Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive

Emma Knights OBE

Emma leads the organisation under the direction of NGA’s board of trustees.

As chief executive of the National Governance Association (NGA), Emma Knights leads the charity to fulfil its aim of improving the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards in maintained schools and academy trusts, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the organisation.

Emma promotes the interests of the school governance community and amplifies the voice of NGA’s members at a national level with legislators, policymakers, education sector organisations and in the media.

Emma is an accomplished writer and speaker on a range of school governance policy and practice topics, and has a particular interest in vision, culture and strategy; accountability; stakeholder engagement; disadvantage; ethical leadership; and diversity and inclusion. Emma is co-author of The Chair’s Handbook and NGA’s Moving MATs Forward: the power of governance report. Prior to joining NGA in 2010, Emma was joint CEO of the Daycare Trust and before that, worked in a number of roles in the voluntary sector. She was a governor at a secondary school in Warwickshire for eight years.

Working across the education sector, Emma is currently participating in the Department for Education’s headteacher standards review group, NAHT’s accountability commission, the Department for Education’s flexible working advisory group, and the Ethical Leadership Commission, and has previously sat on the Commission on Religious Education and the Knowsley Education Commission.

Under Emma’s leadership since 2010, NGA has grown to become the leading expert charity for guidance, research, advice and training for school governors, trustees and clerks, with over 40 staff and a strong presence in the education sector.

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Maggi Bull, Chair of the board

Maggi Bull

Maggi has been an NGA Trustee since November 2011 and was re-elected to the board in November 2014 and 2017. After serving 3 years as vice-chair, Maggi was elected as honorary secretary in December 2016 and as chair of NGA in December 2017.

Maggi has been a governor for over 24 years in both primary and secondary schools and is currently acting chair of an IEB, a governor in a primary school and a member of a Local Committee of a primary in a MAT, all in High Wycombe. Her professional background was in sales marketing in the computer industry and training, and for a number of years she has delivered governor training in a number of Local Authorities. She is a previous chair of the Buckinghamshire Association of School Governors and chairs the Buckinghamshire County Council’s School Governance Consultative Board. Maggi is also a Trustee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton and a member of the Diocesan Education Committee.

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