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Changes in NGA’s senior leadership


In the new school year, the National Governance Association’s executive leadership will be changing to become a job-share chief executive shared by Emma Balchin and our current chief executive, Emma Knights.

Today NGA is advertising for a Director of Professional Development to take over from Emma Balchin on 1 September.  

Lynn Howard, Chair of NGA’s board of trustees said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce the next phase of NGA’s leadership with the appointment of Emma Balchin as joint chief executive with effect from 1st September. Under the leadership of Emma Knights the NGA has grown to be the exceptional organisation that it is today. Although I would like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to Emma K for all she has done to-date, we are pleased that she remains with us for another academic year, and NGA’s trustees are excited to see how the next part of our journey will evolve with her working together with Emma B. By investing in expanding our leadership at the top of our organisation at this point, with each Emma working 3 days a week, we have created the time and space to extend our reach and influence at the highest level, to deepen our understanding of what all our members serving in trusts and schools need to be effective, and to take NGA forward to meet our vision of being the go to organisation for governance in the schools and trust sector while protecting our positive culture.”


Emma Knights, NGA’s Chief Executive, said:

“It has been my privilege to lead the NGA for the past 13 years as we have grown our offer to support school and academy trust governance. We now have over 70% of England’s schools and trusts receiving NGA services, providing unparalleled support to the governance community and a huge testament to the team we have developed here at NGA, both staff and consultants. However, it is now the right time for the organisation – and for me – to move to the next phase of leadership. I am delighted to be job-sharing with Emma Balchin for what will be my final year at NGA. We will continue to serve the governance community in the way we have always done with care, expertise, and practical knowledge and truly with an ethos of continuous improvement.

NGA champions flexible working and I would like to play tribute to NGA’s board of trustees who are walking the walk with this step of investing in a job-share chief executive. I know from having done the role as a job share at my previous charity just how powerful this model of leadership can be and I am really looking forward to working in this way again with Emma.”


Emma Balchin, NGA’s Director of Professional Development, said:

“It is an honour to be appointed as joint Chief Executive of NGA, and I am thrilled from September to be joining Emma Knights, my predecessor and mentor, whose exceptional leadership has driven remarkable progress in supporting schools and academy trust governance in England. Together, as a job-share, we remain deeply committed to amplifying your voices, experiences, and expertise, ensuring that your dedication to schools and trusts is celebrated and visible in the sector. I am excited for the opportunity to lead the NGA alongside Emma and to chart our course forward.

Having led and grown NGA’s professional development services with an incredibly skilled and dedicated team over the past 5 years, I am really excited to begin the search for my replacement and a new member of our senior leadership team. During this time we have established NGA’s Learning Link as the market leader for governance e-learning and have expanded our well respected Leading Governance development programmes. Every year more trusts use our consultancy services, with an increasing demand for external reviews of governance. I can thoroughly recommend the role of Director of Professional Development to anyone who is passionate about ensuring the governance community gets the training and development they deserve.”