About the NGA

The National Governance Association aims to represent all school governors and trustees in England; there are over 250,000 governors/trustees, one of the largest volunteer groups in the UK. We are an independent charity that aims to support and promote good governance in our schools; we do this through lobbying, via a range of contacts with ministers, policy makers and education organisations. We also run national conferences, and a number of regional events.

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 the NGA represents the governor perspective in a variety of settings inside and outside government. Read our manifesto and find out more about NGA's work for you.

The 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. We are an independent charity, and as such receive no government funding. We are funded through membership fees and the support of our sponsors. 

The NGA is chaired by Ian Courtney. Ian is currently chair of governors of a cross-phase federation of 5 schools in West Devon and chair of the Co-Operative Trust that they, along with two other local schools, sit within. He is chair of the Devon Association of Governors and chairs the Devon Education (Schools) Forum, and is also a National Leader of Governance which gives him a good knowledge of how governance works in practice across many schools.

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 NGA Oustanding Governing Body 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.