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Honouring NGA Consultants Contributions to Education and Governance

We are delighted that two of our consultants, Peter Thomas and Ian Wilson, have been honoured in the King’s Birthday Honours List for their exceptional contributions to education and governance.

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We are delighted that two of our consultants, Peter Thomas and Ian Wilson, have been honoured in the King’s Birthday Honours List for their exceptional contributions to education and governance. Peter Thomas has received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award, while Ian Wilson has been honoured with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

This blog post offers unique insight into Peter and Ian's personal journeys, their reflections on being honoured, and the driving forces behind their unwavering passion and commitment to education and governance.


Peter Thomas OBE


Peter began his career as a history and politics teacher, later serving 30 years as a senior leadership, culminating in becoming CEO of The Futures Trust.

During his tenure as headteacher of President Kennedy School, Peter's transformative leadership led the school to outstanding status. His 30 years of governance experience, as both a trustee and school governor in the primary, secondary, and university sectors, further solidified his commitment and impact on education, at the same time as providing great professional development opportunities.

Peter's other roles include working with the National Schools Commissioner, Ofsted inspector, a National Leader of Education and pupil premium reviewer. He is now the chair of a single academy trust in Birmingham as well as serving as a trustee at a trust for children with special educational needs in Leicestershire.

Peter Thomas OBE said:

"I am absolutely delighted and proud to be awarded an OBE for services to education in the King’s birthday honours list. When I left school in 1982 and started working in a bank, I could not have imagined the twists and turns that would result in my career in education. I have been so lucky to work with so many great people over the last 30 years, all morally driven by the passion, desire and commitment to help shape and support children and young people to build the foundations that enable them to achieve their hopes, aspirations and goals.

Throughout my professional career, I have always taken a keen interest in governance, and for over 30 years, I have held governance positions in the primary, secondary, and university sectors. As the CEO of a multi-academy trust, I always encouraged school leaders to join boards and develop their experience. In my experience, strong and effective relationships between school leaders and governors/trustees always lead to better experiences for children, young people, and, of course, all those who work with them.

I believe that effective school governance alongside school leadership nurtures and develops the culture and steers our moral purpose into the daily practice of all who attend and work in our schools. This is why I am delighted to be an NGA consultant, working with, supporting and challenging boards and school and trust leaders to find and shape their own journeys to securing excellence. NGA, with its external reviews of governance and its many leadership and development programmes, is such an important organisation that supports volunteers in our sector in taking on challenging and complex work to enable brighter futures for our children and young people. It is a real delight and privilege, as an NGA consultant, to work with governors and trustees who give so generously of their time and help play a part in determining the future society we want to be."


Ian Wilson MBE

Ian has been a secondary headteacher, an Ofsted inspector, and the principal consultant for school improvement in a large local authority. He has run many development courses and has advised on over 60 headteacher appointments. He is a motivating and pragmatic coach for new and aspiring CEOs of Multi Academy Trusts. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He was awarded the MBE in 2024 for services to education. Informing his journey was his experience as governor of a maintained school for six years, he is now chair of trustees in a medium-sized MAT.

Ian Wilson MBE said:

"It was a very pleasant surprise to come back from Waitrose a few weeks ago to find that the envelope with a crest did not, as I supposed, contain a demand from HMRC! Although the citation mentions my current post as chair of The Howard Partnership Trust, I hope the award recognises my work in education over many years, from a secondary maths teacher to an NGA consultant.

In 2019, I was on the NGA development course for new chairs when the course leader suggested that I should apply to become an NGA consultant. I felt that this would be a good use of the skills and experience I had acquired as a trustee and as a school improvement leader at a large local authority. Since then, I have carried out many ERGs, led training sessions and advised boards on leaders’ performance management. Each school, trust or leader is, of course, different, and it is fascinating to work with this great variety. I find it very rewarding to be able to suggest ways in which governance can be improved, drawing on successful practice elsewhere. It is also very heartening to see the dedication and desire shown by governors and trustees to help improve the lives of children and young people. Thankfully, there have been very few occasions when governance has been really poor – the board where nobody was speaking to each other will always stay in my mind!

The NGA team is a pleasure to work with. Their friendliness and supportive advice have made me very glad that I took Richard’s advice back in 2019!"

Peter and Ian undertake external reviews of governance (ERGs) for NGA. Trusts and schools undertaking our ERGs say they enhance board quality, performance, and impact. A three-yearly review compliments any board's annual self-evaluation and can also support them during key transitions or challenges. NGA consultants offer unbiased assessments and actionable improvement suggestions based on their years of experience in the sector. For more information and to commission your own ERG, please head here.

Headteacher or CEO performance management

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