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Judith Matharu, HMI (R) (formerly Headteacher, HMI, Ofsted National Adviser and now Education Consultant) ‘ Getting to Good’ Leicester Schools 28 January.

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Presentation on theme: "Judith Matharu, HMI (R) (formerly Headteacher, HMI, Ofsted National Adviser and now Education Consultant) ‘ Getting to Good’ Leicester Schools 28 January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judith Matharu, HMI (R) (formerly Headteacher, HMI, Ofsted National Adviser and now Education Consultant) ‘ Getting to Good’ Leicester Schools 28 January 2014 JA Matharu

2 ‘Getting to good’: the purpose our second session  The focus of our second session is ‘good governance’.  Again, it will be an opportunity to learn and share our ideas, and promote understanding.  The session will help you to explore and identify the key drivers in ensuring that governance is judged good and contributes to a good judgement for leadership and management.  There will be an opportunity to review and amend your action plans in order to better meet your school’s needs. JA Matharu

3 Ofsted and governance JA Matharu The role is a substantial one; there are statutory responsibilities that governors must fulfil. In addition to these, Ofsted seeks evidence of governors’ knowledge and understanding of:  The achievement of pupils at the school (attainment & progress)  The quality of teaching in the school  The behaviour and safety of pupils at the school  The quality of leadership in and management of the school

4 How much about these 4 key inspection areas are governors expected to know?  Governors contribute to self-evaluation and know the school’s strengths & weaknesses in the 4 categories. Hold the broad overview, not necessarily the fine detail!  Provide challenge and hold the Head & other leaders to account for improving achievement, the quality of teaching and pupils’ behaviour & safety  Use performance management systems consistently to improve the school  Ensure tight financial management and the effective and efficient deployment of resources JA Matharu

5 We know that this role can pose challenges If governors are:  Not ambitious in their expectations  Lacking a critical friend approach  Over-reliant on information from the headteacher  Not familiar with the school and particularly its core business (the 4 aspects)  Not engaged in school development planning  Have a limited role in monitoring, and none of it ‘independent’  Have a limited understanding of data and school quality. JA Matharu

6 Effective governors:  Work in partnership with senior leaders - there is a shared purpose in driving improvements, but the retention of the effective critical friend role.  Are well-informed from a variety of sources - which provides them with a secure understanding of strengths and weaknesses and helps them to monitor and review performance robustly.  Are able to make effective challenges in order to prompt reflection by school leaders and contribute to ongoing improvement. JA Matharu

7 Knowing your school data well In terms of achievement data, governors are expected to know how well their school is performing - attainment and progress. Understanding what your ‘dashboard’ data/Raiseonline indicates about the school is vital.  How is the school performing compared to all schools, and compared to similar schools?’  Is progress from starting points close to or better than national rates for all levels of prior attainment?  How are gaps in achievement being narrowed for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups (use and impact of pupil premium)? JA Matharu

8 Questions about teaching  What is the current quality of teaching in this school?  How do you know this?  How are any teachers who ‘require improvement’ both supported and challenged?  What is being done to improve teaching to the next level?  How effective is the support for ‘beginner teachers’? JA Matharu

9 Behaviour and safety  How good is behaviour in this school and how do you know?  Do all behaviour-related logs and records support this?  How is the school supporting pupils to behave well, work supportively together and stay safe?  What do pupils and parents say? JA Matharu

10 Leadership & Management  What are the priorities for improvement and why?  How are leaders being developed in this school?  How do you both challenge and support the headteacher?  How robust is performance management? How closely is pay progression linked to performance?  How do you know your curriculum is broad and balanced? How is it supporting essential improvements in reading, writing and mathematics?  How do you ensure the school secures best value from its resources? JA Matharu

11 Is your governing body set up to achieve this?  Reflect for a moment on how your governing body is organised.  Is your structure and are your sub-committees fit for purpose?  Are you making best use of the time/expertise available? JA Matharu

12 Discussion point Could governing bodies be organised more effectively to meet the demands of inspection, and provide them with a more accurate view of the effectiveness and impact of school provision? How might you use your skills and expertise most effectively to cover the key aspects? JA Matharu

13 The relationship with the headteacher is an interesting one! Are governors… ? ? The HT’s fan club Partners with the HT ‘Go-alongs’ with the head Antagonists JA Matharu

14 Thoughts about this?  How does this compare with current practice in your school?  Are you confident your governors have an accurate and realistic view of the school?  Where/how are they getting their evidence to inform their evaluations? JA Matharu

15 Sources that governors might use to check that evidence is reliable, robust and triangulates In addition to evidence gained from: Headteacher/staff reports to governors, reviews, improvement plans/commentaries on school provision and outcomes, letters and newsletters to parents, school policies, logs and records, evidence of work in books and around the school…. governors need to balance the information with other available evidence Key questions: Does external data confirm school commentaries? Are there any external validations of the quality of teaching and learning by other professionals (SIA, external consultants etc)? What do pupils and parents say about both teaching and behaviour (has the GB both formal and informal mechanisms for seeking their views?) Any complaints received? JA Matharu

16 Further..  How do governors seek the views of staff about professional development needs and the quality of training?  The linking of pay and progression to performance-what do these records suggest about teacher quality?  Do the governors seek SIA or other external support and advice in managing the headteacher’s performance?  What is the purpose and focus of governor visits to the school? JA Matharu

17 It can be done! (excerpt from the inspection report of a Leicester school, published Sept 2013) Most of the governing body are relatively new in post, but are already proving highly effective in promoting the pupils’ good achievement and driving the school’s ambition for outstanding achievement. Governors are well trained and know what questions to ask from the school’s performance data on pupils’ progress, which is regularly provided by the senior leaders. Governors use varied information well to question, challenge and hold senior leaders to account. Governors know what the quality of teaching is and ensure that any underperformance is tackled and any promotion is rightly deserved. They make sure teachers’ pay is justified by pupils’ rates of progress. They make frequent visits to school and observation of lessons ensure governors are well- informed about all aspects of the work of the school. They play a key role in the school’s development and are instrumental in strategic planning for the improvements that have already improved teaching and raised standards. The governors are fully committed to supporting eligible pupils through the very effective use of the pupil premium money. They ensure that child protection and safeguarding have a high priority and are kept under meticulous review. They see that all legal requirements are met and that exemplary practice prevails. JA Matharu

18 It wasn’t always thus! This governing body will tell you that they were not always this good! They reflected on their current practice, recognised the need to re- organise, underwent training, and embraced new ways of working with a real intent and ambition to become more effective. JA Matharu

19 Where are you and what needs to be done before the next inspection ……?  Are you organised to respond convincingly about the 4 key inspection aspects?  Are you working to individuals’ strengths?  Have you established the key information that governors need/and are keeping it up to date?  Ready with a named governor(s) for each aspect when inspection occurs? JA Matharu

20 Reflection time  Reflect on your own school’s position  Are you on track for ‘good’?  How might governance be strengthened in the light of what you have heard/discussed today?  School action planning time JA Matharu

21 Thank you for listening and for all of your contributions today  I hope today’s sessions have proved useful.  If you would like any individual support in your school, please feel free to contact me. I have flyers with all of my contact details here at the front - please collect one for your school if you would like one. Judith Matharu JA Matharu


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