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.  

 

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) found -here-

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 6th edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter........


In this issue, we are including key points

from the Schools Forum meeting held on 23 September 2014 particularly; Schools Forum, Elections, Terms of Reference, Schools Funding 2015/16 and the Schools Financial Consultation 2014. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site in due course, see section 10 below.
Schools Forum Meeting 23 September 2014 – Key Points
1. Matters Arising from 3 July Meeting minutes

There were no matters arising.

2. Schools Forum – Elections
Report presented as tabled
Discussions: Peter Hughes presented paper which focused on the election process undertaken to recruit and appoint a new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson to begin their term of office from the start of the 2014/15 academic year.
Decisions:
1. The nominations of Paul Carter (Chair) and Ian Roberts (Vice Chair) were accepted and approved unanimously.

Actions: N/A

3. Terms of Reference & Membership
Report presented as tabled
Discussions: The report provided detail of the final Terms of Reference (ToR) document as previously discussed and agreed at the July 2014 Schools Forum meeting.
Further information was provided to members outlining no requirement to adjust any sector representation on the forum in light of the recent school conversions to academy status and an updated membership list was provided detailing all recent changes (please refer to Appendix 2).
Decisions: N/A

Actions:
1. Primary head teacher representatives to discuss membership at the next PHC meeting and inform Peter Hughes of who shall be the 5th member on the Forum.
2. Governor services to conclude current election process to identify new Primary VA school representative.

4. Schools Funding 2015/16
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: The report provided a summary of three key areas:
• 2015/16 funding settlement for local authorities;
• Proposed extension of Pupil Premium grant funding to early years (3 and 4 year olds only); and
• Proposals to fund the two year old offer on a participation basis from April 2015.
Decisions: N/A
Actions:
1. Peter Hughes to provide further updates to SF members on 2015/16 budget issues as appropriate

5. Schools Financial Consultation 2014
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: The report provided details of the draft consultation document and sought views of Schools Forum members prior to distribution for formal consultation.
A discussion took place relating to a series of issues, including:
• Purpose of further consultation;
• Lack of Information/knowledge of consultation being launched;
• Challenge relating to on-going commitment to review formula and principle drive to move further funding to the basic entitlement formula factor; and
• The Resourced Provision model / plan.

Decisions: N/A

Actions:
1. Schools Forum members requested an additional appendix to be included in the consultation document that illustrated the individual school impact of change since the school funding reforms were implemented in April 2013 and the subsequent changes following consultation(s); (including the 2015/16 proposals).
2. LA officers to reflect and consider views and issues raised by forum members ahead of distributing the final consultation document.

6. 0-25 SEND Reform
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: Report provided to ensure all forum members have information/overview of the key issues/changes relating to the 0-25 SEND Reform following the introduction of the new Children and Families Act 2014.

Decisions: N/A

Actions: N/A

7. The Schools and Early Years Finance Regulations 2014 consultation
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: Report provided all forum members with details of the proposed amendments to the Schools and Early Years Regulations 2014 as detailed in the consultation document launched by the DfE in August 2014.

Decisions: N/A

Actions:
1. Schools Forum members approved the draft response provided at Appendix 2 be submitted as a joint LA/Schools Forum response.

8. Schools Forum – Schedule of Meetings and Training
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: N/A

Decisions / Actions approved: N/A

9. Any Other Business:
N/A

10. 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 here - :

11. Schools Forum Contacts:

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

Schools Forum Chair:
Paul Carter – Governor at St James School paul.carter230aatntlworld.com

Schools Forum Service Director:
Phil Beswick, Services to People Directorate phil.beswickatstockport.gov.uk

Schools Forum Finance Officer:
Peter Hughes, Group Accountant, Schools Peter.hughesatstockport.gov.uk