Governing Chatters podcasts

Governing Chatters –  chatting with a purpose! Join us for the latest news and views that affect governors, trustees and clerks of state schools in England. NGA staff and members have a monthly conversation on topics which concern governing boards.

You can find details of our latest podcasts below. All of our podcasts will be available to listen to on this page.

If you have an issue you would like to hear a chat about – or even contribute – please contact

New podcasts

Episode 14: Increasing participation in Governance

Governing Chatters - episode 14

In our latest episode we are joined by three Chairs and Governors to discuss how you can increase participation in governance and why diversity on boards is important. We explore how boards have diversified their membership and supported new governors and trustees when they join.

Listen to episode  14

Previous podcasts

Episode 13: Start of the year - lots to do

Governing chatters episode 13

After a break over the summer, Governing Chatters is back. In the first episode of the autumn term, Emma Knights, Sam Henson and Steve Edmonds discuss the big issues facing you this term.

They discuss plans for school returns, covid recovery and recap on the Ofsted framework for inspection. Alongside this, they explore the role of skills audits, look ahead to the rest of the autumn term’s events and releases. 

Access the resources we discussed in the show:
Skills Audit 
Model Code of conduct
Ofsted webinar

Listen to episode  13

Episode 12: Making pupil mental wellbeing a priority

Governing chatters episode 12

In this month’s podcast, Emma Knights, Steve Edmonds and Emma Balchin looked at pupil wellbeing, what do we mean by it and what does the current data tell us. What are the key elements for building a whole school culture that supports pupils and engages them directly?  

We also explored the importance of induction and CPD in supporting new and experienced governors to make an impact and deliver the best education for their pupils.   
If you want to watch the webinar on Pupil well-being, you can see it on our webinars page.

Members can download the information sheet on making pupil wellbeing a priority.

Listen to episode  12

Episode 11: Trusts and their communities

Governing chatters episode 11

Following the launch of NGA's latest report, MATs Moving Forward, we look at the key issues of the report and how they apply across all schools.
Listen to episode  11

Episode 10: The role of clerks and other governance professionals in developing and maintaining effective working relationships

Governing chatters episode 10

In our latest episode of Governing Chatters we have a fascinating discussion with four outstanding clerks who give us their insight on how you manage relationships, foster a culture of challenge and enable effective governance remotely.

Find out about NGA’s work to support governance professionals and to raise their profile with #VisibleGovernance.
Listen to episode  10 

Episode 9: Ethical Leadership and how it works

Governing chatters episode 9

In this episode we are delighted to be joined by some of the key figures involved in the development of the Ethical Leadership framework and the Pathfinder project.

NGA's Nina Sharma talks to Carolyn Roberts, former chair of the Ethical Comission and three pathfinders - Karen Cornell, Cath Kitchen and Rosemary Hoyle -  about how they have used the pathfinder project in their school(s) and the impact the work has had. Find out more about the report and the project.
Listen to episode 9                     

Episode 8: Farewell to 2020

Governing chatters episode 8

Christmas is a time for reflection, today we are going to look back on what we have learnt from the seminars, reflect on where we are with Covid and the impact on the sector. We are also going to look at what we have learnt from such a strange year and with a sense of optimism(?) look ahead to what 2021 might contain.  

Listen to episode 8 

Episode 7: Annual Conference, Seminars and the autumn term so far

Governing chatters episode 7

Join us as we discuss the latest on how schools operate through the autumn term and deal with the challenges of the pandemic. 

We also look ahead to our annual conference seminar series which will look at the Governing Board's role in: 

- Closing the disadvantage gap for pupils
- Promoting diversity & equality in senior leadership
- The well-being and retention of senior leadership 
- The future outlook for school improvement and accountability

Listen to episode 7

Episode 6: Leading during Covid

Schools are open and children in the main are returning to school thanks to the efforts of senior leaders, staff and governors. It has been a remarkable effort to get everything ready.  

That effort can come at a cost and today we want to focus on leadership, the headline findings from our latest annual governance survey on leadership as well as the recruitment, well-being, appraisal and development of leaders.

Listen to episode 6

Episode 5: New academic year - Ready to go?

Governing chatters episode 5

As we start a new academic year, schools returning fully for the first time since lockdown, we look at some of things NGA has been up to during August. 

Emma Knights OBE, NGA Chief Executive, Sam Henson, NGA Director of Policy and information , Emma Balchin, NGA Director of Professional Development look at the Annual Governance Survey, Skills Audits and Board reflection as well as the implications of the student grade decisions made during August. 

Listen to episode 5

Episode 4: Time to reflect?

Governing chatters episode 4

Well, that has been a busy summer term, it has been testament to the strength of boards and senior leadership along with their staff that we have come through the lockdown the way we have.

August is a chance for us all to take stock of where we are,  look ahead to the new academic year and look at the big strategic issues we face.

Listen to episode 4

Episode 3: Planning ahead - what does September look like?

Governing chatters episode 3

Join Emma Knights OBE, NGA Chief Executive, Sam Henson, NGA Director of Policy and information , Emma Balchin, NGA Director of Professional Development and Steve Edmonds, NGA Director of Advice and Guidance as they discuss the latest policy announcements from DfE and they make sense of where we are now. We explore the key issues in planning for the September return to school, catch up money and how and what you should be focussed on monitoring if you can’t visit your school. 

Listen to episode 3

Episode 2: Examining the new Ofsted inspection framework

Governing chatters episode 2

Join us as Emma Knights OBE , NGA Chief Executive, explores NGA’s latest report into the new Education Inspection Framework with Sam Henson, NGA Director of Policy and information and Nina Sharma, NGA Policy and Information Officer. We outline our findings into the impact of the new framework on governors, outline what has improved and what could be improved to support governors and trustees.

Listen to episode 2 

Episode 1: Governing through COVID-19

Governing chatters episode 1

Listen to our monthly update on the latest school governance issue. In this episode Emma Knights OBE, NGA Chief Executive, is joined by Steve Edmonds, NGA Director of Advice and Guidance and Emma Balchin, NGA Director of Professional Development to discuss the challenges faced by schools during the COVID-19 lockdown and how NGA has supported all schools. We explore the role CPD can play on the lockdown and we also look ahead to our next podcast covering our report into the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Listen to episode 1

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