|A message from the Education and Skills Director|
|I would just like to introduce myself as the new Education and Skills Director for Barnet. I took up my post on 4 September and have been busy meeting senior colleagues across the Council and in the Children Service and being briefed about some of the key challenges facing us in Barnet. I am keen to extend this to meetings with headteachers and visits to schools.
My last major role involved running the DfE’s National Strategies’ programme as Managing Director of Capita Strategic Children’s Services. Previously I was Director of Education and Deputy Chief Executive in Newham.
I feel privileged to be working in such an innovative and high-performing authority with such a large proportion of excellent schools. I know it will be a challenge to bring real added value to the partnership between us, but I can say that I bring 20 years of experience of partnership working with schools and of involvement in key national education initiatives. I am very clear that most schools are now very self-sufficient and require little or no support from the local authority. At the same time, I am committed to collaborative system leadership and am determined to ensure that the Council offers value for money services and excellent support to schools that require it.
I look forward to meeting school colleagues over the coming weeks and to working in partnership with you to build on the excellent standards that already exist.
Education and Skills Director
|Inclusion and Skills Update|
Over the summer the Children and Families Bill Project Team has continued to prepare for the implementation of SEN reforms.
The Local Government Association held a workshop, which we attended, discussing the Draft Indicative Code of Practice on Special Educational Needs and inviting feedback and comments from local authority and NHS colleagues. The Draft Indicative Code of Practice can be found through this link. The next draft is expected to be published late September.
The Department for Education’s commissioned local authority Pathfinders have continued to report on their progress and experiences with new ways of working set out in the Children and Families Bill and the evaluation of the new processes is available here. The DfE has also funded the Preparing for Adulthood Programme (PfA) as part of the delivery support for the SEN and disability reforms.
The Preparing for Adulthood Programme is delivered by a partnership between the National Development Team for inclusion, the Council for Disabled Children and Helen Sanderson Associates and has been supporting Pathfinders with the Transition strand of work. This support forms part of the wider Pathfinder Support Programme.
All Pathfinders will be covering transition in their development of a 0-25 single assessment process and Education, Health and Care plan and a number of Pathfinder sites will be looking at preparing for adulthood in depth with support from the Preparing for Adulthood team. The Preparing for Adulthood website has some useful information about developments in this area and the reforms overall.
In Barnet we have been speaking to colleagues across the local authority and voluntary organisations in order to begin the co-production process and ensure that parents, children and young people are at the heart of the new approach to SEN. Co-production is the term the DfE are using to emphasise the greatly enhanced role it expects parents in particular to play in planning services for their children. We are establishing working groups to develop the Local Offer, new assessment process and personal budgets for families and will shortly be inviting Heads and SENCOs to contribute to these.
Also as a reminder, we would still like to hear from schools, partners and parents about the Local Offer of provision and services and preparing to meet future need in Barnet. The link is available here. Again, please help us to get a good response by forwarding this survey to staff and parents.
If you have any feedback or queries about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Education and Skills
|Schools meeting with Capita - 17 September 2013|
A reminder that all headteachers are invited to attend a presentation by the council and representatives from Capita on Traded Services. This will take place on Tuesday 17 September 8.30 -10.30am in Conference Room 1 at North London Business Park. We have scheduled the meeting to avoid the first few busy weeks of term and hope that this time is convenient for you.
From 1 September 2013 Capita has been delivering a number of Traded Services to schools and representatives from Capita are keen to meet with headteachers to talk through their plans for the services and to hear any questions that you might have.
It would be helpful to have an indication of the numbers attending in order to facilitate catering arrangements. If you would like to attend, and haven’t already done so, then please email email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
HR Lead and Mobilisation Programme Manager
Head of Education Partnership and Commercial Service
|Request for Schools' data from NHS|
A number of you have contacted us for some advice about the letter sent to all head teachers about the Child Health Information Hub (CHIH) and the request that you provide information on all of your pupils to the school nursing service. As the data controller this is your decision to make however our advice to schools at the moment is not to provide any data while we investigate further with the NHS if there is a legal basis for the sharing of this information without consent from parents and how schools should submit this data as the email address provided in the letter would not be a secure method if sent from a school email address.
We are also suggesting that there be an information sharing agreement between schools and the CHIH to detail this arrangement as it is to be a regular occurrence.
When we have further information on this we will let you know.
Data Systems and Assurance Manager
|National pay award for staff agreed|
It was announced on 19 July 2013 that staff paid under NJC (National Joint Council for Local Government Services) and GLPC (Greater London Provincial Council) pay schemes will receive a 1% pay increase as a result of national pay bargaining. The pay agreement also includes increases in allowances from April and the deletion of Spinal Column Point 4 with effect from 1 October 2013.
The pay award is applicable from April 2013 and has been paid into staff bank accounts in the August salary payments (i.e. on 31 August) including any back pay.
The pay award is the first increase for council and school support staff since April 2009 and has been agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, which includes representation from local government employers and the major trade unions.
Staff paid on other pay schemes e.g. Soulbury, Hay etc., are not impacted by this pay award; as these pay schemes are subject to review at a future period.
Please see the enclosure section for a copy of the updated pay scales. Any questions around payroll issues should be directed to HR Connect on 020 8359 4444 or email HR.Connect@Barnet.gov.uk.
Schools Business Partner
As you will be aware you are required to prepare two Year-End Budget Forecasts each year. The first is at the end of September and due in to the LA by Friday 11 October 2013.
The spreadsheet provided should be used and returned electronically, after approval by the Headteacher indicating his/her agreement/authorisation. This should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Schools Accountancy Section does not require a signed copy but a signed copy should be kept on file in school for audit purposes).
The Budget Forecast spreadsheet and guidance notes, giving advice on forecasting and instructions on the use of the spreadsheet will be emailed to all school offices.
The forecast provides a summary of approved virements the school wishes to submit to make changes to their original authorised budget.
I hope you will find it helpful in your financial reporting, both for Heads, who need to approve it, and Governors who need to be aware of the school's financial position.
To those of you purchasing the SFS Helpdesk service that need advice on using the spreadsheet please contact the School Support Helpdesk on 8359 7231; if you require on-site assistance in preparing the Year-End Forecast please contact Kim Garrood (8359 7221) of the School Support Service to see if assistance can be purchased.
If you have any queries with this requirement please contact me on 8359 7228.
Acting Senior Management Accountant, Schools Accountancy,
|School funding adjustments|
Revised school funding sheets will shortly be available on the website www.barnet.gov.uk/school-funding.
These incorporate a large number of changes affecting many schools, including, Devolved Formula Capital to community schools; corrections to high needs allocations at special schools and additional resourced provisions; bulge classes and expansions, exclusions; summer term early years funding, adjustments for the conversion of three schools to academy status; medical pathways and corrections to 6th form funding.
Schools will already have received the first autopayment in July, and the second will be paid at the end of September. The remittance is shown on the website.
Several extra reports have been added giving extra details about special school funding, ARP allocations, early years, and statements.
Please note that under new funding regulations, the EFA has informed us that we cannot ‘redetermine budget shares in year’ (i.e. change a school’s funding under the main funding formula). This includes any adjustment for actual NNDR invoices where it is different from the funded estimate. However we can make the adjustment in the following year, so please keep sending in copies of your invoices if you want to claim an adjustment which will appear on your 2014/15 funding allocation next February. Caretaker’s council tax is not funded separately, it has been absorbed into the AWPU.
Please contact the School Funding Team (email@example.com) if you have any queries on your allocations.
School Funding Manager
Deputy Chief Executive Directorate
|Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)|
Schools are reminded that completion of the Standard is compulsory during 2013/14 and schools should make plans to complete and approve a submission this term.
The Standard is a requirement for all local authority maintained schools. It consists of 23 questions which governing bodies should formally discuss annually with the head teacher and senior staff.
Schools may recall from my feedback from last year that the key points are:
It has been agreed at the Schools Forum that all Barnet schools should submit their completed assessment form no later than 31 January 2014, though earlier submission would be appreciated.
Schools Finance Services Manager
|Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) - information for parents|
For Information and Action
We are currently undertaking the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) 2013 and would like your help to ensure we are gaining the views of parents and carers in the borough. Please see the letter in the enclosure section for all parents. We would really appreciate it if you could send out the letter to all your parents using your parents mailing list requesting them to complete the CSA online survey which will be closing on the 15 September 2013.
The views of parents and carers are very important to us. We need to understand what the barriers are that affect parents taking up childcare as well as what challenges they
may face to enable them to get back to work.
|Enhanced Secure Access (SA) System|
|Apprenticeships - Employer information|
|Updated School Bag Courier Service – 2013-2014|
Schools not opting into the School Bag service as of September 2013:
Please click the relevant links below for all of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Flyers.