The Chair's Handbook

The 2016-17 edition of our best-selling guide The Chair’s Handbook is now available.

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The Chair’s Handbook is the essential guide for chairs and aspiring chairs of governing boards.  As well as a basic introduction, this guide will help you develop your team of governors or trustees, work effectively with the headteacher and senior management team, lead the school toward improvement and manage the strategic business of the board. Seven packed chapters explore the challenges of being the chair and how to:

  • Ensure strategic focus
  • Lead and develop the team
  • Recruit a headteacher
  • Performance manage
  • Lead school improvement
  • Challenge and question
  • Leave the chair and succession planning


Who is this guide for?

Quite simply, if you’re a chair or vice chair this guide is essential reading. If you're a committee chair or thinking about becoming a chair you'll find in this guide everything you need to improve your knowledge about the role.  If you're an NGA member, take advantage of our 50% discount offer.  


Members: £5

Non-member: £10 (if you're not a currently a member but you'd like to be, click here)

If your school is a GOLD member, you will receive a copy when you join the NGA. 

For bulk discounts (over 15 copies) please call the office on 0121 237 3780, or email Ravinder

Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools:

“It is vital that chairs understand their role and the unique influence they have to shape the way in which their board governs in the best interests of every child. We need chairs who can lead their boards and schools confidently into the future of our increasingly autonomous and school-led system, including through the process of converting to academy status and forming multi-academy trusts. NGA's guide is a helpful resource for both current and prospective chairs.”

Ian Courtney MBE, chair of the National Governance Association:

"Chairing a school governing board is a significant, complex and often demanding responsibility, but with it I hope will come the satisfaction of a job well done and of having made a difference to the lives of the pupils in the school. There are times when difficult decisions have to be made by the governing board for the good of the school and when the job of chair will be extremely challenging. New chairs will find this guide to be a very valuable resource when starting out, but more experienced chairs should turn to it at more difficult moments. So welcome to what may well be one of the most important publications that you will read in your life as a school governor."