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 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 2nd edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter........
In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 21 January 2014 particularly;
All Head teachers, School Business Managers/Finance staff and Chair of Governors
Firstly welcome back and a happy new year to you all, please find below a short update on a number of key topics for this term:
Schools Financial Consultation
The Local Authority (LA) launched a consultation document last term with all governing bodies on proposed amendments to:
• The Local Funding Formula; and
• The Scheme for Financing Schools.
The consultation responses are summarised at Appendix 1.
The LA will present detail of the consultation responses relating to the local funding formula proposed amendments to Schools Forum at the meeting scheduled for 21 January 2014 and seek a recommendation to be presented to the LA Executive on 11 February 2014 for decision.
The LA will present a further report to Schools Forum on the proposed amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools document at the meeting scheduled for 20 March 2014 and seek approval on the LA proposals.
A further update on the above subject matters will be provided in due course to all schools.
Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)
The Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) is the mandatory self-assessment process all LA maintained schools are required to undertake as stipulated by the Department for Education (DfE).
The SFVS is based upon 23 questions covering four specific areas of financial management;
• The Governing Body & School Staff;
• Setting the Budget;
• Value for Money; and
• Protecting Public Money
All schools are required to ensure the self-assessment against the 23 questions has been reviewed by the identified school personnel in 2013/14 and the appropriate school return is submitted to the LA by 31st March 2014. The LA recommends that as a minimum the review should be undertaken by the Head teacher, School Business Manager, Chair of Governors and the Chair of Finance Committee.
The DfE announced as part of their autumn term 2013
Did you know that all schools who buy back into the training and development of Stockport LA have automatic membership of the National Governors Association?But you don't get the full benefits automatically.
Once you have submitted the spreadsheet, the NGA office will send instructions to each governor on how to access the members area of the website.
All governors once they are registered will get a very useful summary of news via their e-mail and access to the on-line weekly Newsletter.
2 copies of the high quality magazine 'Governing Matters' (published six times a year) will be sent to the school, and up to 3 individuals can have their own sent to their home address.
There are other useful publications, an annual conference and regional events. The NGA represents schools governors from all state funded schools, including those from LA maintained schools and academies in England. Full details are on the website www.nga.org.uk.
Joint Chair, GOVAS
The latest Fischer Family Trust (FFT) Governor Dashboard for primary schools is now available. This updated version contains 2013 key stage 2 results, improved gauges, and new Department for Education indicators. The FFT Governor Dashboard helps school governors hold schools to account, support and challenge the leadership team, and make more informed strategic decisions. It is essential reading for all governors. If you are a primary school governor, ask your school how to access this information.
The updated secondary dashboard will be available in mid-October
MPs will be debating school governors and school improvement on October 8th at 12.30. This is a good opportunity to raise the profile of governors with your MP. Please e-mail your MP asking them to attend. You can find the address on the Parliament UK website. Please include your school's name in the e-mail so your MP knows it is in their constituency.
Put the date in your diary NOW! Stockport Governors' Conference 2014 will be on
SATURDAY, MARCH 29th, 2014
GOVAS and the Governor Support Officers at the Town Hall are working together on the detail of the Conference, and already have some ideas to make it the best ever. But it's not too late to have your suggestions, so if you have an good ideas let us know and we can feed them into the process. We're interested in topics for workshops as well as topics for short presentations, so get your Governing Body thinking.