e-Bulletin – Issue 59

Local Update

 Update from governor services

Over 1700 governors across Buckinghamshire are now able to access our online training; the data is showing that governors are learning from our modules and positive feedback is coming in.  This month we’ll be working to ensure all boards are reaping the rewards of this ground-breaking system.

  1. Modules are all between 3 and 15 minutes long and can be viewed as static slide shows or animated videos to suit preference.

    “just the right length to enable them to be completed when you ‘have a few minutes’ e.g. on the train or during lunch, especially as they can be accessed on smartphones and tablets”   Tim Dutfield, Chair of Bierton C of E.

  2. The programme tracks skills against the DfE Competency Framework and unlike other training platforms, assesses current as well as developing skills. This allows the system to guide less experienced governors on the most appropriate path to a well-rounded skillset AND captures the skills of the more experienced governor using diagnostic tools.

    “It was satisfying to complete the nuggets in terms of both the time taken and knowledge gained. They are short enough to avoid overload, although I found them so satisfying that I immediately looked for another one!”  Sue Gotley, Chair of Elmtree

  3. This week we have launched an added admin function for development governors (or chosen administrators) that enables them to view the full board’s engagement and progress and provide a body of evidence of skills and development.

If you’ve not managed to log on yet, do please contact echeshire@learningtrust.net and she will be happy to get you up and running.  A communication on the new admin function will be sent out via Governorhub next week.  Development Governors may wish to book on the Development Governor Forum on Friday 15th to see a full demonstration and ask any questions.

Education Secretary sets out five foundations to build character

Last week Damian Hinds spoke at the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership conference about his vision to help children build character and resilience. He outlined what he believes are the five foundations for building character: sport, creativity, performing, volunteering and membership and world of work. You can access the full speech here.

This is worthy of board discussion in a broader context around vision, values and curriculum.

Last week I had a powerful conversation with some governors who were very clear about what they saw as their responsibility for making decisions as a board driven by their own local context.  I was delighted to hear them talk about their thoughts on the use of mobile phones and tablets something that has been prevalent in speeches, guidance and even thoughts for the day over the past fortnight. For most of us it stirs up strong emotion and we hold clear views; these governors were adamant that they wanted to be part of the decision-making process about their use or otherwise in school and their belief that this should relate directly to the school vision particularly around the powerful use of technology to support learning.

It is wholly appropriate for leaders to engage in robust discussions about the use of mobile, social media and technology, by so doing it is more likely that we end up with a more measured and considered strategy than many of the sound bites I heard last week.  If it’s not yet been on your board agenda for discussion and debate, you might want to include in a future agenda?

Finally, a headteacher generously shared the following quote with me last week. It made me reflect on the role of courageous leadership…….

Have a super week.



Kate Rumboll Director of Education Standards BLT

 National Update

 Mental Health Trial Launches in Schools

The Education Secretary has announced that 370 schools will take part in a series of trials testing different approaches to supporting young people’s mental health.

The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing

More information can be found here.

The Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families who are co-ordinating the trials are still looking for Secondary Schools to be part of the programme.   To express an interest schools should contact info@annafreud.org

 Launch of the Year of Green Action

The Environment Secretary has launched the Year of Green Action – a year-long drive to get more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to improve the natural world.

As part of the project £10 million will be allocated to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds better access the natural environment. Grants will be awarded to projects that will create greener school grounds and increase the number of school visits to local parks, wildlife sites, care farms and National Parks.

More information can be found here.

 EU Exit: Advice for Schools

The Department for Education has published advice to schools on how to prepare in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal

The advice can be found here.

Price Comparison Site to Help Schools Cut Energy Bills

The Department for Education has launched a price comparison site to make it easier for schools to switch energy supplier. The site allows schools to get instant quotes from a range of gas and electricity firms, similar to price comparison websites available for household energy.  This will help schools avoid charges made by energy brokers.

More information can be found here.


National Literacy Trust: Roy of the Rovers Competition

The National Literacy Trust have launched a creative writing competition to celebrate the return of the classic Roy of the Rovers comic.   Pupils aged 8-12 are invited to write a club motto for Roy Race’s iconic team, Melchester Rovers, and could win £250 of books and comics for their school.

More information, and resources to support the competition, can be found here.

The competition entry deadline is 30 April 2019.