Background

There are a range of resources and support networks that exist to help individual governors and the governing body to fulfill their responsibilities. In general terms this support can be divided into two categories:

Local support

Local support for governors and the governing body generally takes the form of

  • Clerk to the governing body

The clerk to the governing body is usually an individual with considerable experience of governance and is a key resource in helping guide governors through both legislative and procedural issues. For more information see the article 'Clerk to the governing body'.

  • LA Governor Support Unit

Many (but not all) LAs provide considerable support to the governing body including training, telephone advice, and web- and paper-based resources such as sample policies and guidance. If your LA has a governor support website, you can find details of it via the article, 'Local authority websites'. The overview article on governor training may also be useful.

  • Local Associations of the National Governors' Association (NGA)

The NGA is a national organisation with member associations in 80 per cent of the LA areas. Each association has, in turn, governing bodies of schools as members. The NGA acts as a voice for governors in England putting their point of view to the Department and other government departments.

National support

In addition to resources offered here by the Department, there are a range of additional resources that governors and the governing body will find useful. Consult the appropriate Department information online for more information and links about:

  • GovernorLine – a key resource for practical help and advice on governance. It is a telephone- and email-based advisory service funded by the Department and staffed by experienced governors, with legal support. To contact GovernorLine, call or visit the organisation's website.
  • Governors Wales (Llywodraethwyr cymru) – This organisation's website supports the effective governance of schools in Wales and the professional and personal support of individual governors. To contact Governors Wales, call 0845 6020100 (charged at local rates - bilingual service available) or visit its website. Please note that not all information on the Department website is relevant to governance in Wales; Welsh governors, please refer to the Governors Wales website.
  • FE governors and clerks – a free-phone confidential helpline service for the 6000 governors and 400 clerks in further education and sixth form colleges provides advice and support from the AoCs governance advisers between 8.30am and 5.15pm, Monday to Friday, by free phoning. First-class advice will be provided on complex governance matters relating to colleges. Please note that information on the Department website does not cover/relate to FE governance.
  • Information for School and College Governors (ISCG) – this organisation provides a range of information, guidance and other support for governors.
  • Departmental Publications – a wide range of Departmental publications is available to download via the Department's publications website.
  • Governor recruitment – The School Governor’s One-Stop Shop specifically focuses on helping with school governor recruitment.

Web-based resources

  • Archive of Departmental Strategy and Policy Documents
  • NGA Publications - accessed from the NAGM website
  • The Children’s Services Network (CSN) – an independent body set up to support LAs in their work. The CSN website contains several resources looking at the state of governance and how governing bodies can be more representative of their communities.
  • The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) – a private organisation that publishes all official government documentation and makes it available either online or for purchase.