The professional clerk A requirement or a luxury?

The professional clerk A requirement or a luxury?

The professional clerk A requirement or a luxury? Clare Collins NGA Head of Consultancy NGA 2018 NGA is a membership organisation NGA is an independent charity representing and supporting governors and trustees in maintained schools and academies in England Our aim is to improve the effectiveness of governing boards by providing expert and tailored information, guidance and advice, and challenge when appropriate STANDARD governing board 85 79 GOLD governing board 260 QUOTE :

DIS0086 NGA 2017 Why clerking matters 1. Clerking required or not? 2. Knowledge, skills and behaviours 3. What constitutes professional clerking 4. Supporting your governing board 5. Developing your practice NGA 2018 1. Professional clerking is a requirement NGA 2018 The DfEs Governance Handbook

4.4 The professional clerk not only about good and effective organisation and administration, but 35. High quality professional clerking also, and more importantly, about is crucial to the effective functioning of helping the board understand its role, the functions and legal duties and board. The clerk should be the boards supporting the chair to enable and governance professional. Their role is facilitate strategic debate and decision making. This is crucial in helping the board exercise its functions expediently and confidently, so that it can stay focused on its core functions. NGA 2018 The DfEs Clerking Competency Framework Non statutory guidance

Sets out competencies required Applicable to local authority maintained schools governing bodies, SATs and MATs Demonstrates the importance of professional clerking and depth and breadth of knowledge skills and behaviours required to support it NGA 2018 Professional clerking

Manages elections and tracks attendance Makes sure there is a meetings plan for the year and sends reminders Drafts agendas including managing actions log Circulates agendas and papers in good time in advance of meetings Chases papers for meetings Tracks action

points Minutes all meetings Circulates draft minutes promptly after meetings Manages and clerks panel work including advising the panel on procedure Works with chair to keep the focus on strategic priorities Gives independent and expert advice and guidance

Manages induction and training Manages policy review schedule Ensures compliance with statutory requirements e.g. website, GDPR Manages expenses claims Supports chair(s), ensuring that as volunteers, their workload is not excessive NGA 2018

Benefitting effective governance How does effective clerking support NGAs eight elements of effective governance? 1 Right people round the table 2 Knowing the role and responsibilities 3 Good chair 4 Professional clerk 5 Good relationships based on

trust 6 Knowing the organisation 7 Committed to question and challenge 8 Confident to have courageous conversations NGA 2018 2. Knowledge, skills and behaviours NGA 2018 For those clerking in academy trusts Your articles of association Your scheme of delegation Your funding agreement NGA 2018 Question Is a different approach required depending on context? For example does the clerk for a large MAT board need different skills to a clerk

to an academy committee? NGA 2018 3. Professional clerking NGA 2018 Defining professional clerking Ensuring the efficient functioning of the board by providing: Administrative and organisational support Guidance to ensure that the board works in compliance with the appropriate legal and regulatory framework, and understands the potential consequences for non-compliance Advice on procedural matters relating to the operation of the board Professional clerking may also involve designing structures and procedures for the sound governance of the organisation - particularly in larger and more complex organisations.

NGA 2018 Governance in the public sector Boards are the guardians of the organisations vision, ethos and values: No crooks; no cronies; no cowards The Tyson report, 2003 NGA 2018 Being the clerk The clerk is the constitutional conscience of the governing board and s/he should be accountable to the governing board It is important that there is a clear separation of functions and lines of reporting NGA 2018

The main responsibility for managing the relationship between the clerk and the governing body should rest with the chair of the board Governing boards need to make sure that the clerk receives adequate remuneration, is annually appraised, and receives appropriate training/support The competencies Handout 1 Do these competencies reflect your role? NGA 2018 A model job description Handout 2 Which area are you most confident about? And least? NGA 2018 4. Supporting your governing board NGA 2018 raft gets the d s y a

lw a e My clerk e within th m to k c a m minutes b check the n a c I o s , my week ll fresh in ti

s ll a s it whilst mind. My clerk keeps us on the straight and narrow, always giving accurate and sensible advice. s how to w o n k k r

le d A good c rnance an e v o g d o o s capture g the minute in e g n e ll a ve quality ch ate effecti

tr s n o m e d which can ce . governan ot be understated. nn ca rk cle r ou of ct The impa tion, knowledge and Her diligence, organisa ra that we were ready fo

doggedness ensured r tion. The quality of he ec sp in k ea br or e ak m us a ofessional and gave pr d ke loo n tio ta en m

docu e very difficult time. W lot of confidence at a her. would be lost without NGA 2018 Having a good clerk makes the job of being chair manageable. Without a good clerk the job is just not possible to cope with. A good clerk tr ansformed my role as chair. I had b een doing a lo t of the admin such as compiling skills

audits and training re cords, and ch asing meeting pape rs and actions . I also spent much m ore time makin g sure that agendas were appropri ate and that minutes w ere correct. T he clerk also helped th e headteache r to be more efficient by helping wit h the compilation of meeting report

s and contacting me mbers of staff for information. S he improved communicatio n with the gov erning body and incre ased everyon es effectiveness. The importance of agendas NGA 2018 Compiling agendas Format

List or table? Sectioned? e.g. Board Business (to include apologies, minutes, board appointments, urgent matters etc.) / Strategy (to include update on outcomes, senior executive leader report on progress with on key priorities, budget report etc.) / For information (next meeting, school events) NGA 2018

Items Numbered Purpose made clear e.g. to receive / to agree / to approve / to note Lead Papers Timings Role e.g. Chair / clerk / HT / SENCO Numbered to match item number Long documents to

have page numbers All attached i.e. none to follow (!) Either items to be timed or groups of items to be timed so that expectations for how long each item will be discussed are managed Barriers and challenges Lack of realistic job description Conflicts e.g. also being the headteachers PA Lack of training Lack of appraisal and performance management

Lack of time to do the job Not having the confidence to advise / intervene when things go wrong Timely responses from the chair / board / senior executive leader Chasing papers Tracking action points Draft minutes not being reviewed by chair / senior executive leaders NGA 2018 5. Developing your practice NGA 2018 Options for development Explore training options with your local authority or a neighbouring authority or teaching school alliance

Keep up to date with organisations like NGA and ICSA find the NGA Clerking Matters area of the NGA website, get involved with the NGAs clerking network, come to NGA clerks conferences, Create your own local network and share practice Register for a government funded national training programme NGA 2018 NGA Leading Governance NGA 2018 Development for clerks NGA 2018 Clerking does matter 1. Professional clerking is required and is not a luxury 2. Professional clerks have the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to do the job properly 3. and know what constitutes professional clerking and should be properly recognised for this 4. Professional clerks supporting their governing board 5. and governing boards should support their clerk by ensuring that they can develop their practice NGA 2018 [email protected] NGA 2018

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