Responsibilities around filtering and monitoring - KCSIE 2023 update

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

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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Uncovering the unseen: identifying new risks through internal scrutiny

Standard internal scrutiny practices, including compliance checks against legislation and internal procedures, are essential for any multi-academy trust. They offer a critical check and balance, helping to ensure the trust's legal and operational health. However, what happens when these traditional approaches overlook hidden risks, those which lie ...

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Creating a positive culture around internal scrutiny

Internal scrutiny is an important part of your trust risk management and should be seen as a tool that provides reassurance, unbiased advice and strategic recommendations for your organisation. However, it is often viewed as a 'scary' audit where an outside company is picking fault with the processes and procedures in your trust. This shouldn't be ...

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7 steps to efficient internal scrutiny (part 2)

Internal scrutiny is at the heart of risk management, providing oversight of your management controls, reducing risk to your trust and ultimately benefiting pupils by ensuring resources are protected and used properly. The first blog in this series focussed on the steps for effective internal scrutiny before any audits take place. In part two, we'r...

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7 steps to effective Internal Scrutiny (part 1)

Internal scrutiny can be so much more than a tick box exercise to meet a regulatory requirement. With the right people and a strong plan in place, internal scrutiny becomes an effective tool which provides reassurance, unbiased advice and strategic recommendations for your organisation. Here at Keystone Knowledge, we believe that there are seven st...

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Where does staff engagement start?

With today's difficult recruitment climate, retaining talented staff is more important than ever. Effective policies around wellbeing, workload and flexible working all help to improve staff morale and help retention, but at what point does staff engagement really start? The onboarding process? The interview process? Or even before candidates have ...

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Strategic thinking around recruitment

Recruitment in the education sector can be a challenge, particularly in the current economic climate. Retaining talent and attracting quality candidates to your setting shouldn't just start when you have vacancies, it's part of a long-term strategy. Your strategic thinking around recruitment should include: What will your team look like in a year's...

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Do you audit your approach to income?

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

"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

 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

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.

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

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?

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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