Release date: 20/05/2021

The Department for Education (DfE) has today (20 May) announced its intention to award the National Governance Association (NGA) the contract to deliver the reformed National Leaders of Governance (NLG) programme. NLGs recruited through the new programme will begin providing targeted support in October 2021. NGA will recruit, train and deploy a high calibre team of experts to deliver reviews of governance for school and trust improvement.

In its announcement to NLGs, the DfE recognised the important voluntary work that all governors and trustees undertake and thanked existing NLGs for the time and support they had offered to schools/trusts.

Baroness Berridge said: “Strong governance is critical to a high-performing school system because of both the support and challenge it gives school leaders in delivering the very best for every child. That’s why we’re investing in reforms to the NLG programme, alongside wider investment in other school-to-school support programmes, as we know they are one of the best ways to drive improvements for all pupils. I know the National Governance Association will be able to add great value in leading the training and development of the new cohorts of National Leaders of Governance, to make sure the programme delivers the best possible support to the schools and trusts that need it the most.”

Lynn Howard, chair of trustees at NGA said: “NGA’s charitable mission is to improve governance in state schools and academy trusts in England, and NLGs will be doing just that. It was clear to NGA’s board of trustees that we should employ the extensive expertise that NGA has been built up over many years and bid to run the NLG service. I am therefore delighted that the Department for Education has acknowledged NGA’s track record by appointing NGA to set up and oversee the reformed NLG service, which has such an important role to play in improving schools and trusts.”

Emma Knights, chief executive of NGA said: “It will be a privilege to apply all NGA’s knowledge and experience and be part of this endeavour of school improvement. I am really looking forward to my fabulous team here at NGA developing the new service and supporting NLGs to deliver high quality reviews of governance which will make a difference. This is such a significant opportunity for us all to work together to raise the effectiveness of schools and trusts for the benefit of pupils. I would especially like to acknowledge all those volunteer NLGs who have, for several years, shared their experience with other chairs and boards: thank you. It has been a good thing that you have done, and I hope that you will consider applying to be part of the next phase of the NLG service for which you laid the foundations.”

Les Walton CBE, chair of the Association of Education Advisers said: “Governance has been for too long an overlooked part of the schools system and the reframed National Leaders of Governance programme will help to change that. I am delighted that the Association of Education Advisers is working with the NGA to ensure that knowledgeable and experienced people who can make a difference will be designated as NLGs.”

You can read the recommendations of the advisory group for a reformed NLG programme at gov.uk.

More information about the support programme and how to apply for a National Leader of Governance role will be made available in early June 2021, once contract negotiations are complete.

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