Emma Knights

Author: Emma Knights

03/09/2021 12:15:16

At NGA we know how hard it can be for volunteers to organise payment for CPD – so our events are free for members. Once the membership fee is paid – we hope by the school or trust – then all board members and their governance professionals can come to whatever takes their fancy.

The new virtual events we started last school year have proved mightily successful – and they have become permanent in our schedule.

First off in the term we have our governance leadership forums – so that those leading MAT boards, SAT boards, academy committees and maintained school governing bodies all have their own session where they can focus on issues which are of particular interest to them. These sessions are very much member led with topics suggested and input from those who have experience. These forums for sharing the latest practice, aimed at the more experienced, have proved very popular.

Then in October we have our induction sessions for new governors and trustees joining GOLD membership boards, Welcome to Governance LIVE, again bespoke to the role being volunteered for. These complement NGA’s induction guides and any induction provided locally.

We are also continuing our monthly webinars – they are very much direct instruction on a key timely topic, open to all. August’s was on Ofsted inspections, and the recording can be viewed, and September’s will be on that all important role of appraisals of headteachers and chief executives. Sign up.

So far all of those sessions are late afternoon – and we know not all members can make that time, so our regional networks which begin again in October do so on a Saturday morning. Before COVID those annual regional conferences were held on a Saturday with people giving up a whole day to travel across the region; however with the use of technology we are aiming to take less of your time, while retaining a real networking opportunity for our members to dictate the agenda and talk about what they want to. Please do try to join us as I think you will find them energising – that solidarity with others can make a real difference. Book your place. The dates for your diary are:

  • West Midlands – Saturday 2 October at 9.15am
  • North West – Saturday 2 October at 11am
  • London – Saturday 6 November at 9.15am
  • North East – Saturday 6 November at 11am

After the half-term break we will have all our other networks which are remaining virtual to allow as many as possible to attend:

  • MAT governance network - 14 December 4.30-6.00pm
  • Governance professionals network - 7 December 10.00am -12.00pm
  • SEND network - 9 November 4.30-6.00pm
  • Young governors network - 30 November 4.30-5.30pm

For those of you wanting to network in person and have a real chat around the edges of a conference, our Annual Conference returns to its traditional format: all day on Saturday 27 November at the ICC in Birmingham. In keeping with what we imagine will be a largely but not entirely post-COVID era, there will be slightly fewer places than in 2019 when we were really very packed: so if you are keen to come and enjoy our keynote speakers this year, I suggest you book your place early.

And on top of all of these free events, we continue our professional development offer of course which does have a charge, and in particular I wanted to emphasise that even though the Department for Education no longer funds our Leading Governance programmes, we are continuing them with paying customers.We have had such great feedback from participants, I hope that convinces even more governance professionals/clerks and chairs/future chairs to take this step and invest in their progression.

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