Welcome to the second issue of GoverNews. Each term we aim to keep you up to date with information pertinent to governors in all Northumberland schools.

Last term saw schools wrestling with new syllabi in many subjects at Key Stage 4 & 5, and looking at the potential impact of the National Funding Formula. The inquest into the first GCSE results to contain numbers rather than grades continues and the final performance tables will be published shortly. A review of the events of the year, and how they relate to governace, has been published by Naureen Khalid here.

The government have also launched a number of consultations recently:

Please do respond if you have the time.

Whatever changes may be thrust upon us the role of governors continues to be:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

The Annual Report of the Director of Education and Skills will be published shortly and will give an overview of the successes of schools in the county as well as comparisons to schools nationally, as well as identifying the challenges we face. As always this report will be discussed at the spring term Chairs and Vice Chairs briefings, and distributed via the e-courier.

We will continue to offer training to governors – details of the training available will be posted on the governor page of the website. If there are particular training sessions that you would like to see please let your Clerk know.

If you would like to spread your experience of successful governance further you may wish to consider becoming a National Leader of Governance. Full details of the criteria and how to apply are available here.

We are always looking out for good news stories on how governing bodies are working effectively – please do pass any examples to Sandra Hunter.

As the terms progress, and Ofsted visit our schools, we will endeavour to speak with governors about the experience and pass on their thoughts to you. So far the new inspection regime seems to have been more pleasant and constructive. Many schools report a much more positive experience than previously.

The Governor Support Team should be your first port of call with any queries you may have. Their contact details can be found here.

Best wishes for the new year and the new term.

Sandra Hunter (Governor Support Manager)