Continuing professional development (CPD) for school governors

Continuing professional development (CPD) for governors; contains links to downloadable resources we hope you will find useful at the induction stage of your career as a school governor. 

What support and training is available to you as a governor?

Governors can access relevant support and training via HERE for Schools. The attached guidance can help governors navigate the HERE for Schools website.

Basic guide for governors (pdf 1.5mb)

Is there any e-learning available for governors?

Yes, if your school subscribes to the Governors Support Service your governing board will have access to The National Governors Association Learning Link, e-learning.

Learning link is an easy to use e-learning portal that will help governors with professional development, and offers bespoke training on all aspects of school governance and a catalogue of high-quality content to develop your skills and knowledge on key topics including: strategy, team work, assessment, staffing, financial oversight, elements of effective governance, compliance and collaboration. It currently hosts over 50 governor e-learning modules which have been updated to reflect changes in legislation, the new Governance Handbook and the Competency Framework.  To register for Learning Link:

1. Visit the NGA Learning Link Registration website to find the online self-registration form.

2. Add your details to the self-registration form in the following order

  • Your first name
  • Your last name
  • Your email
  • Your phone number (optional)
  • Your governance role title (optional)
  • Your school or academy – use the search box and make sure to select the right one using the address and postcode if necessary*

3. Read the statement in the large blue box at the bottom of the form and then click anywhere in the large blue box to submit your application for approval.

4. Approval is not immediate and you must wait for email confirmation of approval. It can take time to receive this email particularly if your application is submitted over a weekend or in the evening.

5. Your confirmation email will be sent to you. Once you receive your email confirmation, which includes your login details you can login to Learning Link and start to use it whenever you want to.

For further information and to register please follow the external link:

NGA Learning Link E Learning (external website)

What help will I receive as I begin my new role as a governor?

Before your first governing body meeting

Arrange to attend an informal meeting at the school to meet with the Head and Chair of Governors, during which a range of issues might be discussed:

  • your background and experiences so that your interests and expertise can be harnessed effectively, particularly with regard to committees of the governing body
  • ground rules including the issue of 'confidentiality'
  • a brief guide to the way in which the governing body is organised and carries out its work 
  • the likely time demands and probable timetable of events
  • whether you would welcome a letter for your employer which encourages them to provide an allocation of paid time off for governor duties (recognising that there are no national 'rules' for this) 
  • whether you would like an experienced governor who could act as mentor or 'buddy' for perhaps the first year.

The Head and Chair should arrange a time to show you around the school (ideally with the help of a pupil).  You should receive a range of useful reading/reference material which might include:

  • the School Prospectus
  • a copy of the Governors’ Handbook
  • a map of the school
  • copies of the last 2 or 3 previous Head teacher reports to the governing body
  • the most recent Annual Report to Parents
  • the most recent Ofsted Report.

At my first governing body meeting

If you have requested a supporting governor, it helps if the two of you can have a brief discussion before the meeting, particularly when the agenda has arrived, so that the procedures for the meeting can be explained and clarified.

There are a number of key issues that the chair of the meeting should bear in mind to ensure that your first experience of a governors’ meeting is encouraging and positive.

They should ensure:

  • that everyone is introduced to you explaining the responsibilities they carry out on behalf of the governing body
  • that the use of jargon is kept to a minimum (all acronyms should be explained)
  • that you are involved in any discussion by positively inviting a contribution, particularly if an item covers your particular interests or areas of expertise
  • that when you join a committee of the governing body, the chair of that committee has a conversation with you at the end of the meeting.

After my first governing body meeting

A little time reflecting on your first governing body meeting will help clarify any outstanding questions or issues and assist your induction process, including:

  • receiving additional documents that relate to the day-to-day working of the school, including the School Development Plan and any details on pupil achievement (you may need help interpreting some of the data – don’t be afraid to ask!)
  • arranging a further visit to the school to see it at work and to meet with staff.

Effective induction of new governors by the school and governing body has been shown to result in:   

  • a more effective contribution by the new governor   
  • a greater degree of interest by the new governor in school governance in general   
  • a more supportive new governor in terms of celebrating the good aspects of the school in the local community
  • a greater clarity for the new governor in their understanding of the boundaries of the governing body’s work, roles and responsibilities

Is there any information about school governor clusters in East Riding of Yorkshire?

Yes. Governor cluster groups were established to promote greater collaboration and most efficiently deliver governor training and support on a local basis. Cluster training can provide a valuable opportunity for effective networking between governing boards to allow the sharing of experience, expertise and practice.

Training as a cluster can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Maintain links between schools
  • Provide a support network
  • Share knowledge and information
  • Raise the profile of initiatives and council services
  • Travelling distance and time are reduced
  • Cost of training is shared with the cluster schools
  • Training sessions can be tailored to the cluster’s needs
  • Schools in similar areas have lots in common
  • Getting together creates opportunities to share good practice
  • Getting together creates opportunities to share problems and solutions.

We have ten governor cluster groups with each one having a Governor Cluster Representative who can assist in arranging any required training.

Governor Cluster Map (pdf 532kb opens in new window)

Lisa Devine is the key point of contact at the local authority who co-ordinates training and support requests from clusters on behalf of the Improvement and Learning Service.  If a governing board has any requests for training, they should contact their cluster representative who will then take the matter forward.

If you have any queries regarding the information on this page, then please contact:

Lisa Devine - School Governance and CPD Manager
Tel: (01482) 392173
Email: lisa.devine@eastriding.gov.uk 

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