Questions about the recruitment process

Will there be any further recruitment rounds if I am not sure whether to apply this time?

This is a second recruitment round to expand capacity in certain areas. It is unlikely there will be another recruitment round within the next year.

What different ways can I be engaged as an NLG and what is the difference if I am classed as ‘self-employed’?

Successful applicants can be engaged under ‘self-employed status’, meaning an agreement would be issued with you as an individual. If you are self-employed, and registered to pay VAT, you can include the additional VAT when you invoice NGA. The role is IR35 compliant although please do note, NLGs will not be ‘employed’ by NGA or the DfE, they will be engaged to carry out work on a consultancy basis – our agreement with you will reflect this.

You can also be engaged via your employer (if you work for a trust, school, local authority or consultancy company for instance). This means that we would be paying your employer for the work completed, rather than you as an individual.

Will I need my own public indemnity insurance?

For any work carried out for NGA, you will be covered by NGAs insurance.

Can I continue to do other governor/trust support work outside of the contract? Can I continue to charge for these services?

Any schools or trusts, whether they meet the criteria for funded support or not, can approach and commission independent providers or NGA as always.  You are free to continue other streams of work you have declared or that came to you independently of NGA; however, you will only be able to use your NLG designation to complete work scheduled by NGA under the terms of your contract with us.  

If a setting wants an NLG specifically to complete their external review or other governance support, this can only be commissioned through NGA.

Will I need to write to my own references? One of my referees is not available over the school holidays?

NGA will write to referees and manage the reference process.

Will I need to travel to NGA offices for the interview? What will the presentation I need to deliver as part of my interview look like?

All interviews will be held remotely. When we write to shortlisted applicants inviting them to interview, we will include full details of the presentation you will be asked to deliver.

Questions about the role

What sort of time commitment will I need to make? What if I work full-time or have other governance commitments?

We expect NLGs to be asked to carry out between six and nine reviews a year, but there will always be the option to refuse work or take on more where it is available/demand requires it. ERGs will take between three and five days (and in some exceptional circumstances, 10 days). Some of the work will need to be carried out during the school/working day so please do consider this and discuss it with your employer should you need to.

What sort of training will be provided, and will I be paid to attend?

A commitment must be made to attend training and CPD sessions. Two half-day sessions will be held which will include a short induction session focusing on the administration and operations processed, and the ERG process itself. Regrettably, you will not be paid to attend these sessions. Induction and training sessions will be held virtually.

How will the ERGs be quality assured?

The first ERG conducted by every NLG will be quality assured (QA’d), and this will then continue on a sample basis. QA will cover the quality of report writing, examination of the findings, a check that they link to the recommendations, and that the overall assessment of the ability of the board to respond the recommendations is realistic. Feedback from the quality assurance process will be discussed on an individual basis.

What are the employment arrangements?

It is expected that NLGs will undertake an average of between six and nine reviews a year. However, this will depend on the scope of the review eg those undertaking trust reviews, which will be more wide ranging and time consuming, may undertake fewer than those undertaking single school reviews.

NLGs will be self-employed and engaged on this basis. There will be no guarantee of work, which will depend on demand and NGA’s judgement as to an NLG’s suitability for an assignment. Work will be assigned to NLGs in accordance with their track record and relevant expertise, geographical proximity and availability to complete the work.

NLGs will be paid on a self-employed basis on a rate per assignment of £500 per day. NLGs may charge VAT if they are registered to do so.

Mileage is per deployment and not claimable for the first 100 miles. Mileage incurred over that is claimable at 45p per mile as per the guidance set out by HMRC. The role is IR35 compliant.

Questions about external reviews of governance

Will only NLGs be able to undertake ERGs?

No, the sector will undoubtedly continue to provide reviews where they are commissioned by settings as part of regular good practice self-review.

Could an NLG carry out ERGs for a setting that does not meet the DfE’s criteria?

Yes, settings that do not meet the criteria for centrally funded ERGs can still commission an NLG through NGA, as part of good practice, regular self-review.

Will ERGs be carried out for LGBs/academy committees?

No, if there are issues highlighted within a school within a trust, it will trigger a trust board review.

Does the scope of the NLG role cover independent schools?

Independent schools would not be able to access the DfE funded support, however may commission an NLG to provide support through NGA.

How will the ERG process work? Is it the same as the NGA ERG framework? What will happen about supporting action plans for instance, after the ERG has been completed?

NLGs will be deployed depending on their skill set and area of expertise. We will discuss with you each deployment, ensuring you have the capacity to complete the work, have no conflicts of interest. There will be some differences between NGAs framework and that of the NLG programme. The funded support includes a progress check approximately three months after the review. There will be limited funding to provide further support identified where appropriate, and this will be negotiated with the DfE  on a case-by-case basis.

Will NLGs be expected to promote the government’s academisation agenda?

No, an external review of governance will look at the effectiveness and structures of the current governance arrangements and make specific recommendations for improvements as they relate to the current context. NLGs will not be expected to promote government policy, but as set out in the NLG standards, NLGs will be expected to model effective governance as set out in both the Governance Handbook and the Academy Trust Handbook.

Is there a link to the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH) and the emphasis placed on suggested annual reviews of governance and do the ESFA required reviews also link to the ATH?

Regular external reviews will be recognised as good practice in all settings, however DfE funded NLG deployments will only be commissioned in schools or trusts that meet the DfE’s eligibility criteria.

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