Department for Education (DfE) expects that all governing boards will undertake an annual self-review to enable them to be confident in their capacity to support school leaders.

In addition, Ofsted will look for evidence that governing boards are evaluating the impact of their work.


Governing Body Self Evaluation Questions and Guidance

Self-evaluation is a fundamental feature of good governance – NGA recommends that governing boards evaluate themselves annually to help them:

  1. deliver core functions in an effective, ethical and accountable way
  2. assure compliance
  3. continuously improve
  4. achieve improved outcomes for pupils

Templates for self-evaluation


The Governing Board Skills Audit

The Skills Audit should enable every governing board to establish its needs and areas for development and decide when and how to fill vacancies.

Strong governance is essential for good schools. Yet we know that in many schools, governing bodies are not effective or confident enough. The key role of governing bodies is to support and challenge head teachers in order to ensure pupils receive the best possible education; governing boards also need support and challenge.

We suggest that every governing board should engage with the Skills Audit as a way of identifying gaps and filling vacancies and ensure individual governors complete the audit.

National Governors Association Skills Audit 


Governing Board Skills Matrix

To make it easier to get a view of the skills across the governing board as a whole, the NGA has also produced a skills matrix, which can be used to collate governors' responses from the skills audit.  This will give a RAG rated overall picture of where the skills gaps are within your governing board.

National Governors Association Skills Matrix 


Reviewing Individual Governor Contributions

The Governance Handbook advises boards to evaluate themselves on a routine basis. This needs to happen at all levels, from the chair and individual governors or trustees to the whole board.

Assessing and supporting individual contributions can be done informally with the chair – or vice chair – having an annual meeting with each governor/trustee to discuss their contribution to the board. The conversation might cover:

  • whether their skills are being used well
  • how this might be enhanced
  • board dynamics (teamwork) and perceived effectiveness
  • the performance of the chair


Governance and Trustee Role Descriptors

Effective boards have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. NGA model role descriptions can be adapted as needed and used for recruitment, induction and to support ongoing development


Key questions for a school governing body to ask itself - Evidence Framework

This document seeks to provide an evidence framework to the Twenty key questions for a school governing body to ask itself, which was produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership.

In its simplest form this is a RAG (red, amber, green) matrix that will allow the governing body to think about areas that need improvement and record them in an easy format.  At the bottom of the matrix is a resource section that provides prompts for the issues governing bodies should be considering in answering the questions and provides links to articles, advice and information on the various topics that fall under the Twenty Key Questions.

These questions will enable every governing body to challenge its own practice and, if the answers derive from a genuine discussion based on the evidence available, decide when and how improvements can be made. This review tool will encourage governors and governing bodies to challenge themselves – as the best governing bodies already do.

Twenty Key Questions: Governing Body Self Review - Evidence Framework

Twenty-One questions for Multi Academy Trusts


Framework for Governance

Strong governance is a key part of a successful school. However, schools are beset by so many regulations and reporting requirements that it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. To help school governors and senior leaders take a broader and longer-term perspective, NGA have developed this Framework for Governance. The aim is to give governors and senior leaders a robust framework that they can use to set the strategic direction for their school and monitor
progress against the strategic vision.

Framework for Governance


Governing Board Model Code of Conduct (NGA)

The Governing Body Code of Conduct is not a definitive statement of responsibilities but is concerned with the common understanding of broad principles by which the governing body and individual governors will operate.  School Governor Service would recommend that every governing body adopts this Code of Conduct at their first meeting of each academic year.

National Governors Association Governing Board Code of Conduct 


Governor Mark

Governor Mark is a national award. It is a kite mark which provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school.  The Governor Mark Standards Document is freely available to any governing body for use as a comprehensive health check.

Should a governing body wish to apply for the award, you will find detailed guidance showing how to go about making an application by clicking on the link below.

Governor Mark accreditation lasts for a period of 3 years. Schools wishing to continue to hold this recognition will need to reapply at the end of this period.

Governor Mark





Page owned by Julie Ioanna, last updated on 07/11/2023. This page has been viewed 9,712 times.