Release date: 11/01/2021

Governing boards, clerks and lead governance professionals will receive recognition for outstanding achievements and practice in the National Governance Association’s (NGA) biennial Outstanding Governance Awards which open for nominations today (11 January).

As the only national education awards to recognise the contribution of school governors and trustees, clerks and lead governance professionals, the Awards provide entrants with a unique opportunity to reflect on their practice and impact against the award criteria and gain recognition through a rigorous judging process.

The awards also exemplify best practice in school and trust governance and enable the sharing of finalists’ achievements to demonstrate the positive contribution that good governance makes to the school system and the education of children and young people.

Achievements will be recognised in six categories:

  • Outstanding governance in a single school
  • Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust (sponsored by Forum Strategy)
  • Outstanding governance in a federation
  • Outstanding clerk to a governing board
  • Outstanding lead governance professional *new for 2021*
  • Outstanding vision and strategy

The 2021 awards are part of NGA’s Visible Governance in Schools campaign which seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the role of governance in the school system through a year of action which celebrates the power of governance, the people that volunteer for the role and the value that good governance brings to the school system.

People from across the education sector are encouraged to nominate a governing board, clerk or lead governance professional that merits celebration for the significant impact they have made on their school or trust, alongside boards and individuals self-nominating.

The awards are open to all types and phases of state-funded schools and trusts in England. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons in autumn term 2021 where awards will be presented to the winners (subject to COVID-19 rules at the time).

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: “We are encouraging people who are proud of the good governance and achievements demonstrated by a board, clerk or governance professional to enter our Outstanding Governance Awards 2021. These stories of excellence are vital to avoid the sector just talking about governance when things go wrong; they help underline that governance truly contributes to the improvement and sustainability of our schools. Please consider whether you know a board or governance professional that deserves this recognition and help us to shine a light on these successes: the most encouraging stories for others are those which show how improvement was made and how a positive culture with a balance of support and challenge, and healthy board dynamics has been nurtured.”


Entries to the awards can be submitted until 9am on Monday 26 April using the nomination forms and information sheets available on the awards page.

Our media partner for these awards is Schools Week.

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