Skip to content

NGA launches free to access governance professional career pathway


The National Governance Association (NGA) has today (6 December) launched the much anticipated career pathway for governance professionals working in schools and academy trusts.  The pathway is a free online resource hosted on NGA’s website.

The career pathway contains information to support individuals as they enter the profession and help them make progress in their careers, regardless of the level they work at. It highlights different governance professional roles, the individual requirements and the earning potential attached to them. The resource also contains a directory of professional development, advice on where to find governance professional roles and careers insight from established governance professionals.

Along with governance professionals, the pathway also serves as a useful resource for governing boards, schools, trusts and service providers who employ and manage governance professionals.

Governance professionals make an invaluable contribution to our schools’ system and the more than twenty thousand governing boards serving schools and multi-academy trusts. The majority serve as clerks, which every board is required to have. Different school and governance structures, however, have led to a much broader profession and roles with varying responsibility, accountability and pay attached to them. The pathway explains this and highlights the increased opportunities for governance professionals to work in different contexts. .

NGA developed the pathway in response to repeated calls from governance professionals to raise their profile and create a vehicle to support their development, which relates to different roles and remuneration.  The career pathway was created with hundreds of governance professionals involved in the development phase as part of focus groups. 

The career pathway will be continually refreshed to reflect developments in the profession. NGA welcomes the involvement of governance professionals and other interested parties in this process.

Access the career pathway 

Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Education said:

“In my mind good governance is a mixture of an art and a science. That is why governance professionals are so important in ensuring that the good advice is turned into really good practice. I want to thank NGA for producing the career pathway and for being really clear about skills, qualifications and attributes that contribute to a great governance professional. Making it easier for those working and considering working in this area to understand how to succeed in their career”.


Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governance Association said:

“I am delighted that NGA is launching this career pathway and highlighting the work of a profession that makes an immense contribution to the schools’ system’ but whose work is often largely unseen. It is very clear that this is a profession, one profession serving both trusts and maintained schools, not divided in two by school structures, even though different governance structures require additional or different knowledge. The pathway reinforces this and he need for professional recognition and reward, and in turn the adoption of the habits and behaviours of a profession”.


Steve Edmonds, Director of Advice and Guidance at the National Governance Association said:

"I believe the pathway can be a 'game changer' for the profession however it is merely a vehicle. It is those working in governance professional roles who must lead the way on educating employers about the profession and making it attractive to new entrants. Whether you aspire to progress or are happy to remain at your current level, we need you to promote the pathway and help write the story about the contribution you make."

To read more about the governance professional pathway, Steve Edmonds, Director of Advice and Guidance at NGA, has produced a blog that explores and introduces the pathway's features and purpose.