Outstanding Governance Awards 2019

Nominate a governing board or clerk for an Outstanding Governance Award  

Governing boards and clerks make a vast and valuable contribution to the education of young people. Our biennial awards celebrate the important role of governance volunteers and professionals, the only national honours to recognise some of the quarter of a million people governing in schools in England.


For the Outstanding Governance Awards 2019, there are four categories in which you can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else:

  • Outstanding governing board in a single school

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

  • Outstanding governing board in a group of schools

We want to hear about a board governing a multi academy trust or federation that has demonstrated effective governance and outstanding leadership to create positive outcomes in their school. Entrants are asked to evidence how the governing board fulfils the three core functions, and to provide an example(s) of how the governing board has gone beyond the basics of its core responsibilities to have a significant impact on the group of schools. Entrants must also detail how the governance structure of the group of schools has developed since its formation, and what lessons it has learned along the way.

  • 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 is able to demonstrate how progress is being made towards achieving that vision with a clear strategy in place. This governing board should have a vision that makes clear what they expect the children to have left the school having learned, and demonstrate a methodical and clear commitment to strategy development.

  • 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.

Adrian Packer, Chief Executive, CORE Education Trust said: “Making it to the finals of the Outstanding Governance Awards is a huge honour and a real tribute to the dedicated team at CORE. To be recognised in this way only two years after we were founded is truly inspiring and is a wonderful acknowledgement of what we are trying to do as an education trust, and that is to give young people the best possible start in life.” (Runner up – outstanding governing board in a group of schools, Outstanding Governance Awards 2017).

Why enter?

  • Gain deserved recognition for your governing board or clerk
  • 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 and clerks 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 the school and its community something to celebrate

Who can enter?
Any state-funded school in England is eligible to enter the awards by self-nomination. This includes all phases and types of school. 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.


Entering the awards and the judging process

Janet Heffernan, Chair of Governors, Sir John Barrow School said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this prize for Outstanding Governance. It reflects the hard work and commitment of all of our governors, but also the willingness of our staff, pupils and wider community members to engage with us as we conduct our business. In receiving the prize, we represent the huge numbers of volunteer governors across the country who are passionate about education and its importance for our children and communities.” (Winner - outstanding governance in a single school, Outstanding Governance Awards 2017)

  • Entries can be submitted until 23.59 on 3 December 2018
  • You will need to submit a completed nomination form and a seperate supporting statement form. These can be downloaded from the NGA website and should be completed and returned to awards@nga.org.uk along with all supporting evidence requested
  • NGA’s expert team will review entries and a compile a shortlist for the judges. In some instances, an earlier stage of longlisting may be necessary and longlisted entrants will be contacted by telephone for further information. Judges will visit each of the shortlisted entries to meet and interview the nominated governing board or clerk, and to consider evidence that supports their nomination.
  • Shortlisted nominees will be invited to a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons in May 2019 where awards will be presented to the winners


Enter the awards today

Part one - nomination forms

Oustanding clerk to a governing board

Outstanding governance in a single school

Outstanding governance in a group of schools

Outstanding vision and strategy

Part two - supporting statement

Supporting statement - clerks

Supporting statement - single school, group of school, vision and strategy

Please email any queries to awards@nga.org.uk or call 0121 237 3780

You can read all about the finalists and winners of the 2017 awards at the NGA News Page.