2019-20 Contract Services planning and renewal process

    On the 4th February 2019 the Headteacher, Chair of Governor and Business/Financial manager from each maintained school that purchases a Herts for Learning service received an email with details about the 2019-20 planning and renewal process.

    The document may be used for school budget planning ahead of making their financial returns and provides a forecast of services for the coming year based on last year’s spend.

    Differences from last year:

    • The contract now includes the recommended CFR (consistent financial reporting) codes from the DfE (www.gov.uk/guidance/consistent-financial-reporting-framework-cfr) to help identify which line the service appears in the schools financial statement.
    • A subscription area showing if the school has subscribed to PA Plus, GDPR services and Business Management Toolkit. There are no costs shown against these as the subscription can be purchased at any time during the year and is a rolling monthly cost.
    • Four new services have been added:
      • Advisory Services – Wellbeing support
      • GDPR Services – the level of support will be shown (Toolkit/DPO service/Enhanced DPO service)
      • Business Management Toolkit
      • Occupational Health Service
    • The last year contract spend will be shown
    • The complete breakdown of information for ICT and Financial services will be included in the PDF contract pack. This was previously sent out separately to the contract.    
    • Please take a moment to watch the short animation video below which explains the updated process.

    FAQ’s can also be found below to help answer the most commonly asked questions about the Contract Services renewal process.

    Meanwhile, if you would like to discuss you Contract Services package or if you have any further questions please call 01438 845111 or email contracts@hertsforlearning.co.uk.

    Guide to the new contract services 2019-20 e-process

    General FAQs

    Your contract will be sent to the Headteacher, School Business Manager/Finance manager (where we have the information) and Chair of governors by email week commencing 4th February 2019.

    Yes – please contact us and we will email a copy to the school.

    The Headteacher, School Business Manager/Finance manager (where we have the information) and the Chair of governors will all get a copy of the contract.

    If the school would like to make a change to any of the services on the contract they can either:

    The change will be actioned and a confirmation email sent to confirm the change.

    Please check in any spam or junk folders your email software may have in the first instance. If you still have not received it, please contact contracts@hertsforlearning.co.uk or call 01438 845111.

    An overview of each service is included in the PDF contract pack with links to service details online.

    If you are unable to find an answer within these FAQ’s or the short animation, please contact our contract services team via the online contact form.

    You will have the option to print or save your contract from the PDF contract pack.

    Yes. Due to feedback from the renewal process last year both the ICT and Financial services breakdown are included in the PDF contract pack.

    If you are converting to an academy before the 1st April 2019, please contact our contract services team at contracts@hertsforlearning.co.uk to discuss the service support. If you are converting after 1st April 2019, you will be sent the maintained version of your contract and then once converted please contact us to discuss the service support.

    No. The document is used for planning the schools budget in time for the financial returns; however any changes that the school wishes to make need to be sent to HfL by Monday 1st April 2019.

    The contract shows the services that the school has purchased in the financial year 2018/19. If you would like to make an amendment please use the methods set out in question four.

    If you would like details about the PAYU service that your school has invested in, please send a request to info@hertsforlearning.co.uk.

    Team specific FAQs

    Advisory Services

    The contract service is for the financial year 2019/20 (April 2019 to March 2020); the secondary and special school advisory services were purchased on an academic year (September 2018 to August 2019). To avoid any confusion about double payments, as the service has already been agreed to, the contract does not show the amount.

    The HIP is allocated on an academic year cycle. For the summer term you will keep the HIP that is currently allocated. For September 2019, unless a school wished to change HIP, we aim to maintain continuity, however this may not always be possible. This will be confirmed in the second half of the summer term.

    Where possible we will try to allocate the same HIP to maintain continuity. If you request a change of HIP we will endeavour to fulfil the request, however, sometimes this may not be possible.

    Yes. It could include a standards visit and a headteacher performance appraisal in the autumn term, a joint annual review visit (JARV) in the spring term, and a progress review visit in the summer term. We do however recognise the individual nature of schools and therefore offer a flexible and bespoke approach to the use of these four days.

    If a report is necessary, the time to write the report will be taken from the four day allocation. If the school has already used its allocation the time would have to be charged at the standard rate.

    Yes, you are able to purchase extra days (at the standard rate) on a pay-as-you-use basis. This would not be shown on your contract.

    Teaching and Learning

    No. You can allocate the support to the needs of your school. They can be all used for English or maths and any combination between, although the time needs to be split in half day allocations.

    No. The TLA super saver package would allow a menu of options (a), (b), (c) or (d):

    a) four days consultancy

    b) three days consultancy plus two twilight sessions

    c) three days consultancy plus half a day inset

    d) two and a half days consultancy plus one day inset

    HfL will make every effort to allocate the requested advisor, although this is not always possible. However all of our team subject specialists offer a wealth of school improvement experience. The team provide nationally acclaimed bespoke training, guidance and support to school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and parents to improve outcomes for children.

    No. Once you have been allocated an advisor they would be happy to speak to you about any individual requirements you may have.

    Advisory Services - Early Years

    The EYA Super Saver package would allow a menu of options (a), (b) or (c):

    a) two days consultancy

    b) one and a half days consultancy and twilight

    c) one day consultancy plus a half day inset.

    Elements that could be considered are:

    • self-evaluation and action planning support for senior leaders
    • developing high quality learning environments
    • scrutiny of assessment procedures including learning journals and progress tracking
    • joint lesson observations
    • staff meeting (delivery and planning)
    • welfare and safeguarding audit
    • ECERS audit of the learning environment (one and a half day equivalent)
    • developing the adult role to support teaching and learning
    • empowering staff to adapt provision for two year olds
    • coaching/lesson study/team teaching

    Data Management

    In order for the contracts to be transparent we have separated out the Data Management Service (being the support provided to the school by HfL) and the Capita SIMS Annual Entitlement and Licences (which Capita charges to HfL at the beginning of the year and this is then recharged to schools) to show the split of the total cost and where the cost is allocated.

    The total cost is worked out on a per-pupil basis for the whole year, plus an additional charge if you use extra modules (Dinner Money, Lesson Monitor, Partnership Xchange or Multiple Timetables).  HfL are required to make a full payment to Capita for the Capita SIMS Annual Entitlement (for the 12 month period commencing 1st April) although the school will receive this as a monthly charge.

    The Capita SIMS Annual Entitlement is a 12 month fixed contract and cannot be cancelled part way through the year. Notification that a school wishes to move away from SIMS as their Management Information System (MIS) would need to be made in writing to HfL by 10th December to prevent further charges in the following financial year. You can however cancel your DMS Support Contract with a minimum of 1 term’s notice.

    No. When schools convert, Capita require that the academy purchase the licences directly from them.  However, the school is still able to purchase their Service Desk support from HfL.  Data Management Services can provide further information should the school be considering conversion, as part of their due diligence.

    As part of the contract pricing is based on pupil numbers on roll, if the school has increased in numbers since last year, this can move them into a different pricing band, resulting in a higher contract price.  Also, if the school has started using a new module in SIMS, e.g. Dinner Money, there may be an additional charge for HfL to support that module, which would have been discussed at the time is was installed, plus Capita SIMS will charge additional Annual Entitlement on that module.

    Financial Services

    This is a service for schools who wish to have weekly visits from a member of the Financial services team to complete and report on a schools monthly financial position.

    Plan A covers the end-to-end process of bookkeeping and reporting including year-end reporting and submissions required by Hertfordshire County Council. While Plan B is for schools that wish to and are able to take responsibility for routine financial processing, but require additional support in meeting reporting and budget monitoring requirements.

    The details are outlined in the contract services document sent to schools on 4th February 2019.

    You are able to purchase additional time in bulk at the time of your contract negotiation or throughout the year on a pay as you use basis.

    This is the reporting software that is used to provide schools’ budget and medium-term plans ready for scrutiny and approval by governing bodies (this is included if a school purchases an ISAS plan).

    This is the software provided by RM Finance and includes the FMS6 management systems, including the provision of financial reporting software.

    The financial systems software support is provided by HfL and the Budget systems software is provided by a third party (RM Finance). In order to be transparent they are separated to help schools track where the spend is going.

    Governance Services

    Access to training courses in venues around the county at a discounted rate plus:

    • 1 in-house session
    • Attendance at governor induction
    • Reduced rate (£15 per person) to attend group training
    • Access to our suite of online learning courses

    Full details of the training courses and how to book a place are available: Governor training courses or email training@hertsforlearning.co.uk

    Please contact the training team at training@hertsforlearning.co.uk with 3 potential dates (ideally at least 6 weeks in advance*) and details of the selected training course.

    *In- house training requested less than 6 weeks in advance are subject to trainer availability

    The Chairs’ Training consists of ‘Becoming an Effective Chair’ and the ‘Chair’s Advanced Training’.  It is suitable to all Chairs – Chairs of Governors or Trustees; Vice Chairs or Chairs of Committees and Local Academy Bodies.  It is essential that BEC is undertaken before CAT. 

    The Chairs’ Training focuses on Leaderships, Relationships and Strategy.  BEC looks at these themes and how they relate to the 3 main roles of governance –

    1. Vision

    2. Holding the School to Account and

    3. Finance

    It is recognised that Chairs of Governors will come from all walks of life – some will seem very au fait with attending and running meetings, others will not.  Becoming an Effective Chairs brings everyone together on the same page. 

    CAT consists of several sessions – Being a Reflective Leader/ Communication and Report Writing/ Dealing with Difficult People and Courageous Conversations/ Coaching and Mentoring/ Leading and Managing Team GB/ Mediation / Change Management/ Investigations and Panels.  Whilst Chairs are encouraged to dip in and book whatever course they feel would be supportive and meet their needs – the whole course is recommended as the learning is cumulative and each sessions builds on the previous session.

    From September 2019 all Chair’s training will be revamped, updated and on-line and blended opportunities will also be available.

    If you purchase our Clerking Service you do not need to purchase the training and support package separately as this is included. You would only need the Clerk’s training and support service if your school has its own Clerk who would like access to specific clerks’ training, clerks’ networks, helpdesk support, suggested agenda items and the clerk’s handbook.

    All local authority maintained schools have access to the standard package, which enables the clerk to governors to maintain details for the board.  Where a school has upgraded to the premium package, this enables access to all board members and a number of other features – details can be found at

    www.hertsforlearning.co.uk/business-services/governance/governance-support/governorhub

    £75 for a maintained school in Hertfordshire – full details can be found at Governor Hub.

    HASG is an independent third party organisation supporting and informing school governors, ensuring their views are heard and promoting high standards of school governance; HfL work in partnership with the HASG. More information about HASG can be found at www.hertsgovernors.org.

    Hertfordshire Internet and Connectivity Services (HICS)

    Please note that schools who have purchased HICS will have an end user agreement that finishes on 1st September 2020. The agreement was signed in 2017 for three years.

    You are able to cancel the connectivity, however you will still be liable for the costs up to the 1st September 2020.

    Yes; although this depends on technical factors about the school and would have to be discussed directly with the HICS team. The contact is Kevin Crawley at kevin.crawley@hertsforlearning.co.uk.

    The school will pay a fixed price for the connection based on the speed of the connection and a per pupil cost (£8.39). The ‘Per Pupil Cost’ is used to calculate the Total Pupil Cost by multiplying the ‘Per Pupil Cost’ by the number of pupils attending the school/academy/setting, according to the autumn term pupil census. This Total Pupil Cost is then added to the annual Connection Charges to ascertain the Total Annual Service Charges to the Customer.

    HR Services

    They both contain the same support except the Full HR service allows for the additional benefits of:

    • HR support in agreed face to face meetings to support school leaders address sensitive employment topics (Core service is remote only)
    • implementation support for planned restructure/change project, with attendance at agreed stages/briefings
    • HR adviser support in formal meetings including potential terminations, appeals and most scenarios where a sanction could be imposed

    The cost is calculated per employee. The Core service is £22 per person and the Full service is £25 per person.

    The costs are based on a full time equivalent (FTE) member of staff; therefore if you have two members of staff, both at a 0.5 contract, the school would be charged for one FTE employee.

    HfL are launching an OH support services; details are being sent to schools separately.

    ICT Services

    Please note: where there is a technical or logistical issue this would need to be dealt with by the ICT team directly due to the complexity and specific subject knowledge needed. Please contact the service desk on 01438 845111.

    A full breakdown has been sent electronically to the school (Headteacher, Chair of Governors and SBM) within the contract services pack.

    No. The data management service is separate to the ICT services contract and is reflected on a separate line on the contract.

    This service is part of the ICT services team and will be detailed in the ICT services breakdown where applicable.

    Teach in Herts

    No. The Teach in Herts service is to support schools in Hertfordshire only.

    The school will have a log-in on the Teach in Herts website (www.teachinherts.com).

    'The work to establish HfL and to take it through its first couple of years of operation has been well done and the efforts by the team are much appreciated. There seems to be a genuine commitment to listening to the customer and this is useful for schools but will also ensure that there is a strong future for us all. Thank you for the work to date – much appreciated.'

    'We are fortunate to have Herts for Learning – so many counties have very little. The support from HIPs, the teaching and learning advisors and the other support systems is particularly useful. Initiatives to provide assessment materials are also something Herts for Learning does well.'

    Contact details