External Review of Governance

Provider: National Governors' Association

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Description The purpose of an external review is for an experienced and professional consultant to review governance practice and to make recommendations for strengthening governance in the school.
Duration Delivered in several stages

National Governors' Association's website

Categories Primary, Secondary, Headteacher, In school, Governor, Governance
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

The aim of the process is to identify what the governing body does well and how this can be built on, what needs improving, and what specific actions the governing body can take to achieve the desired improvements to become an effective governing body.

The NGA external review framework has been developed primarily to respond to Ofsted judgements which identify issues with governance. However, the review process is also suitable for governing bodies who wish to commission an independent view of their governance practice, especially if they are looking to move from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’, or if there are other issues which need addressing.


Evidence underpinning this approach

The external review framework draws on the NGA's expertise in governance practice and policy. The process is linked to and builds on the Ofsted report and evaluation criteria so that the governing body is better able to understand its strengths and weaknesses and the basis upon which it will be judged in subsequent monitoring visits and inspections.NGA reviews of governance are led by governance professionals with a track record of making an impact.

How users/participants can evaluate success

The reviews are designed to contribute to school improvement through identifying actions to make the governing body more effective. Once the review is concluded, it will be up to the governing body to implement the actions in the agreed timescale, drawing on externally sourced report (such as additional support from the NGA) as appropriate.

Follow-up activities and support

Following an external review of governance, the NGA will provide a full report giving clear evidence-based recommendations about how governance might be improved in order to support the required improvement in school performance.

In addition, the NGA Consultancy and Training Service offers a number of training sessions which can be bespoked to the identified needs of the governing body, including a One Year On session designed to check progress with the actions recommended at the end of the review. 


The review process will normally consist of:

  • A face-to-face discussion with the consultant and the chair of governors and the headteacher.
  • A review of governing body documentation.
  • A facilitated self-review session for the governing body and senior leadership team.
  • A written report summarising the priorities for improviding governance and the appropriate actions that the governing body needs to take.

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.