Bury Governor Development was created by governors for governors. It exists to help governors of both primary and secondary schools to fulfil these roles ever more effectively. It provides excellent courses tailored to the needs of governors and led by high quality trainers. Bury Governance Development vision is not only to maintain but also to enhance the high attainment of children in our schools.


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Governors' handbook 2015

The DfE have in January 2015 released an update to the Governor’s Handbook. The document can be found here and a summary of the changes can be located in Annex A.

Governors should look to update themselves accordingly as the Handbook addresses Governors at ALL schools including maintained, academies and free schools.

For Academies the main areas of change are: Sections 2.2 and 7.6.3. Section 2.2 now includes new content on the governance structure of academies which clearly defines the various structures and roles within academy entities. Section 7.6.3 includes an updated explanation of the expectations regarding the management of conflicts of interest.

Particular relevance to all schools is section 1.7. This section of the handbook has been updated regarding governor conflicts of interest/loyalty and the governing body holding a register of interests.

“In the interests of transparency, all schools and academies should publish, including on their website, up to date details of the structure of the governing body and any committees, together with the names of their governors and their particular roles and responsibilities within that structure. They should also publish an annual statement setting out the key issues that have been faced and addressed by the governing body over the last year, including an assessment of the impact of the governing body on the school. For academies, these details of their governance arrangements must also be provided within the governance statement of their published annual accounts.”

Following the release of the updated Academies Financial Handbook in September 2014, it would appear the DfE are now urging ALL schools to publish a register of governors’ interests on the school website for transparency purposes. This again demonstrates the ‘hot topic’ for the DfE to crack-down on is conflicts of interest within schools.

Twenty Questions
 2nd Edition 2015

Key questions every governing board should ask itself

Framework for External review of governance

The review is based on the nine criteria for the effectiveness of governance as laid out in the School Inspection Handbook, Ofsted, September 2013. It would be expected that sound governance will also ensure that sound clerking arrangements are in place for Full Governing Body and committee meetings. Where meeting minutes provide insufficient evidence there may be action points which arise associated with the clerking of these meetings. Individual reviews would be unlikely to cover all 9 areas but should focus on the issues identified during the Ofsted inspection

Which policies must schools publish online?

Every maintained school must publish specific information on its website to comply with The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012. If you are an academy or free school, you need to check your funding agreement to find out what you should publish on your website.

School Inspection Handbook

The newly-revised Ofsted School Inspection Handbook (January 2015) reminds inspectors that they: “must use all available evidence to develop an initial picture of the school’s academic performance. Planning for the inspection must be informed by analysis of: (…….. and ) information on the school’s website, including its statement on the use of the pupil premium, the statutory sharing with parents of curriculum information (so the lead inspector can start to assess the breadth and balance of the school’s curriculum and whether it is likely to promote preparation for, and an appreciation of life in modern Britain), the special educational needs (SEN) information report, and other information for parents.


A number of schools have apparently fallen foul of Ofsted’s expectations that the statutory information will be there for parents and others to see. A no-notice inspection of one secondary school was triggered by a lack of certain information.
The  link on the left contains more information about publishing statutory information online and recommends other details which should be included on your school website:

Statutory policies for schools Sepember 2014

Advice on the policies and documents that governing bodies and proprietors of schools are required to have by law

Screening, searching and confiscation

Advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies

About this guide: This advice is intended to explain schools’ powers of screening and searching pupils so that school staff have the confidence to use them.  In particular it explains the use of the power to search pupils without consent.  It also explains the powers schools have to seize and then confiscate items found during a search.  It includes statutory guidance which schools must have regard to.  

 This advice replaces “Screening and Searching of Pupils for Weapons: Guidance for School Staff”.  

Forming or Joining a Group of Schools

This guidance is for senior leaders and governors of standalone schools (maintained schools or academies),as they consider whether to form or join federations or multi academy trusts (MATs).

Information highlighting the different ways schools can form partnerships will provide assistance during the decision-making process and, ultimately, enable schools to remain in control of their destiny

Academies financial handbook

For academy members, trustees, accounting officers, chief financial officers and auditors