School and trust governance: Governance volunteers and board practice

This report explores the characteristics of governors and trustees, their experiences of governing in practice and stakeholder engagement.

Read the report to find out more about:

  • Characteristics and recruitment of governors and trustees
  • Manageability of the role and retention of volunteers
  • Induction and experience of inclusion
  • Reviews of board practice and effectiveness
  • Recruitment, responsibilities and appraisal of governance professionals
  • Methods used by boards to engage with stakeholders  

Download the report

School and trust governance:  Priorities, resources and people

This report explores the views and experiences of governors and trustees in relation to the board’s core functions. It examines the findings by school phase, type and region to identify long-term and emerging trends. Read the report to find out about:

  • The strategic priorities of boards
  • How boards are supporting disadvantaged pupils
  • The current and long-term financial picture of schools and trusts
  • How boards are overseeing staffing in their organisation
  • Views on accountability

Download the report

Read our blog on governing board strategic priorities

Read our blog on funding and finances

Governing in a multi academy trust

Our new report explores the views, experience and practice of those governing in a multi academy trust (MAT) both at trust board and local academy committee level.

Read the report to learn more about:

  • Local governance
  • Communication between tiers
  • Perceptions of being in a MAT
  • Separation of layers
  • MAT growth
  • Setting senior executive leader pay

Download the report

Read our blog on the report

About the series

NGA has been running a survey of school governors and trustees since 2011. The aim of the survey is to gather the views of those who govern in order to inform and shape education policy and, in the absence of official data, to provide an overview of the state of school governance in England.


For the eleventh consecutive year, NGA has run the annual school and trust governance survey. It is the largest survey of its kind and provides an extensive overview of the governance of state funded schools in England. While not all respondents answered every question, this survey provides unrivalled insight on the demographic, views and experiences of one of England’s largest volunteer forces. The survey is not just for NGA’s membership – it was open to all school governors, trustees and academy committee members between 6 May and 11 June 2021 via the online surveying website SmartSurvey. In total, 3,848 respondents engaged with the survey.

Read the full methodology

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