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Governance workload

NGA publish report on the time it takes to govern in schools & trusts


The National Governance Association (NGA) has today published a report on the time it takes to govern in schools and trusts, drawing on the experiences of 56 governors and trustees who completed workload diaries. The report also highlights evaluations from other volunteering workforces and wider sector research, providing valuable context around the expectations placed upon governors and trustees.

The report reiterates just how much time and effort is placed upon governors and trustees across the country, but also makes us question how we can better support and sustain these valued volunteers.

Sam Henson, Deputy Chief Executive, NGA, said:

"This report ... challenges us to rethink our approach to school and trust governance, to find ways to streamline processes without compromising on quality, and to ensure that those who give so generously of their time are adequately supported and recognised. It equips NGA and others to say the ask is, in many places, and in many ways, simply too high – we need to work together to make it more doable for the masses, if we are to ever deal with the recruitment challenge."

The report recommends the following action for governing boards and the wider sector:

  • streamline administrative processes
  • enhance training and support
  • clarify roles and responsibilities
  • take seriously the importance of maintaining full governing boards
  • implement time-management tools
  • review meeting structures
  • enhance stakeholder engagement strategies
  • conduct regular workload reviews
  • be clear about strategic governance and what is operational activity

Today’s report follows on from NGA’s 2023 report on governance workload: