Print pagePrint page

Governance Services

Governance is a specialist team whose main focus is to support improvement in schools, academies, free schools and UTCs by developing the effectiveness of governing bodies. The team has significant experience in governance, and is proud of its strong working partnership with schools, and the close working relationship with both the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG) and the National Governors Association (NGA).

The governance team support governors through a wide range of services:

Governance advisory and support *

Comprising unlimited advice, covering:

  • safeguarding
  • instrument of governance
  • statutory guidance
  • governor recruitment and election
  • school‑based complaints

The service also provides face-to-face meetings and onsite visits, where required. Schools will have governance officer involvement for action groups.

Governors subscribing to this service receive:

  • an annual copy of The Hertfordshire Governors’ Development and Training Handbook 
  • the Hertfordshire Governor e-newsletter
  • free attendance to the Hertfordshire Governors’ Annual Conference

* This service is funded for all maintained schools in Hertfordshire.

Governor training

Courses are available to all governors, either as part of their school’s annual training  subscription, or (where the school does not subscribe) on a pay‑as‑you‑use basis.

Full details of the courses available are on the online booking system and in the Herts for Learning training e-bulletins which are sent to governors throughout the year.

Governors from subscribing schools receive the following benefits:

  • cluster training (open to neighbouring schools and academies)
  •  no charge to host (subject to minimum attendance); discounted rate for other subscribing schools and academies
  • occasional briefings on current “hot topics”

* Governor training packages are being reviewed to offer greater flexibility and access to training topics. The current subscription will continue until July 2017, and a new package will be communicated to schools from September 2017.

Hannah Stewart, Governor Training Coordinator
Tel: 01438 844426

Chairs’ service

Specifically designed to meet the needs of chairs of governing bodies and chairs of committees. This service includes training courses, regular email briefings, termly meetings of the chairs network and a range of support to help chairs develop their governing body, including the Chairs’ Handbook.

Kathy Dunnett - Governance Officer
Tel: 01438 843038

External review of governance

An external review of governance is based on four core areas for the effectiveness of governance, as laid out in the Ofsted School Inspection Handbook. The review is designed to support, improve and develop governance and will help the governing board identify priorities for improvement. The review will be carried out by either a national or Hertfordshire leader of governance and will involve:

  • an initial discussion with school leaders to determine the focus of the review
  • a questionnaire for all governors to complete
  • a review meeting with the Chair of Governors and headteacher
  • a facilitated session with all governors
  • a written report and action plan, summarising priorities for the governing board
  • a progress and impact session with all governors (which takes place between three and six months following the publication of report and action plan)

Clerking service

The clerking service ensures that governing bodies have access to efficient and effective administration support and a point of contact for guidance and advice on new developments within governance. The clerks are highly trained through an in‑house programme and are well regarded by clients. The clerks receive continuous support in order to fulfil the requirements, including training, a dedicated helpline, termly meetings of the clerks’ network, and termly suggested agenda items to ensure key points are included.

A school or academy HfL clerk is responsible for drafting and circulating the agenda and accompanying papers. Clerks will also attend meetings, produce minutes, and once approved, circulate to all applicable governors. The clerk is also available outside of meetings to offer advice and guidance.

Clerks for disciplinary, exclusion, appeals or complaint hearings

Disciplinary, exclusion, appeal or complaint hearings are examples of where an experienced clerk is essential to ensure all information is captured correctly and accurately, and reflects the content of the meeting in detail. For further information or to discuss specific requirements, contact the governance team.

Clerks' training and support

This is an essential and highly recommended service for school-based clerks. It is designed to ensure that the clerk is kept up to date with changes to governance and also provides them with guidance and development. The service includes:

The benefits of the Clerks’ training and support service are:

  • a specific training programme for clerks and a copy of the Clerks’ Handbook
  • summaries of relevant documents and initiatives
  • a termly list of suggested agenda items
  • full access to the governors training and development programme
  • termly peer meetings for clerks to attend, with focused updates and networking opportunities
  • regular updates to national legislation issued by the DfE

This support will enhance the smooth running of the board of governors and gives school‑based clerks an opportunity to network with other clerks and share good practice.

Kayleigh Kingsland, Clerking Coordinator
Tel: 01438 844113


What they are saying
Making the most of governor visits: ‘Really informative and thought provoking’
Critical friend: ‘I now have greater knowledge and feel able to contribute more to future meetings’
Being an effective chair: ‘I benefited from hearing the experiences of other chairs and listening to practical examples. I feel better able to delegate more and help other governors understand their role’
Governor induction: ‘I will go to meetings now and ensure my questioning is more constructive’

Want to find out more?


Governance Advice Line
Phone: 01438 843082

Who we are

Governance Support Officer
Governance Officer - Recruitment
Governance Officer - Clerking
Governance Officer - Chairs Service
Governance Clerking Coordinator
Governance Support Officer


View current School Governance training courses