DfE opens consultation on regulation changes to maintained school governing body constitution.

GoverningBodyThis consultation sets out proposed changes to the regulations and guidance that govern the constitution of governing bodies in maintained schools and federations of maintained schools in England.

The consultation runs until 14th March.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/maintained-school-governing-body-constitution-regulation-changes

To support this consultation the DfE have published a revised Governors’ handbook.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/governors-handbook

Section 3.5.1 lists the responsibilities of the governing body with regard to SEN.

Governing Bodies of maintained schools have legal duties under the Education Act 1996 in relation to pupils with SEN. Governing Bodies of the majority of academies have the same responsibilities by virtue of their funding agreements.

What should the governing body be doing?

  • Working with the headteacher, decide the school’s general policy and approach to meeting the needs of pupils with SEN.
  • They must set up appropriate staffing and funding arrangements and oversee the school’s work.

The legal duties, as set out in the Education Act 1996, require governing bodies to:

  • Use their best endeavours in exercising their functions to ensure that the necessary special education provision is made for any pupil who has SEN;
  • Ensure that parents are notified by the school when SEN provision is being made for their child, because it is considered that he or she has SEN;
  • Make sure that the “responsible person”  makes all staff who are likely to teach the pupil aware of those needs;
  • Make sure that the teachers in the school are aware of the importance of identifying pupils who have SEN and of providing appropriate teaching;
  • Designate a member of staff at the school (to be known as the SENCO) as having responsibility for co-ordinating the provision for pupils with SEN;
  • Consult the LA and the governing bodies of other schools when it seems necessary to co-ordinate special educational teaching in the area;
  • Ensure that pupils with SEN join in everyday activities of the school together with children without SEN, as far as is compatible with: them receiving the necessary special educational provision; the provision of efficient education for all pupils; and the efficient use of resources;

A summary of changes to the January 2014 Edition of the handbook can be found on pages 107-109

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