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Governing board roles

What governing boards and school leaders should expect from each other

Understand the respective roles and get governance right by working together.


A good working relationship between the governing board and the headteacher/CEO is essential. Schools and trusts need the support and challenge of strong governing boards to help them thrive, with leaders and those governing developing effective working practices together.

These guides have been written and endorsed by the leading professional bodies including NGA. They aim to help governing boards and school leaders to understand each other’s roles and get governance right by working together and being mutually supportive.

The guides cover:

  • respecting respective roles
  • working together to set a strategy
  • stakeholder engagement
  • ensuring your school/trust is a great place to work
  • making governance effective
  • ways of working

Effective governance

Governing boards working as a team

Effective governance requires effective teamwork: board members working collaboratively to achieve a goal, with an understanding and respect for each other’s roles and circumstances.

Governing boards need to respond when team-working is not as it should be. This could be due to a lack of clarity or collective purpose, or because they don’t know understand each other well enough to collaborate in the most beneficial way.

View our guide to effective teamwork
Line of people talking holding a meeting

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