About Govas

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.  

 

Please rate on a scale of 1-5

(5 excellent – 1 poor)

Pre- conference organisation

4.8

Workshop

  • Transition
  • Primary Assessment
  • Secondary Assessment
  • Competency Framework
  • Holding school leaders to Account
  • SEND

4.45

4.6

4.6

4.2

3.6

4.7

Keynote speech

4.8

Q and A session

4.2

Venue overall

4.85

Refreshments

4.75

What was the most useful aspect of the conference for you?

Workshop                 27 delegates

Networking               27 delegates

Keynote speech       12 delegates

Table discussion       11 delegates

Opening speech       4 delegates

All of it!                     3 delegates

“Even better if……” What could we do to make future conferences better?

More discussion                       10 delegates      

Longer workshops                     9 delegates

2 workshops                            6 delegates

More frequent conferences       3 delegates

Shorter food queue                   3 delegates                

More networking opportunities 2 delegates

Improved lighting in the hall     2 delegates

Any other comments?

Positive

  • Best GOVAS conference so far
  • Thanks to everyone – the whole day was fantastic
  • Liked the idea of drop in information sharing sessions
  • Thanks an excellent conference
  • May thanks – well planned!
  • Thank you for a fantastic conference
  • Thanks team
  • Thank you – having not been on a governor conference for a long time, this has given me a lot of food for thought about how important being a governor is and what I can offer to not only my, but other schools.
  • Thank you to GOVAS members and all who took part in the organisation and running of the conference
  • Thank you for a great morning
  • Thank you – I enjoyed it!
  • Thank you for keeping the motivation going!
  • My first conference as a new governor and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Found it extremely informative and beneficial.
  • Saturday morning is a good choice for most governors. Thank you team Stockport for another great, well organised conference.
  • Thank you to GOVAS for all your work in organising the event and keeping us up to date with the news throughout the year it is much appreciated.
  • I have now attended a number of GOVAS conferences and each time I have come away more enthused by what I have learned and from the other governors whom I have met. These have all been great events and this year is no exception. Many thanks.
  • Excellent event every year – keep doing it!
  • My first conference with GOVAS – I thought it would be a bit dry, I was very pleasantly surprised and relieved(!) to find out how inspiring and informative it was.
  • Preferred the round table set up to previous years
  • Liked the round table format – last year it was difficult to take notes
  • Hugely appreciative of the work that goes into making this event so useful and informative – thank you!
  • We were asked about collaboration as governors – would like to have details / list of other local governors to help facilitate this – possibly a forum?
  • Always find these GOVAS conferences to be very worthwhile and informative
  • Thanks for organising this morning again
  • Another fantastic event – well done and thank you
  • Thank you – it’s a great day!
  • It was very good overall
  • Excellent organisation
  • Great conference – well done and thanks to everyone for organising
  • Liked being round a table for the main discussion
  • Q and A session good, but with time so tight, missing it out wouldn’t have been the end of the world!
  • I haven’t attended one of these previously and was pleasantly surprised by what I have heard and seen today. Thanks to all involved in the organisation of the event and for the opportunity

 

Dear Colleagues,

It’s that time of year when X-Factor, I’m A Celebrity and Strictly have all finished and we enter into the season of Endless Repeats. At GOVAS, we like repeats however, so you can expect us to keep raising the issue of school funding and schools collaborating more formally. We recently met with one of our local MPs to discuss the fairer funding issue and you can read about this on the web-site, along with details on the debate at Westminster covering this. Our local MPs are certainly standing up for Stockport in this debate and it is important that we do the same, collectively and individually, at every opportunity.


Collaboration with other schools is one way that we can make our resources go further, but it offers so much more than that, not least in raising attainment in our schools. Talking to people nationally, there seems to be a fear of being ‘taken over’ preventing formal groupings, whether through Federations or Multi-Academy Trusts, whereas the discussions should be about what is the best route forward for the children.

Up until two weeks ago, Stockport had not received any inspections under the new Ofsted framework. I suppose that is good, as it gives the opportunity to get feedback from those areas that have, but i think sometimes the wait for Ofsted can be worse than the actual inspection. If you are confident about where your school is and have asked all the right questions (see 20 Questions), then it should be plain sailing!


If you are not sure, however, then make sure you attend the Stockport Governors Conference on Saturday 12th March, where the keynote speaker will be someone who has been closely involved in the new framework. There will also be workshops on the benefits of collaboration and finance/fairer funding. Unlike on the tv, where they use repeats because they are cheap, we will keep repeating these issues because they are among the most important ones facing us at the moment as governors.

Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and

Best Wishes from us all at GOVAS!

 

 

Schools forum Newsletter 13 December 2015
Schools forum Newsletter 13 December 2015

 

 

Schools forum Newsletter 13 December 2015
Schools forum Newsletter 13 December 2015
Govas meets –> William Wragg MP

Dear Colleagues,


As thoughts turn to the beach, or more likely, to what to do with the kids/grandkids when it's lashing down with rain outside, just remember, only half a term to go. It wasn't that long ago that the summer term was referred to as the 'quiet' term for governance. Not any more! Are you on track to publish your School Local Offer by September? For Primary governors, is everything in place for Universal Free School Meals? Have you started to look at how you will reconstitute your governing body (i know some schools have already done this, so perhaps they would like to share their experiences with the rest of us)? Have you worked out what the latest funding formula change means to your school budget? The list goes on, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that the New National Curriculum starts in September for Primaries!
Some of these issues are covered in the LA mid-term update, but here are a few points.

School Local Offer - Ian Ritchie, GOVAS, was part of the working party that considered the School Offer and there is a brief introduction to it on the web-site (link), along with the guidance document. For governors, as well as ensuring that the school publishes the offer in time, it is important for you to consider how you get involved in the process.

Universal Free School Meals - The LA has received £647k for maintained schools, against a projected £1.5 million to provide catering and dining facilities to cope with the increased uptake in school meals. Schools would have to fund the first £4k themselves and then 20% of any sum above this. Schools that do not currently have kitchen facilities, or need a considerable amount of work doing, are being looked at separately. The problem is that despite being told that letters have gone out to schools advising them of the process and the amounts that they are estimated to need to spend, this has still not been done (if your school has received a letter, please let us know). VA schools are receiving their money on a pupil pro-rata basis, and academies likewise. It is up to the LA to decide how it distributes the money, but our concern is that it is not reaching the schools quickly enough. GOVAS will continue to push this issue, but would welcome feedback from colleagues as to how they are approaching this.

Governing Body reconstitution - the recent National consultation led to the expected result, and all maintained schools will need to reconstitute by September 2015. Rather than moan about this, we need to embrace it and work out what it could mean for our individual bodies and how it can be used as a vehicle to improve the work of the governing body. The intention is to get people on the governing body with the right skills, although where you find these people is a different matter, particularly for schools in more deprived areas. There is help at hand, however. Last week, NGA was part of a launch of a new initiative, the Inspiring Governors Alliance (link to release below). The trick will be to turn the words into actions, but this is something that we fully support and, again, we would welcome comments on any initiatives that you have used to find new members.

Funding Formula - you will now know that the proposed National Fairer Funding Formula has been deferred to April 2016 at the earliest. Also, the £350m fund to help the most poorly funded areas will not be helping Stockport schools (but will be helping many, seemingly, better funded authorities). So we have to carry on with what we have. The latest revision of the local funding formula was one of the main issues on the '3 Challenges' survey that we recently conducted. The schools that were losing out were facing hard financial choices, and the schools that were gaining were facing hard financial choices - no-one is happy! Comparing Stockport to the national picture throws up some interesting facts:


Basic Entitlement - the level is approx. £8m below the national average
Deprivation (FSM) - Stockport currently allocates 9%, the national average is 4.6%, of the local formula.
Deprivation (IDACI) - we are approx. £3m below the national funding average
SEN Prior Attainment - £1.2m above the national average


Lump Sum - we are above the national average for primaries, but below for secondaries.
Over the next couple of months, School Improvement and Finance Officers will assess and reflect on this data, and decide whether to propose any further changes to the local funding formula. So, for those of you suffering from consultation withdrawal, hope is on the horizon.

The issues raised from the '3 Challenges' survey are on the web-site, and many of the challenges were covered by the workshops at the Governor Conference but, short of trying to give an answer to each individual issue, we are still evaluating how best to use this information to improve governance in Stockport. We have shared the information with the LA and we will continue to work with them to achieve this aim. One of the main themes to emerge from the conference was the demand for more workshop/networking events, and this is something that we are looking to develop over the coming year.

Enjoy half-term!

Yous can read this article on our website -here-

Stu Foster
Chair, GOVAS

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 published by the DfE (November 2013)- found here -

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 2nd edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter........


In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 21 January 2014 particularly;

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 published by the DfE (November 2013) - found here -
http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding/schoolsforums/a0070290/guidance-for-schools-forums-on-their-role

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

The New National Curriculum with Lynn Perry, Senior School Improvement Advisor and Moira Rayner Principal Primary Advisor Fully Booked

This workshop will cover the statutory changes effective from September 2014 and those which will come into force a year later in September 2015. The impact of these changes mean schools need to review how they deliver and organize the teaching of the curriculum and appropriate CPD for staff. The session will offer opportunities to share experiences so far and exchanging good practice.

"Knowing me, Knowing you" – Aspects of Leadership with Clive Taylor and Graham Hunt, Senior School Improvement Advisors

Clive delivered a workshop at last year's conference - from the session he has taken the issues raised by governors and has produced a useful range of resources to support governors to fulfil your accountabilities by engaging with school leaders in monitoring and evaluating school performance.

Finance for Schools with Peter Hughes - Group Accountant and Simon Finch Strategic Accountant

The Schools Funding reforms implemented initially in April 2013 are the first stage of a national drive by government to move to a new fairer funding formula (NFFF) system from April 2015. National consultation is expected to begin in the spring term 2014. This session will aim to:

• Update governors on the national picture / developments;
• Assess the implications upon Stockport MBC and its schools; and
• Discuss the challenges and issues facing Stockport schools in managing and deploying their resources. 

Governing Body Self Evaluation with Lynne Tommony and Andy Kent - National Leaders of Governance

As schools undertake their own self-evaluation so too should governing bodies. Reflections on how you organize and share the workload, appropriate training to ensure governors are able to understand the importance of data and 'ask the right questions', what impact does the governing body have on outcomes? Have you a succession plan in place? These are just some of the areas that Lynne and Andy will cover during this interactive session.

Innovative use of ICT in schools with Alex Findlay of "The ICT Advisors"

Developments in technology have transformed learning over recent years. An interactive workshop looking at best practice and a glimpse into the future...

"Going forward together" - Parents as Partners with Leading Parent Partnership Award co-ordinators, Gatley Primary School.

An interactive session, looking at what the research tells us, models of good practice and how to work more effectively with parents to develop excellent partnerships in your school.

Conference Schedule


8:45        Registration
9:15        Opening address Phil Beswick, Andrew Webb
9:30        Workshop 1
10:30      Brunch and exhibition
11:25      GOVAS A.G.M
11.45      Workshop 2
12.45      Panel Q&A

 

please click here to read the document provided by the Local Authority