COUNTY FORUM: Autumn Term 2019




Meeting:               County Forum Meeting comprising of the County Consultative Committee and East Sussex Governors’ Forum (ESGF)


Date:                       9th October 2019


Venue:                   County Hall, Lewes


Present:                 Cllrs Standley, Shuttleworth.

Karen Marr (KM), Denise Kong (DK), Patricia Metham (PM), Stuart Ford (SF), Jane McCarthy-Penman (JMP) Margaret Stebbing (MS), Luke Shevels (LS), Duncan Irvine (DI), Jane Branson (JB), Matthew Jones, Jessica Stubbings and Clare Cornford.


Apologies:             Cllr Scott and Cllr Galley, Monica Whitehead, Richard Sage, Jenny Barnard-Langston



Decisions and Outcomes



Minutes of previous County Forum Meeting – 8th May 2019

The minutes were noted as a true record.



Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received and noted as above.



Declaration of Interest

Disclosures by all members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.


No interests were declared.



Urgent Items

Councillor Standley signed the memorandum of Understanding with the ESGF on behalf of the Local Authority.



Academy Update

Peacehaven Community School converted under the swale Academy Chain in September 2019. There are academy orders in place for 2 schools – The Causeway School and St John’s Meads CofE primary School. They are both likely to convert during this academic year.



Local authority governor appointments and governor vacancies.  

Members of the County Forum received a report detailing the nomination for appointment of authority governors for information.


Members were made aware of the current vacancy rate in East Sussex, it was noted that September is the peak time of the year for vacancies as boards are in the process of making appointments for the new academic year. Members heard about proposals to tackle vacancies through targeted “become a governor” evenings.




Educational Attainment in East Sussex

Members of the forum received an overview of attainment in East Sussex, which outlined the headline data from the previous academic year. The main outcomes were noted for each of the key stages.


It was noted that these results have been shared with schools, the Secondary Board and the Primary Board and have been used to inform joint priorities for this coming year. These priorities are:


§  Urgently improve outcomes at Key Stage 2, improve progress in all subjects and mathematics and reading outcomes

§  Performance of disadvantaged pupils in all measures at all key stages

§  Improving attendance

§  Reducing exclusions, particularly for disadvantaged pupils and those with SEN/D.


§  Commitment to maximize attendance and minimize exclusions

§  Affirmative action to raise achievement – and close ‘achievement gaps’ where they exist

§  Classroom teaching and leadership at all levels to be of the highest quality

§  Reduce in-school variation by subjects.

Governors need to be equipped to ask schools questions about their data and the school’s performance compared to national and county averages. It was agreed that questions for governors to ask should be included at the end of the report along with details of relevant training, and that the report should be circulated to all governors.



OFSTED and the New Curriculum

Feedback from governors at the last round of Local Area Forums was very positive and they have requested a further session on the new Ofsted Framework with a concentrated focus on the curriculum.  They have requested that Phil Bunn delivers this session.


The session will focus on the published framework. The session will look at how Ofsted will inspect schools and what they are looking for in terms of the curriculum.  We hope to get a chair from a school that has been inspected under the framework to come along to each session and share their experiences too.


The purpose for the Governors’ Briefing Sessions:

o   To provide governors with up to date knowledge of the new Ofsted Inspection Framework with a specific focus on the ‘Quality of Education’ judgement area.

o   To support governors’ preparations for Ofsted. inspection.

o   To provide an opportunity for networking and discussion with other governors.


The sessions will cover the following areas:

o   The new Ofsted Inspection Framework.

o   Understanding the new ‘Quality of Education’ judgement area.

o   How Ofsted inspect the ‘Quality of Education’.

o   How Governors can prepare for Ofsted inspection.

o   How Governors can monitor and evaluate the ‘Quality of Education’ in their schools –   practical steps.






Governor Local Area Forums


It was agreed to take the Ofsted framework and the curriculum forward as the topic for the Autumn round of Forums.


The  number of attendees at the last round of local area forums (summer) was noted, there were very high levels of attendance. It is hoped that this trend will continue.



Any other Business

The ESGF informed the County Consultative Committee that following a survey to governors, the times and days of all local area forums has now changed. We will ask governors for their feedback about the new timings of the sessions.


The ESGF updated that they have agreed that they will meet both before (January) and after (March) the spring round of forums. The County Consultative Committee will meet after the Local Area Forums so the ESGF can feed back to councillors on any issues raised.




Dates of Future Meetings