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.
We had planned for this newsletter to be with you before the half term holiday, but events have overtaken us and so i hope that receiving this does not spoil your break too much!
There has been so much going on in the governing world recently, that sometimes it seems the best way to deal with it is to lock the door and turn off the internet for a couple of weeks, and then wait for the latest initiatives to be ‘u-turned’.
The Education White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, has now been replaced with the ‘Education For All’ Bill. The headline change was the removal of the forced element of the academisation programme. The direction of travel on this has not changed, however. There is still an expectation that all schools will be academies by 2022. GOVAS therefore intends to host a mini-conference in late-September/early-October, to present to governors, trustees and senior leaders the latest position on the bill, which covers much more than just the academisation programme and give the people responsible for governance in stockport the opportunity to discuss and debate, with each other and the guest speakers. The LA will be there to present their position and we have also invited Vicky Beer, the Regional Schools Commissioner. We are looking to add a couple of other speakers and will provide further details when we can. The conference will either be an afternoon, or an evening session and we would initially limit it to two governors from each school. We would strongly encourage headteachers to take up this invitation.
At this stage, we would be keen know the likely interest for this conference, so please register your interest in the email that will follow on and also indicate whether you would prefer an afternoon or evening session. We recognise that an evening would be better for working governors, but a day-time event would help us to attract the best speakers, so it is not an easy choice.
Although the forced academisation programme was removed, there was no u-turn on the removal of the requirement to have parent governors. Many of us would have got into school governance initially as parent governors. Parent governors often have experience and knowledge that other governors and trustees from outside the school do not. If you are of the same opinion, then please support the campaign by the NGA, Parent Councils UK and PTA-UK, to overturn this. A template letter to be sent to your local MP can be found our website and you can tweet your support -Click here for the Template Letter-
I'm against the removal of the requirement for elected parents on school governing boards. http://goo.gl/lm2Rzp #keepparentsgoverning
I support @NGAMedia @PTAUK @fionacarnie to #keepparentsgoverning http://goo.gl/lm2Rzp Please RT
Elected parents are crucial to effective governance please #keepparentsgoverning @educationgovuk http://goo.gl/lm2Rzp RT
The National Governors' Association has once again joined forces with the Times Educational Supplement (TES) to survey the nation’s governors and trustees. Thank you if you've already taken part; so far we've had just over 2600 responses, which is a great start. However over 5800 governors, trustees and headteachers took part last year, and we want to hear from even more of you this year. The survey is open to all governors and trustees, not just NGA members, so if you've already participated please do forward this email to your governing colleagues.
This survey offers governors and trustees the chance to tell us what they really think about key issues. The survey findings are invaluable to NGA’s work lobbying the government, and they’re also used to inform our guidance and other work to support governing boards across the country.
The NGA/TES survey is aimed at governors and trustees.
The survey takes 20-25 minutes to complete and will close on Monday 20th June -Click this link to take part in the survey-
Enjoy the half term
The School Forum who are they and what do they do click here for further information
Welcome to the 15th edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter……..
In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 19 May 2016 particularly; update on Early Years consultation matters, Administration changes relating to High Needs Funding, National Fairer Funding Formula consultation (phase 1), School Balances, 2015/16 out-turn and SFVS update. 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 19 May 2016 – Key Points
- 1.Matters Arising from 17 March 2015 Meeting minutes
Minutes accepted as true and correct record.
Item 13 DSG Review Group - PH informed members that due to the imminent release of the phase 2 consultation document relating to implementation of a new National Fairer Funding Formula (NFFF) from April 2017, that the next meeting of the review group would now be deferred to September so that the content/context of the consultation can be reviewed and impact on Stockport funding levels assessed.
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.
Fairer Funding for Schools:
Government has finally started a Consultation aimed at providing a fairer funding formula for schools. It intends to deliver a transparent funding system where the funding children attract for their school is based on need and will be consistent across the country. It is intended to implement this national formula from 2017/2018. Stockport has until 17April2016 to respond. A sub group (called the DSC Review Group), comprising Officers. Governors and Teachers will meet on 28March2017 to discuss Stockport’s response which will be put before a meeting of Schools Forum before this closing date.
Water and Sewerage Charges.
It has become known that there is a significant disparity between areas of the country with regards to how the new water and sewerage charges are being applied to schools. For example, schools in the North West pay on average £33 per pupil whilst those in the South East pay £13 per pupil.
It is intended to lobby North West Water to reconsider their charging mechanism.
All Schools, Governors, Local Councillors, Local Authorities and Local MP’s are to be contacted by letter to make them aware of this issue, and for them to write expressing concern using a draft letter prepared for such use. Governors are encouraged to raise this issue at school level and consider using this draft letter, suitably amended, to highlight concern and seek a review.
The current School Insurance Scheme is to be altered to include for an administration charge of £4,900 to simplify operation of the Sickness Insurance and Balance of Risk cover.
This charge will come out of existing budgeted funds and so will be a no cost option for schools. It will appear in school costs during the 3rd quarter of each year. In addition it will now included, at no extra cost, cover for Teachers Lap Tops, so where this cost is currently covered externally by schools this could be as useful annual saving.
We know that serious accidents happen when pressures mount and parents are distracted. Technology can be a major distraction for many of us. But what does it say to our children when we are glued to our devices? And how much added pressure does technology place on busy family life?
CAPT’s Turn off technology for safety poster competition is open to anyone working with children or families. The competition is a fun way to encourage children (and their families) to think about when technology is a good thing and when it is good to turn off and keep safe. For practitioners it’s not always easy to find fun ways to get safety messages across. When the messages are coming from children themselves, they become far more compelling. What’s more, the turning off technology message is something the whole family can get behind.
Taking part is easy,
Simply sign up to Child Safety Week 2016 - here -. Then we’ll send you an email just as soon as the competition is ready to download.
Send in your child’s or group’s entries by Friday 13 May to enter the competition. Don’t forget to include your details too for a chance to win.
• Children can win one of four prizes of £25 of high street vouchers.
• YOU can win one of four prizes of £50 worth of CAPT resources for your organisation to use for Child Safety Week 6-12 June 2016.
The winners will be announced during Child Safety Week 6-12 June 2016.
All entrants have the chance of having their artwork featured on the CAPT website and Facebook page in the run up to and during Child Safety Week
These presentations are in powerpoint format and can be openened with Microsoft Powerpoint or /Libre Office (free)
The School Forum who are they and what do they do click here for further information
Welcome to the 14th edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter……..
- 1.Pre-Agenda Training/Development Session
Peter Hughes provided a short presentation to members on the role of Schools Forum and how the dedicated schools Grant (DSG) funding framework operates.
Presentation material enclosed
- 2.Matters Arising from 10 December 2015 Meeting minutes
Minutes accepted as true and correct record.
Item 7 Early Years – Peter Hughes to arrange meeting of Phil Beswick, Glenda Brocklehurst and himself to visit David Marshall (Primary HT representative) about reducing numbers in LA maintained nursery provision and financial viability issues.
- 3.SCHOOLS AND EARLY YEARS FINANCE (England) REGULATIONS 2015
Report presented as tabled
Discussions: Peter Hughes presented brief report which provides the outcomes of the DfE consultation launched in autumn 2015