The National Governance Association (NGA) is the membership organisation  for governors, trustees and clerks of state schools in England.

We are an independent, not-for-profit charity that aims to improve the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting high standards. We are expert leaders in school and academy governance, providing information, advice and guidance, professional development and e-learning.

We represent the views of governors, trustees and clerks at a national level  and work closely with, and lobby, UK government and educational bodies

We produce a magazine ‘Governing Matters’ which is sent direct to members' schools, with additional copies sent to members' homes depending on membership type. We also produce papers and publications offering information and guidance to governors and trustees.

In addition, NGA represents the governance perspective in a variety of settings inside and outside government. Read our manifesto and find out more about NGA's work for you through through our campaigns.

NGA is a member organisation, with a volunteer board drawn from governors from all over England. From its offices in Birmingham a small professional staff manage the organisation and co-ordinate the services to members.  

NGA is charied by Lynn Howard. Lynn is the chair of the governing boards of Lyng Primary School and Hamstead Junior School in Sandwell in the West Midlands and first became involved in school governance in 2007. During this period she has supported a number of different schools within the primary sector and was appointed as a national leader of governance in 2017. Lynn’s professional background is in law, something that she feels has given her numerous a multitude of skills useful to her in her various roles within school governance.

NGA chief executive Emma Knights was joint chief executive of the Day Care Trust before joining the NGA in January 2010. Follow the links for more information about the NGA Board and NGA staff at head office.

The video below was produced by ITN for the NGA. It shows the impact that a strong governing body can have on young people's education, and how governors use skills from other areas of their life to help their school. It features the governing body of the Federation of Gislingham and Palgrave, who were joint winners of the Outstanding Governance Awards. The NGA is committed to helping all governing bodies be just as effective.



School governors and trustees provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. They appoint head teachers and other staff. In some schools, the site is owned by the governing body.  It is governors and trustees who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors and trustees who work with the head teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.

Governors have in the past been well supported by local authorities in making these decisions, and some local councils still offer an excellent service. But the government has increasingly transferred the key decisions to individual schools, and current policy looks like accelerating that process. As a result, having an effective governing body is more important than ever. At the NGA we aim to support all of our members in achieving this, by providing up to date information, advice and guidance, and through our consultancy and training service which offers both external reviews of governance, governing body health checks, and bespoke training.   


Connect With Us
  • NGA, 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JY
  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

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