BETT 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of BETT (British Education and Training Technology) Exhibition. The show supports creative teaching and learning by enabling practitioners to touch and test resources, debate ideas and continue their professional development. You can keep up-to-date with the latest educational issues, visit the New Technologies Zone, Special Needs Zone, and Software Zone, and attend seminars or workshops. BETT was first created in 1985 and now spans both the National and the Grand Halls at Olympia, featuring more than 600 stands and entertaining almost 29,000 visitors. BETT 2009 is free to attend and runs over four days from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 January. Visit the BETT website (www.bettshow.com) for registration and further information. Alternative Provision: Back on Track: At the Children and Adult Services Conference in Liverpool in October, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls launched a document setting out how the Government is taking forward proposals announced in the alternative-provision White Paper, Back on track. Mr Balls announced a package of measures based on those proposals including: a national database of providers of alternative provision the publication of new guidance for LAs and schools on commissioning alternative provision information for LAs on specifications for the role of named officer for alternative provision. For more information see the DCSF website www.dcsf.gov.uk (or direct to http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/localauthorities/index.cfm?action=content&contentID= 16619) Capital Funding for School Kitchens Ministers announced on 10 July 2008 that a total of £100 million of the targeted capital fund for school kitchens will be made available to all LAs which submit plans to increase school lunch take-up by building or improving school kitchens and upgrading dining facilities. Plans are subject to ministerial approval. The funding will be available on a matched basis, with the LA expected to provide 50 per cent matched funding. Announcements of successful bids will be made by Easter 2009 and the funding will be available in 2009-10 and 2010-11. NGA Governor Awards. The 2009 National Governors Association (NGA) awards will be held at Birmingham's Council house on 21 March 2009. The first of the two main awards for the event is the Governance Award; this is an entirely new award for governing bodies who have demonstrated real leadership. In launching the awards the NGA aims to celebrate good school governance and spread examples of best practice throughout the school governor community. Governors were considered under one of three categories: • Challenging circumstances • Support for governance • Exceptional projects There is also an NGA award for outstanding clerks which has been offered bi-annually since 2003 and has done much to raise the profile of governing body clerks. In making this award the NGA is looking to celebrate good practice in governing body clerking in maintained schools in England and Wales. Information was emailed to chairs in November. Chess: following on from a previous article, there is a project to get 10 competition class chess sets to every school in England. Contact Charles Wood on 0845 4002429 £1.75bn for primary school re-builds. Hundreds of primary schools in England will be rebuilt, as Ministers release approved building work. Over 1,500 rebuilding or refurbishment projects will begin across 133 local authorities over the next two years. The projects are part of the Primary Capital Programme, which is investing £7bn to rebuild or refurbish half of all primary schools by 2022-23. Greater Expectations. The Greater Expectations project is exploring young learners' expectations and aspirations for their lives and learning. This research examines what broad principles children and young people should be entitled to, how they can experience them more fully, and what role digital technology can play in putting them into practice. The project is developed within the contexts of personalising education, increasing young people's engagement and voice in their learning, and closing the gaps for learners who face disadvantages. www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/greater-expectations Finally, don‟t forget the Governor Conference – School Improvement – the Governors’ Role, on Saturday 21st March 2009 at Britannia House in Northampton. We are very pleased to have Sir Mike Tomlinson as the keynote speaker. For booking details, please see the advertisement in this publication. Free eye tests for children in reception classes As part of our support for the work in sustaining the good health of young people in the County we have been liaising with the local optical council who are encouraging families to take up the offer of a free sight test for young children. The Northamptonshire L.O.C. (Local Optical Committee) are very concerned with the increasing numbers of children that are seen at a late stage with easily correctable eye defects, defects that can cause significant problems at school. In light of this they have produced a leaflet to highlight to parents the importance of early and regular eye examinations. It is their hope that this will encourage many more parents to take their children for a test, and most importantly let us find those that need help as early as possible before it has an adverse effect on their education. Leaflets were sent to schools in September. For further information contact: Polly White, Children and Young People's Service, 01604 237183, email@example.com **************************************** Dear Governors. Welcome to the „Making Improvements‟ edition of The Northamptonshire Governor. There is a huge variety of improvements from finding new governors to a shiny new Children‟s Centre, from improving policies to what to include in a Headteacher Report, and reshuffling your governors and setting performance measurement targets. Not forgetting, of course, the School Improvement Conference on 21st March 2009. Hope to see many of you there. Thanks you for all your contributions. Angela **************************************** THE NCPTA Gold Star Rewards recognise the achievements of PTAs and other home school associations and rewards best practice. A total of six £1,000 rewards are made in the following three categories: PTA Fundraising Achievement. This category is for outstanding fundraising achievement and looks not only at the amount raised but also other factors such as innovation and the involvement of parents, pupils and the wider community. Changing the Life of the School. This category looks at PTA led projects that fundamentally change the life of the school for the better. Although fundraising is often an element, judges also look for activity that has had a significant impact on the whole school community. Achievement in Parental Involvement. This category looks for initiatives that encourage sustained parental involvement and how this is extended to include parents who do not usually get involved in the life of the school. Helping school partnerships shine RESEARCH shows that targeted parental involvement has a positive benefit on pupil achievement. The LEAPP Awards support the development of parental involvement within schools by funding innovative projects which expand the remit of home school partnership activities and/or the number of parents actively involved with schools and the education of their child. Six £1,000 LEAPP Awards will be made in 2009. The NCPTA works with the winning schools to capture best practice information and share this as widely as possible with those responsible for supporting parental involvement including teachers, headteachers, governors and local authority practitioners, those responsible for developing policy centrally and parents themselves through PTAs and parent networks. **************************************** Irthlingborough Children‟s Centre Photo: Phil Hope cuts the ribbon at the new Irthlingborough Children‟s Centre. The Opening of the new Children‟s Centre at Irthlingborough Primary School took place on 19th September 2008. The Children‟s Centre was officially opened by Corby MP Phil Hope. Attending the ceremony were Mrs Eileen Mander, the deputy Mayor of Irthlingborough, Cllr. Brian Northall, Deborah Mahon, LA lead on Children‟s Centres, as well as representatives from the building company, staff, pupils and governors of the school. The auspicious gathering had also witnessed the official opening of a new area of the school a few minutes earlier. Children continued with their lessons on number lines, unfazed by their visitors. With the help of some of the children, Phil Hope had opened the new classroom, cutting the ribbon to applause. Everyone commented on how bright and welcoming the area was and that, as Morecambe and Wise would have said “you can‟t see the join”. After cutting the ribbon at the Children‟s Centre, Councillor Hope commented that he was very pleased at the investment in education and in the future and that it was very good to support both the children‟s and parents needs. Children‟s Centre staff were on hand to answer any queries and the bright reception area contained tables with information from Connexions, Job Centres, Meningitis Trust and Help with your Mortgage. The Centre‟s facilities include a kitchen, a health/meeting room, a larger family room, as well the baby changing room. Activities taking place at the Centre include baby massage, Messy Play, and Rollers and Crawlers. Phil Hope commented: “The centre will help parents in Irthlingborough give their children the best possible start in life, encouraging positive parenting and a good learning environment at home preparing them for starting school.” “We know that the nurturing environment of these Centres improves children‟s behaviour and lays the foundation for them to achieve their full potential.” Irthlingborough Infants and Nursery was praised in its last Ofsted report for its pupils‟ standard of achievement and the attention shown to pupils‟ individual needs. With Irthlingborough‟s population set to rise to around 11,000 by 2021, the new facilities will prove invaluable in the future. For information call 01933 653765. Photos provided by Evening Telegraph; some text adapted from news report. ****** Rushden Community College Children’s Centre opened on 13th December 2008. The RCCCC is a „one-stop shop‟ for parents with children from birth – five. Somewhere to: Come with your children Pop in for a coffee and a chat Meet other parents and carers Attend groups and course Link with local childminders Find out about other local services Get the support you want! For further information contact your Children‟s centre team on 01933 410112 ****** Streamlining the Governing Body – a report from Castle Primary, Northampton. During the last academic year Northampton‟s Castle Primary School in began to suffer the same challenge as probably faced by almost every other governing body in schools – too many committee meetings, resulting in poor governor turnout. According to Teresa Elkin, Chair of Castle Primary School Governors, something had to be done. “On the whole, we always achieved a good turnout for each of our full governing body meetings; however, committees were becoming more difficult to manage. With so many areas of responsibility and new education initiatives, we found ourselves with so many committees that people just could not simply meet all their responsibilities and the time commitment they required” “Unfortunately we were beginning to experience frustrating circumstances such as, just two governors turning up for a committee meeting, so we decided to streamline our committees in order that they became more effective” The governing body therefore decided on the following structure: Retaining the two full governing body meetings each term – 6 per academic year Development of the “Excellence and Enjoyment” Committee Development of the “Every Child Matters” Committee Excellence and Enjoyment This committee now focuses on key data and key learning and teaching goals. The Governors Development plan – which will be accessible to all via Blue Wave Swift, focuses on the lesson study project, plus how children in the school are actually enjoying their education i.e. a more creative curriculum. Every Child Matters Focuses on the key areas of ECM, such as Be Healthy; Stay Safe; Make a positive contribution etc. The committee takes responsibility for other areas of the school such as health & safety, finance and SEN under the Every Child Matters initiative. To date, the governing body have judged this streamlining to be a great success as each committee now has established areas of responsibility determined by its revised terms of reference and a more healthy and active turnout. The chair reminded us of the most important point: “This structure means that key areas of responsibility are now handled by two committees, enabling the full governing body meetings to focus on the bigger picture and work towards a successful outcome from our next Ofsted visit” A suggested structure for an anti-bullying policy Values and ethos of the school The policy should state a clear intention to take bullying seriously and manage it effectively. It should acknowledge that some bullying is values led: sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, disability and religious prejudice. Bullying and random prejudicial behaviour must be assertively confronted at all times and the leadership must make clear that, whilst shared values might not be achievable, the resulting injurious language and behaviour is not tolerated under any circumstances. Objectives To reduce the frequency of bullying incidents To increase the likelihood that incidents are disclosed to responsible adults To intervene effectively when bullying happens Named person(s) Does the policy name: 1. a co-ordinator/lead? 2. members of a working party? Definition „Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally‟ DCSF 2007 Types of bullying bullying related to race, religion or culture bullying related to special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities bullying related to appearance or health conditions bullying related to sexual orientation bullying of young carers or looked- after children or otherwise related to home circumstances sexist or sexual bullying Those covered by the policy The Policy covers the bullying of school staff, whether by pupils, parents or other staff. Members of the school workforce suffering from or concerned about bullying can also contact their trade union or professional association for support and advice. Consultation and distribution arrangements 1. Consulted? 2. Informed? 3. Will there be different versions adopted for age, literacy levels and languages? Links to other policies/plans Does the anti-bullying policy cover some topics linked to other documents and are the policies up to date? School improvement plans PSHE/Citizenship SEAL Behaviour and attendance Child protection Equality and Diversity Proactive Strategies curriculum input SEAL National Healthy School Programme Staff training Reactive Strategies circle time peer support/mentoring programmes buddies worry boxes Support group approach Procedures to follow What to do if I am being bullied? What to do if I witness bullying? Sanctions/Rewards Sanctions graded according to level of bullying Fair, proportionate, consistent and reasonable – pupils need to be accountable for their actions and the impact their behaviour has on the EHWB of others Recording/Monitoring/Evaluating Data gathering and recording systems Confidential reporting systems Reporting systems for parents Date of policy Review date DCSF advice, every two years For further information, contact Jo Wood, Anti Bullying Project Co-ordinator, CYPP, 012604 655143, firstname.lastname@example.org Photo : Fab Foyer! Refurbished Foyer – Wollaston Community Primary School Wollaston Community Primary School is a medium sized Victorian building set in the heart of the village. It was built in 1894 and sometimes it feels that it has never changed since that date! It was time to update and modernise! We decided that the main entrance of our school was the part to attend to initially, as this is the first impression that visitors and new children have of the school and that this gives a very large message to people about the school and it‟s vitality. It was looking tired and dated and very very brown – so having looked at a few examples in other schools we chose to refurbish. We initially contacted a photographic company (Ward Hendry) who came in a spent a full day with the children taking pictures of them in their everyday school activities. This resulted in some fabulous large story board pictures – which have pride of place in the foyer and are the talking point for most visitors. This then inspired us to go even further and actually take the wall out between the entrance hall and the main office, and replace this with a curved reception desk. We also altered all the furniture by moving from shelving that looked untidy to full wall to ceiling cupboards, with lockable doors. After a new carpet, newly painted walls and some very smart blinds, the office and entrance was complete. We then carried the new designs through into the Head Teacher‟s office – which is next to the main office. The biggest impact has been with visitors who now come in and tell us how more welcoming, friendly, modern and brighter the school looks and state that we look ready for the 21st century, parents who come in to look at the photos of their children or their children‟s friends, and with the children at the school who have a definite feeling of pride. We now need to start working on the rest of the school – but due to budget constraints, the age of the building and time this is going to be a very long process. Mrs Sally Hamson – Head Teacher Wollaston Primary School Performance Measure Target Achieved RAG status Comments List of all policies, schedule of dates for review, to 100% 100% be provided for Governor Meetings Governors' Web Site up and running Improve SATS results by 2% overall Increase in Value Add Parent Satisfaction Pupil Satisfaction Staff Satisfaction Improve position in County by 5 places Governor Training No vacancies on Governing Body for more than 3 months Safeguarding children - Third joint chief inspectors' report (CSN) Author: Leonie Jordan (CSN Associate) The report is written on behalf of eight inspectorates covering service providers in England and follows reports published in 2002 and 2005 (see 'related briefings' for the 2005 report). It takes into account progress since the implementation of the Children Act 2004 and the Every Child Matters programme. The report assesses the current safeguarding framework and partnerships, taking account of the wider role of public services to help children and young people feel safe, and identifies improvements still needed, particularly in relation to groups such as looked after children and young people, children and young people in secure settings and those who are asylum seekers. It makes recommendations to the relevant government departments about what is required to deliver those improvements, as well as identifying improvements which the Local Safeguarding Board and its partners should be implementing. The eight inspectorates represent: Healthcare Commission Commission for Social Care Inspection HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary HM Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate HM Chief Inspector of Court Administration HM Chief Inspector of Prisons HM Chief Inspector of Probation HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children‟s Services and Skills The report addresses, in considerable detail, arrangements for safeguarding children and young people over four areas: the overall safeguarding framework and its working at local level the wider safeguarding role of public services, prioritising and innovation children and young people who are particularly vulnerable and need targeted interventions or specialist services delivery of effective child protection services, compliant with the requirements of the Children Act 2004 and the Common Assessment Framework. The report‟s recommendations, grouped to reflect the four areas covered, aim to improve safeguarding arrangements across agencies and also increase compliance with statutory requirements. In an appendix, the report identifies progress against recommendations made in the 2005 Report. The Children‟s Services Network comment that: “The report provides a valuable account of the strengths of interagency work of which it identifies many and highlights good practice examples. It also identifies deficits in partnerships for which the LSCB is responsible and constraints. The framework used to bring together the findings from inspections made individually and jointly by the eight inspectorates provides a useful framework for LSCBs to establish their own theme led audit scheme, which could be adapted too by individual agencies. The insight into the practice of agencies now tasked with a wider safeguarding role is invaluable for managers who may not be as familiar as is desirable with practice and resource issues faced by their partners. Issues of child protection knowledge of front line and senior staff in health related services, identified as a concern in 2005 continue to be accepted in principle but in practice not progressed. LSCBs need to have in place robust training expectations of their partner agencies and inspection arrangements within agencies for staff with child protection responsibilities to have „protected' time to undertake child protection and wider safeguarding responsibilities. The report is essential reading for members of LSCBs and their managers and also for managers who are responsible for ensuring safeguarding standards in service delivery. It provides a framework for auditing current service delivery and will assist in identifying areas for improvement. Many improvements are reported but agencies jointly and individually need to ensure that actions are robustly reviewed for effectiveness and impact to improve the quality of life for children, young people and their families” For further information go to the CSN site where you will need to register. www.csn.info/csn/briefing-detail.jsp?&id=2007&md=0§ion=briefing IMPROVING SCHOOLS PROGRAMME – ISP The ISP is a school improvement programme designed to raise standards and improve teaching and learning in the context of the school as a professional learning community. It is based on the cycle of audit and setting targets, action and review. The programme aims to draw together existing good teaching and learning practice in LAs and schools in order to maximise impact. Key themes • Raising standards and accelerating progress • Improving the quality of teaching and learning • Improving the conditions for learning • Developing the school as a professional learning community The School Improvement Cycle Annual review of attainment and progress, School Self Evaluation, analysing the data from transitional assessment, attendance data and whole school tracking and mapping of attainment . Identifying priorities to support pupil progress. Single Plan – reviewed termly to address Monitoring, evaluation and review of impact on priorities to support the progress of all learners pupil progress using qualitative and linked to tracking, mapping provision and quantitative data from periodic assessment resources and the views of the pupil and relevant adults Ensuring the progress of all learners: pedagogy for personalisation; day to day assessment; Quality First Teaching plus Wave 2 and 3 intervention; curriculum; Whole school, systematic conditions; motivation and skills for learning; subject CPD – developing leadership progression; the Primary Framework; tracking into for learning and teacher action in the classroom professional learning through collaborative classroom- based CPD Headteacher Report to Governors “The governing body has the right to require the head to report on any aspect of the school‟s work. It is helpful if they agree with the head a plan of the areas to be covered in the reports over the year, for example, regular progress reports on the implementation of the school plan and the Self Evaluation Form (SEF); e.g. a programme for different sections of the SEF to be reviewed at each meeting. The head should report regularly on fire precautions and fire drills” ISCG A Manual for Governing Bodies and their Clerks 2007. The purpose of a Headteacher report to governors is to ensure governors are kept updated on all aspects of school life so that they can fulfill their statutory duty as a governing body and make good decisions in their work. The Headteacher does not need to generate all the report as there are many people working in school, including governors, who are very involved and can generate a report to be incorporated into the final report. It is the duty of the headteacher to ensure that the information is delivered from a strategic perspective and that the information will give governors enough information to challenge, question, support and be an active member. If governors are to be given enough time to read the information and be fully prepared for the meeting they must have all paperwork prior to a meeting. In order to do this the full governing body must be circulated with full reports, minutes, agenda and relevant papers at least seven working days prior to a meeting. What should be included: Introduction giving a brief outline of progress since the last meeting (include how school is meeting 5 outcomes of ECM – not necessarily all every term). This gives governors an overview of whole progress of school Current Issues: Staffing; Pupils – attendance, exclusions, leavers destination, mobility; Budget; Buildings and grounds; Health & Safety. This gives a clear overview of the current situation in school and any possible impact. Information can be produced by the Headteacher and/or any appropriate member of staff e.g. dedicated staff for pupil attendance, Finance and Resources committee minutes (this will probably include buildings, staffing, and budget position. Timing of committee meetings must ensure that these can b e incorporated into main report in same term) School Improvement: Professional development and how this supports the curriculum including how this will improve standards (Impact). This ensures governors are clear about the planning process, the actions and progress. Details can be from Headteacher or generated by SMT/TLR/subject leaders). Headteacher should give strategic overview (HT should report on impact of CPD through overview linking to development plan Achievement and Standards: Performance and standards (Targets). Use comparative tables where possible. This ensures that governors are clear about data analysis, outcomes of monitoring, comparative data, SATs results or progress towards targets and VA analysis of results where possible. Headteacher should give a strategic overview overview but this should be supported by reports from SMT/TLR or subject leaders. Reports from governors committees should be circulated with the agenda Self Evaluation. Progress with SEF, Ofsted Action Plan. This will ensure governors are aware of areas which are currently being evaluated to enable them to be part of this evaluation. Ofsted is to ensure they can meet statutory duties. Both of these would drive the purpose of governor links when observing practice within school. The responsibility for this lies with the Headteacher – but could be generated by SMT / TLR or subject leaders. Headteacher should give strategic overview and link governors should be prepared to give report on what they have observed Item to be included Reason Who is responsible? Children with additional To ensure governors are SENCo, link governor for needs aware of pupil progress SEN designated person, SEN and achievement of Headteacher should give LAC pupils on SEN register, overall picture with any EAL LAC children and pupils detail provided by Protection issues with EAL. To ensure appropriate people racial incidents governors can fulfill their statutory duty to report on (Use comparative racial incidents, tables where possible) protection issues etc. Beyond the school day: To ensure governors are Appropriate people e.g. Community (could fully aware of the range extended schools include use of facilities, and breadth and impact co-ordinator, class extended schools, of all additional aspects teachers, PTA, SMT, extra curricular school are involved in Headteacher. activities; teacher reports on curriculum and how enrichment activities have supported this. This should also include any „Partnerships‟ / partnership working and benefits, how it links with development plan. Data should be comparative to give governors an overview in order to note improvements. For example, report full list of staff members in Autumn, the following two terms report on any changes. ASSOCIATION OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE GOVERNING BODIES We are pleased to announce that a date of 21st March 2009 has been set for our Governor Conference. Sir Mike Tomlinson, CBE, has agreed to attend as a Keynote Speaker. School Improvement – the Governors’ Role ANSGB/LASI FREE CONFERENCE FOR SCHOOL GOVERNORS* Saturday 21st March 2009 9.00 for 9.30 am to 2.00 pm (inc. lunch) Britannia House, Northampton, NN4 7YB Workshop details are Transformational Leadership Climate for Learning Teaching for Learning Assessment for Learning Family and Community Partnerships Good to Great When booking, please state first and second preference. Please state any accessibility/impairment or dietary requirements. Booking forms will be sent to clerks to governing bodies. Please note that this conference replaces the June 08 event. If you were previously booked on the Achievement and Under Achievement conference scheduled for June 08, and have not confirmed your attendance, please do so as a matter of priority by contacting the CPD team on email@example.com or 01604 655111 *The seminar is free to all schools which have an SLA with NIAS/LASI or Governors Service; £15 per delegate for Option 2 schools Updating your governors. In September each year, we send to schools a list of governors for them to check and amend as necessary. So far, we have received 92% which means these schools are up to date on our database and, perhaps more importantly, current information is shown on the Schools Directory, www.northamptonshire.gov.uk Many thanks to all those schools who responded. We will be carrying out the same exercise in February 2009 and we would be appreciative if you could update and return any paperwork promptly. Please note that the forms for updating your governors have been revised, so check the website for new forms – an example is shown below. If you have old forms tucked away on your desk, please recycle them! (Scanned copy of form) Training Page Judith Bennett, NGA Chair: “Today‟s research findings provide strong support for the NGA‟s view of governance. This research reveals that the current system works well in many schools. What is needed is improved recognition from central government, alongside a clear expectation that school governance is a serious role requiring high levels of commitment and strong systems of support. “In particular we welcome the recommendation that training should be mandatory, and that governing body Clerks – who provide a crucial support role – should be properly trained and rewarded." http://www.nga.org.uk/news.aspx - 14th October 2008. Clerks Briefings: January 12th 2009, 11am, 2pm and 6pm, Britannia House, Northampton. Link Governor Briefings: January 2009 Tuesday 13th January 2009 Britannia House Northampton Wednesday 14th January 2009 Daventry Abbey Junior School Wednesday 14th January 2009 Firdale PDC, Corby Monday 19th January 2009 Kettering Tuesday 20th January 2009 Croyland School, Wellingborough Wednesday 21st January 2009 South Northants. Thursday 22nd January 2009 Thrapston, East Northants. Monday 27th April 2009 Britannia House, Northampton Monday 27th April 2009 Firdale PDC, Corby Wednesday 29th April 2009 Daventry Thursday 30th April 2009 Kettering Tuesday 5th May 2009 Wellingborough Wednesday 6th May 2009 SN Thursday 7th May 2009 EN Governor Training -Core courses Jan to March 09 Code Course Dates Title Start time Venue GS07C21st Jan Healthy & Safety for All 6.30pm Britannia House GS03C28th Jan Drugs Education7.30pm Britannia House GS20C28th Jan The Link Governor7.00pm Sponne School Towcester GS05C29th Jan Understanding School Finances7.30pm Britannia House GS02C5th Feb Curriculum Governor - Science (Primary) 7.30pm Britannia House GS22C7th Feb Performance Management of the Head9.00am Britannia House GS25C7th Feb Safer Recruitment Skills for Governors9.00am Britannia House GS03F24th Feb Sex & Relationship Education 7.30pm Britannia House GS26C24th Feb The SEN Governor7.30pm Britannia House GS27C24th Feb 3rd Mar, 10th Mar, 17th Mar, 24th Mar Taking the Chair7.30pm Britannia House GS12A3rd Mar 10th Mar, 17th Mar, 24th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to 7.30pm Wellingborough venue TBA GS12B4th Mar 11th Mar 18th Mar 25th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to7.30pm Sponne School Towcester GS24B4th Mar Safeguarding Children in Education7.00pm Britannia House GS12C5th Mar 12th Mar, 18th Mar, 26th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to7.30pm Britannia House GS12D7th Mar 14th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to9.00am Firdale PDC GS15A3rd Mar 17th Mar Clerks' Training1.00pm Britannia House GS40B21st Mar School Improvement Conference - The Governors Role9.00am Britannia House GS12E21st Mar, 28th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to9.00am Britannia House GS12F21st Mar 28th Mar New Governors - An Introduction to 9.00am Abbey Centre – Daventry Autumn 2008 Census Congratulations and many thanks to the 148 schools that took part in the Autumn Census 2008: The census was a big success for Northamptonshire, with 64% of schools submitting their return on Census Day or the day after, compared to 22% nationally. The Autumn Census 2008 is the second School Workforce Census return for Northamptonshire and the first to collect Curriculum and Qualification data. The Autumn Census 2008 is the final return before participation becomes mandatory for schools in the county. For further details contact Ian Atkinson on firstname.lastname@example.org DO YOU WRITE NEWSLETTERS? I am currently auditing our website and was given guidelines to help me. I thought the following would be of use to governors (including headteachers) who write newsletters: The positive emotional aspect of newsletters is that they can create much more of a bond between user and company than a website can. The negative aspect is that usability problems have much stronger impact on the customer relationship than they normally do. Users have highly emotional reactions to newsletters. This is in strong contrast to studies of website usability, where users are usually much more oriented towards functionality. Even a website that you visit daily will feel like a tool where you simply want to get in and get out. Users spend 51 seconds reading the average newsletter. The layout and writing both need superb usability to survive in the high-pressure environment of a crowded inbox. Averaged across our study, newsletters lost 19% of potential subscribers due to usability difficulties in their subscription processes and designs. People often stay subscribed to newsletters they don't want (cursing the sender with every new issue that clutters their inbox) so the unsubscribe process is also worth improving. Newsletters need to be smooth and easy: they must be seen to reduce the burdens of modern life. Even if free, the cost in e-mail clutter must be paid for by being helpful and relevant to users - and by communicating these benefits in a few characters in the subject line. Users are very demanding with respect to the efficiency of operations like subscribing or unsubscribing. For both tasks, we found extremely strong correlations between the task time and the users‟ subjective satisfaction.