Consultation on proposed changes to Local Governance arrangements

The BPET Board of Trustees have launched a consultation on proposed changes to Local Governance arrangements in BPET. This page sets out the background on the proposed changes, the timetable for the consultation and invites governors, staff and parents to respond to the consultation.

The National Governance Association conducted an external review of the governance structure across the Trust in 2016/17, with a workshop in September 2016 involving Trustees, Chairs and Headteachers.

The recommendation from the review has been adopted by the Board to consider and design a new governance structure for the Trust, taking away the duplication of roles and responsibilities between the Board, Local Governance and the executive team led by the Chief Executive.

The external review report recommended “work with staff and LGB members to reach a new settlement for school-level governance within BPET”. This report sets out the detail of a move to Local Advisory Boards, replacing Local Governing Bodies. The main purposes of the new Local Advisory Boards will be:

  • to maintain an overview of the educational attainment and achievement of the school
  • to advise on the School Development Plan proposals
  • to assist the school in meeting the needs of the local community it serves.

The following background explains in more detail what is being proposed.  The Local Governance Consultation is taking place between 28 February 2018 and closes on 6 April 2018. If you have any views about these proposals that you would like the trustees to consider, please send them to info@BPET.co.uk. Following the consultation, the BPET Board will consider the responses and then announce its decision on the way forward.

BPET Consultation on Changes to Local Governance Arrangements in its Schools

BPET was created in 2012 and, after opening its first school in 2013, is now operational on seven sites. One school has been recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted, with two recognised as Good.

During this time, the Trust has grown and evolved as its operations have grown. The Board has agreed to consult about proposed changes to Local Governance Arrangements in its schools which are designed to:

  • Reduce the duplication of roles and responsibilities between the Board, Local Governance volunteers and the executive team
  • Implement what we have learnt from the experience of the first 4 years of operating the Trust
  • Clarify the role and purpose of parental and other stakeholder engagement at each school
  • Make better use of staff, trustee and local volunteers in the interests of the children’s education.

The Trust is committed to developing schools which are strongly valued by the parents and carers of the children they serve. This is measured by an annual survey, the latest in 2017 showing that parental support for the schools continues to improve. Over 450 parents from our 800 pupils responded to the survey –

  • 97% of parents and carers strongly agree or agree that their child enjoys coming to school
  • 92% ranked their response as highly likely or likely to recommend a Bellevue Place Education Trust School to their friends
  • 95% of parents and carers strongly agree or agree that the school’s values and attitudes have a positive effect on their child
  • 97% of parents and carers strongly agree or agree that the school develops their child’s independence and responsibility
  • 92% of parents and carers are satisfied with the leadership and management of the school.

At the foundation of the trust, it was decided to create a Local Governing Body for each school, but the experience of the first four years of operation has shown that these arrangements are often misunderstood, have created a duplication of effort for headteachers, trustees and executives, and have not been a good use of the volunteer members’ time.

The Trust is bringing forward proposals to replace the Local Governing Bodies with Local Advisory Boards in an effort to tackle these criticisms without diluting the commitment to working with each school community to deliver schools that are sensitive and responsive to local views and opinions.

Proposals

The Trust is now consulting on a series of proposals which will:

  • Disband the existing Local Governing Bodies
  • Create Local Advisory Boards in their place

Membership

  • Local Advisory Boards to have 6-10 members
  • The Chair of the LAB to serve at the invitation of the Trustees
  • Parents of children in the school to be at least 50%+1 of the membership
  • A requirement to hold “open” meetings for contentious or controversial issues
  • Chair & Head agree on member appointments to the LAB

Purpose

  • To maintain an overview of the educational attainment and achievement of the school
  • To assist the school in meeting the needs of the local community it serves
  • For certain matters listed below, a requirement to be consulted by the Headteacher and/or Trustees before important decisions are made
  • On all other matters, to be consulted at the discretion of the Headteacher and/or Trustees

Consultation with LAB required for

  • Proposals to change the location, size, character or ethos of the school
  • Annually, on revisions to the School Development Plan
  • Annually, a programme of meetings, events and LAB member visits to school

Discretionary Consultation with LAB (an illustrative list of proposals which may be discussed with the LAB before a decision is taken)

  • To propose setting up a task and finish group to develop ideas for engaging with the community
  • To undertake a programme of off-site visits, including possibly international travel or residential trips
  • To develop a programme of activities before or after the school day, such as breakfast clubs or afterschool clubs.

The following information has been distributed to the Local Governing Bodies and provides further information on the proposed changes:

Report to LGB on Proposed Changes

Timetable

The consultation is planned to run from 28 February 2018 to 6 April, with a final decision in April 2018. If agreed, the changeover is planned during the summer to allow the new Local Advisory Boards to be up and running from the start of the Autumn Term 2018.  If you have any views about these proposals that you would like the trustees to consider in response to this consultation, please send them to info@BPET.co.uk

 

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