The links on this page will open external websites in a new window. These are sites that may be useful to Governors, however, OGA has no control or responsibility for the content on any of these sites.
The list of links is not necessarily comprehensive, if you have found a useful site that is not included please let us know via our Contact Us link.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR GOVERNORS
National Governance Association – NGA. OGA strongly recommends that your Governing Board becomes a member of NGA. They are the National voice for Governance and produce some very useful information some of which can only be accessed by members.
Statutory Policies for schools, although there are other legal requirements for schools that may not be included this is an excellent starting point. Other policies may be required even though they are not statutory, but be careful not to let policies dominate the work of your Governing board…
Ofsted for their reports and information about the latest inspection framework and the inspection handbook or for myth busting information and for the early years handbook and early years inspection myths.
OGA promotes initiatives for improving teaching and learning that are based on evidence of what works. The Sutton Trust which promotes social mobility is the lead charity that led to setting up the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) who developed the Teaching and Learning Toolkit which is an accessible summary of the international evidence on teaching 5-16 year olds and is used effectively in many of our schools. Ask your school about it! The Sutton Trust with the EEF is one of the Government’s seven What Works Network others include NICE, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the Early Intervention Foundation.
To support children learning to read the Charity Assisted Reading for Children in Oxfordshire ARCh does excellent work providing one to one reading mentors for primary pupils aged 6 to 11 years.
Concerned about bullying or safeguarding issues? The first stop should be Oxfordshire County Council safeguarding team but these websites may also be helpful.
The anti-bullying alliance, Kidscape, Stonewall and Child Exploitation and Online Protection CEOP. The National Bullying helpline for Adult or Child bullying advice have produced a Guide for Parents (N.B. There is a fee for downloading this document).
Childline should also be advertised in your school. Online or 0800 1111
Modern Governor has a free app which supports school governors and trustees with a useful glossary of commonly-used terms in education
The DfE has published a Data Protection Toolkit and Annual Review checklist.
It is strongly recommended that at least one Governor in each school has a watching brief on information in relation to the Schools Forum and other funding issues.
Schools Forum is the formal, statutory consultative group for the Local Authority (LA) to engage with about funding issues. There is Government regulation that controls the remit and membership of the Schools Forum. The DfE’s Operational and Good Practice Guide refers to the specific characteristics that make for an effective schools forum which OCC and Schools Forum members try and implement. Notable among these in paragraph 72 is that members are expected to take a strategic view and should consider the needs of the whole of the educational community, rather than using their position to advance their own sectional or specific interests.
Campaign for Fairer Funding – F40
SALIX provides interest free loans for Maintained schools including Special Schools, applications can be made throughout the year for energy efficiency projects which meet the relevant criteria. SALIX also provides Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) loans to Academies, the 2020-2021 application window closes on 11th January 2021 for the current year’s applications. If you miss the deadline it is possible to register your interest in SEEF by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
RECRUITMENT, TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Training for Governors and clerks can be seen and booked through OCC’s Partners in Learning website by scrolling down the page to select Governor Services and then the target audience of Governor or clerk as appropriate.
Governor Services have published a training brochure for the 2018-2019 academic year. This is a more user friendly way of looking at the training offer. It includes detailed instructions of how to book too.
OCC have published a key education contacts for schools which OGA had requested.
OCC’s Schools News service. Governors are welcome to sign up (look at the bottom right hand corner of this page) for the weekly alert to this. At least one Governor from each school should keep a watching brief on this. In many schools this is the Headteacher, but given the many pressures on Headteacher time another Governor also looking out for Governance issues could be helpful.
Better Governor is a free to register website that provides up to date information about Governance issues.
Governor Hub used by some schools to handle and share information for Governors.
For help with Governor Recruitment there is a free service to connect schools and colleges with skilled volunteers interested in serving as governors and trustees Inspiring Governance This is a national online matchmaking service which provides free, expert support for volunteers and governing bodies, as well as employers wanting to run programmes for their staff serving as governors.
For help with Headteacher recruitment OCC has useful advice and Church Schools should also inform their Diocesan Education service. Maintained schools must inform OCC on receipt of a Headteacher resignation.
Clerks are appointed by, and accountable to, the Governing Board, they are extremely important for efficient and effective working of the school’s governance. For useful information please see the DfE’s Clerking competency framework and Clerk to Governors information on the NGA website together with information from OCC about clerking. We also strongly recommend that all clerks attend OCC’s regular clerk’s briefings.
The Education Support Partnership is a registered charity which provides free phone line, email or live chat support for Education Staff.
MeeTwo is a moderated, anonymous app for teenagers to use to obtain peer support and encourage them to help each other.
Action for Children’s Build Sound Minds website is targeted at parents, but schools may wish to pass on the link via their newsletters or website.
WORKING WITH BUSINESS
Inspiring the Future seeks to connect schools and businesses together to inspire children and young people. You may also be interested to read the notes of our Autumn 2015 Open meeting with Neil Carberry of the CBI.
GENERAL EDUCATION NEWS
Schools Week is a useful source of education news, this has now changed from a print version to being entirely online. The then editor (now contributing editor) was the main speaker at our meeting on 5th November 2016. Details of how to subscribe to Schools Week may be found here.