Debbie Clapshaw

Head of Governor Support Services, Babcock LDP, Babcock International Group

Debbie joined the Governor Support Team in Devon in 1998 and has led the team since 2005. With a wealth of experience in planning and delivering training to governors over the last 17 years, Debbie has particular knowledge and expertise with regard to advising governing bodies on developing partnership working and facilitating school-to-school support.

Devon’s Governor Support team works with almost 400 schools, supporting 4,500 governors and clerks through the delivery of advice, training and information via a range of media. The well- established team of 7 have 70 years collective experience in delivering the service. The team also works together with a number of very experienced associates, all of whom have a wealth of experience as governors, chairing governing bodies, trainers and facilitators. We also work very closely with key partner organisations, the Diocese of Exeter and our local Devon Association of Governors, with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship.

Devon is recognised nationally in the development of policy, materials and resources for supporting governing bodies to move into formalised partnerships – collaborative arrangements, federations and multi-academy trusts. Debbie was invited to be part of a national reference group in 2007 to help formulate a set of resources for the Department for Education and the National College for Teaching and Leadership. As a Local Authority with a majority of small and rural schools, a focus of the work of the Governor Support Team over the last 8 years has been to ensure that governors are well informed about the options available to them to secure strong leadership and a viable and sustainable school for the future in the community. As a result of our work almost 50% of all Devon schools are already in a formalised partnership arrangement.

In 2010 Debbie worked in partnership with the Devon Association of Primary Headteachers to help to establish a new School Leadership Support Service, working very closely with headteachers and Chairs of Governors to ensure the broader needs of leaders in schools could be supported and addressed.

Debbie is a trained and accredited mediator and has experience in Change Management. Having previously worked in the voluntary sector Debbie also has a deep commitment to ensuring volunteers have access to the information, advice and training they deserve in order to support their role.

Debbie has 20 years’ experience as a school governor and has chaired both a primary and secondary school governing body. Debbie continues to try to practice what she preaches as an associate member of the governing body of her local church primary school in the village where she lives and where her children attended.

  • Headteacher Appraisal and Salary Review:

    Subscriber content: Guidance for governing body Headteacher Appraisal Panels with information they need when carrying out their Headteacher Appraisal and reviewing the Headteacher's salary.

    July 2015

  • Safer Recruitment E-learning Programme

    Make recruitment safe in your school with this 90-minute personnel online training course. It will support your personnel teams to make recruitment safe in your school and deliver HR function in line with your statutory responsibilities

    July 2015

  • Outcomes for Pupils

    Subscriber content: This training pack will provide any experienced governor with the tools they need to deliver this interactive training to their Governing Body in school.

    July 2015

  • Ofsted Short Inspections VIDEO

    This subscriber video explores the key implications of the new Ofsted short inspections for governors in maintained schools, academies and free schools in England.

    October 2015

  • New Ofsted Framework VIDEO

    This subscriber content video outlines the key changes in new Ofsted framework introduced in September 2015. Its focus is on what governors in maintained schools, academies and free schools in England need to know. This video applies to Governors in maintained schools, academies and free schools in England.

    October 2015

  • Academies Financial Handbook - Podcast

    A short audio podcast outlining the key changes that governors and clerks should be aware of, within the September 2015 version of the Academies Financial Handbook.

    October 2015

  • Financial School Performance subscriber podcast

    Financial School Performance subscriber podcast

    February 2016

  • The Prevent Duty - Podcast

    This subscriber podcast explores The Prevent Duty and and what it means to schools. It provides governors and clerks, in maintained schools and academies with a quick, easy-to-understand overview of what governors need to know about Prevent and how to ensure that schools are responding to this vital element of safeguarding.

    March 2016

  • Hot Topics Webinar (April 2016)

    This webinar will focus on current Hot Topics in education, ensuring that governors and clerks are aware of the key developments in legislation, policy and practice, that are specifically relevant to the work of governing bodies in maintained schools, academies, free schools and non-maintained free schools.

    April 2016

  • Safeguarding podcast

    This Better Governor podcast focuses on the key elements of safeguarding in schools and what school governors and clerks need to know about it.

    May 2016

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Hot Topics webinar May 2019

This Better Governor webinar was an opportunity for all those involved in governance, in maintained schools and academies to get up to speed with what is happening in education that is specifically relevant to governors, trustees and clerks. The session was an invaluable preparation for Governing Body and Trust Board meetings this term. This terms topics included: * New Relationship & Sex Education Guidance (DfE) * New Teacher Recruitment Website * New Related Party Transactions reporting requirements for Academy Trusts * New Interactive School Financial Value Standard (SFVS) 2019-20 * DfE funding to schools for Teachers' Pension increases This webinar was facilitated by our governance experts Steve Barker and Linda Waghorn and was a mix of input from them together with opinion polls and questions from governors.