All governing boards can now benefit from two fully funded places for leadership development (including chairs, vice chairs, committee chairs and future chairs) as the Department for Education, which funds NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes, has extended its criteria.

With a minimum of £1,000 of funding now available per board (including boards of maintained schools, groups of schools and local academy committees), two governors/trustees from the same board can take part in the leadership development programme together which offers a valuable opportunity to increase the impact of the course on the effectiveness of governance in their school.

Led by experienced facilitators, the Development for Chairs programme is delivered through local workshops, one-to-one mentoring and eLearning. The programme aims to ensure that school governance is both effective and sustainable by developing the leadership skills, governance knowledge and networks of chair through activities including a 360-degree diagnostic, action learning sets and creating a project plan for the development of an aspect of the board’s work. According to a survey of participants, 100% of those responding agree that the programme will have a positive impact on their governance work.

Planning the future leadership of the board and ensuring that governors/trustees are ready to take over chairing roles when required is an essential part of succession planning. By undertaking the Development for Chairs programme, future chairs have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to take on the role confidently and effectively.

Over 1,000 chairs and clerks to governing boards are currently participating in NGA’s Leading Governance programmes across England. NGA also provides the only accredited Development for Clerks programme – a Level 3 qualification accredited by ICSA: The Governance Institute, and a fully-funded Development for Boards programme worth £2,000. At NGA’s summer conference on 9 June, the achievements of the first cohort of chairs and clerks completing the nine-month Leading Governance programme were celebrated.

Emma Balchin, Director of Professional Development at the National Governance Association said, “We are really excited to be able to extend the opportunity to benefit from this excellent leadership development to even more governors and trustees, with the added bonus of two governance colleagues being able to learn, reflect and develop together. Feedback from those already taking part shows a significant progress in confidence and knowledge, skills and understanding from the initial self-assessment to the completion of the programme. I urge boards to take advantage of the free training available to them to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of their practice which can only benefit the education of children and young people. I also want to send my congratulations to those participants who have recently completed the programmes and thank them for investing even more of their valuable time in improving their practice.”

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