March 2014
Working together to raise standards
Cathryn Kirby
Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector
What inspection tells us
 Stark variations in school performance across
different local authority areas.
 Inequality of ...
Common issues with governance
Issues identified in inspection reports included:
not ambitious about expectations
lack of...
Since September 2012, Ofsted has significantly
increased the focus on school governance
In the best schools inspectors found governors
were very well informed
Governors in these schools know how to
challenge and have the right skills
The characteristics of strong governing bodies
Understand their role and how it complements that of the
headteacher.
A r...
Being strategic does not mean you lose the
focus on day to day responsibilities:
Ensuring school transport is safe for the...
Ofsted’s report: Getting to Good identified four
actions initiated by effective governing bodies
• Headteachers and local ...
More detailed report recommendations provide
an agenda for improving a governing body:
The analysis of recommendations sug...
We have simplified the twenty ‘self-evaluation’ questions from the
Parliamentary group:
All Party Parliamentary Group on E...
Reviews of governance?
 Can be recommended as a result of an Ofsted inspection,
or monitoring visit
 School can arrange ...
Principles of review
• Support to improve and not an additional inspection;
• Process of externally-supported self-review;...
Protocols of review
•Reviewer will build confidence and capacity;
•Review based on trust and mutual respect;
•Reviewers us...
Inspectors will judge how well governors evaluate:
Pupil progress
The leadership of teaching
The difference made by ini...
When judging the impact of governors inspectors
will:
 Always seek to meet with governors, or other authority
for schools...
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HMI Cathryn Kirby ppt. March 2014

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  • Show this slide and allow colleagues a couple of minutes to absorb it. If you have time, you could ask governors how far they believe each of these statements could have been made about their own schools.
  • You can use this slide to run a very quick skills audit: how many governors identified which areas as weaknesses? Does this align with your existing training plans for governors?
    You can do this by getting governors to agree on the three point scale together – or get them to state views individually.
  • These questions offer a helpful check list for GBs to consider.
  • HMI Cathryn Kirby ppt. March 2014

    1. 1. March 2014 Working together to raise standards Cathryn Kirby Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector
    2. 2. What inspection tells us  Stark variations in school performance across different local authority areas.  Inequality of access to a good school.  Wide attainment gap compared to other regions of England, particularly for pupils eligible for free school meals.  Effective governance is an intrinsic part of good leadership.  Good governance is not universal.
    3. 3. Common issues with governance Issues identified in inspection reports included: not ambitious about expectations lack of a ‘critical friend’ approach and challenge over-reliance on information solely from the headteacher do not visit the school lack of engagement with school development planning limited role in monitoring the impact of actions limited understanding of data and school quality.
    4. 4. Since September 2012, Ofsted has significantly increased the focus on school governance
    5. 5. In the best schools inspectors found governors were very well informed
    6. 6. Governors in these schools know how to challenge and have the right skills
    7. 7. The characteristics of strong governing bodies Understand their role and how it complements that of the headteacher. A range of skills that brings something extra. Technical knowledge – of education, data, statutory responsibilities and performance management. Want to see and hear from middle and senior leaders about their work - and challenge them on it. Have the time to be a visible presence in the school. Set challenging targets for performance at all levels, including in achievement, teaching and senior management work. Can form their own analysis of the school’s performance without relying on the headteacher.
    8. 8. Being strategic does not mean you lose the focus on day to day responsibilities: Ensuring school transport is safe for the pupils Promoting community cohesion Ensuring there is no discrimination in the appointment or treatment of staff Checking the performance of pupils with special educational needs Monitoring the extent of bullying, including homophobic bullying Ensuring equal opportunities for pupils Making health and safety checks Agreeing the policy for sex education Promoting high standards Which of these aspects do governors have a responsibility for?
    9. 9. Ofsted’s report: Getting to Good identified four actions initiated by effective governing bodies • Headteachers and local authorities ensured that all governors were fully committed to the role. In some cases this led to individuals deciding to resign. • Governors embarked on training programmes, often provided by the local authority, to strengthen their role. • Partnerships between governing bodies from different schools were established to share good practice. • Governing bodies worked alongside headteachers on school improvement. Often they were allocated specific aspects of school improvement to check and report on.
    10. 10. More detailed report recommendations provide an agenda for improving a governing body: The analysis of recommendations suggest that national priorities for improving governance should focus on: techniques for governors to use in knowing their school 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 work with the headteacher on the performance management of staff and teaching in particular how to plan and deliver performance management of the headteacher including setting targets
    11. 11. We have simplified the twenty ‘self-evaluation’ questions from the Parliamentary group: All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership 1. Have we completed a skills audit?   2. Do we find and appoint people on the basis of their skills?   3. Do we understand roles and responsibilities?   4. Do we have professional clerking?   5. Is their budgeted training for governor needs?   6. Do we know national concepts of good practice?   7. Is our committee structure effective?   8. Does everyone contribute and do we review effectiveness?   9. Do we have clear planning with monitoring?   10. Does strategic planning drive our activities?   11. Do we understand performance data?   12. How effectively do we performance manage the headteacher?   13. Do we ensure value for money?   14. Do we listen to pupils, parents and staff?   15. Do we report to parents and community?   16. Do we gain from collaborations?   17. Do we review the chair’s performance?   18. Do we plan for succession?   19. Are chairs re-elected annually?   20. How much have we contributed to school improvement in last three years?  
    12. 12. Reviews of governance?  Can be recommended as a result of an Ofsted inspection, or monitoring visit  School can arrange a review of governance at any time Their Purpose? To enable the Governing Body to become: • More skilled, more focused and more effective; • More aware of the freedoms available and how take advantage of these; • Clear in its vision and how it can be achieved • Confident about roles and responsibilities; the right structures, skills and commitment
    13. 13. Principles of review • Support to improve and not an additional inspection; • Process of externally-supported self-review; • Manageable in terms of time and process; • Led by an experienced and skilled reviewer; • Flexible to take account of needs and context; • Robust and evidenced-based recommendations.  
    14. 14. Protocols of review •Reviewer will build confidence and capacity; •Review based on trust and mutual respect; •Reviewers use their experience and skills to identify priorities and solutions; •GB feels ownership of the outcomes of the review.
    15. 15. Inspectors will judge how well governors evaluate: Pupil progress The leadership of teaching The difference made by initiatives The impact of senior leaders on improving the school’s effectiveness.
    16. 16. When judging the impact of governors inspectors will:  Always seek to meet with governors, or other authority for schools in managed groups, federations or chains.  Expect governors to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the school.  Expect school governors to understand performance data, including the information that their school’s data dashboard presents.  Examine the impact of leaders at all levels, including governors, and evaluate how well the school is led and managed. Add presentation title to master slide | 16

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