Governor Support Team - Welcome and Notices

The information and links on this website will support you and your school in becoming more effective and in improving the outcomes for children.

The information contained on our website, in the first instance relates to Local Authority maintained schools.  Where there is no legal requirement, we advise on the basis of best practice based on the principles of effective governance, which could be applied to all categories of schools.  We hope our website will help you to make the most effective and efficient use of your valuable time. 

Our aim is to provide an outstanding service - your feedback on how we can improve is always welcomed.


In recognition of the frequent changes within the education world, we would like to signpost you to some useful information and reminders: 

  • Free training on Admission Appeals: Legal Services are offering a training course to all school staff and governors involved in admission appeals.  It is available to all schools that have signed up to the Legal Services Service Level Agreement (SLA). If you have not signed up to the SLA you can still attend at a cost of £ 50 per delegate. Included in the training will be an overview of the application process leading up to an appeal; what information you should include in the appeal papers; what prejudice is; how to present your case to an appeal panel; the constitution of appeal panels and what the appeal panels look out for.  Following this we will also be looking at a few case scenarios. The training will be provided as follows: 20 April 2018, County Offices, Kendal, 10am start with tea and coffee available from 9.30am. if you are interested in attending please contact Jane Gilbertson on 01228 227377 or email

  • The Governor Support Team (GST) circulated a survey at the end of the Summer term 2017.  You can view the results of the survey here.  As an outcome of the survey, GST will continue to work hard to promote cluster working and would still encourage those governing boards (GB) that haven't already done so, to undertake a GB health check.  The health check contributes to the self evaluation of the school in relation to leadership and management.  If any priorities arise from your health check and you would like further support please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team. 

  • The Department for Education (DfE) has appointed the National Governance Association (NGA) to deliver Governance Leadership Development programmes.  These programmes include development for chairs, clerks and GBs and are designed to have real impact on school improvement.

  • Data Protection law is changing on 25 May 2018.  The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have produced a package of tools and resources to help you get ready for the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  The DfE have produced suggested Data protection; privacy notice model documents to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of data.  The LA have prepared some guidance and example Privacy Notices for schools, these are available on the School Portal.  If you do not have access to the portal, contact your headteacher who will be able to provide the documents for you.  If your school has signed up to Legal Services Service Level Agreement, Legal Services are offering training sessions on GDPR, information about dates and venues can also be found on the School Portal.

  • Please see invite to the Cumbria Healthy Weight Summit.  The summit is being held on the 23 March 2018, for further information about the event and booking details, please see flyer.

  • The NGA have recently updated its guide The Right People Around the Table.  The guide contains practical guidance and suggestions of good practice for the recruitment of governors and trustees.

  • Changes to Ofsted's short inspection procedure have been announced.  The School Inspection Handbook, provides further detail on the changes.

  • The GB of maintained schools, has a duty to designate a member of staff as having responsibility to promote the educational achievement of looked after children, who are registered pupils at the school.  The Virtual Schools website provides further detail about the designated teacher and the role of the governing board.

  • The DfE has produced an amended version of the statutory guidance Careers guidance access for education and training.

  • Get Information About Schools (GIAS), replaces the Edubase service.  It is a requirement for all GBs to ensure that the details of their governors are up to date on this system.

  • Our Training Programme for the remainder of the academic year includes training courses for new governors and chairs.

  • A new updated version of the Constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools; statutory guidance was produced by DfE in August 2017 and came into force on 1 September 2017.  This document incorporates the new power that means school GBs are able to remove elected parent and staff governors in the same way as they can remove co-opted governors.  Any person removed by the GB as an elected governor during their term of office, will be disqualified from serving or continuing to serve as a school governor for five years from the date of their removal, not just at the school they have been removed from, but any school.

  • The DfE have launched a new service Analyse SchoolPerformance (ASP) which will provide schools and other existing user groups with detailed performance analysis.