Guidance

Academy and school governance: professional development

Find out what training is available for school governors and clerks to governing boards, and how to apply.

Governance leadership development programme

Apply

The Department for Education (DfE) has contracted 5 organisations to provide a professional development programme until March 2020.

Each provider’s offer, including the duration, may be different, and you should consider which programme suits both you and your board’s needs best.

Apply direct to the providers, see training offers or check availability in your area.

Who can apply

The programme is suitable for those in governance leadership roles, like chairs, vice chairs or committee chairs.

What’s involved

The governance leadership development programme offers you support and development as a governor, as you work with your board to increase the effectiveness of its governance.

It aims for:

  • increased capacity to improve the effectiveness of governing boards in line with the ‘Competency framework for governance’ (particularly boards’ ability to provide strategic leadership and data-driven accountability for educational standards and financial performance)

  • greater involvement of governance leaders in sustainable and relevant peer-to-peer support networks that enable encouragement, support and sharing good practice with one another

The format of the training will vary between different providers, but they are all required to ensure that you are supported and challenged:

  • to have an objective and fair assessment of your own and your board’s strengths and development needs, with reference to the ‘Governance handbook’ and the ‘Competency framework for governance’ and in light of the specific circumstances in which you are governing

  • to have agreed with your board an ambitious action plan for improving the effectiveness of its governance

  • to understand throughout, and at the conclusion of the programme, what progress you and your board have made towards your development needs and what development priorities remain

  • to take your learning back to your board and embed best practice

Costs

The DfE is funding this programme with £500 available for up to two participants for each eligible board.

Some may be eligible for a higher level of support, with up to £2,000 available to boards or local governing bodies (LGBs) that are:

  • designated as multi-academy trusts
  • federations governing 2 or more schools
  • governing a school that is located in an opportunity area and is rated by Ofsted as requires improvement
  • governing a school that is located in a category 5 or 6 local authority district and is rated by Ofsted as requires improvement
  • governing a school that is located in the Opportunity North East local authority districts and is rated by Ofsted as requires improvement

In most cases, there will be no, or minimal, cost to individual schools undertaking the leadership development programme.

Please check pricing structures and eligibility for the higher level of training with individual providers.

The funding for eligible participants is paid directly to the provider and not to an individual school, MAT or federation they represent.

Governance clerking development programme

Apply

The DfE has contracted 5 organisations to provide a clerking development programme until March 2020.

Each provider’s offer, including the duration of the programme, may be different, and you should consider which programme would best suit your requirements.

Apply direct to the providers or check availability in your area.

Who can apply

All school, academy or trust board clerks, including new clerks, who are currently supporting one or more boards.

What’s involved

The clerking development programme aims for:

  • increased clerking expertise in line with the ‘Clerking competency framework’ to deliver professional quality clerking that ensures the efficient and effective functioning of governing boards

  • greater involvement by clerks in sustainable and relevant peer-to-peer support networks that enable encouragement, support and sharing good practice with one another

The format of the training will vary between the different providers, but they are all required to ensure that you are supported and challenged to:

  • have an objective and fair assessment of your own strengths and development needs, with reference to the ‘Governance handbook’ and the ‘Clerking competency framework’ and in light of the specific circumstances in which you provide clerking services

  • understand throughout and at the conclusion of the programme what progress you have made towards your development needs and what development priorities remain

Costs

The DfE is funding this programme, with £350 available for each eligible participant.

There may be a small cost to individuals or boards to complete the programme. Please check pricing structures and eligibility with individual providers.

The funding for eligible participants is paid directly to the provider and not to an individual school, MAT or federation they represent.

Published 18 March 2014
Last updated 20 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. A minor change to the eligibility criteria for the higher level of support available to some governing boards.
  2. Updated 'Costs' in Governance leadership development programme section.
  3. Page updated to reflect the inclusion of MATs consisting of only one school in the eligibility for the higher leadership rate.
  4. Updated with completely revised guidance.
  5. The NCTL governor programmes and workshops will not accept new applications after July 2017
  6. New workshops added to page
  7. Updates following decisions to extend the licences for governor training
  8. Scholarships available for 2015 to 2016
  9. New contact information added
  10. First published.