COVID19 - GUIDANCE FOR GOVERNORS
A Full Return to School
Early September heralded the full reopening of schools across England and with that, a return to some sort of normality. Whilst it may be business as usual in a sense, clearly there are many challenges ahead. The DfE has issued detailed guidance which provides a framework for schools to limit the risk of Covid transmission. Some of the things which governors may wish to consider are as follows:
Free School Meals
Curriculum and Contingency Plans
Virtual/blended Governor meetings
Operations V Strategy
- support their leaders,
- understand their school’s unique response to the situation,
- monitor impact on outcomes, well-being and budget,
- focus on ongoing strategic direction.
- Ensure risk assessments (H&S and wider) have been reviewed. It is key that governors can probe the robustness of the assessment and keep it under review. Whilst governors should trust leaders to undertake the assessment, sight of the assessment will support governors in having a strategic function of challenge and support, and furthermore support your understanding of how the operational decision was reached. Do note, if schools follow the DfE and LA guidance, governors can be confident they are managing risk effectively.
- Has the unique context of the school has been considered in plans?
- Did plans involve views of staff, pupils and parents?
- Does the RA identify further improvements?
- Are guidelines embedded in school culture and supported by behaviour expectations?
- Have policies been reviewed as necessary? Do they reflect practice in school?
- Are parent/staff worries heard and addressed?
- Is training on Test and Trace process comprehensive (staff, parents/carers)?
- Safeguarding reports may include school contact with the local health protection team
- Scrutinise remote learning strategy
- Understand how the school is identifying pupils at risk of disengagement and developing plans for re-engaging (e.g. disadvantaged and vulnerable, those persistently absent prior or who have not engaged during the pandemic)
- Understand the use of additional catch-up funding schools, existing pastoral and support services, attendance staff and pupil premium funding measures used to secure pupils’ regular attendance. Headteachers will decide how the money is spent but governors should scrutinise decisions.
- Is the curriculum broad and ambitious?
- DfE providing additional support for both pupil and staff wellbeing in the current situation.
- Information about the extra mental health support for pupils and teachers is available.
- The Education Support Partnership provides a free helpline for school staff and targeted support for mental health and well-being
- The Children’s Commissioner for England has issued a children’s guide to coronavirus.