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

Improving weather means that examinations must be around the corner. Schools work incredibly hard to keep the balance between building a love of learning and preparation for exams. Accountability via results is inevitable despite the many other aspects of education that are more valuable than examination certificates. Do remember that at Key Stage 4 there are more subjects graded with numbers rather than letters this year. This factsheet may help explain it to you and your fellow governors.


In other news:

  1. GDPR is looming, the Local Authority have launched an SLA to provide schools with a dedicated Data Protection Officer. Full details can be found here.
  2. OfSTED have made some minor amendments to the inspection handbook. Full details will be discussed at the briefings this term.
  3. Damian Hinds (education secretary) has announced a number of changes to the education landscape:
  • The Regional Schools Commissioner will no longer be able to authorise “mocksteds”
  • The “coasting” schools definition will be scrapped
  • “Floor standards” will be scrapped
  • Only schools judged Inadequate by OfSTED will trigger forced academisation or rebrokering.


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

Dean Jackson, the new Service Director – Education & Skills, will attend the summer term briefings to introduce himself to you. Dean takes office on May 15th.

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. Many schools report a much more positive experience than in previous years.

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.

Sandra Hunter (Governor Support Manager)