This is Section 5 of the Guide to the Law, as published May 2012.
Download this page: GttL 2012 Section 5 Support & Training for Governors
See C2G page on Training & Development – includes links to Modern Governor and GEL e-learning, and the role of the Link Governor
Funding restrictions have prevented the Department from reviewing and updating the existing offer to governors. The Department is however working with the National College to meet the commitment made in the Schools White Paper published in November 2010 to provide training and support for chairs of governing bodies.
This section gives details of the Department for Education (DfE) National Strategy for Governor Support and Training, the Local Authority’s (LA’s) responsibility to provide training for governors and how it is funded. Information on governors’ entitlements when taking time off work for governance duties and payment of allowances for expenses is also provided.
1. The Local Authority (LA) provides a portfolio of training courses that governors can access to help them carry out their duties effectively. The training must be provided free of charge to the individual governor. Most LAs provide governor and clerk training to schools under a package for which the governing body pays a subscription. Several other organisations also provide training for governors and clerks.
2. The school’s delegated budget is the primary source of funding for governor training and clerking. Governing bodies are responsible for approving the school budget and within that they should make provision for meeting their own training and clerking needs.
3. Training for all governors and clerks is to be encouraged. Although not compulsory, it is strongly recommended and all governors, however experienced, need training to improve their effectiveness and to keep abreast of developments that may affect their schools and roles as governors. New governors should take advantage of induction training. It will benefit schools if governing bodies use the funds they allocate for governor training and development. There is a wide range of training and support available for governors and each governing body should consider what its needs are and how training can help it to meet those needs.
THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR GOVERNOR SUPPORT AND TRAINING
4. The National Strategy consists of three strands.
i) The National Training Programme for New Governors
This training programme for new governors aims to ensure that they can access consistent information about their role, responsibilities and the expectations of them. The programme’s purpose is to enable new governors to contribute as effectively and quickly as possible in supporting their schools to raise standards of educational achievement. LAs may deliver the programme as part of their induction. The programme can be undertaken independently by completing the distance-learning version of the programme.
ii) The National Training Programme for Clerks to Governing Bodies
This programme enables new clerks to develop the competences necessary to provide a clerking service that matches the agreed model national job description and person specification. It also enables experienced clerks to refresh, consolidate and further develop their competences. There is a distance-learning version of this training programme, which allows the programme to be undertaken independently.
iii) The National Development Programme for Chairs of Governing Bodies and Head teachers
The National Development Programme for Chairs of Governing Bodies and Head teachers was introduced to meet the demand for more support for chairs of governing bodies and to encourage them to work together proactively with head teachers, while respecting each other’s roles and responsibilities. It consists of two separate programmes.
a) “Taking the Chair” is intended for chairs, aspiring chairs and chairs to committees of the governing body. It is designed to impart the required skills for the role of chair to a governing body. This programme, which can be completed by distance learning, will also help chairs understand their working relationship with the head teacher.
b) “Leading Together” is a facilitator-led programme that aims to bring together chairs and the governing body with head teachers and other members of the school leadership team. It is designed to help them work on specific activities to support aspects of the school’s strategic development, and to lead, develop and work together as an effective team.
Copies of training material from all the training programmes from the National Strategy can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or through the training and recruitment section of the DfE website. It should be noted that these programmes have not recently been updated and more up-to-date programmes are available from various commercial suppliers. Local Authority governor support teams and the National Governors’ Association will be able to give details of these programmes.
iv) Leadership Development Programme for Chairs of Governing Bodies
The National College for School Leadership is working under remit to the Department for Education to provide a leadership development programme for chairs of governors. The College has published a booklet ‘Leading governors’ that can be downloaded or ordered from the National College website. Information on forthcoming development opportunities can also be found on the site.
TIME OFF FROM WORK
5. Under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 employers must give employees who are school governors reasonable time off to carry out their duties. The employee and employer have to agree on what is reasonable time off. Among the points they should discuss are:
- how much time is required overall to perform the duties;
- whether the employee is also being given time off from work for other activities;
- the particular circumstances of the employer’s business;
- the likely effect that the employee’s absence may have on it.
PAYMENT FOR TIME OFF
6. Employers may give time off with pay but do not have to do so. This is for discussion between the employee and the employer. For further information see the guidance for time off for public duties on the Department for Business Innovation and Skills website.
7. If the employee and employer cannot agree on any of these questions, either of them can ask for help from the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), which will try to settle any differences informally. An employee who is still not satisfied may complain to an Employment Tribunal.
ALLOWANCES FOR EXPENSES
8. Governing bodies that have a delegated budget can choose whether or not to pay allowances to governors and associate members of the governing body. The DfE considers it good practice for governing bodies to pay allowances, as governors should not be out of pocket for the valuable work they do. Where governing bodies choose to do so, it must be in accordance with a policy or scheme. The scheme may, for example, include reimbursing governors for expenditure they have incurred in connection with their governance duties for:
- care arrangements for a dependent relative (including childcare or baby sitting);
- telephone charges, photocopying and stationery;
- travel and subsistence (i.e. reimbursement for meals purchased that would not have otherwise been bought).
9. The list in paragraph 8, above, is not an exhaustive list of possible allowances. Payments can only be paid in respect of expenditure necessarily incurred for the purposes of enabling the person to perform any duty as a governor. This would not include payments to cover loss of earnings for attending meetings.
10. Travel expenses must be paid at a rate not exceeding the maximum level of HM Revenue and Customs authorised mileage rate. The rates are changed annually and can be found on HM Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk. Governing bodies may pay less than the authorised mileage rate if they wish, but they may not pay more than the maximum level of those rates. If a governing body has any doubt about whether or not payments made under its scheme attract a tax liability, it should contact HM Revenue and Customs for advice. Other expenses should be paid on the provision of a receipt (at a rate predetermined by the governing body and set out in its scheme) and should be limited to the amount shown on the receipt.
11. Governing bodies should make provision from within their delegated budget if they anticipate expenditure in making adjustments for disabled governors or in providing support to those governors whose first language is not English.
12. Where a governing body does not have a delegated budget, the allowances referred to in paragraph 8, above, may be paid for by the LA at a rate determined by them.
13. Information about the training and support available to governors can be obtained from LA coordinators of governor services and from the following organisations.
|Catholic Education Service39 Eccleston SquareLondon SW1V 1BXTel: 0207 901 1900Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Church of England Board of EducationChurch HouseGreat Smith StreetLondon SW1P 3NZTel: 020 7898 1500|
| Information for School and CollegeGovernors (ISCG)PO Box 3934 Gerrards Cross SL9 1AGTel: 01483 300280
| National Governors’ AssociationGround SBQ36 Great Charles StreetBirmingham
Tel: 0121 237 3780
GovernorLine is a free professional and confidential helpline offering email and telephone support to school governors, clerks and individuals involved directly in school governance in England. GovernorLine is available Monday to Friday from 9a.m. to 10p.m. (excluding public holidays) and from 11a.m. to 4p.m. at weekends. Telephone 08000 722 181 or email via their website at www.governorline.info
USEFUL RESOURCES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
DfE School Governance Unit
Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9BG
Tel: 01325 735571
DfE Publications Centre Tel: 0845 602 2260
Ofsted Tel: 020 7421 6800
The School Governors’ area on the DfE website.
Your Local Authority or Diocesan Governor Support Services Department
The National Archives (TNA), incorporating Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) at The National Archives
WHAT LEGISLATION DOES THIS REFER TO?