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.  


Dear Colleagues,

Firstly, thank you to all of you who attended the recent 2016 Stockport Governor Conference. This was the best attended conference that we have hosted with the LA, which was one of our key objectives. Considering we clashed with the NGA North West Regional Conference (attracting some 50% more delegates!), this was an impressive turnout. See to the right (image)- opening of the conference by Phil Beswick (director of education)

Unfortunately, we fell well short on another one of our aims, which was to get representation from every governing board in Stockport. Undertaking continuing ‘professional’ development should be a key part of being a governor/trustee and we will continue to encourage representation from as many governing bodies as possible at these events. The expectation on governance in the White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, will only reinforce this.
We have yet to fully analyse the feedback from the conference, but what was expressed to us on the day was overwhelmingly positive and we hope that you all found it useful. We would welcome any additional comments that you would like to make through the website.


The main issue for us all as governors is obviously the recent White Paper, referred to above. Even if you oppose the academisation of the school system and intend to campaign against it, no governing board can ignore the issue. This is going to bring about a seismic change to the educational landscape and the sooner you start discussing it and making plans to deal with it the better. The theme of the conference was ‘Better Together’ and we made sure that one of the workshops focussed on schools working together, because that is the future we are facing. It is extremely unlikely that any school that has not yet converted will be able to do so on their own. They will either have to convert as a group of schools, or join an existing Multi Academy Trust, so it would be much better to plan for this than to have a ‘solution’ imposed on you.

We will continue to monitor this and provide updates when necessary, but in the meantime, would recommend you read this briefing document on the White Paper (here) (if you are a member of the NGA, they also have a briefing document on their site). Directly in terms of governance, this is what the White Paper sets out:

A number of measures aimed at strengthening the quality of governance are included in the White Paper. The DfE will:

  • Set even stronger expectations on governing boards to fill skills gaps and to ensure that all those governing are properly inducted and undertake continuing profession development.
  • Develop a new competency framework for governance.
  • Establish a database of all governors - and legislate to bar ‘un

    The DfE supports voluntary trusteeship but raises idea that in the future larger MATs may seek to remunerate the chair of their board.suitable’ individuals from governing in maintained schools (this is already possible in academies).

    Something for us all to ponder on!








Chair of Govas (Stu Foster) with Cllr. Shan Alexander, presenting her with flowers for all the work she has done for schools and Governors in Stockport as an Executive Councillor. Shan is stepping down from this role next month, but will continue as a governor.

Best Regards,
Stu Foster