Govas - Half Term Update

Dear Colleagues/Governors,

After the spike in correspondence leading up to the Conference, we felt it was only fair to give you a break from GOVAS for a few weeks, but we have not been idle and are already well underway with our plans for next year’s conference and for GOVAS sponsored workshops. This year’s conference was once again full and the feedback overwhelmingly positive. It is an unparalleled opportunity to not only get free training on topical issues, but the chance to network with other Stockport governors. Alternatively, you could just come for the brunch! One of the issues we will be looking to address in advance of next year’s conference will be how to attract the 20% of our schools that do not attend. We will be writing to the Chairs of these schools in due course, but we would welcome comments from governors where no-one from their governing boards attended, as to the reasons why and what we could do to make it more likely that they will attend in future.

Keeping on the percentages theme, Stockport currently has a 10% vacancy level across all governing boards. GOVAS is working on initiatives, both on its own and in partnership with the LA, to try to increase the pool of potential governors, but part of the solution could lie within the current membership.  An appeal therefore to any governors who are able, and willing, to serve on an additional governing board, to please consider doing so. If you think that this may be for you, contact us through the GOVAS website or speak to your clerk.

Teachers Pay - this time last year, there was a great deal of concern that governors were facing a never-ending series of appeals over pay awards to teachers. The reality, thankfully, has been the opposite, with just two appeals across all the schools supported by the LA HR team. Initial analysis has shown pay progression roughly in line with expectation (performance), with a few schools where there has been no pay progression, linked to the schools’ performances. Early days, but it seems to be working.

Stockport Family - we brought you news at the end of last year on Stockport’s successful ‘Innovation Bid’, and Andrew Webb provided an update at the Conference. Whilst there is a social work emphasis, the focus is very much on shared outcomes, so social workers will consider Teaching & Learning outcomes, with teachers thinking about the social care aspects. The consequences of the planned changes are:

Three additional social work teams have been set-up and there is a focus on better supporting early intervention. The first phase is taking place in the Heaton and Tame valley locality; the integration of services for Stepping Hill/Victoria will take place from October; and in Cheadle/Bramhall and Marple/Werneth from April 2016.

The programme will be independently evaluated and we have asked specifically for evidence on the impact on schools and will continue to provide updates as we get them.

The GOVAS Family - we are a happy and contented bunch, but we could do with a few more friends. We meet three, or four, times a year, usually at the Town Hall. Our main visible event is the conference, but we also meet with council officers once a term and represent governors on a number of committees and we are looking to establish workshops/seminars to complement the LA training programme. To join the management committee, you do not need to have been a governor for over ten years, have a beard, or wear sandals. You do not need to be a Chair of governors, or even aspire to be. We just want governors who are prepared to give up a bit more of their time; to provide a fresh outlook; and to be able to speak up for governors within and outside of Stockport. Please contact us through

Enjoy half-term!

Many thanks!

Stu Foster
Chair, GOVAS

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