About Govas

GOVAS works closely with the Stockport Children and Young People Directorate, but we are a fully independent association of governors affiliated to the equally independent National Governors Association. Every governor in Stockport is automatically a GOVAS member (as long as your institution pays their subscriptionof £10.00 PA)and our Management Committee is made up exclusively of serving volunteer governors in Stockport’s schools – nursery, primary secondary and special. Our biggest strength is our links with all the school governors in Stockport through our newsletter, special communications, and this website.  


NEWSLETTER 3 – March 2014

The Schools Forum (an elected group of Head teachers, Principals, Governors and other associated members) is the key decision making and consultative group required by DfE regulation which oversees/governs all financial and administrative matters relating to the Schools Budget financed by the dedicated schools grant (DSG).

The roles and responsibilities of the Schools Forum can be found in the new short guide recently published by the DfE (November 2013)

The DfE has identified as part of their review of Schools Forum that effective best practice relating to Schools Forum and its operational duties includes communication to all the wider stakeholder audience of the business matters discussed and decisions made. (i.e. ensuring all decisions made at forum are duly recorded and shared).

To enhance communication with the wider school audience, the Local Authority will produce a brief overview newsletter of the discussions/views, decisions made and agreed actions in relation to all business matters after each meeting and distribute to stakeholders via the following means:

·         Office on-line;

·         Council’s web-site (see below link);

·         Govas web-site;

·         Schools Finance monthly newsletter; and directly

·         To all Schools Forum members

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter……..

In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 20 March 2014 particularly; Education Capital update, amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools and the final 2014/15 Schools Budget update. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site, see section 9 below.

Schools Forum Meeting 20 March 2014 – Key Points

$11.    Education Capital update

Report presented as tabled

Discussions: Stephen Bell presented a paper outlining the Education Capital programme for 2012 – 2016.  This equates to approx. £52m building program across the borough with a further estimated £28m of works to be undertaken and commissioned by the DfE at four more schools via the national Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP).

Decisions: N/A


1.    Stephen Bell to provide a high level summary for Forum members of the income stream levels as outlined in section 2.3 of report; and

2.    Stephen to provide a further update on the capital programme in 12 months.

$12.    Scheme for Financing Schools – 2013 Proposed Amendments

Report presented as tabled

Discussions: The report and discussion focused on the further detail and update provided relating to two specific proposed amendments (cash advances and surplus balances) that did receive a small number of negative responses.


1. All proposed amendments to the Scheme were accepted via the majority vote.


11.    Full Scheme document inclusive of all approved updates to be posted on office on-line and is effective from 1 April 2014.

$13.    2014/15 Budget Update

Report presented as tabled

Discussions: Peter Hughes presented a report providing the final detail of the 2014/15 schools budget financed by the dedicated schools grant (DSG) following discussions and decisions as taken at the previous forum meetings (October 13 – January 14). Further detail and discussion focused on the 2014/15 funding levels for pupil premium grant (PPG), the deployment of capital funding for the universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) initiative and the recent DfE consultation document launched re distribution of an additional £350m from 2015/16 to local authorities following deferral of the implementation of a new national fairer funding formula (NFFF) until April 2016 at earliest.

Decisions: N/A


11.    Schools Forum members to receive further updates on the planned review of the overall construction of the schools budget financed by the DSG.

12.    LA information to be distributed to schools next week re deployment of the UIFSM capital funding.

13.    Peter Hughes to check and confirm arrangements for PPG funding flow to schools re adopted children and children with guardianships due to receive the pupil premium plus funding level in 2014/15.

14.    LA officers to liaise with the Chair of Schools Forum and respond accordingly to the recent DfE consultation document on the additional £350m available in 2015/16.

$14.    2014/15 Annual Pro-forma Toolkit (APT) Return:

Schools Forum members received detail of the final pro-forma submitted to the DfE outlining the final approved local funding formula used to determine the delegated budget share in schools/recoupment academies for 2014/15.


N/A – Report purely an information item only.

$15.    2013 Schools Financial Consultation Update:

Schools Forum members agreed at the last meeting that due to the low level of response received from the primary sector to the 2013 schools financial consultation document a letter would be distributed to all non-respondent schools from the Chair of Schools Forum. The report provided detail of the letter and the schools distributed to for information. A brief update was provided by LA officers in relation to the two responses received to date.


N/A – Report purely an information item only.

Actions approved:

1.    LA finance officers to provide further update on responses at future meeting if appropriate.

$16.    Schools Forum – Schedule of Meetings and Training:

A report was issued detailing the dates of the summer term 2014 meetings, inclusive of the revised date for the May 2014 meeting.

Decisions / Actions approved:

1.    Request from Headteacher representative for LA officers to investigate with DfE options surrounding the de-delegation annual decision making process for specific frontline support services to schools (i.e. behaviour support service and ethnic diversity support

$17.    Appointment of Vice Chairperson:

No proposals or offers received


1.    Item to remain on Schools Forum agenda for each meeting

2.    Section on role of Chair and Vice Chair to be included in the Schools Forum induction training program.

$18.    Any Other Business:

Induction Training

Session to be held on Wednesday 26th March @ Reddish Vale Technology Academy from 4.30pm

Secondary Head teacher representatives

Clarity required in relation to which head teacher is the third representative on the forum.


1.    Secondary sector leaders discuss at their next weekly meeting and update LA on the identified/agreed schools forum member.

$19.    Where do I find Schools Forum Information?

The Schools Forum meetings are held, administered and clerked in accordance with any other council meetings and the minutes are recorded and presented on the councils web-site alongside all Schools Forum business matters (i.e. reports), please find link below:


$110.  Schools Forum Contacts:

Schools Forum Clerk:                                           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Chair:                  

Ian Roberts – Governor at Kingsway School       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Service Director:

Donna Sager, Services to People Directorate     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Finance Officer: 

Peter Hughes, Group Accountant, Schools         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.