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GOVAS CHAIR’S REPORT TO THE AGM THURSDAY September 19th 2019( 6.30pm  for 7pm prompt start ALMA LODGE HOTEL, Buxton Road Stockport.)

This is my second and last annual report as GOVAS chair, as I am stepping down at the AGM, although I will continue as a committee member. I would like to thank GOVAS officers and committee members for their contribution and support over the last two years.

In my 2018 report I said that governors and trustees would “…need no reminding of the continuing challenges we face in in delivering our core functions amid continuing turbulence and uncertainty, much of which in my view is a consequence of the national policy context within which we all operate.”  Thinking about where we are now, I am tempted to use stronger language, but suffice to say, we have a new Secretary of State for Education, and lots of indication from the flurry of recent central Government announcements about schools that Education, and especially the compulsory stages of schooling are seen as a hot political issue. By the end of this school term, and perhaps even the first half term it seems almost certain there will have been a General Election. It seems to me reasonable to anticipate the outcome will have implications for schools one way or another which governors, with headteachers, will need to take account of and  manage risks, seize opportunities, whilst staying true to the school’s vision and ethos. I believe to be effective this has to be via a meaningful partnership approach between governors and headteachers based on mutual respect and recognition of the role of each, and an appreciation that governance and leadership are interlinked.

GOVAS  remains as a forum for governors and trustees in Stockport, a link with the Local Authority, and an organiser, in partnership with the Authority, of an annual Conference , pencilled in this school year  for Saturday March 28th. Officers also continue to meet several times a year with the LA, which allows the opportunity to remind of the key role of governors, one which in my long experience as a governor, and as a former Local Authority Officer working in Education myself ,can be ignored, marginalised or forgotten ; this happens too often when policies and other important issues are under consideration at all levels in the system!

Governing well, making a positive contribution and difference, is in my judgement very challenging indeed, however experienced one may be. It can also be very rewarding.  GOVAS itself is very much seeks fresh blood and fresh eyes  at both committee and officer level. Nomination forms may be accessed on the website or at the AGM

 Andy Kent GOVAS Chair (5th September 2019 )