Is your Governing Body letting you down? Do you need an external review of your school’s governance

In Ofsted terms, 2014 looks set to see a much more rigorous consideration of the governing body’s ability to challenge and support school leaders through the depth and quality of its knowledge on both pupil and staff performance – and the relationship of both to pay progression recommendations.

Two secondary schools in different parts of the country – both inspected on December 3 and 4 2013 – were advised to commission an external review of governance in relationship to these issues.  One of these was found to “require improvement” based solely on the quality of governance.

As well as in recent Ofsted reports, this tightening of criteria is evident in the new Governance Regulations published in January 2014, the revised Leadership and Management section of the latest inspection handbook and the DfE Guidance on governors’ involvement in performance pay decisions from September 2014.  Taken together, these make it essential for schools to be providing governors at regular intervals (ideally half termly) with anonymised evidence on both pupil and staff performance.  The former needs to enable governors to identify particular groups of pupils (pupil premium, EAL, looked-after etc) that are underperforming and to track the impact of the short term work that is being done to address the issues identified.  The latter needs to follow exactly the same procedure to track the impact of support being provided to teachers who are identified as not meeting the performance expectations established by the governors either for their current  pay point or for the one they hope to progress to in September 2014.

Educate’s External Review of Governance

The review is aimed at:

  • Considering the extent to which the governing body is currently meeting these requirements
  • Recommending any changes needed – in terms both of quality of information and organisational structure – to allow it to do so
  • Providing where necessary template reports for regularly updating governors on areas of pupil and staff underperformance and on the impact of work being done to address the issues identified.

The review involves:

  • Pre-reading of evidence provided by the school
  • A half day visit to meet senior leaders and key governors
  • Preparation of the review
  • Presentation of review outcomes and recommendations to the governing body – along with our template reporting documents if relevant

The external review of governance costs a minimum of  £1,350 and additional work will be charged at £200 per hour.

Our consultants have an unrivalled knowledge of the way in which Ofsted inspects leadership and management with respect to appraisal, pupil progress and performance-related pay decisions – drawn from briefing over 5000 senior leaders on these issues in the course of the last school year.

To discuss or arrange a review, please contact Nicky Haskins on 0203 411 1080 or email

Governor Briefing Sessions

Educate also provides governor briefing sessions for individual school or school network governing bodies. As before, a half day event delivered by two specialist trainers (one from a school leadership/Ofsted and one from an Education HR background) costs £1,500 plus VAT for the first 30 delegates, with extras charged at £35 plus VAT each.

You can also download our free governor briefing paper from the Educate Shop

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