Lord Nash announces funding for governance training to be doubled


Thanks to everyone who attended the NGA summer conference on Saturday. The event was a huge success, and we’d like to thank Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, for giving his time to come and speak to us and answer some of our questions.  

Lord Nash was very clear about the importance of governors in transforming schools, and he wanted to create dynamic boards with the power to do this. He was very pleased to announce that the Department for Education is doubling their investment in the development of governance. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) will be developing more training for governors on the key priority issues (performance and data included), and increasing the numbers of National Leaders’ of Governance (applications open in September). 
Lord Nash praised the work of clerks, saying ‘professional clerking that goes beyond merely taking notes is important,’ something the NGA has been saying for a long time. The governing body requires professional people and professional support. The NCTL will also be funded to develop training for clerks that is intended to reach up to half of all schools. He encouraged governors to attend the feedback session from Ofsted with the chair and headteacher so that you understand what the school needs to do to improve; the NGA has long been encouraging governors to do this, and we are pleased that the minister is supporting this message. He also supported the NGA’s view that governors should look at governance of federations and multi-academy trusts. 
There were a lot of questions for the minister, ranging from funding and premises to recruitment and removal of underperforming governors. One question that got a loud cheer and applause from the audience was ‘where is the training for headteachers to work with governors?’ Lord Nash said there was a different relationship when they are in charge 95% of the time, and then meet the governors and they’re not the ones in charge.  
Finally, Lord Nash wanted to thank governors, saying that they are ‘enormously grateful to you and for all that you do.’ There will be a full report of the conference in the September edition of Governing Matters. Presentations will be online later today.
NGA would also like to thank all of the workshop leaders for facilitating such interesting and useful discussions. Finally, thanks are also due to all of the tweeters in the room; we are very pleased to say that #NGAconf was trending on Twitter on Saturday morning! For those who don’t tweet, this means that it was one of the most popular things to tweet about and we were therefore reaching a lot of people and raising the issue of school governance.  

You can read the full speech on the DfE website.