GOVAS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE: REPORT TO THE 2017 AGM
The last 12 months or so have certainly been a challenge for all of us involved in governance. Just over a year ago, the government was indicating that all LA schools would have to become academies by 2022. Forced acadamisation was then off the agenda, although the move to full acadamisation was still the direction of travel. This led to GOVAS’ first conference independent of the LA for several years, which gave Stockport governors an up-to-date picture on government policy, the academy programme, and the importance of schools working together, regardless of the structure. Indeed, the benefit of governors collaborating has been the GOVAS key theme for the last year.
The past year has also seen the introduction of the National Fairer Funding Formula consultation, which quickly dropped the ‘Fairer’ from its title. The formula that eventually emerged would have been slightly advantageous to Stockport, although there would have been many losers and, taking into account the overall lack of new money in the system, all schools would lose in real terms. The current system is not fair to authorities such as Stockport, so it is important that a new formula is introduced, but how, especially given the current political turmoil, this can be passed through without a substantial increase in the overall spending envelope, seems unclear.
Whatever happens to the NFF, it is evident that all schools need to spend the money they have wisely, and part of this process should include how we can work more effectively with other schools. Although volunteers, we have all made a commitment to help improve the life chances of the children in our schools and there is a lot of support and training available to us. GOVAS aims to play a central role in this by:
• Helping governors to support each other
• Sharing good practice and information
• Providing links to training and resources
• Giving a voice to Stockport governors
• Working with others to promote and improve governance in Stockport
This year, we have been more pro-active in providing this support, by putting on the “Education For All” conference in October and the “Effective Financial Management” workshop in July, as well as working alongside the LA to put on the Stockport Governor conference. We also continue to represent Stockport governors on various committees and at meetings with the Primary Headteachers Consortium and others.
We work very much as a team, and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them:
Ian Ritchie, Mike Eveson, Jurgen Roling, Ian Roberts, Robert Twigg, Anne Trafford, Paul Carter, Colin Winder, James Evans, Andy Kent and Anne Rogowski.
We are always on the look out for new members. We are already well represented across the sectors, with the exception of Nursery schools, so we have few specific needs, just willing volunteers who would like to offer something to governance across Stockport. We meet once, or twice, a term, for a couple of hours, usually at the Town Hall. Please contact us through the web‐site, or at the AGM.
Governors Supporting Each Other and Sharing Good Practice and Information
The past year has seen governors and senior leaders within the Heatons and the Special schools sector set up forums to discuss and share best practice and concerns and GOVAS will continue to publicize and support such initiatives.
Providing Links to Training and Resources
GOVAS continues to work closely with the Local Authority and once again, we would like to thank them for their help in the organization and delivery of this year’s Governor Conference. The conference is always incredibly well attended, which is a testament to the dedication and involvement of governors in Stockport.
Giving a Voice to Stockport Governors
We represent governors on many local authority boards and groups to ensure that the governor perspective is put forward, understood and accounted for.
These groups include: Schools Forum; Children’s Trust Board; 14 to19 Board; Looked after Children; Education and Skills Partnership Board; Safeguarding Children’s Board, Online safety group; and School Capacity, Admissions and Places Advisory Group. We have also held meetings with head-teacher groupings and we hold termly meetings with SMBC officers where we have the opportunity to raise governors’ concerns.
Working with others to promote and improve governance in Stockport
We continue to liaise with other governor associations, along with the NGA. In addition, we look outside the normal governance structures to bring in the likes of Prof. Chris James at the annual conference, and working with the National Association of School Business Managers to put of the “Effective Financial Management” workshop.
We look forward to your continued support.