Promoting and developing high quality school governance



Welsh Government Draft Budget Proposals 2013-2014



1.         Governors Wales promotes the effective governance of schools in Wales and provides support to individual governors, local governors associations, fora and other groupings.  Governors Wales is committed to the promotion and effective management of quality provision in schools in Wales.


2.         Governors Wales welcomes the opportunity to provide information to help the committee general of the National Assembly for Wales scrutinise the Welsh Government’s 2013-2014 draft budget proposals and offers the following general comments for consideration.


3.         The Welsh Government has indicated a standing commitment to ensure that the funding allocation to schools each year is at a level 1% above “overall changes to the Welsh budget as a whole”.  Governors Wales looks to see that this commitment is met in the 2013/2014 budget, as outlined in paragraph 1.19.


4.         The work being undertaken to simplify the grant system is welcomed as well as the identification of further specific grants to transfer to the revenue support grant in future years.  Increased funding for targeted support for pupils via the School Effectiveness Grant is welcomed.


5.         Although the cost shift to frontline service delivery of education is welcomed, sufficient funding must still be allocated to deliver high quality support services via regional consortia /LAs etc., as they seek to help schools drive up standards.


6.         Furthermore, it is important the teaching profession and support staff have access to relevant, high quality continuing professional development.  CPD must be kept high on the agenda.  Governors Wales urges that sufficient financial resources are set aside for this purpose particularly to respond to initiatives in literacy and numeracy.


7.         It is essential that the Pupil Deprivation Grant is maintained at no less than the level at which it was introduced this year.


8.         To make significant progress with the 21st Century Schools Programme, an allocation for schools above the indicative level shown for Education & Skills 2013-2014 (10.9% reduction on 2012-2013) is desirable.


9.         Governing bodies play a crucial role in raising standards within schools. Governors Wales welcomes, and is actively supporting, the introduction of mandatory training for new governors, training for chairs of governing bodies and clerks. To ensure, however, that governing bodies are effective in fulfilling all their responsibilities, they need continuing access to high quality expertise and advice.  Governors Wales hopes that the level of funding for governance activities and support, including funding for Governors Wales, will continue to be recognised to ensure and sustain strong educational outcomes.