So you’ve had your internal scrutiny report, what next?

Trust improvement through internal scrutiny Trust improvement through internal scrutiny

 Internal scrutiny is a powerful tool for trust improvement, but only if you read the reports and act on the recommendations made. Once you've had your report from your internal scrutiny partner, it's time to take a look at what they found. It might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how often this step gets skipped! According to the Academ...

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Safer recruitment: online candidate checks

Online recruitment checks Safer recruitment online checks

Checking social media and online presence as part of safer recruitment practices was introduced as a 'should' in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 and as we all know with KCSIE, a 'should' is really an instruction to 'go and do'. The process itself is quite simple, but it can be difficult to know where to start when 'online' is such a broad t...

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The undeniable importance of HR in expanding Multi-Academy Trusts

Trust growth HR supporting trust growth

The role of HR in the expansion of MATs is multifaceted and central to long-term success. As MATs look to expand, strategic and operational HR practices can help or hinder both the attraction of schools to the trust, and the ease with which they convert and are assimilated into trust practices. What is strategic HR and why should expanding MATs car...

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Effective HR in schools: the unseen key to savings

Cost savings with effective HR Cost savings with effective HR

With today's ever-tightening budgets, schools face the challenging task of delivering exceptional education without stretching resources too thin. HR isn't something that automatically springs to mind when looking for cost savings, but effective practices can save both time and money. Let's explore how strategic HR practices can help save costs. Re...

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Responsibilities around filtering and monitoring - KCSIE 2023 update

Changes to KCSIE - Filtering and Monitoring

The latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) has been published and comes into force on 1 September 2023. The changes made in KCSIE 2023 are mainly clarifications on existing guidance – the key change that jumps out is around the implementation of the DfE's 'Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges' (the ...

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Great news? Teachers' pay sees an uptick

Teachers' pay award Teachers' pay award

So, the long-awaited announcement is finally here! After painful strikes and heated debates, the government has given its full consent to the STRB's recommendations. What's in it for the teachers? A solid 6.5% pay hike. And the best part? It's not just a reshuffling of old funds but an infusion of fresh money that's fully backed. This is defin...

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Do you audit your approach to income?

Internal Scrutiny Income Audit

The Academy Trust Handbook requires all trusts to have a programme of internal scrutiny to provide independent assurance to the board that its financial and non-financial controls and risk management procedures are operating effectively. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that internal assurance in a trust needs to focus mainly on expendit...

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The 2023 version of thinking outside the box

The 2023 version of 'Thinking outside the box'

"If you're don't like change, you'll like irrelevance even less." So goes a quote I read several years ago and became one of those screenshots that I keep on my phone. Brutal, but true. And as school business management continues on its inexorable curve of seemingly getting harder, it's ever more important that we can find creative ways of approach...

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Eyes Wide Open? Growing your trust with thorough due diligence

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 As part of the Schools White Paper published nearly 12 months ago, the Government set out it's plan to have to have all schools "in a strong multi-academy trust or with plans to join or form one" within the next eight years. Whilst recent news has talked about this target likely to be missed, the move to greater academisation appears one way....

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Due Diligence case study - OWLS Multi-Academy Trust

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Keystone Knowledge recently partnered with OWLS Multi-Academy Trust to conduct due diligence on a new school joining the MAT.  Read about it here. Download PDF File Here

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How to change the narrative on internal scrutiny and deliver 5 key benefits.

How to change the narrative on internal scrutiny and deliver 5 key benefits.

With the recent December 31st deadline to submit details of your internal scrutiny to the DfE (Department for Education), you may feel that internal scrutiny is not your favourite subject amongst the myriad of daily and monthly things to consider when running a school or trust. But what if you could change the narrative around internal scrutiny and...

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Keystone's KCSIE 2022 digest

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The new Keeping Children Safe In Education report was released earlier this year. Although there weren't any major changes to the report, there some important additions. Our experts have gone through the updates to bring you this digest. Child-on-child sexual violence Sadly, child-on-child sexual violence and harassment is still prevalent issues in...

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Should you engage a school consultant?

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From caretakers to CEOs, schools are full of incredible people who feel a commitment to help educate the minds of the future. One of the common themes of people who work in schools is that we all want to be the best that we can be. Whether that's having books that balance, having wonderful staff who facilitate great teaching or having clean buildin...

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How to avoid email scams and phishing

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 Nobody wants to fall prey to a phishing scam let alone the disruption and issues they can cause to your school or trust. There's a good reason that such scams will continue, though: They are successful enough for cybercriminals to make massive profits. Phishing scams have been around practically since the inception of the Internet, and they w...

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Behind the Education Headlines in August

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Schools consider how budgets will stretch budgets this year In August, schools considered three or four-day weeks as a way to stay within budget in the face of massive pressures in the wake of unfunded staff pay increases and rising energy costs. Schools also considered shortening the school day and reducing the number of clubs and enrichment oppor...

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Keystone's free social media use policy template

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Social media is something we can't live without, but it's important to sure that our staff and students use it responsibly. Our free social media template will set out how everyone can use social media safely.  Click below to download your free copy.   Keystone-Free-Social-Media-Policy 49 kb Download Files

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Four reasons you should engage a retainer this year!

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Retainers can be a fantastic way to get support and advice from professional experts – without the cost of their salaries. Here are four reasons you should consider a retainer this coming school year. The best (and sometimes not so best!) thing about working in education is that no two days are the same. There is always a new project to oversee or ...

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How to research candidates online

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 In paragraph 215 of the new KCSIE guidelines, which came into effect on 1st September, schools and trusts carry out an "online search (including social media) as part of their due diligence on the shortlisted candidates." Conducting in conjunction with adequate DBS checks, a search should only be used to find any "incidents or issues" involvi...

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Keystone’s Guide to the ATH Update 2022

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The long-awaited updated Academies Trust Handbook has been released! Luckily there haven't been many changes to this edition but here are the amendments that you should know about and how they affect you. These changes came into effect on the 1st September and you should be aware of them as the 2022/23 year begins. Budget Forecast Return OutturnSta...

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Keystone's guide to fire risk assessments

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Fire risk assessments have been a legal requirement since 2005 when the Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order was passed. Every non-domestic premises must have a "responsible person" carry out a fire risk assessment and should record any significant findings. The "responsible person" should have either total control or a degree of control over the ...

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