Support for the Governing Board

There has been a great deal of development regarding how schools and their communities can be supported and challenged to develop successfully, in order to improve the outcomes for pupils.

Below are a number of links to a variety of resources to support, develop or self-evaluate your governing board:

Governance Handbook
The DfE has produced the Governance Handbook which provides information about the role and legal duties of governing boards in maintained schools and academies (including free schools).

Competency Framework for Governance
The DfE has produced the Competency Framework for Governance which details the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for effective governance.

The DfE has produced the Clerking Competency Framework which sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

Constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools: statutory guidance
Statutory guidance setting out the arrangements for the constitution of school governing boards.

Guidance to help school leaders and governing boards of maintained schools to understand their obligations and duties.

Department for Education
Contains a range of information and resources, eg teaching and learning; pupil support; leadership and governance.

Guidance for inspecting schools under the Common Inspection Framework.

Analyse School Performance
All board members should be aware of Analyse School Performance which provides schools and other existing user groups with detailed performance analysis.

National Leaders of Governance
National Leaders of Governance (NLG) are experienced chairs of governing boards that have chosen to undertake training provided by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).  NLGs can provide support to a chair of governors or governing board where this need has been identified by one of the partners eg Teaching School, LA or by the recommendation of an External Review of Governance following an Ofsted inspection.

A governing board can choose whoever you want to conduct an external review of governance. The DfE state that you should ensure that the reviewer has:

  • experience of what outstanding governance is
  • a good understanding of governance, including different contexts and governance structures
  • a clear understanding of Ofsted expectations
  • successful experience of leading governors and school improvement
  • excellent inter-personal skills

If you would like to locate NLGs in your area, DfE have a School-to-School Support Directory which you can access to locate NLGs in your area.

Cumbria County Council
Specific information can be sourced for example; advice on HR issues, School Admissions, exclusions etc.

Learning Improvement Service
Information about the essential work of the Learning Improvement Service which is conducted in full partnership with the developing Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL).

Governor Support Team Training Programme  
Find out what training is available and how to apply.

Cluster working is a way of developing school led, self-improving systems.  Schools and governing bodies are encouraged to work together to share their skills, knowledge and other resources which will contribute to improving the outcomes for children in schools in Cumbria.

Church of England Diocese 
Catholic Diocese 
Support for schools who are founded by and part of a church.                                                

CASL and LASLs (Local Alliance of System Leaders) is a structure which supports (and, if necessary, drives) the improvement work throughout education settings in Cumbria.  It is a collaborative system drawing on the strengths of all partners.

National Governance Association, (NGA) 
The NGA is a membership organisation providing advice, support and representation for governors.

Clerking Matters
Information and resources for the clerk and governors.

Inspiring Governance
Is an organisation funded by the Department for Education. They offer a facility where a governing board or an individual can register their vacancy or interest which is then held for a 'match making' process.  You can contact them by email or call them on 0207 566 4880.

Offers free, confidential advice, information and support to school governors, clerks and individuals directly involved in the governance of maintained schools, academies and free schools in England.