Release date: 02/12/2021

To offer high-quality development for governing board chairs and clerks, the National Governance Association (NGA) has announced the continuation of its Leading Governance programmes with some revisions.

Established in 2018 and funded by the Department for Education (DfE), NGA Leading Governance offered all chairs the opportunity of fully funded leadership development and clerks of partially funded development. DfE funding ended in March 2021. Around 3,200 people have benefited from the programmes so far.

The new look development programmes keep the features most valued by those who have taken them in the past, while changing some elements so that they are more affordable for boards which now have to fund the development themselves. The changes to the chairs programme halve the previous cost (which was covered by the DfE).

Three virtual sessions for chairs (including vice-chairs and aspiring chairs) are at the core of the programme, while participants will also get access to NGA e-learning and to peer-to-peer support groups. In a new approach, the programme will be split by those chairing in a maintained or single school and those chairing in a multi academy trust so that participants can network with others in similar governance structures. Elements previously included in the programme such as mentoring with an NGA consultant and a 360-degree appraisal are still available at an additional cost.

The level three accredited clerking development programme for clerks with at least 3-months experience in any school and trust setting remains largely unchanged. Clerks undertaking this development continue to benefit from eight facilitated workshops and a dedicated mentor.

Booking is now open for cohorts which will start in the spring term 2022.

Charlotte Harding, co-head of NLG support at NGA, who oversees Leading Governance commented: “I am so pleased that, after listening to feedback from current and prospective participants, we can continue to offer this much-needed development for chairs and clerks. Importantly, we are confident that the programmes will still deliver the same benefits and outcomes – improving knowledge, skills and networks and creating self-supporting groups – so that participants can ensure their board is effective and efficient in challenging and supporting the school or trust’s performance. Our chairs and clerks say the development increases not just what they know, but perhaps more importantly, their confidence to carry out their role more decisively.”

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