Archive | December, 2017

Preparing to implement the General Data Protection Regulations

31 Dec

In Governors’ Agenda, Issue 67 – the summer term issue – we alerted you to the implications of the General Data Protection Regulations that were to come into effect on 25 May 2018.  If your governing board has not begun to address the issue, it is high time that members begin to act.

While it isn’t the function of governors to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), as this is an operational matter, they should offer support and scrutiny on her/his appointment.  It is the role of the Headteacher to propose how best to appoint such a person and then take the necessary action to find a suitable person to discharge the functions of securing the data held at the school/academy.

Some schools/academies have decided to use consultancy rather than make DPO appointments.  If that is what your headteacher is proposing to do, governors should closely question her/him about the rationale and criteria for the choice.

Where the headteacher proposes to appoint an existing staff member to undertake the preparatory work, governors should ensure that this person is suitably qualified to do the job and has the time for it.

The governors should appoint one of their members to oversee the work being done in the area of data protection – for want of a better term, “a data protection champion”, who can, when formally visiting the school/academy in the course of the normal school day satisfy herself/himself that the work is being done well.

Data protection should be an item on the agenda of at least one governors’ meeting in the run-up to 25 May 2018.

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Government publishes careers strategy

31 Dec

I        The Four Themes of the Career Strategy

In the second week of November 2017, the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, set out four themes which will underpin the government’s careers strategy.  These are as follows.

(1)        “A high-quality careers programme in every school and college” based on the Gatsby Foundation’s benchmarks for good careers guidance.

(2)        “Encounters with providers and employers” especially focusing on the work of the Careers and Enterprise Company in the DfE’s 12 Opportunities Areas, i.e. Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough, West Somerset, Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

A key aim of an opportunity area will be to build young people’s knowledge and skills and provide them with the best advice and opportunities, including working with organisations such as the Careers and Enterprise Company, the Confederation of British Industries, the Federation of Small Businesses and the National Citizen Service.

The increased DfE opportunity area funding of £72 million will support local education providers and communities to address the biggest challenges in the 12 areas.  The opportunity areas will have priority access to other DfE support including the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund worth £75 million, focused on assisting teachers and school leaders in challenging areas to develop.

The Department for Education (DfE) aims to ensure that children (in the words of Secretary of State Justine Greening) “get the best start in the early years, to build teaching and leadership capacity in schools, to increase access to university, to strengthen technical pathways for young people and work with employers to improve young people’s access to the right advice and experiences.   The DfE will work with each opportunity area to respond to local priorities and needs – because each area will have its own challenges.”

(3)        Ms Milton acknowledged that the “careers profession has experienced many shocks in recent years” and that the government will look to support qualified advisers to deliver tailored guidance through the National Careers Service and other organisations.

(4)        The final theme is to improve the use of data. Ms Milton said that “more needs to be done to make destination data easier to interpret” and that the government will look to improve this.

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