NGA Outstanding Governance Awards


Today the National Governors’ Association is holding the biennial Outstanding Governance Awards, to be presented by Lord Nash at the House of Commons. There are two awards, one for Outstanding Governing Body and one for Outstanding Clerk.  The awards celebrate exceptional governing bodies and clerks whose dedication and skill make a real difference to the lives of the children in their schools. 

Finalists of the Outstanding Governing Body Award

Federation of Gislingham and Palgrave Primary Schools

Gislingham and Palgrave are two very small village schools that formally federated at the start of 2011. Both schools previously had significant weaknesses but standards have improved considerably and in 2012 Ofsted judged Palgrave to be ‘good’ and Gislingham ‘outstanding’. The governors of the federation were described as being “strong, well-informed and exceptionally well-organised” whose “best practice is shared with other schools in the local authority”.

Halstow Primary School

The governors of Halstow Primary School are a well-skilled group that work as a team. They have used their strong negotiating skills in discussions with the Local Authority to achieve considerable improvements for the school. Through supporting other schools they have improved the leadership structure and capacity of their own school and improved CPD for all staff.  Halstow is now a teaching school as part of the Royal Greenwich training schools alliance.

Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College

Ravenscliffe is an oversubscribed secondary special school catering for pupils with a wide range of needs, some of which are complex. The governors’ vision is to provide the best education and future employment prospects for pupils and enable them to develop skills to use in the community. Working together, governors and staff have embarked on several projects to enhance the life chances of pupils, such as setting up a training facility for pupils alongside the main school kitchen.

Sponne School

School improvement is at the heart of the nomination of Sponne School’s governing body.  Governors were galvanised into action following an inspection in 2007 and introduced challenging expectations for staff.  They monitored data, challenged outcomes and the rate of student progress has significantly improved.  Governors describe themselves as big strategic thinkers who have high aspirations for the school and the local area.

Stanbridge Primary School

From being described as the worst school in the area, Stanbridge has progressed from special measure to being good with outstanding leadership and management in 18 months. The journey of the governing body has been impressive. The base of 3 or 4 governors, some new to the role, was augmented by two experienced additional governors. They have helped to develop the present skilled governing body, then gradually reduced their involvement and handed over the leadership to the current strong and capable chair.

Peakirk-cum-Glinton Primary School

The governing body of Peakirk-cum-Glinton Primary School is well-informed with a wide range of appropriate skills that has made considerable improvement over two years to become strategic and challenging.  They have provided vision and expertise in projects, including bringing the pre-school on to the school site, achieved in an impressively short timeframe through the drive of governors who secured great community support.  This has provided better facilities for the children and improved their transition into school through closer co-operation.

Finalists of the Outstanding Clerk Award

Carolyn Choudhry

Carolyn provides excellent support to her governing body, both in preparation and circulation of agendas, papers and minutes.  In addition through her extensive knowledge and research she ensures that the governing body is always kept informed and up to date.  Her governing body view her as a great asset and an important part of the school team.

Kate Davenport

Kate supports the governing body with excellent legal knowledge. Since taking over the clerking role in September 2010 she has had a significant impact in improving the efficiency and, therefore, effectiveness of the governing body.

Sara Edwards

Sara takes the lead in ensuring that school policies are regularly reviewed and kept up to date.  She maintains a calm and professional manner and supports the governing body to carry out its work in an efficient manner

Beth Morgan

Beth is diligent and efficient clerk who shows great integrity. She ensures that the governing body receives timely papers for meetings which clearly set out what is required of the governing body. She also ensures that new members of the governing body are inducted and made to feel welcome.

Karen Stainsby

Karen maintains a very high-standard in relation to her record keeping and documentation.  As a result of her own experiences as a governor and Local Authority wide role as Chair of the Surrey Governors’ Association she is able to provide examples of local and national good practice to enable her governing body to improved its own practice.

Natalie Whetstone

Natalie was instrumental in encouraging her governing body to undertake a self-review process which has led to improvements in its effectiveness.  She keeps up to date with education news to ensure that she can best support the governing body.  During the Ofsted inspection the inspector singled out the governing body minutes as examples of best practice.