Please see the attachment below for the current policy.

Please refer to the attachments listed below . (There is a separate article covering Foundation Governor appointments). 

 

CES School Staff HR policies
All Diocesan schools and academies are required to adopt and follow the latest model HR policies and procedures developed by the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales (CES). The suite of policies cover;

• Sick Absence 
• Performance Management and Appraisal
• Capability
• Disciplinary
• Grievance

The policies are the product of extensive work by the CES legal team. They have been prepared to reflect the particular circumstances of Catholic schools. Their use in Catholic schools and academies is therefore mandatory.

We are aware that some of our schools are still not using the CES policies. If this is the case in your school you must adopt the CES policies and introduce them in your school as soon as possible. Your HR provider (LA or private) will need to be briefed on the use of the policies and you will be required to undertake a short local consultation process with staff and local trade unions so please contact the NRCDES for support and advice on how to proceed.

The full suite of model policies and associated template letters are available to download at:

http://www.catholiceducation.org.uk/employment-documents/model-policies-and-procedures

The model policies are appropriate for use in both schools and academies.  Reference is made to “school” throughout as a general description of the educational establishment whether it is a school or academy.

For multi-academy trusts the documents do need to be varied slightly to reflect their governance arrangements, in particular reflecting where authority has been delegated to local governing boards or retained at a more central level. Therefore revised documents for multi-academy trusts are available direct on request from the NRCDES.


CES school staff contracts of employment
Similarly all Catholic schools and academies should ensure that they use the model CES contracts of employment.  Again these have been prepared by the CES specifically for use in Catholic schools and academies and their use is mandatory.

We are very concerned that it seems that some Diocesan Schools and Academies are still not using the CES contracts. If you are not already doing so you must take steps to begin using them as soon as possible. Schools should check that they are using the latest CES contracts.

Again the latest versions of the contracts are available from the CES website:

http://www.catholiceducation.org.uk/employment-documents/template-contracts

Also the CES website has an online Contract Generator which enables tailored versions of the contracts to be produced. This facility can also be used by the schools HR provider if they produce the contracts ready for signing by the school. Log-ins can be arranged where required.

If you are not using the CES contracts then please contact the NRCDES for advice on how to proceed.

Neil Weightman

neil.weightman@Nottingham-des.org.uk

01332293833 x211

Reviews of Governance of Catholic Voluntary Aided schools and academies in the Nottingham Diocese


The NRCDES is now able to offer external reviews of governance for all voluntary aided schools or academies within the Diocese.

External reviews of governance were first established in 2012 under a pilot scheme developed by the National College of School Leadership.

A review of governance looks at how well a school’s governance arrangements are working. Typically an organisation or individual familiar with good governance in schools and independent from the Governing Body will work with the school to identify areas where improvements could be made to the effectiveness of the Governing Body.

External reviews are becoming increasingly commonplace. Governing Bodies are now advised that it would be prudent to commission an external review periodically as part of the cycle of self-appraisal. An external review provides formal scrutiny, verification and validation of the assessment of the effectiveness of governance arrangements developed through the self-appraisal process.

An external review is always offered as support to the Governing Body to improve and develop governance, and not as an additional inspection. It will help the Governing Body to identify priorities for improvement, and provide support on what steps to take.

It aims to help the Governing Body to be:
• more skilled, focused and effective
• more aware of the freedoms that it has to work in different ways
• clear in its vision for the school or academy and how, together with the school leadership team, it can achieve this
• confident that it has a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities
• confident that it has an effective governance structure that meets the needs of the school or academy

Our Approach
Governance arrangements within Catholic Voluntary Aided schools and Voluntary academies are markedly different than those within the Maintained sector and few of the traditional providers of external reviews have a strong grasp of these differences. The NRCDES has therefore produced a Review of Governance Toolkit specifically designed for use within Catholic schools and we are offering a review of governance to our schools using the Toolkit and undertaken by a reviewer who is experienced in the governance arrangements within Catholic schools and academies.

In addition to the standard review of governance model a NRCDES review will also therefore consider;
• How the Foundation Governors are complying with their Canonical responsibilities
• How the governors are supporting the development of the distinctive Catholic ethos within the school
And, will include discussions with senior leaders and governors and where possible observation of a Governing Body meeting.

Outcomes and costs
At the end of the review the school will be provided  with a report which will include an assessment of the strengths of the governance arrangements, areas requiring attention, a set of recommended actions and the actions expected to be included in the Governing Body’s post review action plan.

The charge for a standard review of a single stand-alone Voluntary Aided school or Academy will be £1500. This will cover all NRCDES costs and all reviewer fees and expenses. Any requests for post review follow activity with the reviewer would be negotiated separately between the reviewer and the school.

NRCDES will also carry out reviews of governance across all academies within a Catholic Academy Trust but these would be subject to separate discussions over costs.

For further information or to arrange a review of governance please contact: Neil Weightman (neil.weightman@nottingham-des.org.uk 01332 293833 ext 211)

VACANCIES FOR FOUNDATION GOVERNORS AND TRAINING ON BEING A GOVERNOR IN A CATHOLIC SCHOOL

We are looking for practising Catholics who want to support Catholic education by becoming Foundation Governors at our Catholic schools and academies. 
 
Foundation Governors are entrusted by the Bishop with the ministry of school governance to act in recognition of the love of Christ for all members of the school community and one another. They  have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education acting as 'critical friends' for the school leadership team and setting the strategic direction of the school. 

We presently have opportunities for people to become Foundation Governors in many of our schools and academies and more will become available during 2017. We, therefore, need to locate people who are willing to become Foundation Governors as soon as possible.

Most people find being a governor to be intensely rewarding. It is a joy and a gift to contribute to the ministry of the Church by making our schools successful and to ensure that children are provided with a supportive environment within which they can learn and grow in Christ.

The ‘Being a Governor in a Catholic school’ factsheet linked to this article provides more information about the role school Governor but we are also running a series of introductory two hour early evening training sessions on being a Governor in a Catholic school for both serving or future governors. Details for the training are:

6.00-8.00pm, Monday 9th January 2017, Parish Centre, St Peter's Church, Welby Lane, Melton Mowbray, LE13 0ST

5.30-7.30pm, Tuesday 28th February 2017, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, Carlton, Nottingham

6.00-8.00pm, Thursday 11th May 2017, St Augustine's Catholic Primary, Woodthorpe, Nottingham

6.00-8.00pm, Tuesday 25th April 2017, St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Matlock

6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 8th June 2017, St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Boughton, Newark

More dates will be added for later in the year and we are always willing to discuss arranging courses for groups of schools in other parts of the Diocese. If you are interesting in arranging training at your school please contact us.

If you are interested in becoming a Foundation Governor, please complete the ‘Self-Nomination’ form linked to this page and email it to Julie Sweeney at NRCDES Governor Support julie.sweeney@nottingham-des.org.uk and if you could at the same time indicate your availability for attending the introductory training that would help us to firm up the sessions and would be much appreciated. 


NRCDES Admissions & Governor Support
Neil Weightman (neil.weightman@nottingham-des.org.uk  /01332 293833 x211) 
Julie Sweeney (julie.sweeney@nottingham-des.org.uk   /01332 293833 x202)

Declaration of pecuniary and personal interest


Under the 2012 Governance Regulations all governors and directors of schools, academies or academy trusts must now complete a declaration of pecuniary and personal interest. The attached is a model form which you can use with your governing body which comes with the benefit of some guidance notes.


The Clerk of Governors is required to maintain a register of any interests which should be review annually. A model register of interests is also attached.


Any queries about either form or the guidance can be addressed to: Neil Weightman neil.weightman@Nottingham-des.org.uk 01332 293833 ext 211