Clerking Agency

Information Pack 2008  

 

Introduction

 

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and subsequent regulations lay down the requirements of the governing body to “conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement”  This need is emphasised in the new Ofsted Inspection framework.

 

 

Ø     It is recognised that Governing bodies as strategic leaders of schools now have a significantly wider role in this task.

 

Ø     As there is more complexity and more providers in school and extended activities on school sites accurate record keeping to keep track of decisions becomes more necessary.

 

Ø     The introduction of The New Ofsted Inspection Framework will place a greater need for appropriate evidence.  An effective clerk will ensure that discussions/reports of the governing body about educational standards are accurately recorded.

 

Surveys by the Information for School and College Governors (ISCG) and Ofsted reports suggest that improving the quality of clerking would bring about a step change in the effectiveness of governing bodies, with knock on effects in school improvement.  Governors would have better access to information, better run meetings, and independent advice.  This would give them more time to develop their monitoring and evaluating role.

 

There is now more than ever before a considerable demand on governing bodies for professional support and advice.  A supported, trained and professional clerk would provide governors with access to information, better run meetings and high quality advice.

 

 

Aims of Agency

 

Our aim is to provide expert and professional support to contribute to the effectiveness of the governing body

 

 

Ø     Clerks will deliver a full service to support governors and governing bodies to fulfil their statutory role in promoting high standards of educational achievement.

Ø     The clerk fulfilling the role of information manager will assist governors to access information, hold more efficient meetings and thereby promote effective governance.

Ø     Clerks will be briefed trained and informed to help guide the governing body in their strategic role, providing advice and support, accurate information, guidance on procedure, regulations and best practice.


Service Level Agreement

 

The LEA Clerking Agency will

 

Ø     Provide a named and experienced clerk .

Ø     Provide where possible a substitute if the appointed clerk is unable to attend the meeting.

Ø     Support clerks to deliver the services of a Level 2 clerk.

Ø     Provide training and development to the clerk by ensuring all clerks attend termly training and development seminars (offered to all Kent clerks) plus additional agency sessions to underpin a professional service.

Ø     Ensure clerk is working towards gaining ‘The BTEC Award in clerking for School Governing Bodies’.  The national qualification for clerks. (level 3 clerk).

Ø     Carry out quality assurance evaluations to ensure a high standard of service by reviewing minutes, and responding to feedback from the Governing Body.

Ø     Conduct an annual appraisal of the clerk with reference to chairs appraisal discussion report.

Ø     Manage the personnel and payroll function for the clerk (employed by School Governance Unit).

 

Expectation of the Governing body

Ø     Provide access to governing body records and all relevant information on governing body data.

Ø     Provide reasonable notice of meetings.

Ø     Limit meetings to under 3 hours.

Ø     Provide clerk with timely documentation/information prior to the meeting in order to enable him/her to proactively manage the creation of agendas and paperwork to statutory time limits

Ø     Encourage governors to read paperwork prior to meeting to ensure effective use of meeting time.

Ø     Chair to return draft minutes to clerk within 7 days of receipt.

Ø     Maintain regular communications with the clerk to enable him/her to fulfil the role effectively.

Ø     Provide opportunity for clerk to discuss performance issues and provide a brief record of the discussion to inform the appraisal performance procedure.

Ø     Provide feedback to School Governance Unit on the service.

Ø     Ensure that the clerk has access to stationery and photocopying facilities, postage arrangements and filing and storage facilities.


Service Provision

 

Based on Clerk Job Description – Level 2 (see attached) the agency clerk will

Ø     Preparation for meetings –Investigate and take account of developments, briefings and changes to regulations to proactively contribute to the preparation of the agenda in consultation with the chair and headteacher.  Contribute to the development of supporting papers, and distribute all paperwork to governors at least 7 days in advance of the meeting to facilitate effective discussion.

Ø     Meetings – Attend governing body meetings, take accurate notes and produce minutes which evidence the governing bodies strategic role and accountability to stakeholders and OfSTED.  Distribute minutes to governors, Diocesan Director of Education (if appropriate) and Agency Co-ordinator within 14 days of the date of the meeting.

Ø     Between Meetings - Keep accurate records of governing body membership and membership/terms of reference for the governing body committees, advise governing body/appointing bodies in advance of membership matters.  Advise returning officers where appropriate on procedure for election and appointment of governors

Ø     Keep updated register of business interests.

Ø     Maintain minute book, ensure copy of minutes excluding any confidential items is available for inspection at the school.

Ø     Agree with Governing body a calendar of dates for meetings and administrative arrangements between governors and the school.

Ø     Attend training as specified, to develop a sound understanding of regulations and the governing body’s main powers and duties.

Ø     Participate in an annual appraisal review.

 

Extra Services

 

Clerking appeal panel service for meetings at Level 3 by special arrangement. These will be charged at a Level 3 Clerk rate based on the number of hours worked.

 

Ending the Contract

 

Clerk will give at least 8 weeks notice to the School Governance Unit should they wish to terminate their contract.

 

Governing body shall give at least 8 weeks notice to the School Governance Unit if they wish to cancel their service agreement.

 


Agency Fees

 

 

Standard Service

 

Full Governing Body meetings/per meeting (inclusive of preparation of agenda, distribution of agenda and associated paperwork, taking and producing minutes, general record keeping investigating developments and regulation procedures and attendance at agency briefing seminars)

£200

Committee meetings / per meeting (inclusive of preparation of agenda, distribution of agenda and associated paperwork, taking and producing minutes)

£75

 

One off setup fee – this will enable the clerk to audit and set up all the required files and governing body documentation.  This fee will be wavered where the files are found to be in order.

£75 (  5 hours work to audit files if necessary)

The clerking for further full governing body meetings, committee meetings or other meetings can be arranged by mutual agreement between the clerk and the governing body and debited on an ad hoc basis.

 

£15 per hour

 

 

 

N.B (Charges are based on full governing body meetings lasting no longer than 3 hours and committee meetings lasting no longer than 2 hours)  We reserve the right to charge for additional hours).

 

 


Payment Methods

 

Payment will be collected monthly/annually by direct debit via the Kent Services for Schools.  This is a service provided to all Kent schools in which schools give their agreement to buy into listed services. 

 

The agreement period runs from April to March.  Any payments due for any period signed up to less than a full year will be charged monthly at a pro-rata rate.

 

Duration

¨                       The agreement for packaged services will be ‘open ended’ and will continue to run until such time as a school or service provider gives notice to amend or terminate. 

 

Fees

¨                       Schools will be charged the fee published on the Service Level Agreement. The service will be charged each month (unless otherwise agreed) by direct debit detailing the element relating to each individual package.

 

Termination

¨                       Schools can terminate agreements by giving notice in writing to the service provider (School Governance Unit) or KENT SERVICES for Schools. Charges, unless otherwise agreed, will continue for four months after the receipt of notice.

 

Extra Meetings

¨                       Additional meetings will be charged on an ad hoc basis and included in the next direct debit from Kent Services for Schools.


 

 

Application to Clerking Agency

 

 

Governing Body of   _________________________________________

 

 

The governing body is interested in the services of the clerking agency from ____________________ (date)

 

 

We would like the following to be clerked

 

_____ (number of) governing body meetings annually

 

_____ (number of) committee meetings annually – please list which committees

 

 __________________________________________________________________ 

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

 

Governing body meetings are usually held on a   __________________ at

 

____________ (time)

 

 

Our next meeting of the Governing Body is____________________________

 

Signed _______________________________________ Chair of Governors

 

 

Contact Tel Number ____________________________

 

 

Return to:-

 

School Governance Unit

 

Model Job Description – Level 2 clerk

 

COUNTY COUNCIL

 

Job Title:        Clerk to Governors                            Directorate     Education & Libraries

                        Level 2

Reports to:     Chair of Governors                           Section:         

 

Job Holder’s Name:                                      Location:        Schools

 

Post Number:                                                            Date:  

 

                                                                                    Current Grade:  KS6 (point 16 – 20)

 

 

1.      PURPOSE OF JOB

To arrange and clerk meetings of the Board of Governors.  Maintain information on the membership of the Governing Body in accordance with legal requirements.  Advise the Governing Body on some procedural and legislative matters.

 

2.      DIMENSIONS

Subordinates:      None

Budget:                 None

No of Meetings:   ??

     

3.      PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTABILITIES

Ÿ        Prepare the agenda for meetings of the full Governing Body and/or its committees in consultation with Chair of Governors and Headteacher to ensure the meetings are purposeful. 

Ÿ        Maintain attendance records and receive apologies for Governing Body meetings.  Attend and take accurate notes of meetings, maintain the official minute book to ensure a comprehensive record of attendance, discussion and decisions is retained and ensure public copies of the minutes are made available at the school for inspection on request in accordance with legal requirements.

Ÿ        Receive correspondence on behalf of the Governing Body and ensure appropriate action is taken, producing correspondence on behalf of the Governing Body as directed, to ensure that the meetings and business of the board is properly administered.

Ÿ        Issue letters of appointment and legal declarations to Governors and maintain records of committee membership and their terms of reference.  Inform the LEA of all resignations and appointments and maintain a register of Governors’ interests and liaise with the appropriate appointing bodies concerning vacancies to ensure that meetings are properly administered and membership of the board of Governors is in accordance with legal requirements.

Ÿ        Arrange for a welcome pack/letter to be sent to newly appointed Governors including details of their terms of office.  Maintain a database of names, addresses and category of Governing Body members and their terms of office and ensure that all systems are properly administered.


Ÿ        Liaise with all Governors eligible for election to a chair or vice chair vacancy to determine whether they are willing to be candidates, list on the agenda, at which the election is to be held, those who have said that they are willing and act as non-voting Chair of Governors for that part of a meeting at which the Chair of Governors is elected to ensure that membership of the board is in accordance with legal requirements.

Ÿ        Minute employee hearings and appeals conducted by the Governing Body Committees panels as necessarily and produce and distribute notes promptly to attendees to ensure an accurate record is maintained of evidence on which important employment decisions are made.

Ÿ        Advise the Governing Body on procedural and regulatory providing support and guidance as appropriate.  Ensure that new Governors have a copy of the DfES Guide to the law and other relevant information to ensure that the Governing Body acts with within statutory requirements.

Ÿ        Advise on the requisite content of the school prospectus and annual report to parents.  Ensure that a file is kept in the school of policies and other school documents approved by the Governing Body together with their review date.

Ÿ        Attend termly briefings and participate in professional development opportunities offered by Governor Support.

 

4.      NECESSARY EXPERIENCE

Ÿ        Good general standard of education with excellent listening, verbal and written skills.

Ÿ        Knowledge of Governing Body procedures and legal requirements, together with the respective roles and responsibilities of the Governing Body, Headteacher, the LEA, DfES and Church Authorities (if appropriate).

Ÿ        Experience of organising meetings, writing agendas and accurate concise minutes.

Ÿ        Ability to work on own initiative.  Good time management skills required and must be able to work to deadlines.

Ÿ        Must be able to keep accurate records, retrieve and disseminate information to Governing Body and relevant partners

Ÿ        Must be a person of integrity and be able to maintain confidentiality.

Ÿ        Must be able to work flexible hours.

 

5.      SCOPE FOR IMPACT

A DfES survey has cited the role of the clerk as being important to Governing Body effectiveness and has identified better clerking as a high priority.  Ofsted have commented that good leadership and effective staff management are essential if schools are to improve.  The clerk to the Governors has a significant impact on the work of the Governing Body and consequently the effective leadership of the school.

 

 

6.      JOB CONTEXT

The post holder will work closely with the Chair of Governors and Headteacher. 

 

The clerk will work within the current legislative framework and secure the continuity of Governing Body business and observe confidential requirements.

 

The Clerk will need to liaise with appropriate partners such as the LEA.


 

7.      ORGANISATION

 

Chair of Governors

[Voluntary Position]

             |

Clerk to Governors

[To be evaluated]

 

8.      CHANGE STATEMENT

A DfES study has been undertaken and a project set up to develop national job descriptions and person specifications to ensure consistency.  Part of the study has also identified the need for a national training programme.

 

In order to move to a locally agreed standard of service, and to offer guidance to Governing Bodies of what they should expect of their clerks, this generic job description has been developed.

 

 

 

 

Agreed By ………………………………. Approved By ………………………………………..

                   Job Holder                                                        Manager

 

 

 

Compiled By ……………………………. Approved By ……………………………………..

                  Job Analyst                                                Chief Officer / Nominee