*** We have been blown away by the positive response to the Visible Governance campaign and the way in which governors, trustees and clerks have embraced the ideas and used the resources. But right now and in all likelihood for some months to come schools, governing boards and our valued local and national partners will have more important things to focus on. So we are postponing campaign activity and the first ever school governance awareness week. At the right time we will return to the campaign with energy. *** [19 March 2020]

School and trust governance must be more visible within the education sector and within society.

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 to the school system.

We’re encouraging governors and trustees to be bold and be positive about sharing what they do and why they do it, highlight their contribution to the education system and shine a light on the difference that good governance makes to the success of their school/trust.

We are also encouraging the people and organisations who value the role of school and trust governance to champion and participate in the campaign.

With your support, we can achieve a higher profile and better understanding of governance, and further improve outcomes for children and their communities - a goal which we know will be inportant to you too.

About the campaign

School and trust governance is almost always invisible when it is working well, and very much in the spotlight when things go wrong.

School governance needs to be recognised and celebrated for its positive role in ensuring things go right for pupils, staff and schools, ensuring the best possible education experience. Good governance is not an insurance policy which picks up the pieces when things have gone awry; it is a central component of a successful organisation. Through this collective action, we want school governance to take its rightful place as a visible, valued and understood component of the education system.

What’s planned?

Planned activity for 2020 includes:

  • Pledges from education sector organisations to better recognise the importance of school and trust governance, make it more visible within their work and promote the campaign
  • The first-ever school governance awareness week (6 to 12 June)
  • A resource pack for governing boards to ensure they are visible at school level
  • A volunteer recruitment campaign with Inspiring Governance
  • Continuation of the Educators on Board and Everyone on Board campaigns

Getting involved

By being confident and collaborative in shouting about your contribution, you can further improve the lives of children and their communities if your knowledge and experience is learnt from. 

We have produced a list of simple actions that you can take as an individual or as a board to highlight your work. 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.
  • 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 (you could even use the campaign logo).

For even more ideas, view the list.

Share your actions with us using #VisibleGovernance on social media or by email to visible@nga.org.uk.

You can download the logo and other resources here – we encourage you to use the Visible Governance in Schools branding wherever you like to promote your participation in the campaign.

If you are local authority, local association, groups of schools, diocese, education sector organisations, employers or other organisation wishing to collaborate in this campaign, we would be delighted to work with you and share ideas – please contact visible@nga.org.uk.

Sector-wide support

Organisations from across the education sector have made pledges recognising the importance of governance and how essential it is to their work – NGA will be collaborating with these organisations throughout the year to make governance more visible in their work.

Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System: “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 the Association of School and College Leaders: “ASCL is delighted to back the Visible Governance campaign to highlight the vital contribution of governors and trustees. 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 so they too can make a difference.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT: “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 effectively 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, with an emphasis on diversity and an insistence on mandatory training. As such we will commit to making governance more visible within our work in 2020, supporting school leaders to engage well with their governing boards in the interests of children and young people.”

Stephen Morales, CEO, the Institute of School Business Leadership comments: “ISBL recognises that good governance is a really important part of successful schools and trusts, as one of the three pillars of education leadership. We commit to making governance more visible within our work throughout 2020, and we encourage school business professionals to support the campaign and recognise the role of school governance too. We know that so many school business professionals already choose to govern in a different school/trust and that they really value the experience, in particular how it enables them to work more effectively with their own governing board, and hope to encourage many more to do so.”

Dominic Judge, Director of Governance Programmes at Education and Employers: “The Education and Employers charity recognises that school and trust governance is a perfect example of where local employers and schools connect for the civic good. This is not always seen, but many employers regularly share the valued expertise of their staff, who as governors then develop and learn new skills from operating on governing boards. Through Inspiring Governance, the school governance recruitment and support service, we will continue to make this contribution to governance visible throughout 2020. We will encourage employers we work with to support the campaign and support their employees who volunteer to govern in the interests of pupils.” ‚Äč

Other organisations that have committed to support and promote the campaign include 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), Academy Ambassadors and Ambition Institute.

What’s next?

Throughout the year, we’ll be updating this page with resources and ideas to help you support the aims – keep an eye on our website, the hashtag #VisibleGovernance and follow us @NGAmedia for updates.

We will also communicate with members through the weekly newsletter, Governing Matters and our events.

We welcome your ideas and comments for the Visible Governance campaign – contact visible@nga.org.uk






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