Governors' News Autumn 2017

‘Working together to strengthen

governance across North Lincolnshire’


Welcome to the new-look Governors’ News.


As part of the Governor Services Team’s  commitment to the environment and our attempt to move to a ‘paperless’ service the Governors’ News will no longer be available as a hard copy.


Our wish is that in future Governors’ News will have a greater focus on governors and our schools and academies across North Lincolnshire. We will still keep you updated on new legislation and useful information as we have done in the past but we would like this newsletter to be vibrant, interesting and a valued publication. We particularly welcome inspiring stories from your schools and academies, good practice that you would like to share, feedback from training and any suggestions you may have in order that we can improve our service to you.


Our ideas for future editions would include a ‘Governor in the Spotlight’ and a Q&A section but we need your ideas as this is your publication, so please contact our editorial team ( who are waiting to hear from you; the deadline for submission for the spring edition is 31 January 2018, alternatively you may wish to contact your Governing Bodies Support Officer.


Governors are the largest group of volunteers in the country and we would like to thank you for your continuing commitment to your schools and academies and our commitment to you is to continue to find ways to support and enrich your lives as governors.


Please note that the Governor Services Team is currently undergoing a period of change; our former manager Joanne Edgar left in May to pastures new and we are awaiting the appointment of a new manager for 2018, please bear with us through this transition.

Governor Conference 2017

The third North Lincolnshire Governors’ Conference was held at Melior Community Academy on 30 September 2017 which focussed on ‘Working Together to Strengthen Governance across North Lincolnshire’ and what a great day it was.  Over half of our school governing bodies were represented which allowed the opportunity for networking to be carried out and best practice to be shared.


Peter Thorpe, (Director of Learning, Skills and Culture), opened the Conference and spoke about the challenges we faced within North Lincolnshire and the ways in which we all can work together to tackle them in order to support all our children and the communities in which they live.


Following Peter Thorpe, was our first keynote speaker, Emma Knights, (Chief Executive, National Governors Association) who spoke to governors about the national landscape of school governance and highlighted the areas that really mattered to those of us involved, including providing informed thinking of how we can move forward positively; of particular interest were ethical governance and how groups of schools can work together in more creative ways.


Governors then had the opportunity to attend different workshops which focussed on strengthening governance through various ways, including developing robust strategies, partnership working and using lessons from Ofsted and external reviews. 


The day ended with a powerful and inspiring reminder from Richard McCann on how whatever start our children have in life, it is those of us involved in their education that have the opportunity to ensure we inspire and enable them to remember that they ‘can’ achieve whatever they aim for.  As part of the strategic leadership within schools, it is our challenge to tackle the persistent issues within our schools, to promote inclusive practice for our vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils and to ensure we develop our school to school support.


On behalf of Governor Services, thank you to all those governors who took time out on a Saturday to attend the Conference; you made the day the success it was and we hope that it will enable you to move into the year ahead with renewed vigour on ensuring our schools provide our children with the best start in life that they all deserve.


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Young voice in North Lincolnshire

Through the North Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board’s Service User Engagement Statement, local partners including North Lincolnshire Council and Schools, are committed to engaging with, listening to, and empowering children and young people at an individual, service and strategic level.

Youth Council


The North Lincolnshire Youth Council (NLYC) and wider Young Voice activities are a great opportunity for young people to have a voice and make a difference in the local area.


The NLYC is a constituted group for young people to have a voice, discuss relevant issues, engage with, challenge and support decision makers and contribute to improving the lives of young people in the area.  All young people aged 11 to 20 (or 25 for young people with additional needs or specific interests) who live, work or go to school or college in the area can attend the NLYC.

The NLYC aims to:

  • communicate and promote the views of young people
  • raise the profile of young people in a positive way
  • encourage young people to be good citizens, so they act with understanding and communicate between themselves and their communities
  • highlight issues affecting young people
  • shape and influence priority setting, service planning and delivery and ensure the views of young people are taken into account.

The membership of the NLYC has grown significantly and it is becoming increasingly representative of young people in the local area, the NLYC has influenced strategic priorities, commissioning processes, service planning and delivery, which places Young Voice firmly at the centre of improving outcomes in the area.


There are lots of other opportunities for young people to get involved and have their say leading to increased knowledge, improved self-confidence and enhanced skills which include:


Make Your Mark


Make Your Mark - Annual youth ballot where young people vote about issues that matter to them, the outcomes of which inform local, regional and national action. 

Great Debate



Great Debate - Established annual children and young people’s debating event where they have an opportunity to have their say about things that matter to them.

Youth elections



Youth Elections - Young Mayor and Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) are elected in area wide elections to represent their peers at a local, regional and national level. 

youth reporters


Young Reporters - Initiative developed to provide young people with another means for having an independent voice and to enhance positive perceptions of young people.

young inspectors


Young Inspectors - Programme developed (involving youth councillors and children in care/care leavers) to enhance opportunities to scrutinise, challenge, inform, influence and develop service provision.

In addition, there are established workstreams arising from young people’s issues and collaborative work to develop positive messages. 

  • ‘Be Unique’ top tips postcards, posters, stickers and peer to peer training workshop to promote positive body image.
  • Positive Steps to emotional wellbeing leaflet and peer to peer training workshop.  Led through one local school, the NLYC have also supported the development of the ‘Create the Change’ song which is an innovative way of sharing positive messages regarding emotional wellbeing.
  • Development and launch of the ‘BE SMART’ Social Media Charter and associated resources to use with children, young people, parents, carers and schools to encourage and support them to be safe online. 
  • Development of Local Safeguarding Children’s Board annual report films, one of which was targeted at primary aged children and the other for secondary and college aged young people to raise awareness of the LSCB, its priorities and impacts.

Over the past year, the NLYC has been informed about, debated on and influenced developments on a range of issues, for example:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Sexual Health services
  • Autism awarenessAwareness-raising of different faiths
  • Domestic abuse
  • Dementia Friends
  • Therapeutic services provision
  • Young people’s positive emotional health and wellbeing
  • LifeCentral wellbeing ‘app’ and website
  • Education and Skills Plan 2020
  • CAMHS Transformation Plan 2016 – 2020
  • Children’s Strategy 2016 – 2020
  • Commissioning of 0 to 19 service

The Young Voice Annual Report 2015/16 showcases some of the work undertaken by the NLYC and across wider Young Voice activities. The Young Voice Annual Report 2017/18 will be available in the Autumn Term.   

For any further information on the impact and outcomes for children and young people , please contact the Participation Team on 0124 298440 or via or visit the Youth Council page of our website.


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Jason Frary’s report on Y6 pupils’ involvement with the Tour of Britain

Burton Primary govnews


Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain took place on Tuesday 5 September 2017; the whole stage was to take in villages and towns in North Lincolnshire.

There was great excitement at Burton upon Stather Primary School and activities based around the tour commenced in the run up to the summer holidays. The school decorated green wooden bikes which were put up around the village as well as old bikes painted green. This really inspired the rest of the parishioners who followed suit and before long the village was ready to welcome the riders through.

The school was very excited to welcome a local professional rider to the school before the summer holidays and Connor Swift from Team Madison Genesis came and gave a fantastic insight into the life of a professional rider.  Connor would be taking part in the Tour of Britain and the pupils had some fantastic questions.

Year 6 pupils from the school were invited to ride out prior to the main riders at the stage start in Normanby Hall. Training sessions took place in the summer holidays and 16 pupils took to the start line; the crowds cheered as a police escort led out the riders who travelled a short distance on the actual tour route.

The pupils were then able to join the rest of the class in watching the race pass through Normanby with the rest of the school, banners and flags in hand welcomed Connor and the riders through the village.

All together it was a wonderful and inspiring event which the school were excited to be an active part of.


Burton Stather

Do you have pupils with 15 days or more absence due to a medical or mental health need?

If yes, the local authority's, Tuition and Medical Needs Team is here to support you.


Pupils who miss school due to a medical or mental health need are entitled to receive 'good quality' education in-line with the provision they would otherwise receive at school. We can support you in meeting the education needs of these vulnerable learners if:

  • There is a diagnosis or pending diagnosis of a medical / mental health need (medical authorisation will be sought when the referral is received); and
  • the pupil's home address is in North Lincolnshire; and
  • the absence will last more than 15 school days. This can be in one episode, or over the academic year or if the pupil is attending school but for fewer than 10 hours per week.

The Tuition and Medical Needs Team is a team of qualified and highly experienced primary and secondary teachers, and a teaching assistant, based at the Learning Development Centre in Scunthorpe. We work with schools, usually the SENCO, to provide learning opportunities for young people while they are unable to attend school due to their medical need. Depending on the specific individual need, we can offer:

  • Home tuition
  • Small group sessions at our classroom at the LDC
  • Hospital Tuition
  • Specialist engagement work at St Nicholas House (CAMHS base)
  • Support with phased transition back into school / alternative setting

If the school would like to refer a young person for support, a referral form needs to completed and returned. Subject to medical authorisation, a programme of learning support will be agreed with the young person, their family and school. The plan will work towards a timely return to school whenever possible.


To contribute towards the cost of the service, the school will be invoiced on a termly basis, for a proportion of the AWPU related to the amount and nature of tuition provided.


You may wish to refer to the relevant statutory guidance:

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions, December 2015

and Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs

Statutory guidance for local authorities, January 2013


 If you would like to know more, or if your Medical Needs Governor  would like to visit our classroom, please contact Samantha Woad, Team Leader on or call 07717586334 or 01724 298326.


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Signature of Risks

This term Governing Bodies Support Officers will be bringing to governors’ attention the importance of developing strategies for succession planning in school leadership and governance. Strategies could include expanding opportunities to practise leadership skills, identifying individual aspirations and talent for development and reflecting on current practice with regard to both governors and staff.


Governors of schools that have attended the Education Standards Board will be aware of the Signature of Risks document in which schools are asked to evaluate the risks that may face the school. 


The Governor Services Team has put together the signatures of risk document for governing bodies which you may want to reflect upon with regard to your own governing body.



  1. Resignation of chair
  2. And/or followed by resignation of vice chair
  3. Lack of succession planning
  4. Carrying vacancies
  5. Stagnant/coasting governing bodies where membership has been static for a considerable period of time
  6. Imbalance in composition eg too many staff governors who then fail to hold the head teacher to account
  7. Lack of expertise in key areas of core function – failure to utilise a skills’ audit when appointing
  8. Large percentage of  terms of office coming to an end at the same time due to reconstitution (unavoidable but noteworthy)
  9. Allowing people into the governing body meeting without DBS clearance (safeguarding)


  1. Too much information being sent out, making it impossible for governors to digest
  2. Information only provided at the meeting (
  3. Governing body not inducting new governors fully eg not ensuring that the induction training is attended and not providing mentoring support
  4. Lack of contact with the school by the majority of governors – this makes it impossible to monitor and triangulate what governors are told at meetings.
  5. Not understanding the distinction between the strategic role of governors and the management of the school by the SLT.
  6. A chair who does not engage with the governors and/or the Local Authority – this indicates that advice is not being heeded.
  7. Failure to heed the clerk’s advice/guidance.
  8. Failure to understand the difference between Parts A and B information (Part A open scrutiny by the public)
  9. Where the governing body is effectively run by the head teacher, then that governing body is vulnerable when the head teacher resigns/retires
  10. Lack of understanding of the financial function – failure to have knowledge and understanding of SFVS could lead to head misappropriating funds without governor knowledge
  11. Failure to declare pecuniary interests or personal interests
  12. Failure to adhere to code of conduct
  13. Reluctance to engage with other governing boards to share/observe good practice

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Education Appeal

In memoriam: David Thomson

1948 – 2017


David Thomson passed away after a short illness on the 2nd of August. This October marks the 25th anniversary of David’s service as a governor within North Lincolnshire.

David began as a parent governor at Bottesford Junior School when his children, Ross and Susan were pupils. Whilst carrying on as a governor at Bottesford, he then became a governor at Frederick Gough secondary school once his children moved into that phase of their education. David remained active at Fred Gough until very recently and at the time of his passing was the Chair of Governors at Bottesford Juniors.

 David was a very active governor – he enjoyed coming into school and working with the children. He attended countless trips and was attended virtually every performance and event.

David brought a wealth of experience to the role of governor – from his employment experience as well as his role as parent and family man. He was a calm, collected individual who could always be relied upon to offer sound advice and a rational, balanced view. He was perceptive and knowledgeable, but most of all, he was caring. He cared deeply about the schools he was involved in. He cared about the pupils and their parents and, just as much, he cared about the staff who worked in the schools. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

David’s service to governance has been recognized through a posthumous long service award. On the 20th October, Bottesford Juniors held a fund raising event – ‘David Thomson Day’. The aim of the day was to raise funds to be used to create a memorial area in school and to remember the contribution that David made to the school.


During a special assembly, David’s posthumous long service award was presented to David’s children, Ross and Susan and his granddaughter, Lilly.


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Secure savings on IT devices


Many schools routinely purchase tablet devices as and when they need them. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) aggregation team and the Department for Education (DfE) wanted to help schools bring together their requirements and achieve savings through using ‘sector collective buying power’.


Sector collective buying power allows a group to negotiate better discounts thanks to the larger size of the requirement.


CCS managed a procurement on behalf of a group of 95 schools, who had submitted their interest in the project.


Using the CCS Technology Products agreement (contract number RM1054), the schools selected the items and volumes  which they wished to purchase from a choice of tablet devices.


A total of over 2,200 devices were specified with savings of up to 36 per cent against pre auction value. These results clearly demonstrate that by combining volumes and using a standard specification for a commodity product or service, significant cost savings can quickly be achieved.


The CCS would like to hear from customers across the education sector who are interested in securing savings by combining their requirements with other organisations on a range of common goods and services including IT hardware, mobile services and other telephony services.


Find out more about future opportunities on our technology aggregation pipeline.


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Community staff celebrate after ‘good’ CQC rating

CQC inspection


Staff in the Trust’s community services had something to celebrate recently when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated them as ‘good’.


The CQC inspected services in November 2016 and published their report on April 6 2017.

Trusts are rated on five key domains; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. While the Trust was rated ‘inadequate’ overall staff in community services were celebrating as they had moved from a ‘requires improvement’ rating in 2016 to a ‘good’ rating.


The services inspected were community services for adults, which was rated on the ‘safe’ and ‘well-led’ domains, community services for children, young people and families, which was rated on the ‘safe’ domain and community end of life care services which was rated under the ‘effective’ and ‘well led’ domains. The CQC rated all aspects of all services as ‘good’. Among the teams visited during the inspection were district nursing teams, podiatry, physiotherapy, health visiting, looked after children team and stroke rehabilitation services. Inspectors noted families were positive about the care they had received, staff were well trained, there was a learning culture and services were planned and delivered to meet people’s needs.

Karen Fanthorpe, associate chief operating officer for community and therapy services, said: “I would like to offer a heartfelt thank-you to all of our staff. I am so proud of what they have achieved.

“We must now ensure that we maintain and embed the standards that have been achieved and look towards providing evidence of outstanding care in the future.”

The senior team within the directorate received a thank-you card from Richard Sunley, interim chief executive.
Richard said: “ I would like to congratulate our staff in community services for this achievement. As a Trust we need to look at what good practice we can learn from staff in these teams to help us improve quality across our services as a whole.

“They have demonstrated that it is possible to move up the CQC ratings and to deliver consistent, high quality care for our patients.”

You can view the full reports on the CQC website. Pictured above are staff from a range  of community services at Global House.


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Documents online that you may find useful

Schools: statutory guidance


PE and sport premium: funding allocations for 2017 to 2018


COLLECT guides for schools and local authorities


Literacy and numeracy catch-up strategies


Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (September 2017)


Governance handbook and competency framework (updated)


Financial benchmarking


Academies Financial Handbook


To view all live consultations please see the Department for Education’s website.


Training Links:

For access to the booking online for North Lincolnshire Governor Training sessions

Access to the Learning Links Online training available through the Governor Training SLA


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Training on the horizon


Tuesday 7 November, 5.30pm to 7.30pm - Learning Walks - effective monitoring through focused visits to school. St Peter and St Paul's CE Primary School

Wednesday 8 November, 6pm to 8pm - Head Teacher Appraisal. Learning Development Centre (LDC)

Saturday 11 November, 9.15am to 3.30pm - How to be an Effective Governor Modules 1, 2 and 3. LDC

Tuesday 21 November, 6pm to 8pm - Child Protection and Safeguarding for Governors. LDC

Tuesday 28 November, 6pm to 8pm - Strategic Finance for Governors. LDC


Wednesday 3 January 2018, 6pm to 8pm - Governors' Leadership Briefing. LDC


Thursday 04 January 2018, 10am to 12pm - Governors' Leadership Briefing. LDC


Thursday 18 January 2018, 6pm to 8pm - Pupil Exclusions. LDC


Wednesday 31 January 2018, 6pm to 8pm - Understanding Data and Asking the Right Questions - Session One. LDC


Wednesday 7 February 2018, 6pm to 8pm - Closing the Gap Part 1 - An Introductory Course. LDC

Wednesday 21 February 2018, 6pm to 8pm - Special Educational Needs and Disability Update - the role of the SEND governor. LDC


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