National leaders of governance: a guide for potential applicants
- National College for Teaching and Leadership
- Part of:
- Teaching schools and system leadership: how you can get involved
- First published:
- 21 March 2014
- Last updated:
- 25 March 2016, see all updates
- Applies to:
Find out about becoming a national leader of governance (NLG), what's involved and how to apply.
If you’re an experienced chair of governors who is interested in supporting chairs of governors in other schools, you can apply to be a NLG.
This is part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.
The application round is now closed.
Cohort 9 is a targeted application round, focusing on areas of greatest need to increase the geographical coverage of NLGs.
Applications from high quality governors across the country, with experience of chairing multi-academy trust boards and business expertise and skills, are also being sought.
Schools outside target areas
Chairs that are not based within the target areas will still be able to apply. If you feel that you can provide support to schools in these areas, even if situated outside of a target area, please specify how you would deliver this support within your application and this will be considered on an individual basis by the designation panel.
Who can apply
You must be an experienced chair of governors with:
- excellent leadership skills
- a track record of raising school or academy performance in at least 1 school
- the skills to influence improvement by supporting or challenging headteachers, or principals
- a track record of implementing and sustaining effective governance in at least 1 school
To be successful in your application, you must:
- have a strong track record
- for leading school improvement, evidenced by pupil performance data
- in relationship management within and beyond your school, evidenced by a reference
- of effective governance, evidenced by a reference
- be from a school with consistently strong levels of pupil performance and progress or that shows continued improvement over the last 3 years and be above current floor standards
- have at least 2 years’ experience as a chair of governors in the last 5 years
- have the ability to support other chairs to strengthen their governing body, using your coaching and mentoring skills
- be able to meet the time commitment
- have the full support of your governing body
- have a written reference from your headteacher
Read the NLG eligibility criteria for further information.
Independent school applicants
Independent schools must have been judged excellent or good by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the areas of:
- the quality of pupils’ achievements
- pupils’ learning, attitudes and skills
- the quality of leadership and management
If your school is inspected by Ofsted, you must meet the criteria for mainstream schools.
You are required to show evidence and/or a commitment to working with maintained schools.
What a NLG does
NLGs concentrate on developing leadership capacity. In some cases, they work in partnership with a national leader of education.
If selected, you’ll provide support to a chair of governors in a school:
- identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, local authority or regional school commissioner
- where attainment is below the current minimum standards set by the government
- in transition to academy status or multi-academy trust
- where the chair of governors is new
- where working practices for a chair, headteacher or leadership group need developing
Some NLGs will provide short-term support to governing bodies, for example by joining an interim executive board or chairing a governing body in severe difficulties. Support can be delivered face-to-face, by telephone or by email.
In addition to your role as chair, you’ll be expected to:
- provide effective support to at least 1 governing body per year
- have a placement supporting a chair of governors at their school
You’ll be expected to provide the equivalent of 10 days of free support for schools each year, after which you may charge for your time. Any cost will be negotiated between you and the school receiving support.
A small grant will be paid to your school to cover the costs of:
- reasonable expenses incurred when you’re undertaking or preparing for placements (expenses may include travel, subsistence, stationery or telephone costs)
- training and development for your governing body
School-to-school support directory
We maintain a school-to-school support directory for people looking to commission the services of NLGs and other system leaders. You would negotiate a deal to provide your services with the relevant local authority, school or other organisation.
How the programme works
Training induction event
If successful, you’ll attend a training induction event that provides:
- essential information about the role
- the tools and techniques for effective school-to-school support
- an opportunity to meet other NLGs
Supporting other chairs of governors
Principles of NLG placements
All NLG placements should:
- improve the quality of governance within a school or specific group of schools, leading to school improvement
- build sustained capacity for high quality governance within the school or multi-academy trust so that quality of governance is sustained into the future
- agree an end date at the start of the placement (maximum initial length of up to 3 to 4 terms)
- be an investment of NLG time and expertise in proportion to the level of need of the school (for example: short, or less intensive intervention in schools which are already good or have strong governance but are seeking to improve, and longer, more intensive support for schools in requires improvement, coasting or with identified weak governance)
Examples of placements:
- mentoring of chair and/or members of the school’s governing body
- external reviews of governance (NLGs who have completed National College for Teaching and Leadership training)
- chair or membership of an interim executive board
- chair or leadership role of governing body of school/multi-academy trust
Headteachers: recommend your chair of governors
If you feel your chair of governors meets the criteria, you can recommend that they apply. Your endorsement will form part of their application.
If they’re successful, your school will benefit from the professional development of your chair of governors.
NLG cohort 9 target areas
|East Midlands||Derby, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire|
|East of England||Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Peterborough, Southend on Sea, Suffolk, Thurrock|
|North East||Gateshead, Hartlepool, Northumberland|
|North West||Blackburn with Darwen, Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool, Rochdale|
|South East||East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, West Sussex|
|South West||Cornwall (North), Devon (North), Dorset, Plymouth, Somerset (West), Wiltshire|
|West Midlands||Sandwell, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||Doncaster, East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston Upon Hull, NE Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire|
Further information on external reviews of governance, national leaders of governance and leadership development opportunities for governors.
Published: 21 March 2014
Updated: 25 March 2016
- The NLG application round has now closed.
- Application round open
- Application round is now closed.
- Application round open.
- New application round opening Monday 5 October 2015.
- Application round now open
- Application round is now open
- Application round closed
- application round opens
- New application round open dates.
- First published.