Coronavirus (COVID – 19)
AGBIS recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for schools and we are here to support you and your Governing Board in these challenging circumstances.
We have put together some FAQs to support you, based on questions we have received from members over the last few days:
- 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?
- 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: https://www.isc.co.uk/sector-info/coronavirus-information-for-schools/
- 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.
- ISI have provided safeguarding pointers for schools to consider for remote teaching. Please click here.
- What resources are available from other organisations?
o haysmacintyre’s have 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: https://www.haysmacintyre.com/covid-19
o Information from Farrer & Co - Safeguarding during the COVID - 19 Emergency can be found on the members’ area of our website.
o Harrison Clark Rickerbys have information about Interim safeguarding guidance for schools during Coronavirus. Please click here.
o Microsoft Teams for schools and governing boards have a webinar on Tuesday 7 April. Please click here to find out more and register.
- How can I contact AGBIS to get support and advice?
- Please continue to contact us as normal during this time. Some staff may be working from home but our service to members will continue. Contact us by phone on 01438 840730 or by email, as follows:
- AGBIS has sent three coronavirus email e-alerts to Clerks to Governors, to pass onto their Governing Boards, with the latest advice for schools from Farrer & Co. We will continue to send e-alerts via your Clerk to Governors. These e-alerts are available for you to access in the Members’ Area of our website.
- What services are AGBIS providing during this time?
- AGBIS will continue to provide advice and support to members during this time by phone and email.
- Members can access our free e-learning courses: New Governors and Safeguarding Children. You can register via the AGBIS website https://www.agbis.org.uk/free-e-learning-courses/
- The summer seminar programme has been postponed and delegates will all be contacted directly. AGBIS will launch the autumn programme shortly and will host a number of webinars in the summer term. More information about the webinars will be available soon.