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.  


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 Welcome to the 12th edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter……..

In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 22 September 2015 particularly; Early Years (2 Year Olds), Terms of Reference/Membership update, High Needs Review, 2016/17 Budget and
Budget Planning Software contract. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site in due course, see section 9 below.
Schools Forum Meeting 22 September 2015 – Key Points

1. Matters Arising from 9 July 2015 Meeting minutes

Minutes accepted as true and correct record.
Matters arising are detailed below:

a) School Balances – excessive surplus balance control mechanism
Clarity was sought from a member relating to the minutes published of the 9 July 2015 meeting. The points raised were addressed by the Director for Education and the Schools Finance Manager and Schools Forum members were satisfied the process had been completed and the minutes reflected the previous discussions and further responses to any points raised are detailed in the published minutes of this meeting.
No further action required.

b) Schools Formula Funding – National data
An update was provided further to the May 2015 meeting item on comparison of funding levels applied by other LAs relating to the Looked after Children (LAC) local funding formula factor.

c) Approved deficit budgets
In response to query raised on the above matter as part of minute item 7 of 12 at the 9 July 2015 meeting, the Schools Finance Manager informed Schools Forum members that the LA had approved the setting of a 2015/16 deficit budget at the following schools; (St Annes, Rosehill & Tithe Barn)

d) Schools Budget 2014/15 Final Out-turn
In response to query raised relating to the construction of the LA DSG central reserve held, the Schools Finance Manager informed members that the reserve fund consisted of monies transferred from DSG year-end underspends, Offerton school closing

balances and other ad-hoc funding.

Report presented as tabled
Discussions: Glenda Brocklehurst presented report detailing the effect the growth in uptake of two year olds receiving early education had on the number of 3 & 4 year old children attending mainstream nursery school/classes.
Further discussions took place relating to the possible reasons why there was a reduction in numbers attending LA mainstream school settings.
Decisions: N/A

1. Schools Forum members to note the report; and
2. Glenda to provide a further update once the October 2015 census data had been collated and analysed.

Report presented as tabled
Discussions: The report provided detail/update of the Stockport Schools Forum Terms of Reference document to take effect from the 2015/16 academic year and included proposed amendments for approval and/or to seek clarity on the membership and election process, voting procedures and substitutes.
Discussions were had and updates provided relating to new members and current vacant positions/election processes underway.
1. The proposed amendments were accepted relating to voting procedures and substitutes, with an additional item added re use of white cards for declaring an abstention in any voting matters.

1. Primary and Secondary sector head teachers to discuss the election process detail and report back at next meeting;
2. John Law (Castle Hill) special schools Headteacher to discuss with the wider consortium which head teacher will be long term representative; and
3. Peter Hughes to provide update on all matters at next meeting.

Report presented as tabled
Discussions: The report provided detail on the high needs review undertaken by the Isos partnership and details of the Department for Education (DfE) “call for evidence” responses received to the consultation launched autumn 2014.
Further information is expected from the DfE shortly on the next steps of any further reviews / planned changes and updates will be provided to Schools Forum members in due course.


1. Schools Forum members to note the report;

5. 2016/17 BUDGET
Report presented as tabled.
Discussions: The report provided an update on the 2016/17 revenue funding provided via the dedicated schools grant (DSG) or any other associated funding stream and the details of the 2016/17 budget requirements, plans and timeline.
It was estimated there would be an additional £2.9m of funding for the pupil population increase of 689 pupils, however until such time all the school census data had been received, collated and populated into the updated local funding formula model calculation it was not possible to identify any clear impact on the overall budget position. A further update would be provided at the next meeting.
The 2016/17 DSG settlement was expected to continue on an overall 0% cash settlement basis and included requirement to provide MFG protection to all delegated budget share allocations at -1.5%.
The following comments were made/issues raised:-
• The Ethnic Diversity Service is forecasting to utilise £40,000 of ear-marked reserves to balance the 2015/16 budget, Schools Forum members were therefore informed the de-delegation per pupil rates were likely to increase by approx. £1 per pupil to cover this ongoing cost in 2016/17. Any profit made from the Interpreting Service was maintained to underpin the service;
• No date had yet been set for the Resourced Provision Funding project group;
• The urgency to find out further information on the implementation and funding of the extended 30hours per week offer to some three and four year olds.

1. Schools Forum members supported the LA plans for deployment of any available headroom as detailed at section 8.4 of report.

1. Primary and secondary sector representatives to discuss with their wider sector colleagues the 2016/17 de-delegation items and ensure each sector is in a position to make a final decision at the next meeting.

Report presented as tabled
Discussions: The report detailed the Local Authority’s proposal that the new contract for the budget planning software (BPS) package for schools be offered from April 2016 to the preferred supplier on a “Two plus Two” year basis.
The LA officer outlined the procurement regulations and framework the LA needed to adhere to when commissioning third party contracts on behalf of all schools; and the following comments were made:
• The LA officer time saved from the proposal to the contract offer process proposed was welcomed;
• The current supplier is known to be developing the system to ensure it was more comprehensive and fulfilled all requirements;
• Members commented that any update made to the system should not have a negative impact on the capability of users;
• No members indicated that they wished to be part of the selection process.

1. Schools Forum members supported the LA proposal to offer the contract on a “Two plus Two” year basis from April 2016
Actions: N/A
Report presented as tabled

8. Any Other Business:
No other business matters raised.
9. 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:


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