School governors: professional development

Find out what training is available for school governors and how to apply.

Chairs of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme

Who can apply

This programme is suitable for aspiring chairs, those new to the role and experienced chairs.


What’s involved

The programme consists of 3 units, each studied over a term. Each unit focuses on an essential element of being an effective chair:

  • the role of the chair, the leader
  • leading the governing body and effective governance
  • leading change and continuous improvement

You can study individual units together as a programme or take a single unit depending on your needs.

Each unit includes:

  • a workshop providing opportunities to collaborate and learn with peers
  • opportunities to reflect on leadership practice
  • school-based activities leading to school improvement
  • access to a mentor for support, guidance and challenge
  • online learning
  • a leadership diagnostic to guide your development


The recommended price for the programme (all 3 units) is £399, although the cost may vary by licensee.

The cost of taking individual units varies by licensee. Contact your licensee for further details.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to pay your travel or supply cover costs.


A limited number of scholarships will be available for this financial year, from April 2016 to March 2017. These will be for chairs in the following settings:

  • scholarships of £320 if you’re in a state-funded educational setting

You may be eligible if you’re an aspiring or existing chair of governors from the English state-maintained sector or a non-maintained special school. This includes:

  • academies
  • city technology colleges
  • community schools and colleges
  • foundation schools and colleges
  • free schools
  • local authority nursery schools
  • non-maintained special schools and studio schools
  • pupil referral units
  • secure units
  • voluntary-aided schools and colleges
  • voluntary-controlled schools and colleges

Scholarships are only available if you take the full programme. They’re not available if you choose to take individual units.

We can’t guarantee that scholarships will be available in future years.

Apply for a scholarship

Contact your licensee to apply for a scholarship as part of your programme application. Licensees will prioritise scholarships in their own regions.

We’ll pay the scholarship to your licensee, not to you or your school. You should arrange to pay any remaining balance with your licensee, as we’re not responsible for processing these payments.

Clerks to Governing Bodies Training Programme

Who can apply

You should be a new or experienced clerk to a governing body.


Apply with one of the organisations licensed to offer this training.

What’s involved

The programme takes about 35 hours and will develop your skills to support your governing body. Your learning will take place through:

*face-to-face sessions *online learning *group working *personal reflection

Costs and scholarships

The recommended cost of the programme will be £399, although this may vary by licensee.

A limited number of scholarships are available in this financial year, from April 2016 to March 2017. These will be for clerks in the following settings:

  • Scholarships of £320 if you’re in a state-funded educational setting

We can’t guarantee that scholarships will be available in future years.

Training workshops for governing body members

Who can apply

You should be a school or academy governor.


Book a place directly with one of the schools or organisations licensed to offer these workshops.

What’s involved

The workshops address strategic themes for governing bodies. There are 3 workshops to support you with your governor responsibilities. Each lasts for 3 hours with a break. They are:

  • Understanding and using performance-related pay
  • Understanding and using RAISEonline to improve school outcomes
  • Improving financial efficiencies in school


The workshops are free for up to 3 governors (which can include the headteacher) from your school or academy.

Contact us


Further information on external reviews of governance, national leaders of governance and leadership development opportunities for governors.