GOVAS works closely with the Stockport Children and Young People Directorate, but we are a fully independent association of governors affiliated to the equally independent National Governors Association. Every governor in Stockport is automatically a GOVAS member (as long as your institution pays their subscriptionof £10.00 PA)and our Management Committee is made up exclusively of serving volunteer governors in Stockport’s schools – nursery, primary secondary and special. Our biggest strength is our links with all the school governors in Stockport through our newsletter, special communications, and this website.
GOVAS MEETING FOR ALL GOVERNORS THURSDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 7-9pm
GOVAS had arranged a meeting open to all governors in Stockport to provide an early opportunity for you to meet and hear from our new interim Director of Educational Services, Steve Nyakatawa. Steve will outline his and the Council's priorities over the year ahead, with a particular emphasis on Special Educational Needs. Steve was joined by colleagues from the service, including Cathy Lyall, lead officer for SEND. <- Link to the powerpoint presented on the evening - Click Here ->
The meeting included a short GOVAS AGM. Governors interested in joining the GOVAS committee can contact us above.
GOVAS will also be organising its annual conference in partnership with the Local Authority in March next year. Details will follow, but the anticipated date is Saturday 28th March ( 9am-1pm).
Best wishes for a successful year governing,
Andy Kent ( outgoing GOVAS Chair)
NEWSLETTER 30 – July 2019
The Schools’ Forum (an elected group of Head teachers, Principals, Governors and other associated members) is the key decision making and consultative group required by DfE regulation which oversees/governs all financial and administrative matters relating to the Schools Budget financed by the dedicated schools grant (DSG).
The roles and responsibilities of the Schools’ Forum can be found in the new short guide recently updated by the DfE in March 2015
The DfE has identified as part of their review of Schools’ Forum that effective best practice relating to Schools’ Forum and its operational duties includes communication to all the wider stakeholder audience of the business matters discussed and decisions made. (i.e. ensuring all decisions made at forum are duly recorded and shared).
To enhance communication with the wider school audience, the Local Authority will produce a brief overview newsletter of the discussions/views, decisions made and agreed actions in relation to all business matters after each meeting and distribute to stakeholders via the following means:
- Office on-line;
- Council’s web-site (see below link);
- Govas web-site;
- Schools Finance monthly newsletter; and directly
- To all Schools’ Forum members
Welcome to the 30th edition of the Schools’ Forum Newsletter……..
In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools’ Forum meeting held on 11 July 2019 particularly; DFE SEND Call for Evidence consultation, 2020/21 Local Formula (Primary), DSG Review and Schools’ Forum membership. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site in due course, see section 8 below.
Schools’ Forum Meeting 11 July 2019 – Key Points
- MATTERS ARISING PREVIOUS MINUTES
Item 7 School Places – further discussions have taken place via the SMP board and additional information will hopefully be available early in the new academic year.
Item 10 DSG Review – Actions resolved and further verbal update provided (see section xx below)
Item 11 School Insurance Scheme – An update will be provided at the September 2019 meeting on the matters arising.
Item 13 SFVS – Training dates have been set up for the autumn term as below:
30 September – Annual Introduction to SFVS (New Governors/School Staff)
16 October (10am – 12 Noon 2 x 1hr sessions) – SFVS update and introduction to the new dashboard.
NEWSLETTER 29 – May 2019
Welcome to the 29th edition of the Schools’ Forum Newsletter……..
In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools’ Forum meeting held on 23 May 2019 particularly; School Places, SEN monitoring, DSG 2018/19 Outturn, 2018/19 Final School Balances, SFVS, DSG Review and School Insurance Schemes 2018/19 outturn. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site in due course, see section 11 below.
Schools’ Forum Meeting 23 May 2019 – Key Points
- MATTERS ARISING PREVIOUS MINUTES
Jon Roper (Primary HT) raised matter of published minutes not presenting a full and clear picture of the meeting discussions/debate undertaken – LA officers to feedback to democratic services.
Education Healthy Schools Capital fund:
Discussion took place in relation to LA decision making/process and final determination of how funding to be distributed – LA officers to provide further update/report on progress/final spend and address any further SF member queries raised in due course.
“School Governance in Changing Times: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities"
This took place on the 23rd of March, details on all the workshop slides - follow the links below
- Changes to schools finance and impact on governance
- SEND processes and outcomes in your school - What should governors be doing?
- Wellbeing/emotional health
- New Ofsted framework
- Curriculum evaluation and challenge - Intention , Implementation, Impact(primary)
- Organising good governance; options for effective practice
Chairs, and governors, may or may not be aware that the both primary and secondary Stockport headteachers' consortia are promoting "A Day of Positive Action by Stockport Schools" on Friday 12th October 2018. The aim is to highlight the impact on childrens' education of the funding pressures all schools are facing in the Borough, with Stockport continuing to be one of the lowest funded Council's for schools in England. A letter from Stockport headteachers will be in your school (copy here), and they are hoping heads will encourage parents to write to and talk to their local MP to share their views and any concerns.
GOVAS has been asked to encourage Chairs and governors to discuss the day of positive action with their headteacher and be supportive of suitable school based consideration of how to best raise the concerns about school funding, and look further into how more funds could and would enhance the learning experiences for our children.
Andy Kent ( GOVAS CHAIR)
Last July, the secretary of the Stockport National Association of Headteachers (NAHT),Jim Nicholson, asked to meet with GOVAS representatives to share some issues about governors and governance raised by Stockport Heads over the previous twelve months.
The context for this discussion?
Stockport NAHT concerns about: headteacher workload and work life balance ; occasionally that governors are felt to behave inappropriately, or lack commitment to or understanding of the role the governor role; the extraordinary complexity and turbulence in education policy at a national level, with all the ensuing strains and tensions and challenges this brings to each school. (Yes, some opportunities also). To find out more about the matters raised and the GOVAS response please follow this -CLICK HERE-
End of school year update from GOVAS- July 15th 2018
HMI Anne Seneviratne gave a highly thought provoking and very well received presentation on Ofsted's latest thinking on the curriculum at the GOVAS AGM and Summer term meeting held at Priestnall school earlier this month. Slides from the presentations are available -here-.
Anne began with a summary of the Ofsted report on " Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years", and then moved on to summarise the progress Ofsted had made to date in rethinking its approach to the curriculum for all schools , in part in preparation for the anticipated new inspection framework for schools, to be introduced in September 2019.-click this link for details-
Amongst the key messages was the central importance of "mutually respectful" primary- secondary partnerships, which required strong headteacher leadership and commitment and an associated professional understanding of pupils prior learning in KS2. Governors. She said "some North West LAs" ( Stockport included) have been actively seeking to support and challenge leaders to develop and deepen their focus on transition, in particular around pupil learning, and that Ofsted itself is focussing more closely on this and looking for evidence at secondary level of KS3 being given high priority by headteachers. Governing Boards need to be involved in this.
For a while now, the new Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman (HMCI) has been stressing the importance of a broadly-based curriculum , and this message came through very strongly in the second half of the presentation, reflecting Ofsted’s ongoing work on the inspection framework. “The curriculum is going to be massive”, Anne said , stressing that the September 2019 new inspections will have “…at their heart …[the] school’s curriculum”. Literacy (especially),“ The gateway to all learning”) and mathematics remain fundamental, but rote learning is to be avoided and the links between subjects emphasised. She added that findings from Ofsted’s recent school curriculum survey had shown weaknesses in curriculum knowledge and expertise, a narrowing of the offer to pupils, ‘teaching to the test’, and real concerns about social justice. This latter point was a theme throughout the evening, with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds more likely to be heavily reliant on school input, rather than from family and friends. Some secondary schools decision to reduce KS3 to 2 years was a real concern for Ofsted we were told, raising issues of “…equity, entitlement, and [premature] student subject choices.” Schools continuing to opt for a 2-year KS3 can expect heavy scrutiny in any inspection.
Rather than a “ broad and balanced” curriculum discourse, perhaps we should be thinking of it needing to be “deep and rich”, and considering the knowledge we wish children to acquire.
In responding to questions, Anne acknowledged the difficulties many schools were facing in teacher supply, especially in the secondary sector, and that the renewed emphasis on foundation subjects and cross curricular themes creates challenges for subject leaders, especially in the primary sector. Indeed governors need to consider exactly what being a “subject lead” means in practice and how leads can be appropriately supported to make the role “real”, as it needs to be. She concluded by leaders and governors need to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of their curriculum offer- “ is it doing what you set out to do? “
GOVAS Committee Update
One new member was elected, Dayan Atenyam (Norbury Hall Primary school),and
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