Facilitating away days

Away days are known as such as usually the intention is for them to take place off site; however many schools and trusts hold them on site but out of school hours so that all those participating can focus on the event with minimum distraction. In reality a ‘long half day’ is usually time enough to meet the objectives set for the event, and a Saturday morning with a break for brunch, or a twilight with a break for a light refreshments, work well.

Away day type sessions are particularly valuable for:

  • Boards looking to create – or review – their school or trust’s vision and strategy
  • Boards which have experienced turbulence and need to team build
  • Boards newly created due to a change in governance structure (e.g. becoming a multi academy trust) and who need to upskill and gain confidence quickly in their new role and responsibilities
  • Boards looking to build their knowledge and understanding over a range of issues so a number of training sessions are amalgamated into a whole day experience

When planning an away day, your consultant will liaise with your school or trust to ensure that the purpose of the event is clear, and that expected outcomes are defined. This will involve a conversation with at the minimum the chair or the senior executive leader, and normally with both.  In many cases it is helpful for the consultant to see some of the board’s documents as this helps build a picture of how the board is working. Consultants very much appreciate it when the school or trust understands this and makes these available.

It is expected that invitations to attend such events extend to the headteacher / CEO and members of the senior leadership team, especially the school business manager or finance director. NGA also really welcomes the clerk/governance manager’s presence.

For further information contact: consultancy@nga.org.uk

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