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. We also suggest that clerks to hold a clerk accreditation or qualification or agree to undertake the East Sussex Clerk Accreditation Programme, a one year course covering the essential requirements for clerking.
►Expectations on Clerks - Click here to find out more about national expectations
High quality professional clerking is crucial to the effective functioning of the board. The clerk should be the boards’ ‘governance professional’. Their role is not only about good and effective organisation and administration, but also, and more importantly, about helping the board understand its role, functions and legal duties and supporting the chair to enable and 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. - DfE Governance Handbook 2017.
►Clerk to the Governing Board Job Description
The clerks job description and accreditation 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.
The job description describes what is expected of clerks.It is recommended that this is reviewed alongside the hours for the post to ensure that the annual hours entitlement provides the right amount of support to the governing board.
Recruiting a new clerk is the legal responsibility of the Governing Board and should be led by the Chair of Governors, usually with the involvement of the headteacher. Recruitment can usually be achieved by internal promotion within the local and school community and wider promotion of the vacancy by advertising on websites such as East Sussec County Council job pages, charges apply but are inlcuded if your school subscribes to the relevant East Sussex Personnel package.
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
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. Click to see the training available to support Clerks in East Sussex, suitable for Clerks in maintained schools and academies.
►Clerk Area Network Meetings
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.
►Clerk Appraisal and Development
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.