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:
- 9 March 2017, 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 National Leader of Governance (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.
Cohort 10 is a targeted application round, focusing on areas of greatest need to increase the geographical coverage of NLGs. Please take a look at our target areas.
We will also consider applications from high-quality governors across the country with:
- experience of chairing multi-academy trust boards
- experience of chairing free schools
- relevant business expertise and skills
Schools outside target areas
Chairs that are not based within the target areas will still be able to apply. If you are able to 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
- of effective governance
- be chair of a school with sustained high pupil performance and progress 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 committed to quality of education for all students, including those in schools you are not accountable for
- be able to meet the time commitment
- have the full support of your governing body
- have written support from a commissioner of school-to-school support, such as local authority, teaching school alliance, dioceses or regional schools commissioner’s office who would be willing to deploy you as a NLG if you were to be designated
Read the NLG eligibility criteria (PDF, 53.8KB, 4 pages) for further information.
Independent school applicants
Independent schools must have been judged good by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) or the School Inspection Service (SIS).
For further information please read the NLG eligibility criteria (PDF, 53.8KB, 4 pages) .
What a NLG does
NLGs concentrate on developing school governance capacity and expertise. In some cases, they work in partnership with a national leader of education or a teaching school alliance.
If selected, you’ll provide support to a chair of governors in a school meeting one or more of the following criteria:
- identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, local authority or diocese
- 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
NLGs provide support:
- face to face
- by telephone
- by email
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.
NLGs may also do external reviews of governance.
NLGs need to work proactively with at least one teaching school alliance, local authority or diocese who will help identify schools that need NLG support.
In addition to your existing role as chair, you’ll be expected to provide effective support to at least 1 school per year. 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. You will need to negotiate any cost with the school receiving support.
A grant (up to £2,000 in the financial year 2017 to 2018) will be paid to your school to cover the costs of reasonable expenses incurred when you’re undertaking or preparing for deployments (expenses may include travel, subsistence, stationery or telephone costs).
NLG grant funding can also be used to fund training and development for your governing body.
Your school will be required to complete an annual grant funding evaluation return to account for the spending of the grant.
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. Details of all designated system leaders, including NLGs will be placed on to the directory.
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 deployments
All NLG deployments 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 deployments:
- 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 (NCTL) training)
- chair or membership of an interim executive board
- chair or leadership role of governing body of school/multi-academy trust where the school has been identified as needing urgent additional governance capacity
NLG cohort 10 target areas
|Lincolnshire (eastern and northern areas)|
East of England
|Brighton and Hove|
|Isle of Wight|
Yorkshire and the Humber
Schools outside target areas
Chairs that are not based within the target areas will still be able to apply if you are able to provide support to schools in these areas. If you are situated outside 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.
Further information on external reviews of governance, national leaders of governance and leadership development opportunities for governors.
Published: 21 March 2014
Updated: 9 March 2017
- NLG cohort 10 target areas added
- New application round date for March 2017.
- 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.