Computer contracts and other financial controls

At last week’s Schools Forum the issue of new contracts for IT equipment and support (computers, printers, photocopiers, networking, etc.) for Haringey schools was raised briefly. These contracts can be huge and expensive, but are decent IT is essential to education (and any organisation) in the 21st Century, so getting it right is vital.
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20 key questions every governing body should ask

An essential piece of reading for all governors. This document was produced by the National Governors Association and should be something all of us have a look over and take to our next governing body meetings.

Download the document directly: click here.

Checklist and year planner for governors

We’ve got our first meeting of the year this evening and it reminded me of this really useful document that I found on the Haringey Governor Support website.

It’s a checklist of things that governors should be doing term by term. It is a little dated, but it’s still well worth keeping a copy of and making sure your governing body is keeping on top of all these issues.

Picking up the Pieces

Here are the details of a Conference CASE and other organisations are organising on the 17th November which may be of interest to governors. It’s in London and not expensive.

Please note that you to the webpage for Picking up the Pieces. It contains a map of the venue.

pdf iconPicking up the Pieces flyer No. 1.pdf

New Inquiry – Foundation Years – Sure Start Children’s Centres

***Call for evidence***

The Education Committee is today announcing an inquiry into Foundation Years – Sure Start Children’s Centres.

Written submissions of evidence are invited considering the following points:

– the new Core Purpose of Sure Start children’s centres, how this has evolved and is different from the original design and purpose of Sure Start;

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Learning from each other: governor exchanges

The key role of governors is to ‘support and challenge’ our schools to ensure that every child is getting the best education possible. It can be difficult to know how to do this though when we are generally not education professionals and can feel we have little to compare and contrast with.

Given the crumbling of LAs, the need for school to school support is greater than ever before. As governors we can play an important part in this. We should be meeting with other governors, going to other schools and seeing what we can learn from other’s good practice.

Heartlands High are leading the way on this, below are some ideas for how we could all get involved.

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What skills does your governing body have?

Governors bring a wealth of experience and expertise to schools, but if we don’t know what one another’s strengths are it’s difficult to take advantage of this.

Melian came up with a really useful, simple suggestion for how to overcome this: at the start of each meeting ask everyone to explain a little about what they do, know and are interested in.

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A great source of information for governors

The Clerk to Governors website has a huge amount of information that all governors should find useful. It’s really worth bookmarking and referring to.

There’s legal info, research and up to date news.

A quick guide on how to raise attainment

This is a really important piece of research that all governors should have a read of and use as part of discussions with their headteachers.

It very simply summarises 20 popular methods of raising attainment and weighs the research in to them. A simple table lays out the cost, likely benefit and the strength of the research in to each. It then goes on to give a one page summary of each of the methods and the research. It’s concise and very readable and some of the results are surprising.

So if you are looking to raise attainment for disadvantaged students in your school (and if not, why not) you really need to read this.

Read more about the report from the Education Endowment Foundation.

Download the report directly.

The report was originally called the Pupil Premium Toolkit, this is an updated version.