This is the third strand of the National Strategy for Governor Training announced in 1999. In March 2003 the then DfES awarded the contract to develop the National Programme to the Eastern Leadership Centre Partnership.
The Eastern Leadership Centre Partnership is a partnership between the Eastern Leadership Centre (an affiliated centre of the National College of School Leadership) and the governor services of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough, Suffolk and Thurrock, in association with representatives from the Anglican and Catholic Dioceses in the East Region.
The development programme Taking the chair consists of a face-to-face modular programme for chairs and vice-chairs of governing bodies nd chairs of committees. The flexible five-module, practical and problem-solving programme aims to explore the skills required to lead and manage the work of a school governing body. It is targeted at prospective and new chairs who wish to develop their confidence and skills and experienced chairs who are keen to review their effectiveness in the role.
The programme uses a variety of learning approaches and emphasises the practical application of knowledge and skills. To complement the programme, Taking the chair is also available as a stand-alone distance-learning pack.
Leading together is a school-based development programme designed to explore and improve the teamwork between the governing body, the head teacher and the school leadership team in order to better achieve a school-improvement priority. The programme consists of three facilitated meetings in the school spread over a period of about nine months.
The development of a robust leadership partnership between the governing body and the school leadership team poses a challenge for many schools and is an area where they might seek outside support. Schools opting to engage in Leading together may do so for a variety of reasons, such as the opportunity for reviewing working relationships when a new chair or head teacher is appointed. Schools may also be encouraged to engage in the programme because the implementation of shared leadership is a cause for concern.