinion polls and the opportunity to ask your own questions. To secure your place at this webinar, register now at the Governors for Schools website.
Government spending review
The Government’s spending review included a number of announcements relating to schools and education. The most significant was the confirmation that schools’ budget would receive an incremental rise of £2.2 billion in 2021-22. However, the announcement of a pay freeze for public sector workers earning over £24k, means the Government’s pledge to raise teachers’ starting salaries to £30k by 2022/23 has been pushed back to 2023/24.
Other announcements covered the Government’s new school rebuilding programme, a commitment on new school places for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and funding for education, including schools catch-up and supplementary support for free school meals in 2021/22.
Covid-19 Winter Plan
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan, informing the country of how the strengthened tier system will work when the period of national lockdown ends on 2 December. The plan sets out that under all three tiers of restriction schools will remain open and pupils will be told to attend school as normal unless they are self-isolating. Supervised activities provided for pupils, including wraparound care, will be exempt from gathering limits.
The Winter plan includes a proposed system of frequent testing as an alternative to the need for self-isolation for people who have had close contact with someone who has Covid-19, which will be piloted in schools. Those who have been in close contact would be offered regular tests and would only have to self-isolate if they were to test positive.
The DfE has updated its guidance to inform schools of how they should operate under the strengthened tier system.
Teaching school hub programme
The teaching school hub programme will create a national network of 87 centres of excellence for teacher training and development, replacing the previous network of around 750 teaching schools. Teaching school hubs will provide high quality professional development to teachers at all stages of their careers and will play a significant role in delivering:
- school-based initial teacher training (ITT)
- the early career framework when it is available nationally from September 2021
- the new specialist national professional qualifications (NPQ)
- leadership NPQs
- appropriate body services for early career teachers
They will be funded for 3 years (subject to confirmation) and will be accessible to every school in the country. They will receive an annual grant (subject to conditions) and each hub will have its own defined area and must serve all schools within it, although this will not prevent hubs from working with schools outside their area.