The Clerking Competency Framework, published by the Department for Education (DfE), states:
The DfE recognises the value of professional quality clerking to governing boards in maintained schools, academies and multi-academy trusts. As anyone who has experienced professional clerking will testify, it provides an invaluable contribution to the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and compliance of the governing board. A professional clerk works in partnership with the chair to keep the board focused on its core strategic priorities, provides independent and expert advice and guidance to the board on its duties and functions, and delivers administrative support that makes everything work smoothly.
We, in the East Sussex Governor and Clerking Service support the views expressed by the DfE and recommend recruitment of clerks at an advisory level as described within the East Sussex Clerking Service Protocol and supporting documentation. The protocol requires clerks to hold a clerk accreditation or qualification or agree to undertake the East Sussex Clerk Accreditation Programme, the one year course is currently funded by the Local Authority for LA Maintained schools if the Governing Board and the clerk sign up to the protocol.
The protocol and programme are designed to help the school and Governing Board meet the expectations described within the Clerking Competency Framework, to provide consistent advisory support to governors, irrespective of the fluid nature of the voluntary sector that is school governance.
Professional clerking has a vital role to play in meeting the administrative and procedural requirements of boards and enabling efficient and effective discussion and decision making.
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The Clerking Service protocol describes what is expected of everybody involved in clerking, including governing boards, clerks and headteachers.
- Job description and person specification
- Hours required for different clerking tasks
Maintained schools who subscribe to the Clerking Service protocol can apply for the Clerking Fund. This a funding allocation equivalent of up to 130 hours of clerk time each year towards the overall cost of a clerk.
Guidance on funding eligibility ► Download
Have you recently appointed a clerk?
Please complete the online notification form on appointment of your clerk. We will then contact you to arrange induction
Induction for clerks to the governing board
For those new to clerking this will help unravel the demands of the job and enable you to understand how you can contribute to developing the effectiveness of the governing board.
This face-to-face session introduces new and experienced clerks to the principles of governance and the work of the clerk to the governing board of a school. Our trainer will help the clerk and chair opf governors to complete an action plan to support the governing board.
Please contact us with your requirements.
Clerks are strongly advised to attend these sessions, delivered three times per year. They are essential for all clerks who want to keep up to date with key changes in local and national issues impacting on the roles and responsibilities of governing boards. The meetings include workshops and the sharing of effective practice in an open forum. Briefing papers and publications are provided at the sessions.
This will support clerks to:
• know more about key national and local issues for governing bodies
• understand more about the way to address key matters for your school's governing body
• be able to discuss, share and develop good and effective practice.
It is the vision of the Service that every clerk is trained in all aspects of the role, regularly briefed on new developments, both locally and nationally, and that the support provided to clerks and the quality of work is carefully monitored. The Accreditation provides part of this commitment.
The Accreditation is a one year programme. There are five units associated with the course entitled:
- Understanding the role of the Governing Body
- The Clerk as The Administrator
- Advice and Guidance in relation to Governing Boards
- People and Relationships in relation to Governing Boards
- Fulfilling the Role of Clerk to the Governing Body as a School Business Manager (NB this is only required for the SBM Programme)
Each unit has a series of Learning Outcomes and associated Assessment Criteria that describes the evidence required for clerks to demonstrate their knowledge, experience and understanding of the Learning Outcomes. The clerk will attend study days for units 1 – 4, the content of which will enable them to produce either a report or written description covering the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria.
Clerks will be required to produce a portfolio containing the prescribed Assessment Information along with supporting evidence that meets the Assessment Criteria, against each unit required for the chosen course.
Throughout the Accreditation the clerk will be supported by an Accreditation coach who will deliver the study days and assess and provide feedback on the work the clerk submits until the Accreditation is completed.
Clerks of Local Authority Maintained school are able to apply for a bursary of 40 hours, above their contracted hours. This fund will be released to the school upon registration for the Accreditation (or lead school where a clerk works for more than one school). The clerk can claim these hours via completion of a PAY03 form available from the School Business Manager or Bursar. The clerk can decide whether to claim this on completion of each unit or on completion of the Accreditation.
Once they have completed the accreditation they will be presented with a certificate by the awarding body LASER.
The accreditation is suitable for clerks in maintained schools and and academies. To register an interest to complete the accreditation please click here
Clerks should be supported to identify potential areas for training and development. Additional support or facilities should be given by the chair of governors or headteacher if they are required.
The Clerk's appraisal should take place annually, between 1st April and 31st May for clerks employed before 1st October the preceding year. Any increment should be back dated to 1st April. Clerks recruited after 1st October should have their appraisal 6 months after the date of appointment.
A number of documents are available to download below to help chairs with an existing appraisal process, or help develop a new one.