Support available from the NLG programme

The National Leaders of Governance (NLG) programme aims to improve the quality of governance in schools and trusts. Support can be funded by the Department for Education in eligible settings or self-funded by a school or trust and is delivered by the National Governance Association (NGA).

The only way to get support from an NLG is through NGA.

Through the programme, National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) provide governance expertise and support to boards so that the school or trust can improve. Most of the support is in the form of an External Review of Governance but additional or alternative support may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Department for Education funded support

For academy trusts

If your board is identified as eligible, you will be contacted by your Regional Schools Commissioner's (RSC) team. If you accept the offer of support, they will then refer your board to NGA. We will then match you with an NLG who will make contact and begin support usually in the form of an external review of governance at trust level.

Where a faith trust is offered support, RSC teams will inform the diocesan body.

For maintained and individual faith schools

Local authorities or diocesan bodies will recommend boards who have a ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted judgement with ‘requires improvement’ for ‘leadership and management’ to the programme. The local authority will ask you to participate in the programme if they feel support will have an impact on your board. If you accept the offer of support, they will then commission the NGA to support your board.  We will match you with an NLG who will then undertake an external review of governance to provide you with bespoke recommendations and an action plan for improving your governance practice.

For local authorities and diocesan bodies

Local authorities and diocesan bodies can put forward eligible settings. The NGA team may contact you directly about the support available to your schools or you can contact us on on 0121 237 3780 option 4 or email . Please note that where there are more schools eligible than support available, NLG support will be offered in consultation with the NLG team.


If your board does not meet the criteria for funded support, you can still commission an NLG to undertake an external review of governance or to provide other governance support.

It is good practice for boards to have an external review of governance regularly, according to both the ESFA’s Academy Trust Handbook 2021 and the DfE’s Governance Handbook.

This service will be developed in negotiation with you, please contact us on 0121 237 3780 option 4 or email for further information and a bespoke proposal.

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