The NGA has produced the 'Knowing your school' series with a range of different partners. Most of these briefings are available to non-members; to access the full range of resources NGA has to offer become a member.

Knowing your school: Getting to know your parents

Parents are key stakeholders and their involvement in schools has a major influence on their children's achievement. This briefing aims to help governors understand why parents are so important and how the school can effectively engage them.

Download Knowing your school: Getting to know your parents

Knowing your school: Governors and staff performance 

The performance of staff employed at the school will have an enormous effect on the learning of pupils, and therefore their achievements. As the governing body is responsible for ensuring high standards of performance in the school, they need to know how well staff are performing and what to do if staff are underperforming. This briefing note focusses on the governing body's role in effective staff performance. It has been updated to reflect the introduction of performance related pay.

Download Knowing your school: Governors and staff performance

Knowing your school: FFT Governor Data Dashboard for governors and trustees

The FFT dashboard has been developed in collaboration with NGA and Wellcome Trust, and helps school governors hold schools to account, support and challenge the leadership team and make more informed strategic decisions. This briefing note aims to help those governing get the most out of the dashboard.

Download Knowing your school: The FFT Governor Data Dashboard for governors and trustees 

Knowing your school: Questions for governing bodies to ask 

This briefing focusses on the challenge aspect of good governance. It is slightly different from previous briefings because we have developed it with the help of our members instead of another organisation. For this reason, this resource is exclusive to members only. 

The briefing note contains links to each set of questions, which have been uploaded to the relevant area of the NGA members’ guidance section.  It is up to governors how they use these questions and the briefing note gives suggestions on how you might use them. As there are over 200 in total, they should by no means be handed over to the head and an answer to each one sought.

Download Knowing your school: Questions for governing bodies to ask 

Knowing your School: School Visits

Knowing your school: School visits, offers a comprehensive yet easy to use guide for getting the most out of visits to your school. Visits to schools can be enormously useful in carrying out the strategic role of the governing board. At the heart of that role is one of NGA’s eight elements of effective governance : knowing the school – the data, the staff, the parents, the children and the community. There are numerous ways those governing can know their school but actually visiting the school in person provides a valuable insight into how the school operates as well as an opportunity to put other information in context.

This guidance explores how a well-planned programme of visits can form an important element of the effective workings of the governing board. Split into key sections including setting visit expectations, common pitfalls and frequency of visits, the guidance provides a simple yet effective framework for school visits, including the do’s and don’ts, a model visits protocol and a model visits report.

Download Knowing your School: School Visits

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