Contains Confidential NO
or Exempt Information
Title School governance – a strategy for choice and
Responsible Officer(s) Rachael Seitz (Director Schools Service)
Author(s) Bob Anderson (Assistant Director – Schools
Portfolio(s) Councillor Ian Gibb, Children’s Services
For Consideration By Cabinet
Date to be Considered 13 January 2009
Implementation Date if 26 January 2009
Not Called In
Affected Wards All
Area Committees All
Keywords/Index School governance, choice and diversity,
federation, collaboration, academy, schools
Purpose of Report:
It is a requirement of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that the local
(education) authority exercises its functions with a view to securing diversity in
the provision of schools and increasing opportunities for parental choice.
Advice from the Office of the Schools Commissioner (OSC) is that the local
authority should discuss the governance options with schools as part of the
Building Schools for the Future programme and the Primary Strategy for
Change. This report outlines the strategy that will be used in Ealing to
promote choice and diversity.
It is recommended that cabinet:
i. Note the content of this report;
ii. Approve the strategy (Appendix 1).
2. Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Ealing has good schools in all sectors. However, it is a requirement of the
Education and Inspections Act 2006 that the local (education) authority
exercises its functions with a view to securing diversity in the provision of
schools and increasing opportunities for parental choice. Advice from the
Office of the Schools Commissioner (OSC) is that the local authority
should discuss the governance options with schools as part of the
Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme and the Primary
Strategy for Change (PSfC). This is to ensure that each school considers
whether it has a governance arrangement that is most effective for its
3. Key Implications
This report reflects the fact that the local authority is developing a new
role as commissioner of services and is having to engender a different
relationship between schools and the local authority.
There is already diversity in the range of school governance of schools in
Ealing. However, the local authority has a duty to secure diversity and
parental choice and has received strong guidance from the OSC to
promote this with schools as it develops BSF and PSfC strategies.
Increased self-governance can provide greater autonomy, flexibility and
scope to commission and sell services.
School governance arrangements in Ealing currently include:
2 Voluntary Aided (1 CE and 1 Catholic)
(1 new high school to be built – likely to be Academy or Trust)
12 Voluntary Aided (3 CE and 9 Catholic)
(1 new Sikh school (VA) to open September 2009.)
4. Discussion process with schools on choice and diversity
Whilst schools may initiate discussion about changing their governance
arrangements, the local authority may also take a view about an individual
schools governance arrangements.
The triggers for this include:
Headteacher leaving – this might, for example, result in discussion
on amalgamation or federation.
Review of the schools self-evaluation form (SEF)
Lack of action by the school or governors to respond to local
Approach of external partner/stakeholder (eg diocesan board)
Direct approach by school
To begin discussion with schools over this a discussion paper will be
prepared on the meaning, implications and process of changing school
governance arrangements. This will include a draft intervention policy that
will detail the process by which the local authority monitors school
performance, the developing school support process and the various
interventions that the local authority can apply.
Dissemination of the paper and discussion will take place in a series of
Director’s Report to Governors
Heads and chairs briefing
Schools Consultative Group
Primary quadrant chairs
BSF/PSfC stakeholder group
Seminar with representative from OSC/DCSF
These proposals will not result in additional costs to Ealing Council but
could result in schools, individually or collectively, being able to gain
additional value for money.
The proposals suggested in this report arise from a range of statutory
provision. In particular these include:
Sections 11 and 12 of the Education Act 2002 and subsequent regulations
under those sections The School Companies Regulations 2002 and The
School Companies (Private Finance Initiative Companies) Regulations
School governance collaboration
The School Governance (Collaboration) (England) Regulations 2003
made under sections 19(3), 23, 26, and 210(7) of the Education Act 2002.
School governance federation
Section 24 of the Education Act 2002 and the School Governance
(Federations) (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No 960) (“the
Duties in relation to Diversity and Choice
Section 14 of the Education Act 1996 and section 2 of the Education and
Inspections Act 2006
Foundation and ‘Trust’ schools
Foundation Schools and ‘Trust’ schools are defined in S 21 and S23 and
Schedule 8 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
Arrangements for proposing and making changes to school categories
are regulated by S19 Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the School
Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England)
7. Value For Money
The various options for changing school governance have been proposed
to support the improvement to value for money by supporting local action
solutions to local problems and reducing the bureaucracy involved.
8. Risk Management
Potential risks can only be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
9. Community Safety
10. Links to Strategic Objectives
Children and young people
To create a great place for every child and young person to grow up
The governance options identified could result in improved provision for
children in Ealing, particularly to support local issues.
The options suggested here could result in more effective schools,
particularly in terms of collaboration and sharing good practice.
11. Equalities and Community Cohesion
These proposals will support effective and efficient schools and
partnerships of schools. An equalities impact assessment would only be
required on a case-by-case basis.
12. Staffing/Workforce and Accommodation implications:
If a school were to change its governance arrangements it could have
implications for the workforce in terms of their conditions of service or
nature of their employer.
13. Property and Assets
If a school were to change its governance arrangements it could have
implications for their responsibility for property and assets.
14. Any other implications:
This strategy has been developed following discussion with headteachers,
chairs of governors and other stakeholders. Schools were mixed in their
view of changing governance status but it would be a matter for each
governing body to consider any change to its governance arrangements.
16. Timetable for Implementation
Elements of this strategy have already been implemented. Further
implementation will continue as BSF, PSfC and other related strategies
Appendix 1 - School governance – a strategy for choice and diversity
18. Background Information
Guidance on School Companies – DFES 20/01/03
Guidance on the School Governance (Collaboration) (England)
Regulations 2003 – DFES September 2003
Guidance on the School Governance (Federations) (England)
Regulations 2007 – DFES May 2007
Policy overview – how Trust schools work – DFES November 2006
Guidance on making changes to maintained schools DFES May 2007
Guidance on changing School Category to Foundation DFES May
Name of Department Date sent Date Comments
consultee to response appear in report
consultee received para:
David Archibald Executive Director 15.12.08
Rachael Seitz Director Schools Service 15.12.08
Judith Finlay Director Children and Families 15.12.08
Gary Redhead Assistant Director, Resources 15.12.08 16.12.08 various
Chris Spruce Assistant Director, School 15.12.08
Jane Batalona Legal Services 15.12.08 16.12.08 6
Dawn Calvert Finance 15.12.08
Councillor Ian Cabinet Member for Children 15.12.08 23.12.08 4 and 15
Gibb and Young People
Decision type: Urgency item?
EITHER: Key decision (Jan 2009) No
Authorised by Cabinet Date report Report deadline: Date report sent:
23.12.08 14.12.08 31.12.08 24.12.08
Report no.: Report author and contact for queries:
Bob Anderson, Assistant Director – Schools Service Partnerships
X 9309 firstname.lastname@example.org