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School governors that have undertaken training are important for a successful board. Many new volunteers are first time governors with no previous experience of working in education, so training is essential. While new governors learn on the job and become more confident with every meeting, training can help bridge the initial gaps, helping volunteers contribute effectively from the start.

The Governance Handbook says: “As part of induction and continuous development, effective boards encourage everyone involved in governance, especially those new to the role, to make the most of the resources, guidance and training available to develop their knowledge and skills.”

Why is training important?

The governing board should encourage members to complete training to be as informed and up to date with expectations of the role and how they can best contribute. Often, boards have a budget for training and induction so ask your chair about any opportunities that may be available.

Training enables governors to make an active and valuable contribution to meetings. Understanding the educational and financial performance data can be challenging to begin with, but training gives governors an idea of what they need to know.

Training helps governors gain:

  • A better understanding of their purpose and function
  • More confidence in asking relevant questions and holding the headteacher to account
  • The ability to contribute effectively and support the school’s specific needs

Where can school governors find training?

There are many training opportunities available to school governors. Often the Local Authority organises training for new governors, while support services such as The Key have information on hand.

At Governors for Schools, we want to make sure all school governors have the knowledge and understanding they need to make a positive impact on educational outcomes from their first day. We’ve worked with a number of organisations to develop a suite of e-Learning modules for new and current school governors. Each module is useful to all school governance roles – including trustees, maintained school governors, or those who sit on a local governing body. The modules can be completed at any time.

Our current eLearning modules:

Multi-academy trusts – An introduction to leadership and governance in these types of education organisation.

Employability and work-related learning – Providing governors and trustees with an introduction to their school’s role in preparing, advising and inspiring pupils ahead of their entry into the world of work.

Driving School Improvement – Understanding the role of governors in the school improvement process.

Governor induction – Provides a comprehensive introduction to the school governor role.

Performance data for new governors – Covers the key metrics and measures governors need to understand in order to provide effective oversight of pupil and school performance.

Finance for new governors – Covers the key principles of the schools financial framework, including the funding system and accountability framework.

We also host monthly webinars covering a range of topics, which are available to watch back at any time on our website.