Schools Team Operations – Summer 2020
Read the Director of Education’s update here
To contact us for specific questions and specialist advice, please refer to the Director’s update above.
General communication with the Team can continue to be made using the firstname.lastname@example.org email or via the office phone line 01727 818170. David, Lizzie and Ruth can be contacted in the usual way throughout the whole period, and Vicki from 1st July. Responses may be delayed.
For queries that cannot wait until September, please email email@example.com and mark clearly as ‘Urgent query’ in the header.
Up-to-date information on all areas of the Team’s work can be found on our webpages by searching for your topic on the right-hand sidebar menu.
Where can I find the latest Admissions and Appeals updates?
You will find guidance and Appeal Statement models made available at the beginning of June 2020 on www.stalbans.anglican.org/schools/admissions/
When will the courses programme for 2020-21 be available?
We are working on the programme of training and events for the 2020-21 academic year. This would usually mean that a course booklet would be sent to schools later this term with the full suite of training for the year. However, as Covid-19 guidance relating to group meetings is likely to change over the course of the year we are planning a more flexible approach. This will allow us to plan for a range of training, both in person and remotely, with course dates and networking events being released throughout the academic year. More information will be sent out towards the end of term, including the first set of courses open to bookings. If you have any questions, or requests for specific training please contact Ruth on firstname.lastname@example.org
What is happening about foundation governor appointments between now and September?
We will endeavour to finalise DBE/DSAET foundation appointments wherever possible. Some appointments may need to be deferred to September because of local practicalities, specific queries, or Schools Team summer term arrangements. Under charity law and due diligence, governors or academy directors cannot take up a term of office (or be reappointed to a further term) until the approval process is completed. In such situations, wherever possible, governing boards should involve candidates in other ways to ensure retention and continuity. This could include inviting them to be present as observers or ‘in attendance’ at meetings, or calling on them in an advisory capacity for specific input (all schools) or by temporarily appointing them as Associate Members (maintained schools).
What dates do we need to aim for to submit governor applications?
The next Board of Education meetings for Foundation Governor appointments are: Thursday 16 July; Thursday 8 October and Thursday 19 November.
The next meeting of the Diocese of St Albans Educational Trust for Academy Director appointments is Tuesday 6 October.
We have foundation vacancies – when can we start recruitment again?
Active recruitment is likely to be on hold until at least September unless locally all (including clergy) agree that summer recruitment is appropriate and viable. It is likely that many incumbents and parish communities will be unable to actively engage in foundation governor recruitment for some months to come. Boards should prepare for this by ensuring a fair allocation of workload, prioritising key tasks and statutory responsibilities, and considering what could be put on hold for a time. Where there are potential candidates, strategic use of the Associate Member role is a helpful way of encouraging newcomers to become involved with a view to later taking up a governor role. We will be actively looking at how best to support governing boards with foundation governor recruitment in the autumn.
Will there be any more Worship at Home Resources?
The Worship at Home resources have been ‘superseded’ by the Faith at Home resources, curated by diocesan and school leaders nationally. Feel free to draw on ideas to use/share with your school community or create your own. These will be populated weekly until the end of term (https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home/i-am-school-leader) (you will find the documents at the bottom of the page).
See all available resources on www.stalbans.anglican.org/schools/worship/
SPECIAL EVENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Will there be a Harvest Service in the autumn?
The schools Team have made the decision to cancel this year’s Harvest Festival services, which were due to be held at St Albans Cathedral on 7th and 8th October 2020. Although initially we had hoped that this event could go ahead, the current restrictions coupled with the uncertainty of how the rest of this year will map out has led us to this choice.
However! Although we will be unable to hold a physical service this year, we are putting plans in place to record a ‘digital Harvest service’ that we will be able to send out as a video to all of our diocesan church schools. There will be more information on this nearer to the time.
When will the next Newsletter be published?
The next Schools Team Newsletter will be published in the autumn. Summer term stories have been posted on the Schools News section www.stalbans.anglican.org/schools/news/. Do send your stories to email@example.com after the 1st July if you would like to see them on our News pages.
THE COMMUNITY LIFE FUND
How is the administration of the Community Life Fund affected by the current pandemic situation?
Grant allocations and feedback for the last rounds of applications to the Community Life Fund have been delayed due to the pandemic situation. The administration of grant requests and payments will resume beginning to mid-July 2020. Please send any queries to Vicki Barrière on firstname.lastname@example.org. Replies will be made after 1st July.
Can we still ask you to advertise our school vacancies?
Yes, please continue to send us your vacancy ads, to email@example.com. The vacancies page has seen a steady, gradually rising number of hits over these last weeks of lockdown. People are still looking!