Just come back from a really interesting discussion about possible models of governance for special schools in our LEA. We were very clear which is the cart and which the horse - physical provision first, then figure out how to govern that provision most effectively.
We covered federations, Joint Collaborative Committees, trusts and foundations, whether we will end up with one school on several sites or several schools, how we formalise the relationships between a school and other (mainstream) schools whose sites we share on a partnership basis.
Then we looked at a list of factors to take into account when evaluating the possible options - this is an incomplete list, so any additions wil be very welcome, they are not in any order of ‘importance’!
a. To what extent is the proposed model already understood and operating?
b. Budgets – would the overall budget go up or down, how would they be managed across multiple sites...?
c. Management complexity – how would the model impact on leading and managing across multiple sites with a wider or smaller geographic spread?
d. How complex would the process of transition be and would the end-result be worth the pain of transition? Factors such as creating and embedding a shared ethos, integration of ICT and other systems, curriculum, teaching and learning would need consideration.
e. What would be the implications for employment practices, such as place of employment, mobility of staff between sites, the possibility of creating a shared 'Supply Pool'?
f. Are any of the models more or less supportive of outreach potential from the SILC?
g. Do any facilitate or hinder Best Practice sharing?
h. What are the implications for relations with Wedges/AIBs or whatever?
i. How do the models impact on community cohesion/connection?
j. What about transfer of existing and application of future school Funds?
k. Will the models hinder or help parental engagement?
l. Will the model impact on the size of GB needed and, if so, how?
m. Do any of the models impact on the potential to manage one or more EduLeeds contracts – HHTS, EOTAS, etc...?
n. What are the implications for support services, be those from within EduLeeds or externals such as the PCT?
o. What will the public perception be of any change and how ‘sellable’ would a change be?
p. Would there be any differences regarding relationships with host schools for Partnership?
q. What about the opportunity to formally collaborate amongst the GBs (of either multiple Special Schools and/or mainstreams) and form joint committees?
r. Would the governance role be different for different physical models? Some might suggest more strategic, some a more tactical approach
s. What else???? I am sure I have missed somethings...