08 Jun 2017 - 08 Jun 2017
The first SBF Summer Conference will be kindly hosted by Old Swinford Hospital School on Thursday, June 8. The conference costs £95 per delegate and will run from 9.15am until 3.30pm. Programme sessions (speakers to be confirmed) will include inspection, safeguarding, antiterrorism and managing LGBT issues.
Delegates wishing to travel the night before and stay over will need to book their own accommodation, through the Premier Inn in Stourbridge or Hagley (www.premierinn.com) or the Talbot Hotel, Stourbridge (www.thetalbot-hotel.co.uk).
BSA wrote to Ofsted on SBF’s behalf in January raising concerns about new inspection arrangements. Eleanor Schooling, Ofsted’s director of social care replied. Despite some of the assurances in Eleanor’s letter, we believe there are still many concerns about the new inspection framework and will be writing again to raise further points. In particular, there remains a deep worry about Ofsted inspectors coming from a residential care background and therefore viewing state boarding as simply an extension of the care system. Dale Wilkins has produced a very helpful comparison between the latest and earlier versions of the framework, and how the framework in turn compares to ISI inspection arrangements. We will also be writing a briefing note on boarding for Ofsted in the hope that they might use it in the training of inspectors.
Approaches and success rates on CIF inevitably vary between state boarding schools. Ray McGovern at St George’s, Harpenden has recently used a consultancy firm to manage a CIF bid on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis if anyone is interested in contacting him for details.
Some state boarding schools have called upon colleagues in other regions to visit them as ‘critical friends’ and give feedback and this has proved extremely useful. SBF would encourage this and suggest you contact your regional representative to arrange a challenge visit to your school.
As the UK is still an EU member, the position regarding the status of EU boarders at state boarding schools remains unchanged. BSA Chief Executive Robin Fletcher has raised this issue directly with the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill to ask if state boarding schools will be able to have some form of Tier 4 licence, post Brexit, to prevent them losing pupils. The minister has asked for more information about non-UK boarders at state boarding schools which BSA will provide.
At the recent SBF committee meeting, MOD representative Russell Collier updated on the number of service children receiving CEA (around 4,500) and said the number at state boarding schools had risen from 511 to 567 since 2013. Russell said a review was underway with all options being considered, but no decisions had been taken. A research project had also been started with the University of Winchester to investigate why there had been a 40% drop in the number of CEA supported children progressing to HE.
Member engagement and training
There is wide variation between SBF members’ engagement in staff development through BSA training or conferences. Regional representatives will be working with BSA and SBF schools to get a better understanding of this and ensure state boarding staff are receiving consistent and regular professional development.