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School effectiveness

Governance guidance, policy and tools

With constant changes in legislation, the list of policies, documents and information required by schools needs to be reviewed regularly. There are statutory policies as highlighted by the DfE, statutory policies required as employers, schemes to meet equality duties and more.

Our ‘Statutory policies, documents and information’ guide will help governing boards manage their policies, documents and schemes. The guide explains where in statutory legislation the requirement to have a particular policy exists along with links to models and guidance on what needs to be included.

It also incorporates a delegation planner, identifies statutory review periods and indicates where a document must be available on the school website.

There are two versions of the guide, one for maintained schools and one for academy schools; they are both available to download from the governance microsite. If you have not yet subscribed but would like to, you can find out more on the Devon Education Services website.

Statutory policies in maintained schools

Schools will have many policies, this list indicates statutory policies which the governing board is responsible for.

The statutory policies that must appear on the school website are:

  • admissions
  • attendance
  • behaviour
  • charging and remissions
  • child protection (or safeguarding)
  • complaints
  • equality
  • provider access policy statement (secondary schools)
  • school uniform
  • sex and relationships education and health education

Statutory policies that it would be useful to publish on the school website include:

  • data protection
  • health and safety
  • outdoor education, visits and off-site activities
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
  • whistleblowing

Statutory policies where there is no requirement to publish on the school website include:

  • emergency management and business continuity plan
  • governor (trustee) allowances/expenses
  • finance
  • lettings
  • premises policies (to meet requirements in VA and foundation schools only)
  • staff behaviour (code of conduct)
  • staff capability
  • staff discipline
  • staff redundancy
  • staff grievance
  • staffing – additional policies to comply with employer responsibilities
  • teachers’ appraisal
  • teachers’ pay

Non-statutory policies, which are considered to be best practice include:

  • collective worship
  • education of children in care

Statutory policies in academy schools

Schools will have many policies, this list indicates statutory policies which the governing board is responsible for.

The statutory policies that must appear on the school website are:

  • admissions
  • attendance
  • behaviour
  • charging and remissions
  • child protection (or safeguarding)
  • equality
  • exclusion of pupils (can be included within the behaviour policy)
  • provider access policy statement (secondary)
  • school uniform
  • sex and relationships education and health education

Statutory policies that it would be useful to publish on the school website include:

  • complaints (the DfE recommends that academy schools should publish this policy on the website)
  • data protection
  • health and safety
  • outdoor education, visits and off-site activities
  • SEND
  • supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
  • whistleblowing (the DfE recommends that academy schools should publish this policy on the website)

Statutory policies where there is no requirement to publish on the school website include:

  • accounting policies (a set of)
  • competitive tendering
  • early years foundation stage (EYFS) – policy and procedures on a range of issues covering safeguarding and welfare
  • emergency management and business continuity plan
  • financial regulations/policy
  • premises management policies
  • staff conduct
  • staff discipline
  • staff grievance
  • staffing – additional policies to comply with employer responsibilities

Non-statutory policies, which are considered to be best practice include:

  • anti-fraud policy; gifts and hospitality policy, donations policy, staff expenses policy, trustee (local governor) expenses/allowances (Could all be covered within one policy)
  • collective worship
  • education of children in care
  • risk strategy and management

Personnel policies

Schools will have a number of policies relating to staff, where the school is the employer additional policies will be required to meet employment law.

Please note, for assistance with any personnel policies please contact HR One on 01392 385555, email hrdirect-mailbox@devon.gov.uk or consult your own HR provider.

The Governance Consultancy Team does not hold copies of personnel policies or provide models.
There are five personnel policies that a maintained school must have. They are:

  • appraisal policy for teachers and headteachers
  • capability policy
  • disciplinary policy
  • model pay policy
  • redundancy policy

Additionally, schools will wish to consider adopting the following:

  • acceptable behaviour policy
  • adjustments to staffing structure guidance
  • adoption policy
  • DBS disclosure policy
  • drugs and alcohol policy
  • employee code of conduct
  • employee code of ethical conduct
  • exit interviews
  • flexible working policy
  • grievance policy and procedure
  • managing information disclosed during employment
  • maternity policy
  • maternity and adoption support leave policy
  • managing sickness absence
  • probationary policy
  • recruitment and selection policy
  • secondment policy
  • shared parental leave policy and procedure
  • social media participation policy
  • staff leave and absence policy
  • support staff appraisal scheme for schools
  • volunteers in schools guidance
  • whistleblowing policy

Find out how to subscribe to the governance microsite at Devon Education Services – governance consultancy.


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