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 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 National Governors' Association has carried out an annual survey for some years. The results have been used to assess how Governing Bodies are working and to provide evidence for NGA's lobbying work on behalf of governors. NGA now does this is cooperation with TES. You can take part. Go to www.nga.org then click on News, where you'll find a link to the survey.
Stockport's Local Safeguarding ChildrenBoard does a good deal of very important work – some of you will remember Lynn Perry's presentation at Stockport Governors' Conference this year, describing one area of their work. On their website at www.safeguardingchildreninstockport.org.uk you can find their latest Annual Report, and a good deal of other interesting and useful information.
The government has issued two documents this week about school governance. One is a report from the influential House of Commons Education Select Committee. The main recommendations from the report are
• Governors should not in general be paid
• The DfE should require schools to offer new governors induction training
• The DfE should work with the NGA to develop a version of the 'Governors' Handbook'
• Governing bodies should be encouraged to participate in peer-to-peer governance reviews and to undertake self-assessment and skills audits
• The DfE should act upon the findings of the NGA and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) regarding governing body clerks
• The DfE and Ofsted should do more to tackle underperforming governing bodies
You can read the whole report at -here-
The second is a Darft Deregulation Bill, which includes some provisions about governing bodies. You can find it at -here-
Local authority maintained schools are required by law to teach the National Curriculum programmes of study, but the government has decided that as it moves towards the introduction of the new curriculum, schools should be able to opt out of certain aspects of the current curriculum. This is intended to make easier the transition from the current curriculum to the new curriculum, which will be introduced from September 2014 (2015 for key stage 4 English, mathematics and science).
The necessary regulations come into effect in September,when the new curriculum will be published. As schools may not have the time to incorporate it fully into their curriculum during this coming school year, teachers may decide to use aspects of it. Alternatively, as schools are not required to change their curriculum during this time they could choose to continue with the current curriculum until the new curriculum is formally introduced.
At a Governor Live event in Birmingham organised by Modern Governor on Tuesday 25 June Chris Caroe, Head of the School Governance Unit at the DfE,explained its five policy ambitionswhich underpin ministers’ vision of more professionalised school governance:
· To raise the profile of governance and set a clear policy framework.
· To see GB constitution focused more on skills.
· To liberate and empower GBs
· To build the capacity and effectiveness of GBs
· To ensure GBs are held to account for their effectiveness.
Department for Education announces removal of levels: another opportunity to make your voice heard through NGA
On 13 June, Michael Gove announced that the DfE will abolish national curriculum levels and not replace them. The DfE believes that the system of levels is "complicated and difficult to understand, especially for parents" and is too prescriptive to fit with the curriculum freedoms they intend to give schools. Schools will need to build their own assessment framework into their curriculum, as they will still be expected to track pupil progress and report this to parents.
F40 gets sniff of victory in its fight for fair funding of schools
Campaign group f40, which represents the local authorities with the poorest funded schools in England, has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer's confirmation that a new and fairer school funding formula is to be introduced.The promise of a long-awaited national funding formula, to replace the existing discredited arrangements, made by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in his speech launching the Spending Review, has been widely welcomed by f40 members. Councillor Ivan Ould, the chair of the group and Lead Member for Children and Young People's Services at poorly funded Leicestershire County Council, said: "The Coalition