Schools bulletin – 23 April 2013

Sorry I’m only just posting this, but I just received it today myself .

In this issue (links to stories):

Welcome back everyone from the Easter break – and to the fourth issue of our Schools Bulletin.

The Summer term has quickly arrived and it is always a busy and frenetic term too. I would like to wish all our young people well with their exams and SATs and thank the staff for their commitment in preparing them so thoroughly.

There are a couple of key events taking place this term which I would like advertise. Firstly, the Governor and Headteacher conference on Saturday 18th May at the Professional Development Centre where we have planned an invigorating set of workshops – as well as welcoming Kevan Collins as our keynote speaker to the event. Kevan is the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Fund where the work of the Sutton Trust education research has helped inform decision making in schools.

Secondly, in June the Headteachers conference will be held in Cambridge, where once again Haringey welcomes Kevan Collins as one of the speakers; this will ensure continuity between events and provoke the challenge and ongoing dialogue about the range of provision and impact.

Jon Abbey

Assistant Director of School Improvement

Children and Young People’s Service

Essential

New Standards Team

A number of members of the council’s School Improvement Team left the local authority before Easter – Chiaka Amadi, Lloyd Forster (although working on Comenius Project until July), Elpida Georgiou, Katie Marshall, Stavroulla Stavrinou and Dan Warner.

I would like to thank them for all their hard work, specialist knowledge and commitment to Haringey schools during their time in the authority. Both Sue Shallcross and Fay Jackson will continue their work into the summer term completing agreed, specific pieces projects.

I am pleased to report that following a successful recruitment campaign in the spring term that four new members of the School Standards Team have been appointed to work across our schools.

The new team is Jane Blakey, Heather De Silva, Rosemary Wiles (starting on 22April) who has been working as an Executive Head teacher in Kent and Anton Francic (3June) who is currently a Senior Adviser in Hackney.

We are currently advertising for one final position as a School Improvement Adviser (Primary) who will start in September.

Contact: Jon Abbey, Assistant Director of School Improvement

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Pupil Premium Funding

The government have made a commitment to tackle underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers, by targeting funding to tackle disadvantage.

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011, and paid to local authorities by means of a specific grant based on the school’s census and those pupils who have claimed FSM in the last 6 years.

There is a requirement of schools / Governors to report on how the pupil premium is being spent and to evaluate the impact on pupil attainment and achievement.

Most schools provide a document on their website explaining and accounting for the use of the Pupil Premium which is useful for parents, Governors and Ofsted.

Could we please request that your impact statement is sent to Sue Wilkie so that primarily we can collate a bank of good practice and strategies that schools across the local authority are using to maximise the funding provided and the impact that it is having on pupil achievement; secondly the local authority are subject to audit for this funding and we need to account for the expenditure as well as the impact it is having.

Please send your report accounting for the use of Pupil Premium to Sue Wilkie by Friday 26th April 2013.

Thank you for your assistance in this request.

Contact: Sue Wilkie, Professional Development Centre Manager

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Proposal to change pay date

Action required

As advised by Rubeena Mehmed, Head of Schools Personnel, at the Secondary and Primary Heads Forums on 5 and 6 February this year, the local authority is proposing to change the pay date for term support staff.

Please find further information in letters on the links below.

Head Teachers should be advised to circulate the staff letters as soon as is practical to ensure that staff benefit from the 2 week consultation period ideally from 22 April to 3 May.

We are asking for schools to collate all comments/feedback and return to the HR mailbox by Friday 10 May.

Contact: Ayse Isiktan, HR Policy/Investigations Consultant

Further info: Headteacher letterSupport staff letter

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Important

Closure of The John Loughborough School

On 16 April 2013 Haringey’s Cabinet agreed the recommendation outlined in a Cabinet report to close The John Loughborough School (JLS) with effect from the end of the summer term (August) 2013.

We are committed to supporting the individual needs of The John Loughborough pupils, including working with the Governing Body at Park View School so that Year 10 pupils could have the opportunity to remain together and continue their GCSE studies from September.

We have identified places for John Loughborough pupils at Haringey schools across the borough. We are writing to all parents – including those with children in Year 6 who currently have an offer for a place at John Loughborough from September – to advise them of next steps and the admissions process for children to attend alternative schools.

Further info: Details of the Cabinet meeting and minutes are available to view here

The Council’s JLS webpage also contains information on the background to the proposed closure of the school -www.haringey.gov.uk/jls

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Fostering needs you!

Action required

National wide there is a shortfall of 9000 foster carers.

Haringey’s Fostering Service is continually recruiting local foster carers to ensure that our looked after children can stay within the borough, and remain in school as well as close to their families and friends.

We are looking for schools borough wide to support our activities by hosting information sessions aimed at your partners and carers. We would also be interested in attending any events such as fetes to promote and raise awareness of fostering in Haringey, and how people can find out more about becoming a Foster Carer.

If you are interested in supporting Fostering in Haringey and would like to find

out more please get in touch.

Further info: Fostering recruitment and assessment

Primary school choices

83.97 per cent of Haringey pupils starting primary school in September have been offered a place at one of their top three primary school choices – and all applicants in the borough have received an offer of a school place.

Further info: Press releaseDataFAQs

Governor news

Admissions arrangements 2014/15

Action required

Academies, Free Schools, Voluntary-Aided and Foundation Schools (own admitting authority schools)

As a reminder, Governing Bodies must determine your admission arrangements for 2014/15 by 15 April 2013.

  1. Please ensure that your clerk records in your Governing Body minutes that you have determined your admission arrangements. You will need to do this do this even if you have not proposed any changes this year (and therefore you have not consulted on new arrangements).
  2. We must have a full copy of your determined admissions arrangements for 2014/15 to publish on the local authority website by 1 May 2013. Please can you ensure that they are clearly labelled with the school name and ‘Determined Admissions Arrangements 2014/15’.

Academies who wish to adopt the admission arrangements determined by the local authority

Please ensure that you have evidence that you will be adopting the local authority admission arrangements in your Governing Body minutes.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions about this process.

Contact: Carlo Kodsi, Secondary Transfer Officer

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Annual conference

Action required

Details about the Governor Training and Events Programme for the summer term – including the Annual Conference taking place on Saturday 18 May – were sent out directly to schools during the Easter break.

We hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend the conference.

This exciting programme will cater for all tastes and learning styles. Dr Kevan Collins Chief Executive Education Endowment Foundation will address the conference followed by the opportunity to attend workshops.

Please could you ensure that you complete and returning the booking form attached by Tuesday 30 April.

Contact: Carolyn Banks, Governor Services Officer

More info:Conference letter

Keynote speaker

Summer programme

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Welcome Glinys Weller

We are delighted to inform you that we have appointed Glinys Weller as Interim Head of Governors Service.

Glinys is an experienced manager who has worked previously in Haringey with Secondary Headteachers. She will now be working with us to meet the many challenges of the new Educational Landscape and is looking forward to working closely with Governors and Headteachers to ensure excellence in service delivery.

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Outstanding for All Parents Reference Group

Action required

Parents are at the heart of our vision for children in Haringey and delivery of the recommendations of Outstanding for All (OfA).

We want to hear the voice of parents on our journey to outstanding and are establishing a parents’ reference group to work with us as partners – and with the perspective of being a parent – in order to provide challenge and support as we plan, deliver and evaluate our progress.

There will be approximately six meetings over the course of two years where your thoughts and ideas on a range of issues including school governance, celebrating educational success in the borough and involving parents in their child’s education will be sought.

Any Parent Governors who are interested in being involved are invited to please get in touch with us.

Contact: Chloe Surowiec ,Cabinet Support Officer

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Review of Governance

Following the National College’s pilot reviews of governance in schools and academies following HMI-led Ofsted inspections the process has been reviewed and evaluated.

Below you will find further information about how you may access a review of governance, recommendations about what a review should comprise, and who may be able to carry out such a review.

This information will help Governors to understand the expectations for the nature and quality of reviews of governance, and for schools and academies to make informed decisions when accessing reviews of governance.

More info: Review of governance in schools and academies

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Changes to Ofsted Framework and Supplementary Guidance

Ofsted has recently updated its School Inspection Framework and Supplementary Guidance. In most cases, the changes are relatively minimal, but there are two changes of note in relation to governance.

Firstly, there is now a specific mention in the Supplementary Guidance to the Ofsted data dashboard. Secondly, the paragraphs on governance reviews (which may be recommended by an inspector) have been amended to make clear that the review need not be conducted by a National Leader of Governance (NLG) or a National Leader of Education (NLE).

There are also changes in paragraph 76 which now says ‘Governors are not expected to undertake lesson observations, unless the school has clear protocols for visits so their purposes are understood by school staff and governors alike.’

As indicated by the Department for Education’s website: ‘It is important that governors remember the purpose of governor visits is not to assess the quality of teaching provision.

More info: School Inspection Framework and Supplementary Guidance

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Financial Efficiency in Schools – call for evidence

Action required

In the Budget Statement 2013, the Government announced that it would conduct a review of school efficiency.

As part of that review, the Department for Education (DfE) is looking for evidence about how schools spend their money – in particular it is seeking information about the relationship between spending decisions and outcomes, and how schools ensure that resources are used to the best effect.

The over-arching questions the DfE is seeking answers to are:

  • How financial decisions are made in schools and who makes them;
  • The tools and techniques that schools have found particularly effective in achieving greater efficiency; and
  • Whether the right incentives are in place for schools to use their resources more efficiently.

This is a call for evidence (rather than a full formal consultation) and the deadline for comments is 10 May 2013.

The call for evidence and response form can be found on the DfE’s website via the link below.

More info: DfE Financial Efficiency in Schools.

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Annual Survey of Chairs of Governors

Action required

The National College has recently asked BMG Research to undertake a telephone survey of Chairs of Governors, to explore the challenges they face and the help they need to meet these.

Chairs can support this survey, by registering their interest via the following link by 30 April 2013.

Interviews take approximately 20 minutes and provide a genuine opportunity to ensure that the services the College offers meet the needs of the Governors in the valuable work they undertake

Further info: please contact Dr Andy Coleman

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Lord Nash gives evidence to MPs

On 20 March, Lord Nash, the under-secretary of state for schools, and the minister with the responsibility for governance, gave evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee for its inquiry into governance.

Lord Nash covered many areas of governance including: paying Governors, the size of Governing Bodies and clerks.

In relation to the size of governing bodies Lord Nash explained that the academy that he sponsored, Pimlico Academy, had a governing body of seven which he felt was more effective than a larger group.

He went on to say that the government should be sending the message that governance is important and that historically the importance of the governing body had been underestimated in relation to its ability to drive change.

The select committee asked what he would be doing to help this and he responded that he would talk about governance a lot more and pointed to the work that the National College and NGA were doing.

Sir Michael Wilshaw (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector) has recently mentioned paying Governors and Lord Nash said he would listen to Sir Michael’s thoughts, but that he did not believe governors should generally be paid. Voluntary, he said, does not mean amateur.

Further info: Lord Nash at Education Select Committee

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Of interest

Benefits cap

The government’s benefits cap came into force in Haringey on the 15 April. If you currently received benefits, you may be affected.
You can find out more about the benefit cap and other welfare changes, as well as where to go for advice and support at www.haringey.gov.uk/benefitchanges

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What do you think?