Governance handbook and competency framework

Guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective.

This publication was withdrawn on

Information relating to governance is available in the maintained school governance guide or academy trust governance guide.

Applies to England


[WITHDRAWN] Governance handbook

[WITHDRAWN] Competency framework for governance

[WITHDRAWN] Clerking competency framework


These guides are for:

  • governing boards in local-authority-maintained schools
  • boards of trustees in academies
  • others involved in school governance, such as sponsors, foundations and dioceses
  • organisations that help governing boards be more effective, such as governance training providers
  • anyone providing clerking services to a governing board

The ‘Governance handbook’ explains:

  • governing boards’ roles and functions
  • their legal duties
  • where they can find support
  • the main features of effective governance

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.

The ‘Competency framework for clerking sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

The ‘Statutory policies for schools’ page outlines the policies and other documents school governing boards are legally required to have.

Updates to this page

Published 26 November 2015
Last updated 8 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the governance handbook.

  2. Updated 'Governance handbook'.

  3. Added 'Clerking competency framework'.

  4. Added the ‘Competency framework for governance’. Also updated the ‘Governance handbook’ - the January 2017 version is structured around the 6 main features of effective governance.

  5. First published.

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