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Governors’ Corner


Governors’ Corner

Resources available to Governors of Woodard schools, including details of external governance courses.

External Events

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Transform the way you manage your SCR – 19 March 2020

Take time to ensure your staff are confident conducting, recording and evidencing safer recruitment checks and explore how new technology can simplify your safer recruitment process.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Forthcoming Events for Independent Schools in 2020

VWV has designed a bespoke independent schools training programme for independent schools. Click on the links below to register or to view further information regarding each 2019 event.  For additional information, please contact their Events team.

4 March London Safer Recruitment Training
11 March London Investigation Seminar
12 March NEW EVENT London Immigration Essentials
18 March London Data Protection Training
6 May London Data Protection Training
20 May London Effective Safeguarding for Governors
10 June London Safer Recruitment Training
17 June Bristol Immigration Essentials

Other Interest

Everyone’s Invited & An Update on Pupil Safeguarding

The publication of thousands (14,268 on 8 April) of testimonies of sexual harassment and violence on Everyone’s Invited has brought safeguarding in schools into sharp focus.  Click here to read more

Free webinars and conferences from LBMW LLP – March Newsletter

Howard Dellar, Senior Partner and Head of EEC writes:

As we recover from the effects of the pandemic upon all aspects of our lives, the team in Education, Ecclesiastical and Charities at LBMW has found its clients are looking to make positive changes and respond vigorously to new regulatory frameworks. Click here to read more

Introducing VWV Plus eLearning Solutions

Following the success of My OnStream, our digital compliance management solution, we have been working hard to develop improved tools that support schools with their compliance and training requirements, and are pleased to announce the launch of VWV Plus eLearning Solutions. Click here to read more

Safer Recruitment Update

Following our December 2020 update, we have updated our Safer Recruitment Pack once again to keep you up to date on the latest legal and best practice changes. Click here to read more

Coronavirus Update for Independent Schools

We hope you are all looking forward to the end of term and manage to have restful break and enjoy the festivities given what has been an extremely challenging 2020.

In our final coronavirus (COVID-19) update of this year we wanted to highlight a few of the main developments following the move from the national lockdown to the local restrictions and the three tier system.  Click here to read more

Teachers’ Pension Scheme Update

TPS and Independent Schools – Phased Withdrawal is Soon to Be a Reality

Readers will remember, the Department for Education (DfE) published its consultation proposal to amend the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) rules, enabling independent schools in England and Wales to opt out of TPS participation for future teaching staff, ring fencing on-going active participation to current teachers only.  Click here to read more

Schools Law Brief

Clarity of Expectation About Remote Education

Does the new Government Direction on the provision of remote education clarify the duties and expectations of schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?  Click here to read more

Safer Recruitment Update

On 1 September 2020, the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) came into force. From a recruitment perspective, there are no changes of note for independent schools. However, schools should ensure that any references to KCSIE in their recruitment documentation are updated. We have amended all of the affected documents in the Safer Recruitment Pack. The Safer Recruitment Pack may be accessed free of charge via OnStream. Click here to read more

Schools Law Brief

We hope that the start of term has gone smoothly for you all. We have been continuing to navigate the ever-changing guidance on the re-opening of schools with many of you, along with the wider issues you are facing. Click here to read more.

Schools Law Brief

Update on Exams and Centre Assessed Grades
We are now in the post-results phase of Ofqual’s ‘exceptional arrangements’. The Government’s U-turn on the standardisation of centre assessed grades (CAGs) for this year’s A-level and GCSE grading has brought with it a change in fortunes for many schools and pupils. Click here to read more

Schools Law Brief

Schools will now have broken up for the summer holidays and all staff will be in need of a well- earned break. No doubt schools will be keeping a careful eye on developments to plan for September and will continue to keep schools updated.  Click here to read more

Schools Law Brief

Following the widely publicised death of George Floyd in the USA, as a nation we have entered a period of protest, introspection and debate on the subject of racism and Britain’s colonial past.  Click here to read more

Coronavirus Update for Independent Schools

This week has seen the Government publish yet more guidance for schools on educational provision until the end of term: Click here to read more

Coronavirus Update for Independent Schools

Supporting Our Clients During and Beyond Coronavirus
A message from Simon Heald, VWV’s Managing Partner.  Click here to read more

Coronavirus Update for Independent Schools

This will be our last update before half term. Schools are wrestling with decisions about whether or not they will be re-opening after half term and, if so, on what basis. Click here to read more

Coronavirus Update for Independent Schools

Hot on the heels of the Prime Minister’s announcement last Sunday, Monday saw the release of detailed guidance for schools on planning for their re-opening. Click here to read more

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Independent Schools Law Brief, February 2020

Coronavirus – What should schools be doing?  Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co & ISC – Safeguarding Guidance

At the end of January Farrer’s published their Low-Level Concerns guidance which involved collaboration with numerous stakeholders who share an interest in developing such an approach. They are now sharing with you Child Sexual Abuse in Schools: lessons from history, guidance for the future, which has been published by the Independent Schools Council.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Take a fresh look at staff training for 2020

Manage risk and meet key compliance obligations using E-learning written by VWV’s leading education lawyers.  Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co:  Developing and Implementing a Low-Level Concerns Policy:  a Guide for Organisations Which Work with Children

Devised by Farrer’s Safeguarding Unit (Adele Eastman, lead author, Jane Foster, Owen O’Rorke and David Smellie), in collaboration with Marcus Erooga, Katherine Fudakowski and Hugh Davies QC.  Click here to read the article in full.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Wuhan Coronavirus – Schools Need to Take Action

Wuhan Coronavirus (WN-CoV) is a new type of infectious disease, first identified in Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China at the beginning of the year. Typical symptoms include tiredness, fever, a cough and/or breathing difficulties, which may progress to severe pneumonia. The Chinese authorities believe that the virus could be infectious during the incubation period of up to 14 days and before a person is symptomatic. There are currently no effective drugs or vaccines.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief January 2020

Click here to read the latest edition of VWV’s Schools Law Brief:

  • How Do Immigration Reforms Affect Independent Schools?
  • 2020 – What Should Schools Expect from Employment Law?
  • Funding New School Projects – Equality Before the Law?
  • Relationships and Sex Education – Get Your School Ready for September 2020
  • Partner Organisations – Reporting Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission
  • Bank LIBOR Interest Rate Reforms – Meet SONIA

LBM-W:  Education Answers – December 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Promote a Culture Free from Discrimination

Do staff know how to raise discrimination concerns?  Employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees so fostering a culture of acceptance and diversity in your school is more important now than ever.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief November 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of VWV’s Schools Law Brief:

  • What’s New to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme?
  • Five Ways to Easily Deal with a Subject Access Request
  • IICSA Residential Schools Investigation Update
  • Employment Contract Changes from 6 April 2020 – Are You Ready?
  • How to Manage a Workplace Investigation
  • Are Independent Schools Likely Targets for Traffickers?

Farrer & Co:  Safeguarding Developments in the Charity Sector

Here is a short article on the recently published NCVO resources, and updated Charity Commission guidance “Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees”.  Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co:  Protecting Children from Knife Crime

This article summarises two recent research reports:  Ofsted’s “Safeguarding children and young people in education from knife crime: Lessons from London” (the OFSTED Report) and the Children’s Commissioner’s “Keeping Kids Safe” (the CC Report), and highlights five key principles to which schools can practically adhere to reduce the risk of their students being affected by knife crime.  The advice in this article is also applicable to other organisations like sports clubs or charities working with children.  Click here to read more.

LBM-W:  Education Answers – September 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief – September 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of VWV’s Schools Law Brief:

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief – Teachers’ Pensions Scheme – Consultation on Phased Withdrawal

The Department for Education announced on 9 September 2019 that it is now consulting on a proposal to amend the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) rules to enable independent schools to withdraw from the TPS on a phased basis. Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Reduce Health and Safety Risks at Your School

Make sure staff have a clear understanding of Health and Safety responsibilities and actions they need to take to keep everyone safe at your School.  Health and Safety E‑learning is now available on My OnStream.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Serious Incident Reporting Has Changed – Are You Up-to-Date?

Over the summer, the Charity Commission radically changed the process for reporting serious incidents, which means your own processes and procedures will have to change.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Independent Schools Important Update

Court of Appeal Determines How to Calculate Holiday for ‘Term Time’ or ‘Part Year Only’ Workers

In a case which has far reaching implications, the Court of Appeal, in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, considered how to calculate holiday entitlement and holiday pay for permanent staff who only work for part of a year.

Given the number of staff in schools who work irregular hours and some form of term time working, the decision is likely to prove both expensive and challenging to administer.

This judgement potentially affects:

  • any worker who has a permanent employment contract and is employed throughout the year, but only actually works for part of the year (such as term time or term time plus workers)
  • any worker who works irregular hours, whose holiday pay entitlement has been calculated using the 12.07% (or similar) multiplier.

Click here for further information.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Find out how to manage your compliance

Click on My OnStream to find out more about the range of products available.

E-learning to demonstrate that staff have read and understood key policies and track online they have completed learning.

Policy Tracker to enable you to share policies or key documents with teachers, support staff and governors plus track and record they have been read.

SCR+ to enable safer recruitment and help you populate your Single Central Register.

Review for effective staff appraisals to encourage achievement of objectives aligned to your School’s development plan.

Farrer & Co:  Keeping Children Safe In Education 2019 – What’s new?

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) remains the core statutory guidance setting out how schools and colleges are expected to carry out their duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children in their care. The Department for Education (DfE)’s draft guidance for 2019 has now been published. It has been updated to reflect, among other things, the introduction of upskirting as a criminal offence, the new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements and a focus on serious violence and how schools can spot children at risk of it.   This bulletin sets out what’s new and what schools and colleges should consider doing in response to the proposed changes.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Are You Keeping on Top of TPS Developments?

VWV has added new resources to help you consider your options ahead of the changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), including:

  • summary of TPS options
  • 5 things to consider now
  • FAQs
  • template letter to staff

Click here for more information.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Staff Health and Safety E-learning

In response to school feedback VWV is releasing a new learning unit on My OnStream this September

An Introduction to Health and Safety  will enable your school to meet its obligation to provide information and training for staff to ensure health and safety at work.  Click here for more information.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  The new KCSIE guidance comes into effect on 2 September 2019

Make sure staff are aware of the KCSIE Part 1 changes for 2019.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief – June 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of VWV’s Schools Law Brief:

  • Teachers’ Pensions – 5 Things Schools Should Consider Now
  • Money Laundering – How Can Schools Mitigate the Risk?
  • How to Protect Your School Against Data Breaches and Fines
  • The GDPR – 1 Year on, What Have We Learnt?
  • Charities and Their Relationships with Non-Charitable Organisations – New Guidance
  • Alternative Collection Locations – Is Your School Ready for a Tier 4 Audit?
  • Should Your Visiting Music Teachers Be Considered Workers?
  • Teachers’ Pension Scheme FAQs

LBM-W:  Education Answers – June 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Are You Keeping Up With Legal Changes?

Over 600 schools already access VWV’s free OnStream portal designed to keep schools up to date with changes in law and best practice.  Click here for more information

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Improve your Staff Induction process for new starters using Policy Tracker

Easily track that all elements of the induction process have been completed.Send your key polices and induction documents to new starters before they even start at your school.  Click here for more information.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief – Government Responds to Teachers’ Pensions Consultation (April 2019)

On 10 April 2019, the Department for Education (DfE) published its response to the consultation on proposed increases in employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).

For independent schools, there are two important aspects to this response:

  • The DfE will consider allowing independent schools to withdraw from the TPS on a phased basis.
  • Independent schools will not receive government funding for the increase in employer contributions.

Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co:  A Legal Framework for Implementing Contextual Safeguarding

Contextual Safeguarding, in a nutshell, is an approach that seeks to identify and change the extra-familial contexts – including peer, school, neighbourhood and online, in which children can be at risk of and/or experience abuse.  Click here to read more.

LBMW:  Academies Related Parties Transactions – Guidance on ESFA requirements

Lee Bolton Monier-Williams are at the centre of a network of Academy Trusts, including many Church of England Dioceses. Our team have been reviewing the issues around the new requirements of the 2018 Academies Financial Handbook around Related Parties and the reporting of transactions with them. We have issued briefings, run a Workshop, and put information into the public domain through Schoolsweek and Education Answers, our online portal for such information.  Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co:  Further Growth for Their Leading Safeguarding Unit

Farrer’s are delighted to announce the further expansion of their Safeguarding Unit, to enhance the services they can provide to schools, sports organisations, charities, religious and further education clients.

Barrister Katie Fudakowski has joined the team on a six-month secondment from her successful practice at Old Square Chambers. She brings particular experience of conducting complex independent investigations into allegations of pupil peer-on-peer abuse, acting for schools and universities in whistleblowing claims based on safeguarding breaches and discrimination claims relating to SEN provision, acting in relation to teachers facing prosecution by the TRA and advising on personal injury claims brought by parents against schools.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  How do you ensure that staff have read your school policies and key documents?

VWV’s Policy Tracker tracks and records that staff have read your school documentation.  Click here for more information.

Farrer & Co:  Revised Peer-on-Peer Abuse Toolkit 2019

“The national and increasing concern over the nature and prevalence of peer-on-peer abuse led to the Government introducing its Advice on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Schools and Colleges in December 2017 (since updated in May 2018). It also led to Farrer & Co devising a peer-on-peer abuse toolkit with Dr Carlene Firmin – a link to which has been included within the Government’s Advice.

Reports and articles in the press published since have reinforced the concern. In light of changes made to the relevant legislation since the toolkit was published in December 2017, and driven by the need to ensure that schools and other organisations adopt a best practice approach to peer-on-peer abuse, Farrer & Co have collaborated further with Dr Firmin, and a number of other experts in the field, to produce a revised version of the toolkit, which we are publishing today.”

Click here to read more and download the revised toolkit and to view Farrer’s accompanying article to the revised toolkit Managing concerns or allegations of peer-on-peer abuse.

LBM-W: Education Answers – March 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Do staff know what steps to take if they need to blow the whistle?

VWV provides Whistleblowing E-learning to highlight the procedures within your school.  Their E-learning aims to:

  • Encourage staff to report suspected wrongdoing asap
  • Reassure staff that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated
  • Provide staff with guidance on to how to raise concerns

Click here to learn more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Funding Increases to Teachers’ Pensions Employer Contributions – Consultation

On 15 January 2019, the government published the above consultation paper with its stated aim of ensuring “all affected sectors have an opportunity to share views on the impact these changes will bring”.

The paper makes clear the government’s commitment to protecting state-funded schools and sets out the institutions for which it will cover the increase to employer contributions in the financial year 2019/20.  The DfE estimates the overall increased costs to be a staggering £1.1bn in 2019/20 split across four sectors.

Click here to read more.

Farrer & Co: Farrer’s and Hive Learning Launch Safeguarding Community App

Farrer’s are delighted to launch their Safeguarding Community app in partnership with Hive Learning and to invite you to join them in sharing best practice in safeguarding awareness, insight and knowledge.

Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Are Your Staff Aware of the School’s Whistleblowing Procedures?

Whistleblowing is a key tool in identifying when things are going wrong and allows the school to take action. A culture of openness and accountability in your school prevents such situations.” Offer staff Whistleblowing E-learning this term:

  • Upload your own Whistleblowing policy
  • Send learning to all staff at the push of a button
  • Track completion of E-learning
  • Automated reminders to staff who have not completed
  • Clear exportable audit trail for inspections
  • Module of around 20 minutes to complete with certificate on successful completion
  • Accessible from any device 24/7
  • Optional subtitling of content

LBM-W: Education Answers – January 2019

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Farrer & Co: Child Sexual Abuse in Schools: IICSA Publishes a Literature Review

“On 22 November 2018, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published their literature review of published research on child sexual abuse in residential and non-residential schools.”  Click here to read the review.

LBM-W: Education Answers – November 2018

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Use E-learning to remind staff of acceptable behaviour in your School

“Recent news highlights the need to make sure your staff behave in the right way and are conscious of their actions towards others. Offer your staff Equality & Diversity or Code of Conduct E-learning through My OnStream.”  Click here to learn more.

Farrer & Co: Safeguarding Is Non-Negotiable for the International Aid Sector and Domestic Charities

“It has been something of a busy month in the world of international and national safeguarding.  This year, major charities including Oxfam have been placed in the global spotlight, after it was alleged that certain aid worker employees had routinely abused vulnerable victims in crisis-hit parts of the world.” Click here to read the article.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:  Schools Law Brief – October 2018

Click here to read the latest edition of VWV’s School Law Brief.

Lee Bolton Monier-Williams:  Education Answers – October 2018

Click here to read the latest edition of LBM-W’s Education Answers circulars

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Make sure your staff are aware of the new KCSIE guidelines

Provide staff with E-learning and track their progress using My OnStream  To contact VWV about E-learning or other My OnStream modules, please contact Joanne Oliver – 0117 314 5361 or joliver@vwv.co.uk or any of your usual contacts at VWV.

Farrer & Co: Managing Allegations of Child Abuse by Educators and Other Adults:  Protocol for International Schools

Abuse of children by professionals in positions of trust is a significant risk facing organisations around the world. Furthermore, the ease of mobility that international work provides, coupled with weak recruitment practices, different cultural norms, and underdeveloped legal systems make certain international organisations prime targets for child abusers. While it is possible to manage allegations effectively, the reality on the ground is that many allegations are being, and have been, handled poorly by schools, sometimes with little or no support from external agencies. The result is that some abusers have been able to move on without challenge. Click here

Veale Wasbrough Vizards:   The Final Version of KCSIE was Published the 3 September 2018

This introduces some additional changes from the draft in May. Click here for further details.  If you have any queries about this or your safeguarding arrangements generally, please contact VWV’s Tabitha Cave in their Regulatory Compliance team on 0117 314 5381.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Safeguarding INSET Update

VWV have prepared a summary of safeguarding changes that they hope will be useful either as part of a script or as a follow up note for staff.  Click here.

Farrer & Co: Parliamentary Select Committee Report on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector          

The Parliamentary Select Committee recently reported on its findings.  Click here for the full report.  At the same time, Charity Finance published this article in which members of the Farrer’s Safeguarding Unit focus on the crisis within the voluntary sector and contemplate some of the possible solutions.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: Are your staff aware of the new Safeguarding guidelines? Offer E-learning in the Autumn term

Find out about VWV’s KCSIE ​E-learning available on My OnStream; provide training for your staff in the Autumn term. Revised Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance will be coming into force from September 2018.

Farrer & Co: A wake-up call for charities? How to respond to the safeguarding challenge

David Smellie, Head of the Safeguarding Unit at Farrer’s, thought there might be interest in an article published by Charity Finance:  Charities are under scrutiny on safeguarding, but what needs to be done? Charity Finance convened a panel of experts and Ian Allsop secured their views.  Click here to read the article.

Farrer & Co: KCSIE Update            

The Government has published an update to KCSIE, in the format of two new documents:

  1. Keeping Children Safe in Education: for schools and colleges; and
  2. Keeping Children Safe in Education: for school and college staff (part 1)

The guidance will take effect from 3 September 2018 and will replace KCSIE (September 2016). This will give schools and colleges time over the summer to update relevant policies and procedures.  Click here to read more.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards: DfE Response to KCSIE Consultation and Revised Draft Guidance

VWV has also issued an article on the subject of KCSIE.  The DfE published their response to the KCSIE consultation and revised draft guidance yesterday to enable schools to plan for its commencement on 3 September 2018. Schools and colleges should continue to refer to the 2016 version of the guidance until then.  VWV is updating their My OnStream KCSIE e-learning materials now with this in mind.  Click here to read more.