The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

All boards, no matter what type of schools or how many schools they govern, have three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

Governance Handbook
DFE, January 2017

The Learners First professional development programme provides a range of opportunities for governors, members and trustees to develop their knowledge and skills and to discuss and share practice, aligned to the three core functions as set out by the DFE in the Governance Handbook. Details of the programme for the academic year 2019/20 will be published over the summer and will include areas outlined below.


The Academies Financial Handbook


Ofsted’s Inspection Data Summary Report


Induction for new governors


Professional Clerks’ Development Programme

School Finance & Financial Notices To Improve

Safer Recruitment

Governor Safeguarding

Understanding Performance Data