Last week we held our heads, governors and trustees conference.
We heard from a national leader of governance, Andy Wilson, who outlined the roles of governors and reiterated their importance.
Governors play a vital role in connecting our schools (and organisations) with our communities. They support and challenge on areas as wide and varied as finance, safeguarding, curriculum, staffing and premises. They are vital in ensuring that all our organisations stay true to the values we have agreed as a Trust.
Liz gave a super presentation about the support that our Everyone Learning Team can offer. Moira also contributed by outlining some of the revised processes and structures we are putting in place in 2021/2022.
I also contributed by giving some feedback on a couple of National issues that are likely to impact on our schools and local authorities over the next couple of years.
Firstly is the very significant emphasis central government is placing on the growth of Multi Academy Trusts. Politicians and officials are very keen to extend the Academy model so that every school becomes part of a Trust (at this time, around half of all schools remain part of local authorities). This has the potential to lead to quite a disruptive period as schools and trusts look to grow or consolidate. One thing is almost certain – we will need to position our Trust securely so as to protect our children’s offer, our communities and our staffing.
Secondly, I discussed the impending SEND green paper. Many of you will recall the last significant piece of legislation to be passed (that particularly affected our schools) was the 2014 Children and Families act. This legislation brought forward concepts such as EHCPs (up to the age of 25), joint working protocols and the local offer. The act also promoted the importance of specialist schools within a continuum of provision.
The Government is likely to consider a number of changes to the present system. This is likely to form part of a “green paper” consultation.
I think there may be a significant push relating to more children being educated in mainstream schools and the need to reduce the numbers of young people going through the statutory assessment process.
From our perspective we will need to consider the recommendations very carefully and ensure our children and communities are not disadvantaged. We also need to think about how our schools could extend our reach further within the mainstream. I think there may be an opportunity to bring the sectors closer together.
It would be wonderful to develop a true continuum of provision.
Finally, back to the conference and can I take this opportunity to offer a huge shout out to the Lumenus group who introduced each speaker with brilliant (and extremely funny) little segments.
“Moira’s joining us from the USA”
“ the USA –
uther side of Ashton!!!!!”
(All narrated with a broad Oldham accent)
Also a huge thank you to the groups of children and young people in our schools, colleges and post 19 organisations who enthusiastically thanked our Governors for their commitment, support and hard work. It made the event really special.
You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here