These articles for School Governors will update your knowledge and give you fresh inspiration for fulfilling your role. Find out about governor strategy and discover transferable good practice in our case studies. There are also many specific topic areas for you to explore. Choose from the menu on the left, or click on the ‘Articles’ tab at the top of the screen and scroll down for a full list.

Is this the last year for SATs? Sam Derby discusses a possible end to SATs, and looks at the opinion that the exams are “too stressful” for young pupils

If a child makes a vague allegation is it OK to ask questions? How should an allegation against a member of staff be treated? Jenni Whitehead discusses some of the concerns facing managers when coping with these issues

Michael Segal explores a school’s legal position in implementing a reinstatement order, and how far they are obliged to enforce it

Governors have a great chance to improve pupils opportunities for taking part in physical activity, with the government’s school sport strategy

Admissions authorities and statutory appeal panels can avoid potential litigation from parents by using tactical decision making, says Yvonne Spencer

Schools and colleges that work in partnership provide a better offer to their students, make faster progress and improve their performance, says Robert Hill

Chris Webb-Jenkins walks you through the new vetting and barring regime, which comes into effect in autumn 2008

After celebrating her 80th birthday, Joan Sallis looks back and makes a plea for stability

Business managers and bursars are ideally placed to help their schools develop more robust approaches to fundraising, argue Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith

Headteacher Kim Sparling explores how targets in schools can be used most effectively

Have you ever been attracted by the financial freedom of academies but wondered what the drawbacks are? Gary Dawson guides you through the issues

Michele Robbins asks what issues arise most frequently in governor training sessions, and looks at how governors are responding to changes in performance management

Is there a lack of leadership initiative in your governing body? David Marriott looks at the importance of leadership development for governors

Can individual governors really make a difference? Joan Sallis looks at how and why governors should get under the skin of their school

Anne Clarke, principal of Benton Park School, discusses the value of departmental SEFs

What does the Children’s Plan have to say about shaping up a more emotionally literate education system?

Angela Youngman explores the problem of achieving maximum security in schools whilst maintaining a pleasant environment

The parental fundraising team is a fanstastic resource. Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith look at how to maximise the work it does

Michael Segal explains why a clear school complaints procedure is vital

The Children’s Plan was launched by Ed Balls in December 2007, but what are the government’s objectives for this initiative?

It is vital to know the new changes to the law — especially if your school is its own admissions authority, writes Ingrid Sutherland

School governor and former headteacher Peter Downes takes the long view on what ‘local management’ set out to achieve 25 years ago and where he believes it has gone partially wrong

Phil Williams, chair of governors of Kelmscott Secondary School, gives a personal view of his school’s involvement in the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future scheme

Mark Blois provides an update and overview on governing body structure and the complex demands made of governors – and possible changes on the horizon

Steve Smith makes the case to governors for outsourcing the ICT element of Building Schools for the Future projects

Joan Sallis gives advice for governing bodies on appointing a headteacher

Recent research into the experiences of parent governor representatives (PGRs) found confusion over the role, lack of respect and communication difficulties, writes David Gordon

Lindsey Wharmby puts cost prediction and risk assessment under the spotlight

If you thought that Circle Time was just for children, think again! Jenny Mosley explains why the Whole School Quality Circle Time Model focuses first on enhancing the mental health of the adults

While academies have some characteristics of maintained schools, they retain independent status in law. So which rules apply? Richard Gold clarifies

A raft of small changes add up to important new duties for all parties to the exclusion process. Ingrid Sutherland runs through what you need to know, in part two of this series

The genuine occupational requirement defence to a discrimination claim allows schools to set conditions on whom they employ. Tamara Ludlow explains

Paul Howells considers the changing nature of recruitment in our schools, and encourages you to consider how you can best save time while also getting best value

Becky Swain from Creative Partnerships explains the initiative’s aims and how it works with schools to help develop contexts for effective creative learning

Many of the difficulties faced by governing bodies stem from the unresolved tensions between three competing rationales for their work, writes Alan Dyson

How can governors overcome a perceived conflict between being united on the school’s behalf and representing distinct interest groups?

Headteacher Neil Berry explains how Brampton Manor in East London – described by Ofsted in December 1999 as having ‘serious weaknesses’ – was turned into the fully inclusive, successful school it is today

Legal Surgery answers a question about exclusion of a violent pupil who has SEN

Joan Sallis continues her series looking at the issues that concern governors, by focusing on the use of biometric technology in schools

Climate change is in the headlines every day. What are schools doing about this issue? Angela Youngman looks at the Eco-Schools programme

Former headteacher and current chair of governors Mike Walton argues that a closer relationship between parents and governors will benefit the whole school community

Which is more important — a pupil’s right to privacy, or the public interest in education?

The option to collaborate with outside partners is under-used — but it offers benefits that educators would be wise to take note of, as Richard Gold explains

Liz Rowbotham looks at how extended services have worked for one community college

Joan Sallis tackles another of the issues that are important to governors

Mo Laycock, Headteacher, Firth Park Community Arts College describes the effective model of governance which has contributed to three Ofsted results of ‘outstanding’ leadership at the school

Rather than see governors as a nuisance to be endured, schools instead should be working with them as an invaluable source of help and advice, argues Colleen Arnold of the National Governors Association

Small schools have limited resources and some funding streams can be very restrictive. Paul Ainsworth describes how one group of schools is seeking to overcome these problems

Brin Best explains why your school’s fundraising work will not be truly effective unless it is underpinned by a clear vision and strategy

Roger Whittall, Headteacher, The Westwood School, Coventry explains the school improvement strategies that have raised attainment and standards at his school

School improvement partner (and former headteacher) Trevor Arrowsmith explains what the role involves, how schools can benefit and what difference the initiative has made

Cultural diversity calls for comprehensive policy. But what if it doesn’t cover the case at hand? Use common sense and consultation, says Michael Brotherton

Professor Kay Hampton looks back on what has been achieved since the Macpherson report, and sets out the contents of a good race equality policy

Liz Rowbotham, Full Service Extended School Manager at Hengrove Community Arts College, explains her methods of running and evaluating extended services with the help of partnerships

Joan Sallis considers the relationship between the headteacher and governor, and explores mutual expectations and issues of respect

Maintained schools in England are now responsible for providing full-time education for excluded pupils from the sixth day of their exclusion

Joining forces brings benefit, but there are implications for governance, employment, and leadership, writes Mark Blois

No organisation can operate effectively without good quality information, provided in good time. Governors need the right sort of information, provided in an accessible format, to play their full part in effective governance. Martin Pounce reports

Joan Sallis examines some of the different issues that affect governors in primary and secondary schools

The National Assembly elections on May 3 2007 marked the completion of the second four-year term of devolved government in Wales. Allan Tait presents some of the key issues facing school governors in Wales

Schools are being advised to review their policies and practices to make sure that they are not doing anything that discriminates against pupils on the grounds of religion or belief

New guidance on behaviour and discipline in schools hit the headlines during Easter 2007 – largely because of its suggestions on the importance of rewarding good behaviour as well as punishing bad

Judith Harwood, senior regional adviser on the secondary strategy for school improvement, reports on the breadth of the pilot work being undertaken in secondary schools to promote Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL).

Vision into Practice – Ensuring Every Child Matters is a self-evaluation tool for inclusive learning. Trish Lowson, school link officer for Inclusive Learning at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, explains

We begin a series of best practice advice features with a look at the implications of a school having its own bank account

Sharon Wallwork provides comprehensive advice on dealing with a decline in student numbers. She argues that, far from being something that only schools in specific circumstances should be concerned about, all educational institutions need to assess the risks of declining numbers and the huge financial implications this can bring

Q: Can an employee who secretly taped a disciplinary hearing use the tape as evidence at a tribunal?

As schools open their doors to new categories of visitor, they must take an audit of risk and danger on the premises, writes Sarah Freeston.

Can – and indeed should – someone from a background other than teaching become a school leader? Join this growing debate

School governors can play a crucial role in safeguarding the future leadership of schools by taking a more systematic approach to the recruitment and appointment of headteachers.

An independent report compiled for the government has suggested that a number of key aspects of school governance need to be reformed.

In two respects the focus of education has shifted in the 2000s.

Nina Siddle explains how her school is working to improve the effectiveness of the governing body with respect to the new financial management standard for schools.

Sima Goldsmith considers the environmental and financial implications of the sustainable schools agenda

Nina Siddle explains how one school in East Yorkshire found widespread benefits from engaging with the Investors in People programme

Pat Barnes, education consultant and former head, urges headteachers to take a fresh look at their work-life balance.

Q – SOMETIMES a child suffers so badly from bullying that parents keep her at home. But is this legally justified?

New rules call for closer cooperation between local authority and school, giving increased protection to children at risk, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Christian Webb-Jenkins, of Browne Jacobson LLP, discusses the act

New maternity and flexible working rights mean employers must brush up on the law, says Derek Eccleston.

No matter how watertight the contract with parents, schools must implement it correctly and fairly if they want removal of a pupil to be upheld, says Mark Blois.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), analyses the vital role an outgoing head has to play in the succession process.

In a recent edition of School Governor Update David Marriott explored whether there was a future for governance.

A proposed change in the law would raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco. Peter Downes discusses the implications for schools.

QUESTION: What considerations should we apply when considering permanent exclusion of a pupil with special educational needs?

Schools should take note of new reporting and training requirements, as well as changes to appeal panel representation rights, says Ingrid Sutherland.

The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee undertook a major review of special education in 2005-2006 and published a report that asked the government to clarify its policy on inclusive education. This article summarises the questions that the Select Committee asked, outlines the government response to these, and provides a brief analysis of this response.

Exclusion is now one of the main ways of dealing with extreme behaviour. Headteacher Suzanne O’Connell examines recent guidance and legislation on the subject.

Headteacher Trevor Bailey explains why Worle Community School and Westhaven Community Special School, both members of the Weston-Super-Mare Federation, have jointly entered the Trust School Pathfinder programme and what benefits he hopes becoming trust schools will bring.

Many governors’ influence in their schools falls short of the model suggested by law, regulations, training, and the perceptions of politicians and the press.

New technology can be a comfort or a threat. Vicky Lapins outlines legal duties on educators to keep children safe.

What should employers do when faced with requests for allowances to be made at work on religious grounds? Helen Badger takes a look at the law.

Anne Clarke explores the role of the headteacher and asks: ‘Is the notion of a headteacher an out-of-date concept?’

The title of this article may seem far-fetched given the high profile of governor power in the past 25 years and the volume of paper – statutes, regulations, circulars, guides and magazine articles – drowning us.

The government’s campaign to persuade more schools to offer extended services continues with the publication of new guidance.

The government has updated its guidance on exclusion from schools and pupil referral units.

Schools are having to tighten up their record keeping after an Ofsted survey found confusion surrounding procedures for vetting staff.

Q: can a parent be prosecuted for not sending a child to school when there is an education supervision order in force?

New initiatives, including travel plans and school transport advisers, are being introduced. Managers ignore these at their peril, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Who is responsible for what? When do you delegate — and where do responsibilities overlap? Richard Gold explains.

Did the referee mean to praise the candidate or warn you off? Is a string of previous jobs a negative factor? Headteacher Carole Farrar looks at how to weigh up the information when appointing early years staff.

Carole Farrar, an experienced headteacher, takes you through the process of appointing new staff members.

Faye Spalding provides an overview of your responsibilities to your staff.

We all have policies; we monitor them, we evaluate them and every year or so we review them. Lynn Cousins suggests a different approach.

Nathan Archer, from the children’s house consultancy, guides you through the regulations relating to managing any money that you have raised from outside sources, and reminds you of the legalities surrounding local fundraising.

How much does food affect children’s behaviour? Mary Whiting reveals some research-based facts and offers some tips.

Colin Noble explains how achieving national healthy school status supports the new ‘whole-child’ agenda.

Schools should be at the centre of professional support for children and heads should champion change, argues Nick Johnson OBE.

Dr Diane Bebbington discusses the implications of a new initiative to address inequalities.

EYU draws out the key points for early years education and childcare.

Carole Farrar starts a series on communicating with parents by looking at what makes effective communication.

Creating an effective school

Headteacher Ian Bauckham attacks some common myths about faith schools and argues that their abolition would seriously reduce parental choice as well as being detrimental to the government’s commitment to raising standards.

Sue Moores, headteacher of a secondary school in the Isle of Man, compares the island’s educational system with that of England and concludes that she won’t be moving back here!

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) looks at the lessons that can be learned from the community education movement to help ensure the success of extended schools.

School leadership is being reviewed by the DfES. Former head Roger Smith looks at assumptions about what makes a good leader and ponders on where the review will lead.

Healthy meals for children, pristine premises and lovely grounds are within the grasp of every school, argues headteacher Mark Barnett.

Headteacher Carole Hawkins lays to rest the common perception that independent schools enjoy a privileged and problem-free position in today’s education market.

Headteacher Anne Clarke takes a close look at the roles and responsibilities of school governors and highlights the importance of creating a positive and trusting relationship with them.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), suggests that heads – and those appointing them – should consider the myths they need to match.

Pat Barnes, education consultant and former head, suggests ways to manage and make the most of parental help in schools.

Anne Clarke explores the role of the headteacher and asks: ‘Is the notion of a headteacher an out-of-date concept?’

The sentences given out in a number of recent high-profile sexual abuse cases has caused a great deal of debate about the length of sentence and the judgements made by high court judges. Jenni Whitehead discusses the current issues.

Barbara Lawrie, principal education social worker for Education Bradford, gives a summary of her research into possible risk factors that may be significant in allegations made against education staff.

Jenni Whitehead summarises the 2006 consultation paper on ‘Safer Recruitment and Vetting in the Education Service’.

A review of the attitudes of the whole school towards global citizenship resulted in changes to the School Development Plan.

A whole-school approach to food and health is fundamental to establishing good dietary habits and an understanding of the links between good nutrition and future health. In this article Anna Denny shows how shools can support children in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Charitable trusts give more than £350m to education annually. Louise Germaney looks at some of the biggest grant-giving foundations.

The cashless school will bring a dramatic range of benefits for students, parents and schools.

Many communities are keen to know what is happening in local schools and the profile of your school can be raised and presented in a positive light by successful use of the media. This counters a great deal of the damage done to the public view of education by more generalised central reporting, where sensationalism is the main criterion for publishing/reporting. By Linda Trapnell

There is always room for enhancing the curriculum through the creation and development of special events in school that pull teachers, pupils, local businesses and the wider community together, writes Rosemary Cairns

Richard Bird, legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), looks at the advantages currently enjoyed by schools with foundation status and ponders where they fit into the government’s vision for the future.

School meals are in the news again, as Hull City Council announces the success of its free healthy lunch programme for primary and special school pupils.

Bullying continues to hit the headlines. Despite the efforts that schools have made to get on top of the problem, three out of five secondary pupils say that they have experienced bullying. Former headteacher Roger Smith looks at ways of dealing with the instigators.

Headteacher David Dixon considers the inequalities of the schools admissions system, including negative effects on social cohesion and the ability of some schools to raise achievement and attainment.

Does the law help or hinder those charged with protecting such pupils?

Ingrid Sutherland cuts a path through existing, new and ‘improved’ guidance.

What duty of care does a school educational psychologist owe a pupil and, if the psychologist is negligent, what damages will the LEA be liable for?

When does an LEA education officer owe a duty of care to pupils? How far does this duty extend? Michael Segal looks at important new case law.

The BSF scheme relies on successful public-private partnerships. Sharon Jones and Rachel Williams look at how the local authority goes about putting these in place.

One of our pupils is in care and has a statement of SEN. Her parents disagree with the statement’s provisions and plan to appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal. Which takes precedence, SENDIST or the family court?

The new framework comes into effect this September. It will give schools more freedom — but this comes with tough new duties, says Mark Blois.

Amelia Wallington looks at what schools can do to counteract increasing appeals from parents.

Michael Wilson, Lecturer in Education Management, and Jon Prosser at School of Education, University of Leeds.

A new report evaluates the New Relationship with Schools (NRwS) in trial local authorities and schools.

The joint DfES/DH guidance Education of Children and Young People in Public Care (May 2000) recommended that schools assign a senior member of staff as designated teacher to act as a champion for looked after children. A new guide for school governors on their role in helping schools support these children will be helpful to SENCOs in defining the designated teacher role and offering useful information and explanations about what ‘looked after’ means.

The Government has just published an Independent Study into School Leadership, which includes recommendations on training and recruitment of leaders. This article examines the current shortage of leadership candidates, and contrasts this with the surplus of NQTs.

Ofsted says it is ‘very pleased – but not complacent’ at the way its new style school inspections are going.

A group of health experts has warned that the recent attention given to improving the quality of school meals has overshadowed moves to get children to drink more.

The DfES has produced an extensive toolkit to support financial management in schools.

A report by Ofsted is largely enthusiastic about the success of a selection of full service extended schools.

The government is hoping that the concessions it has made to critics of its education white paper will be enough to get its new Education and Inspections Bill through parliament.

Headteachers have welcomed the government’s plans to give them more powers to discipline students but say they are yet to be convinced that the move will make a great deal of difference in dealing with bad behaviour.

Ofsted has criticised the level of support many schools are receiving from their governing bodies to help them implement the government’s programme for remodelling the school workforce.

An implementation plan for the government’s reform of 14-19 education has been published.

Some time this term your school will be sent an email which will give a site reference and password for downloading the template of your school profile.

The government is encouraging primary schools to set up school councils.

Spring 2006 heralds the arrival of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) as the National Association of School Governors (NASG) and the National Governors’ Council (NGC) have merged into a single entity.

According to the DfES: ‘Governing Bodies are and will be school leaders.’ (Governing the School of the Future, 2005).

The DfES has issued a new version of the Governing Body Decision Planner which it first produced in 2000 as part of guidance clarifying the roles of governing bodies and heads.

In February 2006, it was announced that Secondary schools in England were to receive a guaranteed minimum increase in their core funding of 3.4% per pupil for 2006-07.

The important role of governors in school improvement is acknowledged in a report by the National Audit Office.

Criminal record checks are to be made mandatory for all newly appointed school employees as part of the tightening up of vetting procedures in the wake of the recent controversy over sex offenders being cleared to work in education.

Governing bodies in secondary schools in England are continuing to lag behind in ensuring that their schools fulfil their statutory duties, according to the latest Ofsted annual report.

Since the beginning of September, schools have no longer been required to produce an annual governors’ report or hold an annual parents’ meeting.

Proposals to help and encourage schools and local authorities to provide more school trips and increased opportunities for outdoor learning have been published by the government in a draft manifesto for consultation.

The two national governors’ organisations have agreed to merge to create a single body to represent and support school governors.

Since September 2005, as part of the new framework for inspection for children’s services, schools are expected to demonstrate how they are contributing to the five national outcomes for children stipulated by Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004.

Ofsted has long stressed the importance of governors being involved in the strategic development of their school and been critical when they fail to carry out that role effectively.

The drive to improve the quality of food in schools has taken another step forward with the publication of a report by the independent School Meals Review Panel.

Governance expert Joan Sallis expresses her reservations about the White Paper.

Schools in England should now be engaged in formal consultation with staff and their representatives on new draft staffing structures.

School sport partnerships are continuing to be successful in increasing the amount of time pupils spend taking part in PE and sport.

Detailed guidance on fire safety in school building design has been published, in draft form, by the DfES.

Schools in England and Wales are finding it increasingly difficult to appoint headteachers.

In our governing bodies we blithely talk about ‘team-building’. And in our more serious moments we may even think about ‘group effectiveness’ and ‘the quality of our decision making’.

Fundraising for school activities is nothing new. Only now with the pressures of workforce reform and initiatives such as extended schools and specialist status, many schools are reviewing the way they have to raise funds.

The government has given further encouragement to schools to set out on the path to providing extended services with the publication of a ‘prospectus’ on extended schools.

Both the main headteachers’ organisations have called for the powers of independent appeals panels on exclusions to be reduced in submissions to the government’s leadership group on behaviour and discipline.

The Secondary Heads Association has called for improved contracts for headteachers to make it more expensive and more difficult for governing bodies and LEAs to sack them.

Whether you’re writing your first G&T policy or need to update your current one, what do you need to include? G&T Update editor Jane West explains

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