NGA’s Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 are now open for nominations.

Our biennial awards are the only national education awards to recognise the contribution of governing boards, clerks and lead governance professionals. They provide an opportunity to share the best practice in school and trust governance and demonstrate the positive contribution that good governance makes to the school system and the education of children and young people.

The 2021 awards are part of NGA’s Visible Governance in Schools Campaign which seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the role of governance in the school system through a year of action which celebrates the power of governance, the people that volunteer for the role and the value that good governance brings to the school system.

Entries to the awards can be submitted until 9am on Monday 26 April.

Get started

  1. Find out more about each of our six categories below
  2. Download a category information sheet to find out who can be nominated, the criteria and how to make a successful nomination
  3. Download and complete the nomination form and send this to [email protected] by 9am on Monday 26 April.

Our six categories

Outstanding governance in a single school

We want to hear about governing boards that have demonstrated effective governance and outstanding strategic leadership to create positive outcomes in a single school. Entrants are asked to show how the board demonstrates a selection of NGA’s eight elements of effective governance and how it has developed a positive culture that has contributed to sustainable improvement within the school. Finally, entrants must cite a significant achievement(s) of the governing board where it has gone beyond the basics of its core responsibilities to have a substantial impact on the school.

Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust

We want to hear about a board governing a multi academy trust that has demonstrated effective governance and outstanding strategic leadership to create positive outcomes in their schools. Entrants are asked to evidence how the governing board fulfils its core functions, how it engages with stakeholders and how the governance structure trust has developed since its formation. Entrants must also provide an example of where the board has led a significant change for the trust and what lessons it has learned along the way.

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Outstanding governance in a federation

We want to hear about a board governing a federation that has demonstrated effective governance and outstanding strategic leadership to create positive outcomes in their schools. Entrants are asked to evidence how the governing board fulfils its core functions and adheres to best practice. Entrants must also provide an example of where the board has led a significant change for the federation and what lessons it has learned along the way.

 

Outstanding clerk to a governing board

We want to hear about a clerk to a governing board who has shown outstanding practice and made a demonstrable impact on the work of the board. The nominated clerk should display the characteristics of an outstanding clerk, which include being an efficient administrator, having a good understanding of effective governance practice and using this to support and advise the governing board, and developing a professional relationship with the governing board.

Outstanding lead governance professional

We want to hear about a lead governance professional that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and management and contributed significantly to improving governance. This award is for those who lead and manage clerks, clerking services, or the provision of wider governance support in academy trusts, local authorities and other service providers or education bodies. Nominees will have had a significant impact on governance effectiveness and clerking practices and, thorough their leadership, successfully promoted the vision and values of the organisation/s they work for.

Outstanding vision and strategy

Open to boards governing single schools or a group of schools, we want to hear about a governing board that has an inspiring vision and can demonstrate how progress is being made towards achieving that vision with a clear strategy in place. The board will have worked collaboratively and engaged with stakeholders across the school(s)/ trust and wider community to develop ‘a shared vision’. This governing board should have a vision that makes clear what they expect the children to have left the school knowing, being and having done and demonstrate a methodical and clear commitment to strategy development.

Who can enter?

The awards are open to all types and phases of state-funded schools and trusts in England (see category information sheets for details). You may also nominate, or be nominated by, a third party such as your executive leader or a governance support service. You do not need to be a member of the National Governance Association. Entry is free; for full details please refer to the terms and conditions.

Why enter?

  • Gain deserved recognition for your governing board, clerk or lead governance professional
  • Have your diligence, commitment and model practice recognised through a high-quality judging process
  • Lead the way as an exemplar of good school governance and inspire fellow governors, trustees, clerks and lead governance professionals with your practice
  • Take an opportunity to reflect on your governing board’s work against the awards criteria
  • Promote the vital role of your governing board in the school’s development and success
  • Give your school and its community cause for celebration

NGA’s expert team will review all entries and a compile a shortlist for the judges. We may contact you for further information for longlisting or shortlisting purposes to support your nomination (details on this can be found on the nomination forms). A panel of judges will visit each of the shortlisted entries, either in person or virtually, to meet and interview the nominated board or individual, and to consider evidence that supports the nomination.

Our finalists will be invited to a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons in autumn term 2021 where awards will be presented to the winners (subject to COVID-19 rules).  

Please email any queries to [email protected]

Read the full terms and conditions 

Read all about the finalists and winners of the 2019 awards.

Our media partner for the awards is Schools Week.

These awards are for governing boards or individual clerks or governance professionals. If you wish to recognise individual governors or trustees consider nominating them for a national honours. You can find information on the process and how NGA can help here.

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