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New executive leader CPD guidance for chairs released


The National Governance Association (NGA) and HeadsUp4HTs have published new guidance explaining how those chairing governing boards can invest in, support, and positively influence the continuing professional development (CPD) of school and trust leaders.

Governance requires a strong partnership between the governing board, the senior executive leader – the headteacher or the chief executive – and their team. Chairs have an important role in supporting their headteacher to identify and access the CPD and learning they need to build their capacity and expertise. Their professional nourishment should be prioritised alongside achieving a work-life balance, good physical and mental health, and emotional wellbeing.

Purposeful conversations between the chair and the executive leader are a crucial component of this work. The guide introduces CPD themes to help guide and structure discussions, which should be timely for mid-year reviews.

The guidance has been produced in partnership with HeadsUp4HTs, a network that aims to celebrate and promote the invaluable work of headteachers, as well as providing a range of support services to schools and organisations within the education sector. 

Commenting on the new guidance, NGA’s director of advice and guidance Steve Edmonds said:

“This year is the right time for all governing boards to ensure their culture and strategy reinforce each other to prioritise workforce CPD. We are pleased to have produced this guidance alongside HeadsUp4HTS, which explains how by working together and leading by example, chairs and executive leaders can make CPD a sustained and collaborative process in their schools and trusts.”


HeadsUp4HTS Director James Pope said:

“At HeadsUp4HTS we have the utmost admiration for Headteachers, we celebrate the work of Headteachers and recognise the challenges, providing supportive one-to-one coaching calls and peer support sessions at national and regional levels. We believe support for Headteachers should be much more intentional than it currently is. It has been a pleasure to work with NGA to provide guidance to governors on how ‘intentional’ support can be structured and presented to their Headteacher.”

Read the guidance

Visible Governance - find out more about relationships between boards and leaders