to strengthen school, academy and MAT governance through the development of effective governors, members, directors who are well equipped to hold to account, challenge and support leaders and leadership teams to better deliver themes for children and young people.

Effective Governance

Effective governance is critical to school improvement and the ambition of transforming leadership and developing a culture of high expectations, impact and challenge. Governance features decisively in the current Ofsted framework and is imperative to securing improved outcomes for children and young people. Therefore, the effective development and support for school and academy governors, members and directors is essential if we are to successfully achieve these aims and ambitions.

Governor Development

As a result, Governor Development continues to be core area of work for Learners First. The Learners First approach to governance and governor development is based on the same premise as the approach to leadership development and school-to-school support; individuals undertaking roles related to school and academy governance should have the opportunity to learn from and work with the very best individuals within the field.

Programmes and Events

The programmes and events outlined below are taking place in the autumn term have been developed by Learners First in partnership with a range of headteachers and National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) in response to local need and are open to governors from all phases, contexts and schools. This overview is not designed to be a complete offer; further opportunities will continue to be added and developed in response to feedback, demand and local and national priorities.


Understanding School Data – MATS

17th April 2018

Induction for New Governors

01st May, 08th May, 15th May, 22nd May 2018 (4 Session Programme)

Holding Leadership to Account

15th May 2018

Pupil Premium

23rd May 2018

Preparation for Ofsted – Single School

11th June 2018


Click on the image below to download a summary of our Governor courses during the Summer Term 2018, including information on reserving your place.


Contact Us

Additional Governor opportunities will be added throughout the academic year in response to feedback and demand.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Learners First team if you have any questions regarding the Governor Programme or would like additional information about these events. Regular updates about all Learners First opportunities will be circulated to schools on a regular basis and will also be made via the website.

Contact us:-


Tel: 01709 731272


Governance Handbook – January 2017


The Department of Education (DfE) released an updated version of the Governance Handbook in January 2017 together with the new Competency Framework for Governors. The following link will take you to the relevant DfE website page should you wish to view or download these documents:

The key changes are outlined in full in the Handbook itself, but in brief summary:

  • The new edition of the Governance Handbook contains a new summary description of the six key features of effective governance. This provides the structure for the six sections that follow and also for the department’s new Competency Framework for Governance.
  • Section 2: Strategic Leadership – a new section at 2.3 bringing together material about the board’s role as the key decision-maker.
  • Section 3: Accountability – a stronger emphasis on ensuring financial propriety at 3.4.
  • Section 4: People – updated text at 4.1.2 to reflect the new requirement that all those involved in governance in maintained schools, as well as in academy trusts, must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. New advice on conducting informed elections at 4.1.4. New sections bringing together material on the important role of the chair at 4.3 and of the clerk at 4.4. A new explanation at4.8 of the risks associated with close family relationships between those involved in governance or between them and senior employees. Details of the duty on boards to provide information about individuals involved in governance via Edubase at 4.8.
  • Section 5: Structures – updated guidance on the role of Trustees and Members at 5.2.1. Clarification at 5.6 that all boards are required to publish a scheme of delegation to explain their governance arrangements, together with new guidance on what makes an effective scheme of delegation. Updated guidance on MATs at 5.2.2 and umbrella trusts at 5.5.1.
  • Section 6: Compliance – confirmation at 6.7 that an individual on the board should take leadership responsibility for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements, which include its Prevent duty. New advice at 6.7.1 on handling allegations of abuse made against other children.
  • Section 7: Evaluation – updated content on schools causing concern and on coasting schools at section 7.4.