Policy Review Schedule

How can you make your annual policy review schedule more efficient and less autumn term heavy?
The Problem

When I was a Head Teacher, I remember the Autumn Term Governors meeting was so policy heavy the paperwork was like a phonebook. There are around 30 statutory policies and documents, with the majority having to be reviewed annually, which makes this an essential task. But, I’ve recently realised not all of these documents are time critical so why can’t they be spread across the year?

The good news is, they can! It is worth mentioning at this point that I always worked on the DfE recommended review frequency. Take the Behaviour Policy for example, it is one of many that is statutory but the DfE only “recommend” that this is reviewed annually. I never wanted to be a in position where someone could challenge me by saying, “The DfE recommend this is reviewed annually, can you tell me why you have chosen to do it less regularly?” So, if it’s recommended annually, I did them annually.

It’s only as I have thought about this more that I have realised there are only a few that are time critical. Pupil Premium Strategy (not a policy I know but statutory and must be published) is by Christmas so this must be done in the autumn term; Sports Premium Report (again, not a policy I know!) which must be published by the end of July so a summer term job; Admissions Policy must be published by 15 March so spring term. The rest are pretty flexible.

There are some that I feel should be done toward the beginning of the year so I have included them in the autumn term list and some that I actually think would be better doing in the summer as you are able to reflect on the current year and make any tweaks that may be necessary.

The suggested review schedule below splits these fairly evenly across the year (11 in the autumn, 9 in the spring and 11 in the summer.)

Autumn Term
  • Behaviour in schools
  • Behaviour principles written statement
  • Child protection policy and procedures
  • Children with health needs who cannot attend school
  • Governors’ allowances (schemes for paying)
  • Instrument of government
  • Pupil Premium Strategy
  • Register of business interests of headteachers and governors
  • School complaints
  • Special educational needs and disability
  • Teachers’ pay

Policies in bold are statutory for maintained schools not for academies.

Spring Term
  • Accessibility plan (Every 3 years)
  • Admission arrangements
  • Early career teachers (ECTs)
  • Equality information and objectives (public sector equality duty) statement for publication (Every 4 years)
  • First aid in schools
  • Health and safety
  • Premises management documents
  • Statement of procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff
  • Supporting pupils with medical conditions
Summer Term
  • Capability of staff
  • Careers guidance: details of your careers programme and a provider access statement
  • Charging and remissions
  • Data protection
  • Early years foundation stage (EYFS)
  • Protection of biometric information of children in schools and colleges
  • Relationships education (primary) and relationships and sex education (secondary)
  • School exclusion
  • SEND Information Report
  • Sports Premium Report
  • Staff discipline, conduct and grievance (procedures for addressing)

Obviously, this is something you can re-jig to suit you but hopefully something that you find helpful and achieve a better balance across the year.  

If you need anything else or have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear them, simply fill in the contact form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.  

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