Since 2013, NGA has run a Clerking Matters campaign to raise the status and profile of all types of governance professionals. Despite developments in the sector, the issues that led to the establishment of the campaign continue to affect clerks and other governance professionals. Our 2021 research report highlights a number of areas where focus is required.

Download school and trust governance professionals: 2021 and beyond - FULL report (PDF)

Download school and trust governance professionals: 2021 and beyond - SUMMARY report (PDF)

The report draws the following conclusions from our research:

  • Governance professionals are undervalued because their critical and valuable role is not well understood by the entire sector.
  • Governance professionals require a career framework linked to clear expectations and relevant qualifications.
  • Governing boards have been slow to implement the Clerking Matters expectations. As well as undermining the profession, this also has a detrimental effect on advancing pay to appropriate levels.
  • Governing boards, governance professionals and the wider sector must renew their commitment to implementing the Clerking Matters expectations as part of a collective response to giving the profession the status, recognition, support, challenge and reward it both needs and deserves.

Adopting the term ‘governance professional’

NGA will be adopting the term governance professional as a collective description for all those involved in supporting and advising governing boards in schools and trusts. This follows majority support for this approach from respondents to our survey - you can read more about this in the report.

Putting the research into practice: guidance for chairs

Our guidance describes four important ways that chairs can provide appropriate recognition and support by investing in the working relationship and holding purposeful conversations.

Download recognising governance professionals: a guide for chairs (PDF)

Support from Baroness Berridge

Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, contributed to our networking event in June 2021 where she responded to our report and talked about the importance of governance professional recognition at board and senior leader level. You can watch Baroness Berridge’s video message below:

Watch the Governance Professionals report event

You can watch the latest Governance Professionals Network event where we discussed the findings from the latest report, school and trust governance professionals: 2021 and beyond


Further reading

Browse our dedicated area for governance professionals to find the latest NGA guidance, advice, professional development and e-learning, developed exclusively for governance professionals. 


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