AGBIS information and support - Coronavirus (COVID 19) 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic AGBIS have been providing regular updates to the Clerks at our member schools to pass onto their governors. 

Below is some additional support for Clerks and governors.

  • Should my Governing Board meetings still take place?
    • Each Board will need to consider what is appropriate in their circumstances. We have listed some points for you to consider when deciding whether to hold your Governing Board meeting:
    • If there are urgent short term actions or decisions that need to be taken, then a Board meeting, in some form, will be necessary.  If there are no urgent short term actions or decisions then the meeting could be postponed.
    • Are there facilities in place for the Board to meet remotely? If so, then consider if it would be best for the full Board to meet remotely or give this option to Board members who should not travel or may prefer not to travel.
    • Discuss with the Head and Bursar what support they need; consider what additional burdens a meeting may place on staff while they are dealing with a very challenging situation and be prepared to be flexible e.g. consider what reports need to be received. The Head may usually provide a detailed written report to Governors but it may be more appropriate for the Board to receive an oral update.
  • Is there any government support for my school?
    • The DfE have issued a school governance update outlining guidance and support, naturally this is aimed at state maintained schools, but its generic nature means that much of it is equally helpful to governors in the independent sector, including those of us in parts of the UK where responsibility for education is devolved. Please click here.   
    • The government have introduced various measures to support organisations during this period; these include delaying paying PAYE and VAT.  AGBIS recommends that your school contact HMRC to see whether they are eligible for any of these measures using the telephone support line. Please click here for information. 
    • The government have a specific coronavirus page with guidance for schools. Please click here to access. 
    • The ISBA are providing weekly bulletins with school specific advice on the government support available
    • Moore Kingston Smith are issuing regular articles outlining the government measures to support organisations which can be downloaded from the coronavirus and business continuity page of their website. Please click here to view. 
    • UK Government guidance on the application of the Furlough Scheme in education settings. Please click here.    
  • What are the Associations within the Independent Schools Council and other sector organisations doing to support schools at this challenging time?
    • AGBIS is meeting regularly with other ISC Associations to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the sector and to co-ordinate support to schools.
    • The Boarding Schools Association (BSA) is working with the ISC to lead on providing sector advice during this time.  The latest advice can be found at:
    • All Heads will receive advice from their Heads’ Association.  All Bursars will receive advice from the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) who are also running weekly webinars to support their members during this period.
  • What resources are available from other organisations? 
    • The National Cyber Security Centre has new guidance aimed at governing bodies and trustees in schools.  Please click here to access their website.
    • Farrer & Co have some information on their website regarding schools facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Please click here. 
    • haysmacintyre has information on a range of financial, tax and accounting measures being introduced to combat COVID-19 together with our related thoughts/insights on helping businesses. The latest information can be found at:
    • Information from Farrer & Co can be found on the members’ area of our website.
    • Harrison Clark Rickerbys have information about Interim safeguarding guidance for schools during Coronavirus.  Please click here. They have also written an article on what schools should consider when hosting and recording online lessons.  Please click here.