Governance Development

Supporting governors to provide confident, strategic leadership and oversight for educational and financial performance

Governance Development

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

Clerks
Programme

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 'The Key'.

DFE
Frameworks

DfE guidance for governing boards to provide confident, strategic leadership for schools and Trusts.

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.

See course details below.

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 that prefer the convenience that remote working presents are offered a blended approach by Learners First to support the professional development of Governors and Trustees in 2021/22. 

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 through a partnership with Learners First.

Governance courses 2021/22

All governance courses and access to the NGA online learning modules are free to Trustees and Governors of Trusts/schools subscribing to Learners First in 2021/22. 

Induction for new governors and trustees

Taking on the role of governing a school as a local governing body member of a multi academy trust is a big responsibility and most who do so want to make a real contribution to ensuring better outcomes for pupils. This course is designed to give all participants a good grounding in the extent of their role and responsibilities in their school, and the knowledge that they need to become effective within six months of taking on the role.

23/09/2021 (session 1 of 2)
14/10/2021 (session 2 of 2)
Cost: £50 per person
Preparing for Ofsted – what governors and trustees need to know

The prospect of an Ofsted inspection is daunting for everyone, not least for the governing board or academy committee who will meet with inspectors and be expected to answer questions about the effectiveness of their organisation.   At the end of this session, participants should be confident about what Ofsted expects, what they as a governors, trustees or academy committee members need to know, and how the inspection process works.

29/09/2021
Cost: £50 per person
Performance management in schools and trusts

At the end of this session participants will have a clear understanding of expectations for effective appraisal and performance management, and the confidence to carry out the critical aspect of their role of holding the senior executive leader to account for the performance of their organisation. 

07/10/2021
Cost: £50 per person
The effective governance of SEND

Governing boards have legal duties in relation to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  These responsibilities can seem daunting, leaving boards not knowing where to start. At the end of this session, participants should have a thorough understanding of SEND and how they can ensure that those with SEND have their needs met and make the best progress in their school. 

03/11/2021
Cost: £50 per person
An introduction to data and school performance measures

There is now a wealth of data sources that governors and trustees need to be aware of; they also need to be cognisant of the extent to which the data can be analysed, as well as other means by which governors and trustees can get to know and judge  their school’s success. At the end of this session participants should be clear about the range of resources available to them, the key measures that they will need to be familiar with, and how this can feed into their core function of holding the organisation to account.

09/11/2021
Cost: £50 per person
Discharging the governance responsibility for Pupil Premium

Your board has an important role to play in the pupil premium initiative. Not only is this grant a key resource for your school, but can also make a difference to many children’s and families lives.Upon completion, you will be able to fulfil your strategic role in the effective and efficient management of the Pupil Premium Grant. You will also have a clear understanding of the initiatives aims and the importance of facilitating your schools attempts to raise attainment for the target groups. 

15/11/2021
Cost: £50 per person
Safeguarding - an introduction to the governance role

It is critically important that governors and trustees understand how pupils are kept safe when at school.  This aspect of their role matters not least because parents and carers entrust their children to the school, but also because the governing board must be able to assure that the school is complying with statutory requirements and best practice. At the end of this session participants will have an understanding of the theory and practice of safeguarding, and what the governing board’s role is in keeping pupils safe. 

30/11/2021
Cost: £50 per person
Effective Clerking

Clerking a governing board means providing a professional service: offering administrative support, guidance on compliance and information and advice on procedural matters and best practise.  At the end of this session you will have a clear picture of the extent of the role, the challenges, and some of the strategies you can employ to make the role one you can perform effectively. 

02/12/2021
Cost: £50 per person
Financial Oversight in Academy Trusts

At the end of this session participants should have a basic understanding of how to ensure that their trust’s finances are being well spent. The session will cover:- the current context for governance; the strategic and compliance roles of the trust board; effective financial management and the role of the trust board; how your academy trust is funded and resourced; how to set, evaluate and monitor your trust’s budget; the concept of Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning; how to help your organisation to be financially efficient.

20/01/2022
Cost: £50 per person
Induction for new governors and trustees

Taking on the role of governing a school as a local governing body member of a multi academy trust is a big responsibility and most who do so want to make a real contribution to ensuring better outcomes for pupils. This course is designed to give all participants a good grounding in the extent of their role and responsibilities in their school, and the knowledge that they need to become effective within six months of taking on the role.

25/01/2022 (session 1 of 2)
15/02/2022 (session 2 of 2)
Cost: £50 per person
Preparing for Ofsted – what governors and trustees need to know

The prospect of an Ofsted inspection is daunting for everyone, not least for the governing board or academy committee who will meet with inspectors and be expected to answer questions about the effectiveness of their organisation.   At the end of this session, participants should be confident about what Ofsted expects, what they as a governors, trustees or academy committee members need to know, and how the inspection process works.

02/02/2022
Cost: £50 per person
How to manage risk: the governance role

At the end of this session participants will be able to start the process of ensuring that the governing board’s role in managing risk becomes a routine and secure aspect of their governance role. The session will cover the concept of risk and its management; types of risk relevant to schools and trusts; identifying and quantifying risk; barriers and challenges to managing risk; the governing board’s role.

02/03/2022
Cost: £50 per person
Panel work: fulfilling the governance role

Sitting on a formal panel is a daunting prospect for governors, trustees and academy committee members; being required to attend a panel can be equally daunting for senior executive leaders, pupils and parents. At the end of this session you should have a clear picture of the guidance and policies you will need to be aware of and be confident that you will be able to navigate the process and make sound decisions. The session will cover:- why panels are needed; principles and starting points; judicial method; the panel hearing.

23/03/2022
Cost: £50 per person

Clerks PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Programme

The Clerks Professional Development Programme was partly funded by the DfE in 2020/21 but this has unfortunately been discontinued for 2021. The programme cost was £430 in 2020/21 and is being subsidised by Learners First for 2021/22.
The programme is free to Clerks of Trusts/schools subscribing to Learners First in 2021/22 and £200 to all other delegates.
Clerks Development Programme (formerly accredited by the DfE)

The Professional Clerks Programme (formerly accredited by the DfE) was delivered in 2020 as part of a collaboration of Teaching Schools from across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber region. The programme, designed and developed by lead professionals in the field, 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.

Programme to start in the Spring Term 2022, dates to be confirmed
Cost: £200 per person
To register an interest in this programme, please email:- info@learnersfirst.org

Resources for Governing Boards

Increasing the confidence and capacity of school leaders and governors through the delivery of indispensable support, knowledge and tools, The Key helps to free up your time to focus on improving pupil outcomes.

Through our strategic partnership with ‘The Key’, schools/Trusts subscribing to Learners First in 2021/22 are eligible to access a range of different services provided by The Key at preferential prices.

Further information regarding the services available and details of pricing are available below.

If you have any questions please contact The Key by emailing enquiries@thekeysupport.com or calling 0800 061 4500.

The Key for School Leaders
The Key for School Governors
The Key CPD Toolkit
The Key Safeguarding Training

DfE Governance Frameworks and Handbooks

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.

Please download the DfE documents below for further information.

Recent Governance News & Blogs

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