Governor development opportunities 2022-23

Please take advantage of the governor training sessions this academic year, which are designed to make sure that as a governor you're fully equipped with the information that you need to support your school. The sessions aim to make sure that governors feel confident to be able to provide the necessary challenge to the headteacher of the school, and to get the most out of your role. Sessions for the summer term are currently being finalised.

Book a course

Sessions will be delivered virtually using Microsoft Teams, (unless otherwise stated) keeping the cost at £55 per governor per session.

You can book a place on a course by emailing Governor Services at admin-governorsservices@barnsley.gov.uk

Cancelling a course 

If you need to cancel a course then please email admin-governorsservices@barnsley.gov.uk as soon as possible.  If we receive less than 48 hours notice the school will be charge the full amount to cover costs.  

Courses

More sessions are currently being finalised and will be available soon.

Date Session Time
Thursday 24 November Understanding school finance 6.30pm to 8pm
Monday 28 November 2022 Health and safety 6.30pm to 8pm
Monday 5 December 2022 Ethos and working practices – being efficient and effective 6pm to 8pm 
Tuesday 13 December 2022 Making sense of your school's data 6pm to 8pm
Thursday 12 January 2023 Being strategic and ensuring statutory compliances 6pm to 8pm 
Tuesday 7 February 2023 Monitoring and evaluation 6pm to 8pm
Tuesday 7 March 2023 Getting the balance right 6pm to 8pm

About the sessions

Overview of the risk assessment rationale and process for 2022-2023

Importance

Barnsley’s risk assessment framework is firmly rooted in the school self-evaluation and recognises that accurate self-evaluation is a sign of strong leadership that leads to self-improving schools.

Aims and objectives 

Governors are strongly encouraged to attend an online briefing session where the risk assessment criteria and its correlation with the Ofsted inspection framework will be explored to help governors to understand the self-evaluation process.

Headteachers of maintained schools have been asked to use the ‘Building A Picture’ template to highlight the relevant statements from each risk assessment category and to return this to their SEO prior to the risk assessment meeting in the Autumn Term. We hope that this is shared with governors and that governors are able to meet with the SEO in the Autumn Term visit.

A strength of the 2021 / 2022 process was the high level of engagement by governors in the process following the Autumn Term briefing. Governors were able to share the 'Building A Picture' document throughout the year to support their governing body meeting cycle to engage with self-evaluation, and valued opportunities to meet with the SEO throughout the year.

Audience 

All governors

Led by

Brian Beal

Making sense of your school's data

Importance

2022 saw the first published data since 2019, providing the opportunity for governors to compare the attainments and progress of their school with others, and to provide some external validation of teachers’ assessments.

Schools also have a range of data for all year groups, and within these for the range of pupils attending school, including boys/girls, disadvantaged, SEND, EAL alongside others. Other information, for example relating to attendance and behaviour, is also helpful to governors as they seek to understand their school.

This workshop seeks to help governors to make sense of the data available and to identify their own lines of enquiry without being dependent on school leaders.

This workshop is offered remotely, but also as a bespoke offer to governing boards that may wish to look in more detail at their school’s performance data in order to inform governing board discussions.

Aims and objectives 

The session covers:

  • Consideration of EY, phonics, KS1, KS2 published data for 2022 in comparison to previous and national outcomes;
  • Consideration of other internal information that is available and should be shared and evaluated by governors to support them in fulfilling their core statutory roles;
  • How to identify lines of enquiry and questions to ask following scrutiny of school’s performance data.

Audience 

All new governors

Led by 

Brian Beal

Induction - Welcome to governance!

Highly recommended for all new governors

Importance

The purpose of this induction is to ensure that you know and understand your responsibilities so that you can effectively contribute to the work of your governing board. It aims to provide you with insights and to build confidence so that you can make a positive difference in your new role.

Aims and objectives

The session covers:

  • knowing and understanding the core functions of the governing board and the key features of effective governance;
  • the governing board’s accountability to, and relationship with others (e.g. Ofsted, DFE, LA, Diocese);
  • the governance structure of the organisation, including its constitution and procedures, scheme of delegation and how and where decisions can be made;
  • Knowing the similarities and differences between governance arrangements in maintained schools, and that of Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs). It is important for maintained governors to understand these just as much as those of local governing boards in MATs because of the government’s prioritisation of the academisation agenda and the role of each governing body in determining the long-term future of each school.

Audience

All new governors.

Led by

Brian Beal

Health and safety

Importance

By the end of the training session governors will have a greater understanding of health and safety legislation, specifically in relation to the roles of the employer/employee, the roles and responsibilities of the governors and that of the headteacher. In addition, governors will have an appreciation of the arrangements the headteacher will have to put in place to manage COVID-19 effectively and keep the staff and children safe within the school.

Aims and objectives

The training and discussion will clarify roles and responsibilities of the school's governing body in relation to the current legal requirements of the management of health and safety. The session will raise awareness of the critical relationships with internal and external bodies and the arrangements needed to be in place and provide an overview of the health and safety implications of both managing COVID-19 and keeping staff and children safe within schools.

Audience

All governors

Led by

Jeremy Ward, BMBC Health, Safety and Emergency Resilience Advisor

SEND - written statement of action

Importance

Written Statement of Action (WSoA).  WSoA given following the Local Area SEND Inspection last October (2021)

Aims and objectives 

This session will aim to address the following:

  • The outcome of the Local Area SEND Inspection (October 2021)
  • What is the WSoA and how does this impact on all services across the local area?
  • How the WSoA priorities feed into whole school development
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Governance – how we (and the DfE) oversee progress

Audience 

All governors

Led by

Bev Bradley (SEND improvement officer)

Being ready for inspection 

Importance 

This is a workshop for governing boards that have limited or no previous experience of the inspection process, or those that wish to update their understanding of the inspection process.

This workshop is especially useful for schools that are in the ‘inspection window’ and can be delivered in a bespoke format for either individual Governing Boards, or for other collaborative arrangements.

Aims and objectives

The session covers:

  • The evaluation schedule – how schools will be judged;
  • How the inspection framework will be applied in different contexts;
  • Knowing and understanding the lines of enquiry, sources of evidence and types of questions that governors may be asked during the interview with inspectors.

Audience 

All new governors

Led by

Brian Beal

Understanding school finance

Importance 

This is a training session for governors who have limited knowledge of and/or no previous experience of budget setting and monitoring school finances. It will ensure that they have a greater knowledge and understanding of school finance so that they can best support and challenge their school leaders on finance.

Following the session, governors will be confident enough to oversee the financial performance of the school and ensure funding is well spent.

Aims and objectives

The session covers:

  • Where the funding comes from and how schools are funded
  • The statutory responsibilities for finance, current DfE expectations and governors strategic oversight.
  • Understand the governors role in relation to managing the budget and resources.
  • Understand how financially efficient schools use their funding and resources.
  • How governors can contribute effectively towards the budget setting and monitoring process.

Audience 

School governors with little or no previous experience of school finance.

Led by

Victoria Harrison, Chief Operations Officer and Andrew Ravenscroft, Director of Finance (HCAT)

Ethos and working practices - being efficient and effective

Importance 

All governing boards should understand and design structures through which governance takes place in order to avoid unclear and overlapping responsibilities that can lead to dysfunctional or ineffective governance arrangements. Boards should also assess their effectiveness and efficiency to ensure ongoing compliance with its statutory and legal duties and to keep these under review.

This session considers options that are open to governors so that they are able to reflect on their current arrangements and to consider if there is scope for adjustments and refinements so that working practices and structures align with the bespoke needs of their school.

This workshop covers competences 4 (Structures) and 6 (Evaluation) identified in ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’.

Aims and objectives 

The session covers:

  • How governing boards can be organised in order to make optimum use of time and facilitate effective decision making;
  • How the working relationship with the headteacher supports effective leadership and management built on openness, honesty and trust;
  • Exploring the scope of the governing board’s strategic role and responsibilities and those of the headteacher, and the governing board structures through which they can be fulfilled.

Audience 

All new governors

Led by 

Brian Beal

Being strategic and ensuring statutory compliances 

Importance 

Governing boards are expected to provide confident, strategic leadership to their organisations; they should lead by example and ‘set the tone from the top’.

Governors should also understand the legal frameworks and context in which the organisation operates and all of the requirements with which it must comply.

This workshop covers competences 1 (strategic leadership) and 5 (compliance) identified in ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’.

Aims and objectives 

The session covers:

  • Ensuring that the governing board has a high level of strategic influence, brought to bear in decision-making and making a major contribution to the leadership of the school;
  • Ensuring that statutory policies are in place and that policy making complies with governance regulations as well as reflecting the distinctive nature of the school;
  • Setting the budget to reflect priorities in the school’s development plan and to effectively deploy resources to achieve value for money.

Audience 

All new governors

Led by 

Brian Beal

Monitoring and evaluation 

Importance 

The governing board’s core functions include holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the organisation.

In order to do so governors need to have insightful understandings of how well their school is performing, both educationally and financially, and where it needs to improve further.

This workshop aligns with competence 3 (accountability for educational standards and financial performance) identified in ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’.

Aims and objectives 

The session covers:

  • How the governing board (and committees) can effectively monitor the quality of provision within the school;
  • Analysing the views of learners/ carers, staff and other stakeholders;
  • Being aware of the quality of education and how this relates to pupil progress.

Audience 

All new governors 

Led by 

Brian Beal

Getting the balance right - support and challenge 

Importance 

People that govern need to form positive working relationships with their colleagues to function well as part of a team. They need to be able to relate to staff, pupils/students, parents and carers and the local community and connect to the wider education system in order to enable effective delivery of the organisation’s strategic priorities.

The emphasis throughout this session is knowing and understanding what a well-balanced, constructive and positive relationship between the chair/governing board and the headteacher looks like, and how this can be sustained.

This workshop aligns with competence 3 (People) identified in ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’, aligning with the core statutory functions of governance that apply to all governance structures.

Aims and objectives 

The session covers:

  • Ensuring that there is a high level of trust and respect between the headteacher and governing board and that the headteacher is open to questions and suggestions from the board;
  • Identifying clear ground rules for discussions and decision-making, including respecting confidentiality following discussions;
  • Being able to hold the Headteacher and school leadership to account by asking questions in a positive and constructive manner and ensuring that, where appropriate, the governing board follows this through;
  • Ensuring that the governing board is able to discuss the school’s strengths and weaknesses openly and frankly with the school’s leadership team;
  • Facilitating opportunities for the leadership team to work with governors on improvement issues and the implementation of policies.

Audience 

All new governors

Led by

Brian Beal