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What school leaders and those governing should expect from each other

Updated guidance produced by a collaboration of leading education sector organisations aims to improve the effectiveness of governance by supporting the vital partnership between those leading and governing schools.


The popular guides, covering what school leaders and those governing should expect from each other, are written and backed by the National Governance Association (NGA), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Institute of School Business Leaders (ISBL). For its sixth edition, the guide has been created as two distinct versions to reflect how governance models have changed over the years:

"What governing boards and headteachers should expect from each other" is aimed at those leading and governing in a single school, academy or LA-maintained school federation.

"What multi academy trust boards and CEOs should expect from each other" is a guide for those leading and governing a multi academy trust.

Both versions cover:

  • respecting respective roles
  • working together to set a strategy
  • stakeholder engagement
  • ensuring your school/trust is a great place to work
  • making governance effective
  • ways of working                       

The refreshed content has been designed to provide a more collaborative feel, while making it clear that roles and responsibilities must be known and understood, and accountability must be acknowledged and accepted. They also feature more content on the obligations of the board as the employer of staff, including development and wellbeing.

The guides are intended to ensure the relationship between school leaders and governing boards is as effective as possible to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, deputy chair of the Children and Young People Board, Local Government Association said:

Councils are ambitious to improve the life chances of all children and young people in their communities and understand the key role that strong school leadership plays in improving their outcomes. This guidance is an invaluable tool for trustees, governors and senior school leaders which sets out best practice in building productive relationships to promote school improvement. I would recommend all schools to use it as a reference guide and support to building and sustaining effective school leadership.”