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Policy review cycle: guidance and template
How often do school policies have to be reviewed? We have created a policy review schedule you can use to monitor the review cycle of statutory policies and documents, based on Department for Education guidance. We also relay advice on reviewing policies where the frequency is not specified.
- KeyDoc: policy review schedule
- Advice on the review frequency of policies
KeyDoc: policy review schedule
We have created a KeyDoc which sets out the required statutory policies and documents schools need to have.
For each one, the KeyDoc sets out how often the policy/document must be reviewed and allows you to indicate when each policy is due for review at your school.
The KeyDoc also sets out:
- Which types of schools are required to have each policy/document
- The level of approval required
You can modify the document to suit your setting by:
- Adding additional rows if you want to track non-statutory policies
- Deleting rows that do not apply to your school type
Most of the policies in the KeyDoc are set out in the Department for Education's (DfE) list of statutory policies for schools, but some are set out in other statutory guidance. You can read more about this in our article about statutory policies and documents.
Please not that we have not included home-school agreements in the KeyDoc above. Despite still being included in the DfE's guidance, this is no longer a statutory requirement (as of 1 January 2016).
Advice on the review frequency of policies
A representative from the governor support team at One Education told us that for policies where a governing board is free to determine the review frequency, it should look at each policy at least every 1 to 3 years.
[One Education] recommends an annual review of key policies, even if no changes have to be made
She recommends an annual review of key policies, even if no changes have to be made.
She added that policies should be reviewed if new legislation requires changes to be made.
Suggested review frequency: expert advice
Our associate education expert, Harry James, explained that the review frequency of policies that do not have a specified review date will depend on the context and needs of each school.
In the KeyDoc below, Harry has suggested things to consider when deciding how often to review these policies and documents. The KeyDoc also includes Harry's examples of review frequencies, which are intended as a guide only.
Harry also said that schools should be prepared to update their policies more frequently in response to changes to legislation, guidance on best practice, or local authority/academy trust strategy.
Please note: we are in the process of updating the above document to add in some additional policies in due course.
Our associate education expert, Fred Birkett, recommended that all other policies not included in the DfE's statutory list should be reviewed at least once every 3 years.
He agreed that key policies may need to be reviewed more frequently, and a governing board should always be aware of changes in legislation that may require the policy to be updated.
Fred Birkett is an experienced teacher and education consultant. He has been a governor for 20 years in primary and secondary schools and a chair of governors for half that time.
Harry James is a national leader of governance. He is currently chair of governors of a primary school in London, and is part of the steering group for an academic research project looking at school accountability and stakeholder education.
This article was updated in response to a question from a member of a medium-size primary school in London.
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