AGOG discussion on constitution arrangements


In 2015 a paper was released from the Department for Education (DfE) to the members of Advisory group on governance (AGOG) regarding possible changes to governing board constitution arrangements.  


The paper followed the Secretary of State for Education’s speech to the NGA summer conference hinting at possible changes to the current constitution model.  In her speech Nicky Morgan stated that she wanted to be clear that she would “look at how to move away from a stakeholder model of governance” and that it was the “skills, expertise and wisdom” that governors brought to the running of their schools that makes their “contribution so important”. 


The intention of the paper was to structure an open discussion on constitution arrangements centred on a number of questions including:

  • the role that central government plays in putting parents, staff, headteachers and local authority governors on a board
  • the role and interests of foundations
  • how diverse the governing board is and the importance of elections
  • the constraints of current constitutional requirements
  • the identification and prescription of required skills

The NGA sought feedback from our members in order to help us formulate a response to the questions posed in the paper. This response is not simply a reiteration of an NGA long held position.  We undertook an extensive exercise over a number of months to seek up-to-date views and foster debate amongst school governors. In order to test the temperature of our members’ opinions, a web poll was set up in early July 2015 and then we held focus groups discussion in seven regions of England on the topic.

In addition we collect information from governors via our advice line, email queries, our training and consultancy, our research (including large surveys) and at events, both ours and others. These have been used alongside our position statements to aid us in formulating a response to the questions posed in the paper.  

Our response can be viewed by clicking here.