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Emma Knights OBE

Co-Chief Executive 

Emma Knights OBE

As NGA’s Chief Executive, since 2010, Emma leads the charity to fulfil its aim of improving the educational standards and wellbeing of young people. Emma leads the organisation under the direction of NGA’s board of trustees. From September 2023, Emma is sharing the chief executive role with Emma Balchin, each working three days a week.

Emma promotes the interests of the school governance community and represents the voice of NGA’s members at a national level with legislators, policy makers and education sector organisations and in the media.

An accomplished writer and speaker on a range of school governance policy and practice topics, Emma has a particular interest in vision, culture and strategy; accountability; stakeholder engagement; disadvantage; ethical leadership; and diversity and inclusion. She is co-author of of NGA publications The Chair’s Handbook and NGA’s Moving MATs Forward: the power of governance report.

Prior to joining NGA, Emma was joint CEO of the Daycare Trust and before that worked in a number of roles in the voluntary sector. She was a governor at a secondary school in Warwickshire for eight years.

Working across the education sector, Emma has previously participated in the Department for Education’s headteacher standards review group, NAHT’s accountability commission, the Department for Education’s flexible working advisory group, and the Ethical Leadership Commission. She also sat on the Commission on Religious Education and the Knowsley Education Commission.

Latest insights

Governance insights from Emma Knights, Co-Chief Executive