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National Governance Association

The National Governance Association (NGA) is an independent charity representing and supporting governors, trustees and clerks in maintained schools and academies in England. NGA’s goal is to improve the wellbeing of children and young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting high standards. It does this by providing information, advice, guidance, research and training. It also works closely with, and lobbies, UK government and educational bodies, and is the leading campaigning national membership organisation for school governors and trustees.

With over 58,000+ governor members and over a quarter of schools in England in membership, NGA is the leading membership organisation for school governors, trustees and clerks.

Learn more about NGA

Membership benefits

The diversity of our membership offer enables us to reach and support governors, trustees and clerks in many ways.

Whether it’s through providing expert advice and guidance, practical resources, knowledge sharing, or keeping on education news and policy, we can help you face new challenges as they arise.

Sign up to access a range of resources that will:

  • help you to develop professional governance
  • keep you up to date and compliant
  • save you time and money



GOLD governing board membership offer for Academies Show delegates
DISCOUNT CODE: DIS0102. £30 OFF, £260 now £230.

  • access to expert legal and procedural advice through our GOLDline advice service
  • copies of Governing Matters magazine to the home of every governor/trustee and to the school
  • a weekly e-newsletter featuring the latest education news and policy updates
  • access to members’ only content in our online guidance centre
  • a free Chair’s Handbook and complimentary copies of Welcome to Governance for all new governors/trustees
  • additional NGA guides available at a discounted rate
  • three free places at NGA conferences and events

“Excellent source of information.” – Member

“Excellent value for money. I recommend it to all. As a chair I use it constantly and it’s always my first port of call.”– Member

NGA guides

Our essential guides introduce new governors, trustees, clerks and chairs to their roles and responsibilities and are a useful reference tool for those with more experience.

NGA’s guides include:

  • Welcome to Governance
    A guide for new governors and trustees of single schools
  • The Chair’s Handbook
    A guide for chairs of governing boards of schools and academy trusts
  • Welcome to a Multi Academy Trust
    A guide for newly appointed trustees



NGA Guides – Academies Show Special Offer Save over 50%

  • NEW Welcome to Governance 10th EDITION (£12 now £5)
  • Welcome to a Multi Academy Trust 2nd EDITION (£12 now £5)
  • The Chair’s Handbook 6th EDITION (£12 now £5)


“Wherever you are on the path between aspiring governor and experienced chair, or in any way involved with school leadership and management, then these offerings from NGA are a must read for any governing body library.” Schools Week

“I found it a great overview of the role of the governor. It helped me become a fully-fledged participant in governing board meetings almost from the start.” Member


NGA’s online guidance centre provides essential information on all aspects of school governance.

Our free guidance available to download includes:

  • Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny: forming a multi-academy trust
  • Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny: joining a multi-academy trust
  • Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny: considering forming or joining a group of schools Guidance

We have recently updated and relaunched our well-received guide the right people around the table. With practical guidance and suggestions, the new guide is a must-read for governing boards looking to recruit and retain skilled governors or trustees. Download the free guide.

NGA and Wellcome Trust have published Being strategic: a guide for governing boards. This popular guide provides practical advice, poses questions for governing boards, and supports school leaders in taking a broad and long-term perspective. Come to stand 771 and get your free copy.

Inspiring Governance – school governance recruitment and support

In November 2016, we launched the Inspiring Governance service in partnership with the charity Education and Employers. Inspiring Governance is a free online matchmaking service, connecting prospective governors and trustees with schools and colleges in England. NGA delivers free support to new volunteers recruited via the service in their first 12 months.

Training Development

Our expert training and consultancy is available to members and non-members to improve governance practice. We offer in depth consultancy for individual governing boards, provide bespoke face-to-face training and online self-review diagnostic tools.

NGA Learning Link is an easy-to-use and cost-effective e-learning portal that will help you every step of the way with your professional development. NGA governing board members can purchase Learning Link at a discounted price.

NGA Leading Governance

NGA has a strong track record of delivering governance leadership programmes in cooperation with partners across England. The following NGA professional development programmes are funded by the Department for Education:

“An excellent session and just what our governing body needed to move us to the next level of effectiveness.” Academy governor

“The content was informative and the questions were challenging.  It made me think more deeply about the subject and I attained a better understanding” – Learning Link subscriber  

“I could complete the course in my own time” – Learning Link subscriber

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