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Introducing the career pathway for school governance professionals


I have often encountered governance professionals working in or for schools, whose careers started by accident. Many now occupy senior roles, which carry significant responsibility in a multi academy trust, local authority or commercial service provider. This, they will admit, was furthest from their mind when they first got involved through governing at their children’s school or being asked to clerk the board because they had the experience of taking minutes.  

The notion of a career by accident rather than design belies the fact that changes to the school system and the way schools are governed have created numerous opportunities and a clearer path towards enjoying a fulfilling and rewarding career as a school governance professional.   

That is why we have collaborated with the profession to create the career pathway: a resource containing a wealth of content aimed at making it easier to identify the type of governance professional role and career that is relevant to you. 

The pathway has been designed to support not only current and aspiring governance professionals, but also governing boards and employers in schools, trusts and service providers.  We hope that they will use it to improve their understanding of the expertise and value governance professionals bring and inform their approach to recruitment, line management, appraisal, pay and ensuring the entitlement to professional learning. 

The homepage of the pathway contains links to all the content, including blogs and video career stories told by experienced governance professionals. It also has a video message from Baroness Diane Barran, Minister for the schools’ system, endorsing the resource and recognising the valuable contribution that school governance professionals make to the system.    

Different governance structures require additional or different knowledge demonstrated by the many and varied governance professional roles, which have varying responsibilities, accountability and pay attached to them. To help you make sense of this, we suggest you explore the links to the content that explains the three levels our research found most governance professional roles fall under. They are clerking levelgovernance co-ordinator level and lead governance professional level.

Within each level, you'll find examples of relevant job titles, a description of the type of work and hours involved, a broad estimate of earning potential and a summary of individual requirements, including qualifications and CPD. The next step from this is likely to be the links to the directory of CPD and/or pages containing advice on where to find governance professional jobs at all levels.   

The pathway aims to help individuals to progress, either at the level they are working at, or to another level of governance professional support. We hope that it becomes established both as a valuable resource and as a vehicle for educating employers about the profession and making it attractive to new entrants. So please use the content, and let us know what you think and how we might improve it.   

Good luck in your governance professional career.

You can contact with any feedback you would like to share about the career pathway.