Find out how to get support from a National Leader of Governance

National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) deliver external reviews of governance and support for schools and academy trusts through the National Leaders of Governance programme, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and managed by the National Governance Association (NGA). Boards can also self-fund NLG support.

Designated NLGs are experienced governors, trustees, governance professionals, advisers and consultants from across England. Each NLG has demonstrated the substantial governance experience and expertise needed to carry out the role to a high standard through a rigorous and externally moderated assessment process. The team includes experts in all types of school and trust structures.

Adele Haysom,

Adele Haysom

A qualified accountant and company director, Adele has been working as a governance consultant since 2014. She has completed over 30 different projects working with schools, academies and trusts. This work has included delivering training on various areas of governance including effective governance and the role of the governor in exclusions, mentoring and coaching chairs and external reviews of governance, often at the instigation of Ofsted.

Adele has chaired a multi academy trust board in the south west since 2018. During her time in the chair the trust has grown from five to 24 schools. Previously, she chaired a maintained junior school for five years from 2004 and a secondary school for seven years from 2011. In this time, it transitioned from a foundation school to an academy. In addition, at the request of the Regional Schools Commissioners office, she has sat on and chaired several Interim Executive Boards to support governance where schools are facing significant challenges.

Using the knowledge and skills of her professional qualification as a management account (CIMA) Adele has developed through attending training delivered through national programmes focused on an array of governance themes including effective chairing and leading the board.

Alison Aisbitt,

Alison Aisbitt

With over 20 years’ experience of school governance, Alison became a governor at the primary school she attended herself and has developed considerable insight in how to lead and develop governance through challenging times.

Alison has extensive experience working across primary and secondary school phases within maintained, voluntary aided, as well as multi academy trusts (MATs). She has provided advice, guidance, and training to boards.

In addition, at the request of Directors of Education and trust boards she has sat on and chaired several Interim Executive Boards to support governance where schools are facing significant challenges. More recently, Alison has recently become a director of a large Catholic academy.

Alison holds an LLB (Hons) in law and has worked as a local government officer delivering, commissioning, and managing social welfare law services. This professional experience means she has excellent strategic and change management skills that transfer well into school governance. She has also worked as a trustee in the charity sector further broadens and deepens her relevant expertise for school governance. 

Andrew Collyer,

Andrew Collyer

As an experienced business leader, working in several countries with over 500 organisations, Andrew specialises in strategy, improvement, change and transformation. This work has been done at board level involving leaders, management and shareholders.

Andrew has been a governor, trustee and member of five governing boards; maintained, special schools and trusts, including two Interim Executive Boards. He has chaired three governing boards and is currently chair in a single academy trust in Gloucester and of an academy local governing board, part of a multi academy trust in inner city Birmingham.

He has over seven years’ combined experience as a chair and has completed the Chairs’ Development Programme. He was chair of a maintained boys school and has significant experience with Ofsted. He is highly adept at developing governing boards and improving diversity, at one point chairing one of the youngest governing boards in the West Midlands. He has held link governor roles for safeguarding, SEND and pupil premium and worked closely with school and governor support services.

Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management. He is a Justice of the Peace, sitting in the Adult and Family courts in Birmingham. He has graduated from the Oxford Executive Leadership Programme.

Anthony Kent,

Anthony Kent

Anthony is a licenced insolvency practitioner, accountant and business recovery specialist. He is a finance director of a building development company and sits as a trustee of other local charities.

Anthony has been involved in all levels of school governance for over 15 years and a chair of governors for nine years at both primary and secondary education. He has experience in working in a multi academy trust, in academies at the local level and in maintained schools.  He is a foundation governor and has been involved in Church of England schools.

Becky Poynter,

Becky Poynter

Becky has worked in education since 1990, first for an inner London local authority and then in maintained schools and multi academy trusts (MATs) in and around Suffolk. She first became a governor at her children’s school in 2008. Becky is an experienced chair, currently leading the board of an outstanding special school, and has recently stepped down as chair of a primary academy following a successful Ofsted under the new framework.

She has worked with chairs, governors and boards across the Eastern Region and beyond. She has conducted reviews of MAT boards and local governing bodies and Interim Executive Boards for both the local authority and the diocese.

As well as being the Head of Governance for a 30 school MAT, she is a clerk for a federation of two Church of England primary schools and a tutor with an education services company’s governor training team. Becky is currently working towards a Diploma in Corporate Governance with CIPFA and was highly commended in the lead governance professional category at NGA’s Outstanding Governance Awards 2021.

Bernard Tomkins,

Bernard Tomkins

Bernard has worked in the vehicle leasing industry as a sales manager for several years. He has been trained to Black Belt level in Six Sigma which is a method to help organisations improve capabilities by improving processes and is also a trained facilitator.

He is currently chair of a Catholic federation for six years, chair of a Catholic secondary school for five years and chair of a Catholic primary academy for two months. Bernard has also been chair at a maintained school where he began as chair of the interim executive board before the school academised.

Bernard has delivered external reviews of governance in primary and secondary schools and academies, both faith and local authority maintained. He runs courses for diocesan schools on convening panels and panel protocols, and facilitates governing board strategic direction sessions.

Bex Couch,

Bex Couch

Bex has been an NGA consultant since 2019 and has facilitated on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for both chairs and clerks.

Having worked in school governance for over 20 years, Bex has provided support and guidance to governors and trustees across maintained schools, church schools and academy trusts. Bex has undertaken numerous external reviews of governance and has a proven track record in supporting boards to improve practice.

Bex is currently the Governance Officer for a large multi academy trust in Cornwall and has previously worked in similar roles with a diocese and a local authority. Bex has served on a number of boards as clerk, governor and trustee taking on roles such as safeguarding and vice chair.

Briony Sutcliffe,

Briony Sutcliffe

Briony works as a governance consultant for a large not-for-profit educational service delivering external reviews of governance. She is also a freelance consultant working on vision, strategy, business planning and grants management, mainly in the tourism and sports sectors. She previously held strategic planning roles for the National Trust and the English Tourism Council.

Briony has been a governor for 12 years and has just completed a four year term of office as chair of a voluntary aided Church of England Primary School. The school was highly commended in the 2019 NGA Outstanding Governance Awards for Vision and Strategy.

Briony has recently completed an MSc with the Open University in Environmental Management.

Dr Carsten Kressel,

Dr Carsten Kressel

Carsten is a management consultant with professional experience in the public, private and charitable sectors. His work is further informed by his track record as an executive and non-executive director in the private and not-for-profit sectors. He is also the company secretary of two multi academy trusts (MATs), clerk to an educational charity and a non-executive director of a community company in Scotland.

Carsten’s governance experience covers establishing and clerking MATs at board level, clerking and offering governance support for maintained schools, academies, alternative provision, special and voluntary aided schools; designing and implementing governance arrangements to drive rapid improvement; and carrying out numerous external reviews.

Carsten has been a governor since 2006 in maintained Church of England and Catholic schools in the north west. He has been a chair since 2007 and has been clerking and delivering governance training in small groups since early 2012. In his spare time, he has supported several other chairs in their role and development.

Catherine Barratt,

Catherine Barratt

Catherine is Head of Governor Services in a company which provides professional services to schools. She provides training, advice and consultancy in all areas of governance to all types of governing board. This includes managing trust growth projects, advising on effective trust governance structures, and designing bespoke training programmes for governors and trustees. She is a mentor and adviser to new and experienced chairs and delivers regular governance briefings. She also trains and supports a team of governance professionals.

She became chair of a Church of England Voluntary Aided primary school in 2013, seeing it through academy conversion in 2019 and remaining on the local committee. She also works as a governance manager in two multi academy trusts, each consisting of five schools, providing support for all areas of governance across the trusts.

Catherine spent the early part of her career in teaching and is a qualified teacher of modern languages. In 2019 she completed the Chartered Governance Institute Certificate in Academy Governance.

Dr Chasca Twyman,

Dr Chasca Twyman

As a former university academic, Chasca’s professional experience in higher education means she has excellent strategic and analytic skills that transfer well into school governance. Her work as a trustee in the charity sector further broadens and deepens her relevant expertise for school governance. 

Chasca is currently chair in a large rural local authority maintained foundation secondary school. She has also governed in a small rural Church of England primary school. She has experience of governing in maintained schools exploring federations, collaborations and academisation, as well as those managing expanding and contracting pupil intakes. Chasca is co-chair of a small charity that has undergone mergers, similar to academisation for school.

Chasca holds a PhD in the Social Sciences, has completed the NGA Leading Governance development for chairs programmes and regularly updates her knowledge through the NGA Learning Link platform.

Chris Forrest,

Chris Forrest

Chris owns a governance consultancy which offers training, consultancy and support to local authorities, multi academy trusts (MATs) and individual schools across the country.

Chris is a qualified accountant, project manager and leadership coach. He has previously worked at a senior level across the NHS and public sector, including roles as a management accountant, senior organisational development manager, and as Head of Workforce for an NHS trust.

Chris has been a governor at a maintained school for 11 years and chair for six years. He has been co-opted to the boards of maintained schools who were sponsored conversations to academy status, has sat on academy committees within a MAT and is a trustee at a primary MAT.

As well as being a qualified Management Accountant (ACMA, CGMA) Chris is also a Prince 2 Practitioner and a Level 5 Leadership Coach.

Clare Allen,

Clare Allen

Clare is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services including external reviews of governance. She facilitates on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs, clerks and boards.

Clare has over 20 years experience of the education sector as an advanced skills teacher, headteacher, adviser and governor. She recently completed a master’s degree in Applied Child Psychology which involved research into the impact of effective leadership and management on the mental wellbeing of children.  

Clare has a proven track record of supporting schools at all levels of leadership and management to secure the best outcomes for children. Her first-hand experience of both headship and governance augments her capacity to provide support and advisory work, as has her work with numerous single and multi academy trusts (MATs). She has also been instrumental in forming collaborative governor partnerships within networks of maintained schools.

Clare has been a staff, parent and co-opted governor, and is currently chair of a maintained primary school. She also serves as a trustee in a large MAT consisting of primary, secondary and special school settings.

Clare Stansfield,

Clare Stansfield

Clare is an education governance professional with over 10 years’ experience. She leads the provision of strategic advice and guidance to governors and clerks across a diocese, and fulfils the role of Admissions Officer for its 70 plus schools. In addition, Clare provides governance leadership and company secretarial support for the diocese’s umbrella trust.

Clare began her work in governance supporting a Catholic primary school as clerk, quickly adding a federation of two special schools to her portfolio. For the past six years she has been the Governance Officer for a diocese, supporting Church of England schools, primary and secondary, voluntary aided and voluntary controlled schools, single academy trusts and multi academy trusts (MATs), in both urban and rural areas. Within this she also worked as the de facto governance officer for the diocesan MAT for several years prior to the MAT appointing its own governance officer.

Clare has recently been appointed as a director designate for a Catholic MAT which is due to open in March 2022.

David Werry,

David Werry

David has been an NGA consultant since 2015. He works for NGA Consultancy on several projects, including external reviews of governance of single academy trusts, multi academy trusts (MATs) and maintained schools; supporting organisations as an external adviser for the performance management of senior executive leaders; and helping to develop advice alongside other members of the NGA team. He also delivers sessions for NGA Training on a variety of topics.

David has over 25 years’ experience in primary education, including 12 years as headteacher and, since 2014, as a consultant, working with schools across the Midlands.

David has been involved in school governance since 2011 and has experience in all phases from nursery to sixth form; in both mainstream and special education. He is currently chair of a maintained primary school, and is a member of a MAT. He has previously served as a trustee in two different MATs over eight years. Positions held included chair of trust board, chair of finance committee and chair of local governing body.

Before finding his vocation as a primary school teacher, David worked for six years as an accountant in business and industry. His professional qualifications include ACA and NPQH.

Deepti Bal,

Deepti Bal

In 2017, Deepti set up a consultancy which provides a full suite of interrelated professional services to support school leaders. The consultancy partners with academies, dioceses and maintained schools across London to deliver integrated solutions to governance, legal, HR, compliance, risk, complex programme management, academisation, trust growth and reputational challenges in schools.

Deepti currently works with over 30 schools and governing boards providing governance services across the sector (primary and secondary, single and multi academy trusts, maintained schools, special schools, nurseries and post-19 institutions). This includes strategic support for governing boards in special measures and those facing challenges, advising on academisation and setting up new trust and local boards.

Prior to setting up the consultancy, Deepti held director positions in international programme management, regulatory and public affairs in London and Brussels. Deepti holds both graduate and post-graduate degrees from the University of Oxford.

Diane Moss,

Diane Moss

Diane is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services mainly for academy sector clients and focusing on setting vision and strategy and financial oversight. She trains in schools, multi academy trusts (MATs) and local authorities. Diane has delivered NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for both chairs and clerks.

Diane’s first career was in central government working directly with ministers on tax development. Diane became a full-time freelance governance professional a few years ago, providing both external reviews of governance and governor training for a variety of clients, including NGA. She has carried out reviews across all phases from nurseries to university technical colleges and has worked across the faith sector, in particular Catholic faith schools. Diane also continues to work as the governance professional to a single academy trust grammar school.

For a number of years Diane was the chair of a small MAT of six primary academies in south east London and Kent, growing the trust from its founding single academy including building a new free school and sponsoring a school in special measures. Diane is now a trustee of a two secondary school MATs.

Alongside her governance consultancy roles, Diane provides a day a week to the Ministry of Justice providing leadership to the advisory committee that recruits magistrates across London. Diane is also a trustee with a housing association providing both residential care and sheltered accommodation.

Duncan Whitehouse,

Duncan Whitehouse

With over 20 years governance experience in schools, the NHS and local government Duncan is currently School Governance Manager at a local authority. He has carried out numerous external reviews of governance as well as providing ongoing support and guidance to schools. He has experience of providing support and intervention across a range of settings including pupil referral units, special schools and in supporting Interim Executive Boards.

He has developed and delivered training on a wide range of school governance matters from induction through to effective monitoring, school finance and effective link governance. He also leads a team of governance professionals delivering clerking services in the Black Country.

Duncan is currently a foundation governor at a Catholic secondary school as well as a governor at a community primary school. As a foundation governor he has provided bespoke support to Catholic settings and has covered most governance roles including chair, safeguarding link governor and SEND link governor.

Elton D'Souza,

Elton D'Souza

Elton is a National Leader of Governance (NLG) and delivers external reviews of governance and support for schools and academy trusts through the National Leaders for Governance programme. This is funded by the Department for Education (DfE)and delivered by the National Governance Association (NGA).

Elton is also an NLG in the Further Education (FE) sector working for the FE Commissioner since January 2020. Elton is a seasoned business veteran with over 30 years’ experience in the IT Sector working with customers in the finance and government sectors. He now follows a passion for education as the key enabler for social mobility and increased productivity in our society.

As NLG in the FE sector, Elton works with chairs from FE colleges nationally to review governance and provide active support to help organisations emerge from DfE intervention successfully.

Elton’s first governance role was parent governor at a local authority maintained school. In seven years on the board, he became chair and led conversion to a single academy trust. He then joined and eventually chaired the board of a sixth form college. He helped secure £35m to build a new sixth form college which is now part of a multi academy trust (MAT). Elton is currently chair of a MAT and a college which form collective of post-16 education providers, sharing the same strategic aims to provide outstanding vocational and academic excellence to over 15,000 students across the region.

Elton has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Warwick University.

Emma Myers,

Emma Myers

Emma is currently the Head of Governance and Compliance at an eight school multi academy trust (MAT) in the West Midlands. Prior to this, Emma was the Governance Lead for a national six school MAT.

Prior to working directly for MATs, Emma worked for a large not-for-profit education services provider where she was responsible for a large team of governance professionals providing services in over 230 settings – including mainstream, alternative provision and special schools in both the maintained and academy sector.

Emma has held a number of governance positions and is currently a governor at a Catholic adademy, as part of a regional committee with responsibility for two primaries and one secondary.

Emma is an accredited governance professional, having completed the NCTL National Clerks’ Development Programme and holds a certificate in further education teaching and training. Emma is also trained and experienced in the role of company secretary.

Emma Skinmore Harris,

Emma Skinmore Harris

Emma has over 15 years’ experience as a school governance professional, initially as a clerk in a local authority clerking service. For the past seven years she has been running her own school governance consultancy, primarily working with maintained schools in inner-city settings across all phases from early years to sixth form, including Church of England, Catholic and special schools. She has supported schools in a number of areas such as recruitment, training, succession planning, documentation and self-evaluation

Prior to becoming a governance professional, Emma served one term of office as a parent governor in a community school in west London. She was then elected as a parent governor of the local governing body of a Church of England secondary school which was part of a large multi academy trust. During her tenure she was an active member of the steering group set up to oversee the new build of a two form entry primary school on the secondary school site and the conversion to an all-through school.

Emma is a former trustee of the Friends of the V&A and conducted a board review which resulted in substantial changes being made.

George Craig,

George Craig

George is an experienced Pupil Premium reviewer and works in a professional capacity as an education consultant. He provides a wide range of school improvement support, advice and guidance such as headteacher performance management, safeguarding reviews, safer recruitment training, designated safeguarding lead training and governor training.

In September 2017, George was appointed as the governance representative on the West Midlands Strategic Leadership Board which works across 16 local authorities. He has extensive experience of carrying out governance reviews in all phases of education.

George has a wealth of experience governing in maintained, diocese and academy sectors within primary, secondary and university technical college settings. He has specialist experience in chairing Interim Executive Boards and has extensive special school experience. He also holds the National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership (NPQEL).

Giles Osborne,

Giles Osborne

Formerly an executive headteacher, local authority advisor and the training director for Raiseonline. Giles is currently a School Improvement Partner supporting all phases including special and alternative provisions working with trusts and schools; he combines this with the role of strategic lead for governance within a local authority. Part of this role entails conducting school and governance reviews for trusts and schools and advising trustees across a range of leadership projects.

For over five years Giles has been a chair of governors in a trust and in October 2021 the school was judged by Ofsted to be 'outstanding' for the first time in its history. Before this he was a governor of a maintained secondary school and a staff governor. Giles has an MA in Education Management and his NPQH.

Gurdreep Sanghera,

Gurdreep Sanghera

Gurdeep worked as a local government officer across four different authorities where delivering positive outcomes for the community has been at the centre of all her previous roles.

Working as a governance professional for several years she has extensive experience working across primary and secondary school phases within maintained, voluntary aided and community schools, as well as multi academy trusts (MATs). She has provided advice, guidance and training to boards, including bespoke support to special schools and Interim Executive Boards.

Gurdeep is a passionate advocate of promoting and increasing diversity and inclusion in boards and has recently been appointed a Community Council Member for a federation of academies that form part of a MAT, previously having been clerk for the local academy federation for several years.

Helen Stockill,

Helen Stockill

Helen has substantial governance experience and expertise gained over 14 years working in the sector. She has experience of advising and supporting both maintained schools and academy trusts as the lead for a local authority governor development service for 10 years. In 2017 Helen took on the role of Head of Governance for a 15 school multi academy trust (MAT) in Leicestershire comprising primary and special schools. In this role Helen has completed a review of governance and supported other schools and trusts with external review support.

With over 15 years served as a governor and trustee, she understands the challenges and complexities of the role. Helen has direct experience of governing in mainstream and academies across primary and secondary phases. Helen is currently the vice chair at a 11-19 secondary academy. Joining as a parent governor in November 2012, Helen successfully chaired the board through a merger of the former 11-14 academy and 14-19 upper school.

Prior to her governance roles Helen held senior roles in retail banking and online retail for a large national retailer.

Helen Wardale,

Helen Wardale

Helen has been the lead for governance within Children’s Services for a local authority since 2012. The service she oversees supports maintained schools as well as academies with an extensive range of training and resources as well as advice and support. She also manages a clerking service which has almost 50 clerks.

Helen has been a school governor since 1997, in infant, primary, junior and secondary schools within the maintained sector. Helen has also been a chair many times and currently is a chair in a rural primary school in Norfolk as well as a vice chair of a large inner city primary school. She has also been a trustee and a chair of a local governing body within a multi academy trust.  

Helen has led numerous external reviews of governance over the last ten years. Her qualifications include PGCE, Bsc Hons and Advanced Diploma in Coaching.

Jackie Eason MBE,

Jackie Eason MBE

Jackie is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services including external reviews of governance. She facilitates on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs, clerks and boards and mentors for NGA Online Appraisals.

Jackie has been involved in school governance since 2001 and currently chairs the board of a multi academy trust (MAT) and the governing body of a small maintained primary school. Jackie works closely with local authorities, diocese, and the Regional Delivery Directorate to support improvement where it is most needed. She has experience in maintained, church, single academies, MATs, special and alternative provision schools.

Jackie also has a background in instructor training and quality assurance. Over recent years she has worked with British Cycling, the New Zealand Department of Transport and the Bikeability Trust supporting their new qualification and tutoring programmes. She has recently gained her level 4 qualification in education and training.

Jane Edminson,

Jane Edminson

Jane has delivered NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs. Jane has worked for a local authority for over 20 years in their governor services team where she leads on training, advice and support for governors and manages the clerking team. She also works across the north east region in a private capacity providing training, support and external reviews for maintained schools, local governing bodies and trust boards.

Jane currently serves on three boards. She has been a governor in the maintained sector since 2001 and has been a chair since 2010. She is currently chair on two maintained primary school boards and vice chair for a virtual school. She has also served on a secondary school board as a governor then co-chair.

Janet Myers,

Janet Myers

Janet is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services including external reviews of governance. Janet has facilitated on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs, clerks and boards. She is NGA’s regional lead for the North West. 

Janet has 12 years of managerial and leadership experience within a blue-chip corporation, encompassing international customer service operations, marketing, vendor management, people management and development, management of £100m+ projects, training and change management.

Janet has been a school governor since 2009 and has served in primary and secondary schools, both maintained and academies, as chair and as a parent governor. She has first-hand experience of transforming a governing body to adopt an effective structure and routine, meet its statutory obligations and refocus on school improvement.  She is currently chair of a multi academy trust and is chair of the Cheshire West Governance Association.

Janet Parker,

Janet Parker

With over eight years’ experience as a governance professional Janet has developed a sound knowledge and expertise in all aspects of governance within multi academy trusts (MAT). She currently works in a MAT that has grown during her tenure and she has been instrumental in the significant development of the trust’s governance and compliance framework. Janet has first-hand experience of the challenges of ensuring a robust and effective framework within which boards can operate and ensure their effectiveness and compliance.

Alongside her employed role as a governance professional, Janet has been involved in governance for 20 years having been clerk to governing bodies in both maintained and independent schools. She is currently in her second year as chair of the local governing body of a junior school and has recently become a member of a MAT.

Janet has completed the Chartered Governance Institute’s Certificate in Academy Governance and is active in a number of governance networks involved in developing and sharing best practice.

Jenny Barnard-Langston,

Jenny Barnard-Langston

Jenny runs a governance and leadership development company and designs and delivers a range of governor development training for two local authorities.

Jenny is a professional psychotherapist with expertise in counselling young people. She also has skills in conflict resolution and mediation. Jenny served as a Community Health Trust non-executive director (vice chair). She has founded and is trustee, chair and director of a Learning Disabilities Foundation.

Jenny was in the first tranche of DfE trained external reviewers and has conducted many external reviews in the maintained and academy sector. During the eight years on the programme Jenny offered support, building governance capacity, mentoring and chair’s leadership coaching, working with three local authorities.

Jenny has been chair across the phases, college, secondary, primary and special schools over a period of 30 years. Jenny has also served as trustee of a large independent school and continues as a governor (Royal Charter). Jenny is currently chair of a multi academy trust (MAT), chair of two federations and interim chair in another. Jenny delivers training to MATs and their local governing bodies and has worked with single academy trusts to transition to a MAT.

Jenny is a JP (Justice of the Peace), DipCouns, BA(Hons) and MA.

Jerry Woolner,

Jerry Woolner

Jerry is a professional management consultant specialising in governance and logistics, with many years’ experience working for large international blue-chip companies, and has held senior directorial positions within the food manufacturing industry. Jerry has undertaken many external reviews of governance for schools, colleges, multi academy trusts (MATs) and businesses, as well as providing ongoing follow-up support to boards when requested.

With over 20 years’ experience in educational governance, Jerry is currently chair of a 20 school diocesan MAT, a large single academy trust, and corporation director of a sixth form college. He provides ad hoc voluntary services as an interim governor for several schools across the East of England, was chair of a large secondary school within a MAT for eight years, and board director of a private school for six years. Jerry has worked within different educational settings and formats across all age groups from infant to post-16, operating under many governance and funding structures, providing solutions to challenging situations and problems.

Jerry’s professional qualifications include an Executive MBA (Hull University) and BA in Management and Economics (Essex), NEBOSH, MILT, and MICM. He is also trained and qualified to act in health and safety (NEBOSH), safeguarding (Level 3 and Prevent) and careers advice (Level 7 Diploma). He is currently working towards membership of the Association of Education Advisors (AoEA), which he expects to complete during 2021. He undertakes rolling professional development annually for all governance-related subjects, including Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Jo Winters,

Jo Winters

Over nearly 30 years, Jo taught mathematics and held senior leadership positions in primary and secondary schools. During this time, she worked in the education advisory services of two local authorities and as an independent education consultant. As a result, Jo has much experience of evaluating the outcomes of education.

Jo first provided advice and support for governing boards over 20 years ago as a local authority link officer and, later, as a pupil performance data consultant. A particular focus of this work was on enabling governors to monitor the success of school improvement initiatives. Since then, Jo has become a governor herself and, from 2015 onwards, has been chair of a west London maintained primary school. In the last couple of years, she has also been employed as a clerk for two other schools, one of which is a secondary academy in a small multi academy trust.

Jo holds a master’s degree in educational management and administration and recently achieved the ICSA accredited Leading Governance development programme for clerks level 3 certificate in clerking for school and academy governing boards. In addition, Jo is a qualified mediator and, when not carrying out governance work, volunteers as a community mediator.

Jude Johnson,

Jude Johnson

Jude has been involved in school governance since 2001, starting as a parent governor at an infant school, then becoming a local authority governor and co-opted governor. She has experience leading a board as a vice chair and chair and in that time celebrated an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ judgement, as well as leading the board through a federation process with a local junior school. Jude has further experience of strategic leadership as trustee of a Christian schools work charity, and in her working life advises and trains governors in her role as a Governance Officer working across Kent and Medway.

Judith Rutherford,

Judith Rutherford

Judith is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services including external reviews of governance. Judith facilitates on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes.

Following a successful career in international audit and risk management, Judith now works in constructive partnership with schools, trusts and their governing boards to improve outcomes for pupils. With a strong but collaborative leadership style, Judith is experienced in conducting external reviews and has a track record of supporting boards to deliver tangible improvements in governance.

Judith has 14 years of experience as a trustee and school governor with expertise across multiple phases from early years through primary and secondary and within local authority, single academy trust and multi academy trust (MAT) settings. She has over nine years’ experience as a chair and is currently a trustee in a MAT.

Judith holds a BSc in management science from the University of Warwick and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Julia Kenny,

Julia Kenny

Julia develops and delivers a wide range of training for a local authority governor services to trustees, governors, and headteachers. She specialises in safeguarding courses and complex complaints management.

Julia has been a school governance improvement officer for a local authority governor services since 2018. She is responsible for the local authority’s statutory responsibilities for governance and takes an active role in delivering governance support and development for the traded service. Julia has a wide range of experience leading on external reviews of governance, specialist intervention, complex complaints management, panel hearing support, investigations and is the lead for safeguarding for the team.

Julia’s governance experience spans early years to sixth form form in four different settings starting in 2011. She has been a chair at two primary schools from 2014 and 2017 and is safeguarding governor in all four settings. Three of the schools are in multi academy trusts (MATs) with the fourth being a local authority maintained school. Julia is a lead governor in a MAT and regularly supports schools with reviews, panels and mentoring. She also mentors several chairs new to role.

Julia is an experienced trainer with a PTLLS qualification and is trained as a designated safeguarding lead and in safer recruitment.

Karl Lawton,

Karl Lawton

Karl is currently the Governance and Compliance Officer and clerk to the board for a seven school multi academy trust (MAT) in Stoke on Trent. He was previously the Governor Support Manager for a local authority governor services and has supported many maintained school and academy boards at all key stages of education in his previous role. He has also previously brokered support for and quality assured external reviews of governance in his previous role. Karl delivers governance training as part of his current role and also led on this in his previous role.

Karl has been a governor since 2000; he held the position of chair in a maintained primary school from 2007 to 2013. He is currently a co-opted governor on an academy governing council of a MAT since October 2016 and is chair of the board at a faith primary school since 2019.

Karl has a Postgraduate Business Degree (Dip.BA) achieved from Staffordshire University.

He achieved both the Chairs Development Programme and the Clerks Development Programme in 2016 and in 2019-20 he achieved the ICSA Academies and Academy Governance (Level 4) Qualification.

Kate Joiner,

Kate Joiner

Having previously worked in the Prison Service, Kate has supported numerous schools over the last five years as a governance professional in maintained schools, single and multi academy trusts; faith and non-faith schools; those within the two and three tier system; and schools deemed Inadequate to Outstanding. Kate has also been a parent governor for the last two and half years in a small rural primary school.

Kate is completing a Certificate in Academy Governance with the ICSA this year, completed a Certificate in Coaching and Wellbeing with the Centre for Coaching over the summer and regularly takes part in professional development offered by various providers to ensure that her knowledge is current.

Kate Lovesy,

Kate Lovesy

Kate has been a governance professional for the past 16 years. Prior to this she was Head of English and the Arts at a middle school in Worcestershire.

She currently supports governors in numerous schools across the West Midlands. These include maintained primary, maintained all through, special and Church of England primary. She also supports a multi academy trust (MAT) and a Church of England MAT. She has worked with one MAT from its inception.

Kate is also employed as a governance trainer. She specialises in supporting and training newly appointed governance professionals and newly appointed governors ensuring they are clear of the expectations of their role and confident to participate in meetings.

Kate has been a local authority governor in a Church of England primary school, a staff, a co-opted and a parent governor in several different settings. She has sat on exclusion, complaints and appeal panels as both a governor and as a governance professional. She has chaired finance and premises committees.

Kate graduated from Exeter University, St Luke’s school of education with English as her first subject and PE as her second. She gained her Level 3 certificate in the clerking of school and academy boards in 2016.

Kate Nepstad,

Kate Nepstad

Kate has worked as a clerk in both primary and secondary schools in the local authority maintained, voluntary aided and academy sectors since 2014. Prior to working in school governance, her BA in History from Oxford University and MSc in Inclusive Environments from Reading University led to her running a disability access consultancy; conducting audits and accessibility reviews for clients in England and Wales. She has also spent time as a charity trustee and supports community associations in her local area.

Kate feels that she became a full governance professional in 2019 when she gained a distinction in the Chartered Governance Institute’s level 4 certificate in Academy Governance. She currently works as clerk to the trust board at a new multi academy trust in south west London, where she has enjoyed establishing systems of governance appropriate for an organisation at this early stage of its development. She is well aware of the responsibilities that attend academy freedoms and the dual roles that academy trustees play as trust fiduciaries and company directors. Her commitment to the successful evolution of UK state education has led to another programme of part-time study – this time to become a chartered company secretary – to blend the best corporate practices with the highest standards of school governance to ensure that the sector is served by suitably skilled, effective and accountable public office holders.


Kathryn Wilkinson,

Kathryn Wilkinson

Kathryn has previously worked as a consultant for the NGA delivering both the DfE funded Leading Governance development programmes for chairs and the programme for clerks.

Kathryn has been the manager of a local authority governor support service since March 2013, having worked for the service since 2003 as a senior officer. In the role of manager Kathryn has line management responsibility for the deputy manager, two senior governor support officers, a governor support officer and a team of 23 clerks. The service is fully traded and delivers a high-quality clerking service, advice and support and governor training and development to the vast majority of schools and academies in the local authority. Kathryn has also carried out many external reviews of governance across maintained primary and high schools, single academy trusts and multi academy trusts (MATs).

Kathryn has been involved in governance since 1993 when she first became a parent governor at her child’s school. Since then, she has been chair at several maintained schools, chair of a special school Interim Executive Board (IEB), vice chair at a further education college and chair of the standards committee at a MAT. Kathryn has also had many years of experience clerking at maintained schools, IEBs, MATs, single academy trusts, a pupil referral unit and a secure children’s centre.

Kelly Goddard,

Kelly Goddard

Kelly is currently a senior team leader in a local authority governor support service providing clerking support, governance advice and guidance to schools and jointly manages a team of governance professionals to provide the same service.

Kelly has been a governance professional as a full-time role for 13 years and in her current role for eight years. She has provided support to maintained schools, single academy trusts, multi academy trusts (including to the trust board and local governing bodies) and has experience of faith schools, special school provision and federation support. For this, Kelly was awarded Outstanding Clerk to a Governing Board in NGA’s Outstanding Governance Awards 2019 and has recently participated in a podcast for NGA’s Clerking Matters campaign. She has experience of exclusion, complaint, disciplinary and grievance panels.

Kelly holds a 2:1 Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree from Coventry University, attained a Level 3 Leadership and Management Qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management and has completed the Clerks Development Programme through Edge Hill University.   

Ken Lloyd,

Ken Lloyd

Ken has extensive experience of governance and a solid consultancy background in organisational assessment and improvement. He is a well-established advisor to trusts and an experienced chair and a mentor for governance leadership and support programmes. He has conducted governance reviews at primary and secondary phases for trust boards and at academy level.

Ken is an experienced chair for maintained and academy secondary sectors and has chaired three different schools, one for 15 years. He has chaired Interim Executive Boards. He is currently a trustee for a MAT with special schools, the chair of his county School Forum for five years and was a primary governor for a while.

He was a member of the DfE’s advisory group which reassessed the role of NLGs. He is also a registered commercial mediator.

Linda Robinson,

Linda Robinson

Linda has been a governor and chair in a number of schools since 2009. This includes extensive experience as a member of statutory and voluntary interim executive boards, working alongside educational professionals, local authority leadership, CEOs and headteachers across all phases, including regular commissions to carry out external reviews of governance.

Linda is currently governance advisor, coach and mentor to a multi academy trust (MAT). Voluntary roles include being a member of the Essex Education Taskforce. This is a DFE initiative to strategically support education services in light of the impact of the pandemic. Linda represents ‘the voice of governance’ on the taskforce.

Linda has experience of being a trustee within a MAT (primary and secondary), and chair at both maintained schools and academies.

Linda is invited to present at governor conferences and networking events, and creates and delivers bespoke governance training programmes to all phases via webinars and face-to-face locally and nationally.

Professional qualifications include a BSc Open Degree, focusing upon social sciences and childhood and youth studies. This is supported by regular professional development training to keep up to date with educational development and governance matters.

Mark Blois,

Mark Blois

Professionally Mark is heavily involved in advising on governance in his capacity as a Partner and Head of Education at Browne Jacobson, a national law firm which is the NGA’s legal partner. Mark personally has 25 years’ experience as an education lawyer and is recommended as a leader in his field in the industry bibles ‘Chambers UK’ and ‘Legal 500’.

Mark has over twenty years’ personal experience serving in governance roles across the school, academy and further education sectors. Between 2011 and 2021 Mark was the chair of a 25 school multi academy trust (MAT) operating in the East Midlands, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire regions, and he continues to serve as the trust’s vice chair.

Mark has carried out many external reviews of governance, including single academy trusts and MATs and covering a wide range of contexts including Church of England and Catholic, special and selective education settings.

Mark Coppel,

Mark Coppel

Mark is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services. Mark has facilitated on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs, clerks and boards.

Mark’s background is in technology management and he has taught at Sheffield University Management School, as well as working as an independent consultant. Under a previous government’s flagship creativity and culture programme for education, he facilitated and evaluated creative partnerships projects.

Mark has been working in education since 2006 as a consultant and trainer, working with local authorities, multi academy trusts (MATs) and a teaching school alliance.

Mark’s governance experience includes chairing multiple schools including Interim Executive Boards, being a trustee and member of a MAT, being the member of several transition boards, and chairing a special school’s governing board.  

Matt Miller,

Matt Miller

With over 20 years’ experience of school governance, Matt has developed considerable insight in how to lead and develop governance through challenging times.

He chairs the governing body of a large secondary school in north London and has previously been called upon by the DfE to chair an interim executive board in a maintained primary school. He currently chairs two local academy committees, one of which is an all through special school, within a multi academy trust (MAT).

As a governance consultant, Matt has worked with small and large MATs in different parts of the country and has carried out external reviews of governance including trust board effectiveness.

Matt is a retired senior detective in the Metropolitan Police Service and highly experienced in leading and managing school based investigations. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016 for services to education.

Monica Juan,

Monica Juan

Monica is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services. Monica has facilitated on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes for chairs.

Monica was a local authority governance support adviser for many years and at present works for a large multi academy trust (MAT) in the Midlands as Head of Governance and Compliance. Part of her remit is to design, develop and facilitate the governance training programme for all layers of governance in the MAT.

Monica has more than fifteen years of experience serving as a governor, mainly as a chair and is currently serving as a trustee of a MAT in Northamptonshire. Monica has robust expertise supporting school governance and school leaders through mentoring and coaching.

Monica has been involved in education for more that fifteen years and holds a CIPD Level 5 in Learning and Development and a Pearson BTEC Level 3 in Education and Training. She has extensive experience facilitating learning that engages, enthuses and instils confidence. She is also a Safer Recruitment accredited trainer with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Neil Owen,

Neil Owen

Neil’s professional experience is within the electronics manufacturing sector both for large multi-nationals and SMEs. Neil and a colleague successfully developed an electronics manufacturing business over 15 years and completed a sale of the company in 2018 to a larger group. Neil has continued as Managing Director for a further three years integrating the business into the group.

Throughout a 40 year career, Neil has had various responsibilities including quality auditing, project management, business due diligence and mentoring. From January 2022 he will semi-retire and work part time as Group Project Director troubleshooting for the organisation.

Starting in 2001, Neil became a governor at his daughter’s infant’s school. Some years later he moved to become a governor at a girls secondary school – which later academised – eventually becoming chair. Neil was the Secondary Parent Member for a local authority’s children’s services Select Committee and also on the Schools Forum which scrutinised the entire educational budget for the local authority.

Neil was the lead applicant in a successful free school bid for a sixth form college which opened in 2014. In 2015, Neil was approached by the headteacher of the girl’s school to facilitate the coming together of three secondaries into a multi academy trust (MAT). In 2018 the MAT was formed and Neil continues to chair the trust board.

Neil has a Masters in Business Administration and for the last five years has been an active member of a Vistage peer group for managing directors and CEOs.

Pat Hunt,

Pat Hunt

Pat has over 30 years’ experience in education across all phases. She has senior leadership experience in secondary, leading on teaching and learning and special educational needs and inclusion. Pat also has headship experience as a primary headteacher. She has worked for the local authority as a school improvement adviser and has previously led Ofsted inspections across primary, secondary and special schools including academies. She moved to a large multi academy trust (MAT) as a Senior Academy Improvement Director leading on governance, safeguarding, SEND and Pupil Premium. Her most recent role is as a CEO in a small MAT. Moving forward, Pat intends to build her school improvement consultancy.

As a Director of Governance, she carried out reviews of governance in primary, secondary and special academies. She also has experience of improving governance including trust boards and has set up MAT governance at all levels in her role as CEO.

Pat has been a governor in maintained schools and academies for over 20 years. She has been a chair at two successful schools. Pat has a master’s degree in special educational needs and has the national qualification for headteachers.

Rachel Kershaw,

Rachel Kershaw

Working in a large national organisation supporting over 2,500 schools and 200 multi academy trusts (MATs), Rachel has a national role in providing leadership and governance advice to education leaders. Her role includes project management, leadership improvement and development, strategic governance advice to education leaders, trust boards and governors as well as supporting change management programmes and the implementation of improved ways of working in schools and academy trusts.

Rachel has led, managed and provided governance support to a wide range of schools for over 10 years. This has included hands on clerking services right through to strategic support for the establishment of new trust boards within MATs.  Additionally, with over 20 years’ experience working in the public sector Rachel has an extensive and diverse knowledge of a wide range of educational issues including admissions, transport, special educational needs, school place planning, capital asset management, School Forum, children’s safeguarding, exclusions and in-depth involvement in all general school and pupil support queries.

Rachel is the vice chair of a two school MAT and is in her second term of office. Initially appointed as a parent governor, Rachel was co-opted onto the board when her children left the school.

Rosemary Lovatt,

Rosemary Lovatt

Rosemary is a highly experienced governance consultant who ran the DfE governance leadership programme across the country for three years and within Essex for another three years. She is a well-respected governance tutor designing, developing, and delivering public and bespoke training for governors and trustees across England. When she is not training, she provides external reviews of governance for schools, academies, and trusts.

Rosemary has experience chairing boards in many settings, including a large secondary academy, a maintained primary school, a primary school within a multi academy trust (MAT) and a large junior school within a diocesan MAT. She has been a trustee in four different MATs and is currently vice chair of a growing eight school MAT. Rosemary has supporting governance in most settings, including all sizes of MATs, university technical colleges, church schools and MATs and special schools and MATs.

Rosemary has 20 years experience as a senior global leader in the corporate sector. She has a BA(Hons) in Accountancy and Business Studies.

Ruth Agnew,

Ruth Agnew

After starting her career in schools human resources management, Ruth began working with governing bodies professionally in 2006. She has managed the governance service in three local authorities and spent five years running her own governor training and consultancy firm. Ruth is currently Head of Governance and clerk to the trust board for a 27 school multi academy trust (MAT) in the north of England, comprising primary, secondary and special schools and a sixth form college.

Ruth has conducted nearly 100 reviews of governance in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, including Church of England and Catholic schools, maintained schools and single academy trusts, as well as having reviewed a number of MAT boards.

Since she first became a parent governor in 2004, Ruth has served on the governing bodies of eight maintained schools, including primary, secondary and special schools and including three interim executive boards. She chaired five of these boards. She is currently the vice chair of an academy governing council in a MAT.

Ruth has a Masters in Educational Leadership and a level 4 Certificate in Academy Governance, and she is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Ruth Balch,

Ruth Balch

Ruth is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services, and has facilitated on NGA’s Leading Governance development programmes.

Following a career in public sector project and process management, Ruth began her consultancy service. Since then, she has chaired interim executive boards, provided mentor support to new chairs, and delivered training for maintained schools, academy trusts, local authorities and Church of England dioceses. Ruth has also co-ordinated a local authority’s governor support services for subscribing schools and academies. Ruth regularly draws on her academic study in communications in her consultancy and governance work.

Ruth has undertaken chair and vice chair roles within school governance in both the academy trust and maintained sectors, and her experience has included leading a failing governing body to it being judged to be highly effective by Ofsted within 18 months of her taking the chair. Most recently she has chaired and co-chaired the interim executive boards of two very vulnerable schools, leading them to a secure basis from which to grow, and applied current policy and best practice to improve governance effectiveness of a multi academy trust (MAT).

Ruth is currently chair of trustees of a MAT, which spans primary and secondary phases, as well as two dioceses and two local authorities.

Ruth Murton,

Ruth Murton

Having worked within the education for over 30 years, Ruth is a director of an educational consultancy company established in 2013, which strives to improve school leadership and governance through practical support, training and guidance. She provides support for chairs and their governing boards during periods of change, challenge or when rapid improvement is needed.

In her role as a governance consultant, she provides services for several local authorities and multi academy trusts (MATs). Her consultancy is currently helping to set up the provision of governor services on behalf of a local authority and contributes to the work of the School Improvement team’s assessment and support of schools.

Her own governance experience is expansive and includes the chairing of both maintained schools and academy Trusts (primary, secondary and special) as well as interim executive boards. She is also a founder member of a primary phase MAT. Ruth is experienced in conducting external reviews of governance for maintained schools, academies, single academy trusts and MATs of all sizes, denominations, phases and settings, including special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools.

Ruth is a qualified coach and also holds a Diploma in School Business Management both of which she uses to support her work.

Sally Timmins,

Sally Timmins

Sally has worked with the DfE and Educations and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to support induction sessions for new chairs and CEOs and also delivers trustee training on a variety of topics.

Sally has many years of experience in governance and is also an auditor with the largest provider of audit services to the academy sector. Sally has had extensive experience in governance since 2008 and she is currently chair of trustees at a girls grammar school, one of the top performing secondary schools in the country. She is also a director of the South West Academic Trust. Her experience includes supporting schools’ journey from local authority to academy, and the formation and growth of multi academy trusts.

She has worked with the DfE to scrutinise and elevate governance on Academy Management Committees, filling skills gaps and working with other professionals to benefit children across the south west.

Seeta Mepani,

Seeta Mepani

Seeta is an end point assessor for the Level 4 School Business Manager Diploma and Level 2 Health and Safety qualification. Seeta has experience in supporting trust boards and local governing bodies with advice and guidance on compliance. She has conducted external reviews of governance, health and safety practices, risk management and supported with academy conversion as well as on-boarding.

Seeta has been a chair of a trust board for two years and prior to that a chair for five years. She is currently a trustee and a member at a multi academy trust (MAT), where she also is the chair of the audit and risk committee. Seeta has governance experience at a MAT, single academy trust, a single sex faith academy and a special primary school.

Seeta is studying for a Masters in Senior Leadership, holds a Level 6 qualification in School Business Management and IOSH.

Sid Slater,

Sid Slater

Sid has a wide range of experience and leadership in the education and business sectors. He has held three secondary headteacher posts and worked in senior roles within local authorities. Sid has experience of the higher education sector, directing national industry and education partnerships.

Sid has worked as a full time senior education adviser at the Department for Education followed by various roles within the Department as a school improvement consultant, 14-19 adviser and free school education adviser. He remains a Departmental external expert.

Sid has worked as a director of a multi national cost and programme management consultancy company. He is currently a director of a small company.

His governance work has also included being a governor and vice chair of a local authority school. He is now chair of a multi academy trust of eight schools. Sid has also been a chair of members.

Dr Stephen Hopkins,

Dr Stephen Hopkins

Stephen is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services including external reviews of governance of multi academy trusts (MATs) and headteacher and CEO performance review support for trust boards.

Stephen is a trained Ofsted Inspector and school improvement advisor. He has experience of working with a range of schools and academies as a consultant. He has extensive experience of undertaking external reviews of governance and governance development support consultancy and training.

Stephen has been the chair of a local governing body, a single academy trust and two MATs. He has also chaired an interim executive board and several panels as an independent member. Stephen is currently the chair of a 14 academy MAT and is a member of another secondary MAT.

Stephen is an accredited coach (International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentorship) and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Stephen Way,

Stephen Way

Stephen has recently retired from a position as IT Director of an FT100 company, where he managed a global team. He has extensive charity board experience and currently is a trustee of the Latymer Foundation at Edmonton and chair of trustees of North London Scouts. He is experienced in digital transformation and has been part of various pro-bono digital projects supporting campaigns for laptops for children and Marcus Rashford’s feed the children activism.

Stephen has been chair of a large maintained school in a deprived area of North London, since 2015 and chair of a selective maintained voluntary aided school and one of the most successful state schools in the country – since 2017. He has been vice chair of a multi academy trust (MAT) of six primary schools and one special school, since 2018 and a governor of a large maintained community comprehensive since 2008. He has undertaken external reviews of governance for both maintained schools and MATS, supported schools and single academies joining MATS and undertaken investigations of grievances, complaints and misconduct in schools and trusts. Stephen has also chaired various panels and worked with a university technical college for four years to strengthen governance.

Stephen is a Chartered IT Professional and a Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Su Turner,

Su Turner

Su runs a governance improvement company, providing a wide range of support to schools, single academy trusts (SATs) and multi academy trusts (MATs) of all school types and phases across England and Wales.

With a wealth of governance experience across many sectors, including education, local and national governments, health and charity sectors, Su has a solid reputation for improving governance. She has also worked with the DfE to create a National Governance Framework for the STEM sector, and with MATs to create or review their governance structures. She regularly conducts external reviews of governance and provides bespoke training and development sessions.

Su has been a governor for over 15 years in a variety of settings, and has been a chair for 11 years. She is currently chair in a secondary academy and sixth form, and in a mainstream pupil referral unit. She has previously been a chair in three primary schools, two of which were at the request of a local authority. Su has worked with governing boards in faith schools, MATs, SATs and with governors in special schools helping them to understand their educational and residential social care responsibilities.

She is a respected and qualified Executive Coach and Mentor (ILM Level 7), and an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator.

Susan Poole,

Susan Poole

Susan is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services, as well as facilitating on the NGA Leading Governance development programmes for chairs, clerks and boards.

Susan has been working in education and school governance since 2011 and has set up both single (SAT) and multi academy trusts (MATs). Susan’s other work includes being part-time Head of Governance and Policy for a MAT, being a specialist adviser for New Schools Network, and working with free school groups.

Susan has been governing since 2011 and until recently was chairing a secondary school single academy trust. She has been a trustee of both a SAT and a MAT. In addition she provides clerking support and governance advice to another MAT, having been involved with the trust since its inception. Susan is also currently interim chief operating officer of a small MAT. She is also a member of an academy trust. Her experience is all mainstream schools and with some experience of university technical colleges.

Dr Tony Breslin,

Dr Tony Breslin

Author of the RSA report, Who Governs Our Schools? Trends, Tensions and Opportunities (2017), Tony delivers governance training at an education products and services provider and has worked for a range of local authorities and multi academy trusts (MATs). He leads courses and bespoke training sessions for governors and senior leaders nationally. He has also led governance development work for various charities and membership associations and is a co-founder of the all-sector governance initiative, Transform Governance.

Tony is chair at a primary federation (having previously served as chair at the infant school) and a trustee in a MAT. He also has extensive governance experience in other settings and is a former Chair of the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences, Human Scale Education and Industry Qualifications. In addition, he has served as a trustee of Adoption UK, the Association for Citizenship Teaching and Speakers Trust, and as a further education college governor. 

Tony is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and an experienced teacher who has served in a range of leadership and school improvement roles. He is a widely published educational researcher, specialising in governance, inspection, curriculum development, lifelong learning and Citizenship Education. His Doctoral thesis focuses on the challenges of delivering change in schools, while his latest research assesses the educational legacy of lockdown.

Tony Moffatt,

Tony Moffatt

Anthony is also a consultant for NGA and provides consultancy and training services. He uses his experience as a senior HR professional and has over 20 years’ experience as a school governor in the primary, secondary and independent sectors. He is experienced in undertaking external reviews of governance, believing that improving governance improves outcomes for pupils. Anthony also facilitated on the DfE-funded NGA Leading Governance development programmes.

Anthony is now a trustee of a multi academy trust (MAT) in Sussex, as well as a single academy trust (SAT) secondary school. He has recently taken on a new chair role at an alternative provision school.  In the past Anthony has been a chair of both primary and secondary schools where he has worked with leaders to improve Ofsted outcomes. Anthony has extensive experience of maintained schools, MATs and SATs in both the Catholic and Anglican heritages. He also chaired an independent primary school for seven years.

Vikki Semple,

Vikki Semple

Vikki currently heads up a local authority governor support service. She is responsible for influencing and improving governance in over 80 schools across the local authority. She is experienced and skilled at identifying areas to improve and has successfully implemented strategies that have had a positive impact. She also manages a well-regarded professional clerking service to those schools.

Vikki has extensive experience of governance having worked in the sector for 19 years. She was previously a senior Governance Support Officer delivering an extensive governor training programme and providing high levels of support to boards that needed to improve. Vikki often works with boards following external reviews of governance to ensure the issues that have been identified are addressed effectively. The impact of this work has been recognised by subsequent Ofsted inspections. She has worked extensively across both the maintained and academy sector.

Vikki is also an experienced governor having served on maintained school governing bodies for over eight years and as a trustee of a multi academy trusts for two years. Vikki is currently the chair at large Anglican primary school.

Yvonne McLeod,

Yvonne McLeod

Yvonne has conducted several external reviews of governance, mostly in mainstream schools but also in academies. Yvonne led a team of 10 clerks in a multi academy trust (MAT), recruiting clerks, providing training, guidance and information about compliance. Yvonne has delivered training for governors and governing boards including safeguarding for governors, curriculum monitoring and governor visits to schools.

Yvonne has been supporting school governance in the primary phase for over 20 years, as an additional skills governor and as a Local Leader of Governance. The schools supported have been mainstream, faith and special, in all Oftsed categories. She has chaired several governing bodies in both faith and mainstream schools.

Yvonne supported an amalgamation of two schools and is currently working with a school looking to federate with another school. She has helped the smooth transition of schools into MATs, whether due to an academy order or by choice following due diligence. Yvonne has recruited governors, local governing committee members and trust board members, and mentored chairs. Yvonne has experience investigating complaints and allegations, presenting to and leading appeal and disciplinary panels and recruiting headteachers. Yvonne is currently vice chair of a MAT with both faith and mainstream schools.

Connect With Us
  • NGA, 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JY
  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

Copyright © 2019 National Governance AssociationA Dreamscape Digital Solution