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Delivering and demonstrating strong governance: 2015 Governors’ Conference Medway

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A presentation by Hilary Macdonald Senior HMI on 2 June 2015.

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Delivering and demonstrating strong governance: 2015 Governors’ Conference Medway

  1. 1. 2 June 2015 20:05– 21:00 2015 Governors’ Conference Medway Delivering and demonstrating strong governance Hilary Macdonald Senior HMI
  2. 2. Overview An opportunity to: highlight the principles and practices that contribute to highly and less effective governance share and discuss how you deliver and demonstrate strong governance reflect on how ready you are as a governing body for inspection highlight expectations as of September 2015
  3. 3.  Governors are most effective when they are fully involved in the school’s self-evaluation and use the knowledge gained to challenge the school, understand its strengths and weaknesses and contribute to shaping its strategic direction.  In contrast, weak governance is likely to fail to ensure statutory requirements are met, for example those related to safeguarding. In addition, where governance is weak the involvement of governors in monitoring the quality of provision is not well enough defined or sufficiently rigorous and challenging.  Schools are less likely to succeed if their governance is poor.
  4. 4.  In the best schools inspectors find that governors are very well informed
  5. 5.  Governors in these schools know how to challenge and have the right skills
  6. 6.  A model of what goes wrong in declining schools: problems start when processes to ensure accountability or drive change start to falter Governors fail to provide enough challenge to headteacherGovernors fail to provide enough challenge to headteacher Over-reliant on headteacher for knowledge of the school Over-reliant on headteacher for knowledge of the school Lack of urgency due to complacency or distractions Lack of urgency due to complacency or distractions Factors influencing accountability: lack data skills and training excessive trust or too friendly lack of external evidence, eg SIP headteacher provides unbalanced information lack of own monitoring and information misplaced loyalty Factors influencing accountability: lack data skills and training excessive trust or too friendly lack of external evidence, eg SIP headteacher provides unbalanced information lack of own monitoring and information misplaced loyalty Factors restricting capacity, eg: Chair of Governors in post a long time and ‘world has moved on’ governors not strategic or evaluative in thinking diverted by building plans, falling rolls, academisation, etc. internal ‘turbulence’. Factors restricting capacity, eg: Chair of Governors in post a long time and ‘world has moved on’ governors not strategic or evaluative in thinking diverted by building plans, falling rolls, academisation, etc. internal ‘turbulence’.
  7. 7.  The consequences of a failure to challenge undermine the running of the school Governors fail to provide enough challenge to the headteacherGovernors fail to provide enough challenge to the headteacher Improvement planning does not address the real priorities or is not rapid enough Improvement planning does not address the real priorities or is not rapid enough Performance management of the headteacher is weak because it cannot be based on any meaningful analysis Performance management of the headteacher is weak because it cannot be based on any meaningful analysis Governors do not know what training they need or what additional governors to appoint Governors do not know what training they need or what additional governors to appoint Performance management of teachers is ineffective, as it is not linked to achievement Performance management of teachers is ineffective, as it is not linked to achievement The school is incapable of stopping its own declineThe school is incapable of stopping its own decline Governors do not know what is needed to probe more closely and gather further insight Governors do not know what is needed to probe more closely and gather further insight Governors do not know if their actions are having any impact or how good the school really is Governors do not know if their actions are having any impact or how good the school really is
  8. 8. Discuss how you deliver and demonstrate strong governance Share examples with group
  9. 9. Recommendations for improving a governing body: techniques for governors to use in monitoring work independently of the headteacher, for example, when visiting aspects of the school’s work how to use data to get to their own independent view of achievement, including of specific groups how to engage with the performance management of staff and teaching in particular how to plan and deliver performance management of the headteacher and other senior staff, including setting targets helping governors to work with their headteachers to promote mutual accountability.
  10. 10. The characteristics of strong governing bodies demonstrated in recent reports  They understand their role and how it complements that of the headteacher.  They have a range of skills that brings something extra to the school and to develop a strategic vision.  Technical knowledge – of education, data, statutory responsibilities and performance management in particular.  They want to see and hear from middle and senior leaders about their work - and challenge them on it.  They have the skills and time to be a visible presence in the school.  They set challenging targets for performance at all levels, including in achievement, teaching and senior management work.  They can form their own analysis of the school’s performance without relying on the headteacher.
  11. 11. What evidence do you have that your school:  prepares pupils positively for life in modern Britain and promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without faith  provides a curriculum that has suitable breadth, depth and relevance so that it meets any relevant statutory requirements, as well as the needs and interests of pupils, employers, the local community and nationally  actively promotes equality, diversity and British values, tackles bullying and discrimination and narrows any gaps in achievement between different groups of pupils
  12. 12.  improves teaching and learning through appropriate professional development and rigorous performance management  evaluates the quality of the provision and outcomes through accurate self-assessment, taking account of users’ views, and use the findings to develop capacity for sustainable improvement  makes sure that arrangements to protect pupils and meets all statutory and other government requirements What evidence do you have that your school:
  13. 13. School inspection handbook and inspection from September 2015 Sources of evidence Inspectors will continue to obtain a range of evidence from meetings with leaders and governors and first-hand evidence of their work across the school. Inspectors will use documentary evidence that the school provides, evaluating the impact of leaders’ and governors’ work, both currently and over time, in conjunction with first- hand evidence.
  14. 14. The next three slides highlight what inspectors will consider when on inspection. What are the implications for you as governors?  Inspectors will consider: leaders’ vision and ambition for the school and how these are communicated to staff, parents and pupils whether leaders have created a culture of high expectations, aspirations and scholastic excellence in which the highest achievement in academic work is recognised as vitally important whether leaders have the highest expectations for social behaviour among the pupils and staff, so that respect and courtesy are the norm the rigour and accuracy of self-evaluation and how well it leads to planning that secures continual improvement
  15. 15.  how leaders secure and sustain improvements to teaching, learning and assessment  how leaders ensure a motivated, respected and effective teaching staff to deliver a high-quality education for all pupils  the quality of continuing professional development for teachers at the start, middle and later in their careers, and how leaders use performance management to promote best practice across the school  how effectively leaders track the progress of groups of pupils to ensure that none are disadvantaged and underachieve  how well leaders engage with parents, carers and other stakeholders and agencies to support all pupils.  how effectively leaders use additional funding, including the pupil premium, and measure its impact on outcomes for pupils
  16. 16.  how leaders promote all forms of equality and foster greater understanding of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), races, genders, ages, disability and sexual orientations (and other groups with protected characteristics and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community  the effectiveness of safeguarding practice  work to keep pupils safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, and what the school does when it suspects that pupils are vulnerable to these.
  17. 17. What are the implications for you as governors? As a result of this presentation take a few minutes to discuss: The sources of information you will need to collect to demonstrate the effectiveness of your impact? How would you gather this evidence?
  18. 18. Questions?

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