End of Another year

End of another year
Dear Colleagues/Governors,

Firstly, a big thank you to all of you who attended our conference,“Education For All: the Implications for School Structures & Governance in Stockport”, in October. To get over 130 governors, trustees and senior leaders was a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the desire of everyone connected with our schools to keep up-to-date and look at ways to improve our practice. The feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive and it was good to see that a great many of you intended to go back and share your thoughts with your governing boards.The Conference also highlighted the high regard that the LA is held by many of our schools and this is something that we should celebrate. All the presentations are available  -Here-

One of the key themes to come out of the day, both through the speakers and the feedback, was the need for schools to collaborate more. As one of the comments we received stated: “Collaboration is what good schools do”. This flows nicely into the aim of the Stockport Governors’ Conference, to be held at Marple Hall School on Saturday 11th March. The Conference title is “The School-Led System: where are we now?” which will be looking at examples of how schools work together effectively in Stockport and what lessons we can learn. Further details will be released in the New Year regarding the workshops and key note speaker, but please make a note of the date now.

Last week saw the release of the Education and Skills Annual Report by Ofsted. Much was made of the north-south divide in terms of educational performance, but it is still reassuring to know that Stockport is performing above the national average in both primary and secondary sectors and that the percentage of children in good or outstanding schools also continues to increase (93% of our primary children, an increase of 3% from 2015; and 75% of our secondary children, an increase of 1%, were in good or outstanding schools). Stockport was also represented in the Sunday Times Top 250 Primaries (Ludworth, Queensgate and North Cheshire Jewish) and Secondaries (Cheadle Hulme High School), so congratulations to all involved with them.

It is not all plain sailing however, and there is evidence that Ofsted is casting a bit of a spotlight on our area. As governors and trustees, it is essential that we know our schools’ strengths and weaknesses and to work with our senior leaders to move our schools forward. We also need to think how we can work with our fellow governors throughout the area. A comment that we hear at every event we put on, is how good it is to meet and talk to other governors. Well, that doesn’t need to be restricted to conferences and training sessions and there is evidence that this is starting to happen more throughout Stockport. There is now a Stockport Special Schools Alliance and an existing group covering The Heatons is looking to further develop it’s practice, and we will bring you more news on these and hopefully encourage you to set up your own groups. There is a lot of evidence concerning the benefits of collaboration and we will continue to promote this, continuing with the conference in March.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

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 admin@govas.org.uk

Follow us on twitter