Release date: 22/02/2021

Clerks and other governance professionals serving schools and academy trusts are being encouraged to complete a new survey from the National Governance Association (NGA) which launched today (22 February).

Understanding clerks and governance professional’s views and experiences of their career and development is at the heart of the survey. Questions cover entry into the profession, the training and qualifications available for the roles, and the job satisfaction and progression of respondents.

With the results of the survey, NGA will build a picture of the career landscape of clerks and governance professionals and identify opportunities and solutions to support practitioners and develop the role.

All clerks and other governance professionals are being urged to take part in the national survey regardless of their experience in the role, and whether they work directly in a school or trust or are employed by a service provider or local authority.

Professional clerking is one of NGA’s eight elements of effective governance, and the role of clerk/governance professionals is key to the improvement of governance. To carry out the role effectively, NGA understands how important it is that those in the profession have access to the right training and development opportunities.

The need for professional high-quality training for clerks and governance professionals is also recognised in the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook (updated October 2020) which says, “it is important that the board’s clerk (governance professional) has the skills and knowledge to provide advice, guidance and effective administrative support”. Baroness Berridge emphasised the importance of the role in her recent interview in Governing Matters and that she has asked “officials to look at what we can do to promote the professionalism of the role, and attract and retain talented individuals”.

Steve Edmonds, director of advice and guidance at NGA said: “This is an important survey which we hope will be influential when it comes to meeting the needs of a clerking profession that includes many roles and a range of complex activities that are context driven. All these roles deserve recognition and a higher profile for their value in supporting and advising governing boards. However, they also need to attract and develop the right people. It is important therefore that the sector takes an evidence based approach towards creating development pathways which, enhance knowledge, improve effectiveness and ultimately help to fulfil professional ambitions."

Take the survey

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