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

Last academic year was punctuated by changes to the curriculum, funding proposals and, in Northumberland changes to the structure of schooling in some partnerships. This academic year has seen the first GCSE results to contain numbers rather than grades, we expect further detail around the National Funding Formula, and the likelihood of more schools joining or forming Multi Academy Trusts.

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 this term 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 term progresses, and Ofsted visit our schools, we will endeavour to speak with governors about the experience and pass on their thoughts to you.

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 term.

Sandra Hunter (Governor Support Manager)