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.

Governance development programme

For 2021/22 Learners First has teamed up with the National Governance Association (NGA) to offer a range of professional development opportunities for governors, members, trustees and clerks 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. CPD opportunities include:-

  • An induction programme for new governors
  • Preparing for Ofsted under the new framework
  • Performance Management in schools and trusts
  • The Governance of SEND
  • An introduction to data and school performance measures
  • Safeguarding duties and responsibilities
  • Understanding Pupil Premium and the Board’s role
  • Financial oversight for academy trusts

Online Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic caused employees of most organisations to unexpectedly have to work from home and conduct their business remotely. School and Trust governing boards were no different and some will no doubt not return to their former ways, preferring the convenience that remote working presents whilst adapting to the challenges faced. In planning for the academic year 2021/22, Learners First intends to adopt a blended approach to support the professional development of Governors and Trustees, complementing face-to-face sessions and  webinars with access to online learning modules.

Governors and Trustees will be provided with access to over 50 governance online learning modules and resources of between 45 mins and 2 hours duration each. The modules, organized into 10 themes, have been developed by the National Governance Association (NGA) and are offered as part of a partnership between Learners First and the NGA.

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 (formerly 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 (provisional dates – to be confirmed)

Induction : Thursday, 23rd September 2021 10.00am – 11.00am

Session 1 : Wednesday, 29th September 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 2 : Tuesday, 12th October 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 3 : Tuesday, 02nd November 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Session 4 : Thursday, 25th November 2021 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Applications open 05th July 2021

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

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