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Equality, diversity & inclusion

NGA & ASCL launch second Equality, diversity and inclusion learning link module


NGA and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) are pleased to announce the second module in our Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) Learning link series. These modules are designed to assist governing boards of all types to ensure they have the tools, knowledge and competency to create an inclusive, diverse and welcoming culture for everyone

Building on NGA’s 'Equality and Diversity: A Practical Guide for Governing boards' e-learning module, NGA partnered with ASCL to develop a suite of e-learning modules focusing on going beyond compliance to create an inclusive culture.

The first module, EDI the first steps, introduces the subject and enables governors and trustees to assess their board, current practices and change considerations to think about certain topics beyond legislation. This second module in the series, EDI: beyond compliance, aims to give users the knowledge to go beyond compliance and legislation to help governors and trustees understand different types of biases, how they can manifest and how they can present themselves in governance settings. Governors and trustees can also consider how bias, and discrimination may appear in the context of their own settings.

This series is free to all through the Learning Link trial and as part of a full Learning Link subscription. There are two more modules which will be available as part of this programme in the future. Find out more about the rest of the modules.

Emma Knights, NGA’s chief executive, said:

“Along with ASCL we identified the need for some universally available training for governing boards on equalities, diversity and inclusion and we are proud to be providing this together free of charge. There are a quarter of a million volunteers giving their time and care to their local schools or academy trusts, and our research shows that they are committed to their own development in order to do the best by the pupils in their communities. There are many topics that new governors and trustees must have knowledge of, but EDI is one which can be difficult for boards and leaders to know where to begin. This series provides that place for all schools and trusts, helping them to take their first steps in addressing these issues if they have not yet begun to.”


Evelyn Forde, President of ASCL, said:

“ASCL UK are delighted to have collaborated with the NGA to address racial inequality through their second set of EDI e-learning modules which aim to ensure everyone in schools & colleges feel seen and valued. We see this as a real opportunity to address systemic inequity and create positive and lasting change in our schools which we hope will be welcomed by school and college leaders as well as their Governing bodies.”

Our subject matter expertise

The content of this module has been written by the following subject matter experts:

Hannah Jepson, Business Psychologist, Co-founder and Director LGBTed, Director Engaging for Success said:

“We're really delighted to be receiving such positive feedback for the first two modules. It's so important that boards gain a deep understanding of where their school/trust is at on their Diversity and Inclusion journey so that they can help drive change and we think these modules will give people both the language and the tools they need to shift the dial in a meaningful and sustainable way.”


Adelaide Chitanda, NGA Senior Advice Officer said:

“Cultivating an inclusive school/trust culture means exploring equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) beyond legislation (Equality Act 2010) and compliance. As strategic leaders, we know governors and trustees have the power to influence change and as such, it is important that they have the knowledge and tools needed to enable them to conduct their duties through an EDI lens. As such, these modules are designed to explore the EDI landscape from a governance perspective focusing on going beyond a compliance-led approach to inclusion and providing governors and trustees with the practical tools needed.”

User feedback from both modules has been positive. Below are some comments from those who have completed the modules.

Module 1 - Equality, diversity and inclusion: first steps


“Great thought provoking module. This module alone demonstrates how as a society we must rapidly go forward from the low baseline that we currently find acceptable.”

“It is very challenging and thought provoking - I liked it!”

“Really useful module. Challenging and provided topics for further explanation”

“It was easy to follow, short and made me think again about my views/the views of others and where my school is on it's journey and my knowledge of that.”


Module 2 Equality, diversity and inclusion: Beyond compliance


“I really liked this, it is all training I have done in my professional role but I always benefit from a refresh in these areas and I thought this was really accessible. I particularly liked the little scenarios.”

“A useful refresher and made me think about own board scenarios.  We need to engage more young people and try to reach out to attract minority groups, including LGBTQ+ and demographically representative members to our board”

“This was a useful module with some really good practical examples”

Note: The module launches alongside our second annual governance survey report Governance volunteers and board practice.  The report highlights that only 6% of governors and trustees are from an ethnic minority background, and although there is much more to be done, Emma Knights reports some of the positive actions which have been made. NGA remain committed to encouraging and supporting those from an ethnic minority background to volunteer on all types of governing boards. To do this, we continue to offer support, guidance and resources for all school governance volunteers to create an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Our dedicated EDI page signposts our members and partners to the relevant documents that help them make their governance setting more inclusive whilst underlining what NGA are doing to support its members. The page has a list of all EDI related activity, resources and guides NGA has produced over the last few years.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Increasing participation in school and trust governance – A report that explores volunteer recruitment and retention through the lens of the experiences and views of governors and trustees from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and young volunteers (aged under 40)
  • Everyone on Board - NGA's Everyone on Board campaign aims to address historic underrepresentation of young people and people from ethnic minorities in school governance to improve outcomes for all pupils.
  • Closing the gender pay gap in education (2021) - this analysis explores the gender pay gap differences across the education sector and whether there has been any progress in reducing the gap in recent years.
  • Tools to support equality, diversity and inclusion - NGA has collated a variety of tools to help boards evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies for promoting equality, diversity
  • Governing board diversity indicators form – to be used by governing boards in all types of school structure to gather diversity data on their membership and use this as a basis for discussion and action.