Visible Governance: Making Governance Visible

Visible Governance

Kirstie Ebbs, public relations manager, explains why visible governance is important and why you should take part in our campaign

Why we need visible governance

School and trust governance is almost always invisible when it is working well, and very much in the spotlight when things go wrong. To change this, good governance must be more recognised and celebrated within the education sector and within society – at both a national and local level.

Good governance is not just an insurance policy that picks up the pieces when things have gone awry; it is a central component of a successful organisation.

A bold, positive campaign

Will you join us in championing your contribution to the education system and shining a light on the difference that good governance makes to your school/trust? NGA is planning a year of celebrating the power of governance, the people that volunteer for the role and the value that good governance brings overall to the school system.

We’re encouraging governors, trustees, clerks, governance professionals and academy trust members to be bold and positive about sharing what they do and why they do it. We are also encouraging the people and organisations who value the role of school and trust governance to champion and participate in the campaign.

Improving understanding

By being confident and collaborative in shouting about governance, you can further improve the lives of children and their communities by helping others to learn from your knowledge and experience. By working together, organisations and people in the schools sector can ensure the best possible decisions are made in the interests of children and young people.

It is hoped that collective action by some of the quarter of a million people governing schools and trusts – and the people who support them – will achieve a higher profile and better understanding of governance both with the public and across the education system. This in turn should lead to more volunteering and more effective governing boards working better with school leaders.

Taking part

To inspire and equip governors, trustees and those supporting governance to take part, NGA has produced a list of simple actions that can be taken as an individual or as a board to highlight what they do and why they do it. These include:

  • Share a message and our social media graphic with your family, friends, colleagues and networks using #VisibleGovernance – you could comment on your support for the campaign, your support for the value of good governance, why you choose to be a governor/trustee or how proud you are to do the role.
  • Use the Visible Governance in Schools branding wherever you like to promote your support for and participation in the campaign, and to highlight school and trust governance in action, from board meetings and school visits to training sessions and materials. Send your photos to
  • Be present at school events – whether that’s parents’ evening, fairs, special assemblies, awards evenings or INSET days – so that the school community gets to know more about your role.

View the full list of suggested actions and resources

Sector-wide support

Organisations from across the education sector have made pledges recognising the importance of governance and committing to work with NGA to make it more visible within their work throughout 2020.

Supporting the campaign from day one are the Department for Education, Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL), Chartered College of Teaching, the Teaching Schools Council, Forum Strategy, the Fair Education Alliance, the Independent Schools Council, the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS), TeachFirst, Education and Employers, and Academy Ambassadors.

Baroness Berridge, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the school system, said: “I am pleased to support the NGA’s new Visible Governance campaign, which shines a spotlight on the invaluable work that over 250,000 volunteer governors do in schools all around the country. I want to see robust and effective governance in every school and trust – this is key to the success of our school system, in which all children and young people will thrive.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, commented: “People freely give up their time to do these unpaid roles so that they can make a difference, providing in equal measure the scrutiny and support which helps schools to deliver successful outcomes for their pupils. Visible Governance is a great way of celebrating their work as well as encouraging others to become governors and trustees.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, added: “NAHT recognises the critical role that school governance plays in the health and success of the school system, and promotes the need for governing boards and school leaders to work together to ensure school improvement. We are pleased to see these volunteers being given more attention, as we need high-quality individuals who can best represent their school communities.”

Stephen Morales, CEO of ISBL, said: “Good governance is a really important part of successful schools and trusts, as one of the pillars of education leadership. So many school business professionals already choose to govern in a different school/trust and that they really value the experience.” 

What you think…

Paul Wilcox @denmentor
I think this is brilliant and very timely. Hearty well done to @NGAMedia for the initiative @ChantrySchool

Andy Brown @AndynBrown16
#VisibleGovernance enjoy doing this hugely - learn loads & hopefully help
just a little! 😉👏👏👏to @NGAMedia for being the constant champion of #governors & governance 

Catherine Goodall @C_Goodall1
I love being a school governor, but for most of my life I had no idea the role existed. I mistakenly thought that I didn’t have the right skills/knowledge to be useful. We need to raise awareness, improve diversity in governing + celebrate governors everywhere  #VisibleGovernance

UKGovChat @UKGovChat
This is a much needed campaign started by the good people at @NGAMedia Lets get behind them and ensure we have #VisibleGovernance in schools. #ukgovchat

Megan Boyle @meg_j_boyle
What a great campaign to demonstrate the impact of governance! I will definitely be making sure that I tell my Governors about this! #ClerktoGovernors #SchoolGovernance

Governor Services @WiganGovernors
Wigan governors brainstorming how we can make governance visible. Lots of ideas,💡 can’t wait to see these in action. #VisibleGovernance @NGAEmmaK @NGAMedia

Planned activity for 2020 includes:

  1. Further pledges and action from education sector organisations to promote visible governance
  2. The first-ever school governance awareness week (6 to 12 June) – there’ll be a different focus on each day
  3. A resource pack for governing boards to ensure they are visible at a local level – covering link governance, monitoring visits, stakeholder engagement and more
  4. A volunteer recruitment campaign with Inspiring Governance
  5. Continuation of the Educators on Board and Everyone on Board campaigns



Share your actions, ideas and feedback with us using #VisibleGovernance on social media or by emailing

You can access the logo, resources and ideas at We encourage you to use the Visible Governance in Schools branding wherever you like to promote your participation in the campaign.

If you are a local authority, local association, group of schools, diocese, an education sector organisation, employer or other organisation wishing to collaborate, we would be delighted to work with you – please contact

Get in touch:

Share your actions, ideas and feedback with us on social media:

Facebook - @socialNGA

Twitter - @NGAMedia

LinkedIn - National Governance Association


Read our feature stories:

A leader’s view: Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders speaks about his views of governance

Clerking matters: Sam Tranter explains NGA’s research and recommendations on establishing appropriate pay for clerks

A board’s eye view: Nina Sharma provides a snapshot of key findings from our report into governors’ views and experiences of Ofsted’s new inspection framework

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