Governor Development

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.

Learners first development programme

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. These include a Governance Curriculum for Members/Board Directors/LGBs, introductory programmes for those new to school governance, a DfE accredited programme for Clerks and a host of useful resources provided through our strategic partnership with ‘The Key For School Leaders’.

Governance Curriculum

CPD opportunities for those who hold Governance roles within MATs at Board or individual School/Academy Level

New to

A programme to support new governors to play an active & valuable part in their governing body from an early stage.


DfE accredited programme for experienced & new clerks to develop their knowledge, skills & expertise.

Resources for Governance

Up-to-the-minute sector intelligence and resources provided in partnership with 'They Key'.

Governance Curriculum

CPD opportunities for those who hold Governance roles within Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) at either a Board Level (Members, Directors and Trustees) or at an individual School/Academy Level (Governors of Local Governing Bodies, LGBs). The Learners First MAT Governance Curriculum offer has been developed by a group of experienced professionals from a range of backgrounds with a wealth of pertinent knowledge, skills and expertise in the field.

As well as colleagues with experience of working for and advising the DfE the team has included experienced School Leaders, MAT Directors and Members, Chairs of Trust Boards, National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) and Chairs of Governors. In addition, it has been a privilege to work with a Regional Advisor from Academy Ambassadors who has helped further refine and quality assure the provision. The curriculum has been designed for those who have strategic governance roles on Multi Academy Trust (MAT) Boards and MAT central teams and those on the LGBs of schools operating within MAT organisations.

New to Governance

The programme to support new governors to play an active and valuable part in their governing body from an early stage. The programme is relevant for governors from all phases and settings and is organised into four core sessions that look at moral purpose, strategic leadership, accountability and the role of governors as a critical friend. The programme aims to support new governors to better understand:

  • the role of governing bodies and why they exist
  • how to be an effective member of a governing body
  • the key roles and responsibilities of governing bodies in contributing to school improvement
  • the different and complementary roles of the headteacher and the governing body
  • roles of different stakeholders and their relationship with the governing body

Clerks Programme

The Learners First Clerks Programme is accredited by the DfE as part of a collaboration of Teaching Schools from across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber region. Designed and developed by lead professionals in the field, this programme offers both experienced and new clerks a fantastic opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise to support high quality clerking and effective governance.

Professional-quality clerking is critical to the effectiveness of a governing board in fulfilling its core strategic functions. It is much more than taking minutes to record the discussions and decisions of the board. It is also about providing governing boards with expert advice on governance, procedures and compliance and directly contributing to its efficient conduct. Professional clerking has a vital role to play in meeting the administrative and procedural requirements of boards and enabling efficient and effective discussion and decision making.

Next Programme dates

Induction : Thursday, 14th January 2021 10.00am – 11.00am

Session 1 : Tuesday, 19th January 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 2 : Wednesday, 03rd February 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 3 : Tuesday, 23rd February 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 4 : Wednesday, 10th March 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Applications are now CLOSED

Resources for Governing Boards

Through our strategic partnership with ‘The Key’, Learners First provides up-to-the-minute sector intelligence and resources that empower education leaders with the knowledge to act. 

Schools and MATs subscribing to Learners First are provided with unlimited user access to ‘The Key for School Leaders’ and ‘The Key for School Governors’ – an online information service keeping school leaders up to date, compliant, and equipped to make confident decisions on safeguarding, assessment and curriculum, funding and finance, GDPR, staffing issues and recruitment, inspection, and all the nitty-gritty of running a school. Reliable, relevant and authoritative knowledge that’s ready to use.

Recent Governance News & Blogs

Scroll to Top Skip to content