Govas Autumn conference update

Dear Colleagues/Governors,

Education For All: the Implications for School Structures & Governance in Stockport”

Book now for our October conference, at Cheshire Conference & Events, Edgeley Park, on Thursday October 6th, 11am-3.45pm. 

Although the compulsory element of all schools being an academy by 2022 has been removed, it is still the intention of the government that full academisation should be achieved as swiftly as possible. As governors, we therefore need to understand what this new landscape could look like: what levers does the Regional Schools Commissioner have to trigger a forced conversion?; how do you find an existing Muti-Academy Trust, or how do you go about setting up your own?; does joining a MAT mean a loss of local identity?; if we don’t want to convert, what are our options?

To help explain the issues and answer your questions, we will have presentations from Phil Beswick, Vicky Beer (RSC) and Clare Collins (NGA). In addition, we are delighted to welcome Mark Blois who, as well as being a leading educational lawyer, also has extensive experience of being a governor and trustee.

Mark is a Partner and Head of the Education team at Browne Jacobson, a leading national law firm. Mark has almost twenty years’ experience as an education lawyer.  He has been recommended as a Leader in his field in the industry bibles ‘Chambers UK’ and ‘Legal 500’ for more than ten years. In 2015 ‘Chambers UK’ dubbed him “an industry leader” and ‘Legal 500’ described him as “exceptional”. He was named Lawyer of the Year at the Nottinghamshire Law Society Awards in 2012 and designated a National Leader of Governance by the NCTL in 2015.  

He has previously served as a member of the Regional Council of the Learning and Skills Council, as a Director of the National Governors' Association and on the Board of a 157 Group FE College. Mark is currently the Chair of the L.E.A.D Academy Trust, a large academy group in the Midlands and is also a long-standing Teach First mentor. He regularly speaks at national conferences including those of the Association of School & College Leaders, National Association of Head teachers, National Association of School Business Management, National Governors’ Association and the National Association of Special Educational Needs and has been interviewed by BBC Panorama, Radio Four and Sky News. He has contributed over 100 papers, articles and book chapters to education literature on a variety of aspects of education law and has given oral evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

The conference is open to all members of GOVAS. Although we are keen that as many of Stockport schools as possible are represented and we have been encouraging our headteachers to attend, it is up to each governing board to decide who should attend.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 6th.

The conference will be open to 2 governors from each school, on a first-come, first-served basis. We would love to see at least one governor/trustee from each school in Stockport, so please take the opportunity to register now. - and click this link to register -

Best Regards,
Stu Foster
Chair, GOVAS

Become a GOVAS Management Committee Member - 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

Follow us on twitter