Free governor training webinars – Friday 30 April 2021

This week I highlight free governor training webinars taking place on safeguarding and why physical activity in schools is so important, the Education Secretary’s vision for all schools to be part of strong multi-academy trusts and a new law to make school uniform costs affordable for all families.

Free governor training webinars in May 2021
Governors for Schools is offering two webinars for governors next month as follows:

  • Thursday 6 May 2021 from 8 to 9am – Safeguarding: what governors need to know in 2021. This webinar in conjunction with Better Governor will explore the latest evidence on the safeguarding risks presenting in 2021 and how, through providing strategic oversight, governors can ensure that adults in schools, pupils and parents are aware of them. Spaces are limited so if you register but are unable to join at the time because they reach capacity, they will forward a recording to you.  Sign up via the website here.
  • Thursday 20 May from 12-1pm – Why physical activity in schools is so important and first steps to improving provision.  This webinar will explore why physical activity is a crucial component of mental health and wellbeing, especially for young people. It will also consider how governors and their schools can begin to improve their provision and culture.  You can sign up via the website here.

Education Secretary speech on the drive for a stronger school system to benefit all pupils
Earlier this week the Education Secretary gave a speech at the Confederation of Schools Trusts annual conference, renewing his vision for the school system to continue to move decisively towards a single model built on strong multi-academy trusts as its foundation, bringing the current pick-and-mix system of local authority maintained and standalone academy schools to an end. He also stated his ambition was to bring schools with a history of long-term underperformance (three consecutive Requires Improvement or worse judgements by Ofsted) into strong multi-academy trusts and committed to consult fully with the sector on any potential changes.

All maintained schools would now have the option to ‘try the academy experience before they buy’ – associating with multi-academy trusts for a defined period to experience the benefits for themselves and their students, with no commitment.

Updated guidance for trusts and prospective academy converters was published setting out how strong trusts improve educational outcomes; how local authority schools can convert and the support they can expect to receive.

New law to make school uniform costs affordable for all
School uniforms will be made more affordable for families under a new law passed by Parliament yesterday.  The Act, which received Royal Assent today, will require schools to follow new statutory guidance on uniform costs, instructing them to keep prices down.

The cross-party support for the Bill recognised the costs parents face for school uniform, particularly for branded items, and the statutory guidance (due to be published in the Autumn term) will tell schools to consider high street alternatives.  It will also include measures on encouraging second-hand uniform, schools’ arrangements with suppliers, and ensuring parents have access to clear information about uniform policies.