Hampshire Governor Services

Hampshire County Council

Education Policy Review Committee Item 9

20 December 2001

Outcome Report of the Hampshire Governor Services’ Best Value Review

Report of the County Education Officer

Contact: Janet Sheriton, Head of Hampshire Governor Services, telephone 01962 845706

Bob  West, Project Manager, telephone 01962 846449

Best Value Review: Hampshire Governor Services - December 2001

Executive Summary

Main Findings

The Review Team, having examined the evidence available found that most parts of the Service are market leaders, performing at a very high level.  This conclusion was based on evidence supplied by the Service in the form of performance data relating to governor training covering the previous nine years, analysis of Ofsted Reports for the last six years and data from the Hampshire Governor Services’ (HGS) Business Plan. It was supported by external verification of the quality of the Service through reports of independent inspections in 1995 and 1998, the Chartermark awards of 1995 and 1998 (with a re-application for a third award currently being assessed) and the Service Quality Questionnaire returns from governors in 1999 (Winchester Local Office) and 2000 (New Forest Local Office). Minutes of consultative meetings with governors also recognised the high level of support and training provided to governors.

This information was submitted in full with the Scoping Report. Further external evidence has subsequently been received in the form of the 2001 Service Quality Questionnaire returns for Havant Local Office (Appendix 1) and the LEA Ofsted Report which concluded, ‘Schools consistently report that the support provided by the governors support unit (Hampshire Governor Services) is excellent. Support ranges from good training courses for new and experienced governors through whole school governing body training to speedy and effective responses to queries from individuals.’

The Review team therefore accepted that the Service complies with the best value principles of challenge, comparison, consultation and competition and that it has demonstrated an on-going commitment to these principles and the concept of continuous improvement. It therefore agreed that the Review should concentrate on those areas of the Service where there is most potential for further improvements.

Objectives of the Best Value Review of HGS

·Consider the administration of governor appointments and the maintenance of the County Council’s governor database in order to improve economy, efficiency and effectiveness and to establish stakeholders support for any recommendations for change.(Key Issue 1)

·Examine the range of services and explore with stakeholders the potential for working with partners outside the County Council to improve the quality and/or reduce the cost of services to governors.(Key Issue 2)

·Review the LEA Clerking Service and consider its future within the context of the need to improve the quality of clerking generally in the county’s maintained schools.(Key Issue 3)

Recommendations

·The Service should continue to administer governor appointments and maintain the County Council’s governor database whilst seeking to improve standards wherever possible through the use of new technology and better processes.

·The Service should seek to improve standards through the development of new partnerships to strengthen and widen the services on offer to Hampshire governors whilst allowing it the flexibility to respond to future market changes.

·The Service should seek to improve the quality of clerking in Hampshire through the gradual expansion of the LEA Clerking Service and the raising of the professional status and the performance of all clerks across the county.

Outcomes

·The updating of processes and the governor database to facilitate the use of new technology

·The development of new partnerships to strengthen and widen the services on offer to Hampshire governors

·The raising of the professional status and standards of clerking across the county

Financial implications

The cost of delivering the improvements will be met from within the existing resources of the Service. The savings identified in staff time and revenue costs will be used to reduce on-going staff overworking. The Review team noted that the costings in the report are best estimates. It was accepted that there is evidence to show that predicted cost-savings from the use of new technology do not always meet expectations and the figures should therefore by treated with caution.

Review costs

The cost of this Best Value Review, including the estimated cost of staff time and actual expenditure, is £32,000. It does not include the further impact of the process on lost service delivery time, or consequential delays in other areas of activity. Neither does it include time given freely by members of the Review team and stakeholders.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - Background Documents

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NBThe list excludes:

1.Published works

2.Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.