The Governance Services team is focused on developing the effectiveness of governing boards across all schools, academies, MATs and Early Years settings. The team has significant experience in governance, and is proud of its strong collaborative partnerships with both the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG).

    The range of services provided has been designed to support governors and trustees to ensure their school or academy delivers high-quality education. The Governance Services team support governing boards to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to fulfil their roles and responsibilities.

    Many of our governance services are available for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts outside of Hertfordshire.

    An independent and impartial helpdesk supporting governors and trustees on matters relating to statutory legislation and help solve governance related issues.

    The Governance team has significant experience in governance, and is proud of its strong and close working partnership with schools, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG).

    Captalising on its wealth of experience, the Governance team, via the helpdesk, offers the following services:

    Maintained schools

    The Governance helpdesk is funded for all maintained schools in Hertfordshire. Comprising unlimited advice, covering:

    • safeguarding
    • instrument of government
    • governor recruitment and election
    • school‑based complaints
    • reconstitution, including updating of the instrument of governance.

    Schools subscribing to this service receive:

    • unlimited telephone and email support for governors
    • a welcome letter for all new governors, ensuring they are fully aware of the training opportunities available to become a skilled and functioning member of a governing board.

    Academy schools/MATs

    Single or Multi Academy Trusts can purchase this service comprising unlimited advice, covering:

    • safeguarding
    • governor recruitment and election
    • school‑based complaints

    This service is intended to offer advice and guidance to governing boards, e.g. if academies need to ask a question relating to a complaint or are looking for support with developing effective governance. This service is not intended to act as a legal service.

    If you would like more details of this service or pricing please call the Governance helpdesk on 01438 843082 or email your requirements to

    The services of the Helpdesk are professional and have supported me as Chair of Governors and the governing board with advice and guidance on a range of governance matters.  It provides me with confidence that I can access support from a team, who are helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about governance.

    Jamie Stockwell (CoG) – Shenley Primary

    The consultancy service provides practical assistance to bespoke projects. Providing a flexible approach that delivers sustainable solutions to meet individual school or academy needs. The support, advice and guidance provided enables governing boards to fully concentrate on delivering sound governance practices. Examples of these might be:

    • producing bespoke governance related policies
    • attending stakeholder consultation meetings
    • federation preparation support (maintained schools only)

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or

    A range of training courses (face-to-face or online) are available to all governors, either as part of their annual training subscription, or on a pay‑as‑you‑use basis.

    Providing cost effective and flexible training that delivers sustainable solutions to meet statutory responsibilities.

    Annual subscription for primary and secondary Hertfordshire maintained school includes:

    • one (two hour session) in-house course which must be taken within the financial year (additional courses can be arranged for an extra charge)
    • attendance for new governors at Governor Induction (all-day course – lunch included)
    • attendance at group training sessions, at a reduced rate per governor
    • reduced rate to attend all-day Safer Recruitment training
    • access to a suite of online training courses

    Annual subscriptions for academies, independent and schools outside Hertfordshire includes:

    • one (two hour session) in-house course (*subject to location) which needs to be taken within the financial year (additional courses can be arranged for an extra charge). * Mileage costs apply for out of county schools.
    • attendance at group training sessions, at a reduced rate per governor
    • reduced rate to attend all-day Induction training
    • reduced rate to attend accredited all-day Safer Recruitment training
    • access to a suite of online training courses

    Full details of the training courses available and to book a place: Governor training courses

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or email your requirements to

    Governance also offer governor training packages for MATs, for more details and prices please contact Governance on 01438 843082 or email

    Subscription to the Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG) can be purchased separately. For further details, please contact the HASG administrator on email:

    We have always found the training to be of high quality, delivered by knowledgeable advisers whoengage and enthuse their audience. The governanceteam are keen to ensure that the training is exactly what we need so they are always happy to discuss our requirements in advance. We always look forward to these training sessions and come awayfeeling upskilled and better informed.

    Lynne Wilson-Leary
    Agora Learning Partnership

    As a Governor I would highly recommend the HfL training modules.  They answered lots of questions that I had.  The networking with the other governors was great, it made me realise that I wasn’t alone.  The support that I gained through the training was invaluable. Overall I have grown and developed as a governor due to the training modules that offered direction and guidance.  I have become a very effective Governor and offer my school support to make a positive impact.

    Shen Hasekilerden (CoG) - Bonneygrove Primary School.

    A range of engaging and interactive e-learning courses to enable online professional development of governors and trustees.


    modern governorModern Governor has a comprehensive range of e-learning content enabling governors and trustees to access CPD at a time and place to suit them. Courses are mapped onto the DfEs Competency Framework for Governance.

    Modern Governor online training is accessed through your GovernorHub account:

    Content ranges from 15 minutes to over 1 hour and works beautifully on smartphones, tablets and desktop or laptop computers with personalised certificates issued on completion.

    • mobile-friendly, flexible and accessible online learning for anyone involved in governance
    • modules work on smartphones, tablets and regular desktop or laptop computers
    • once logged in, an individual's account retains their progress through the Modern Governor e-learning modules
    • the self-paced modules are designed to support the strategic role of governors and trustees in education
    • individual governors can choose modules on which to enrol, or a governing body could agree to work through a module before a particular meeting
    • on completion of each module, a personalised CPD certificate with the governor's name and date of completion of the course is issued
    • the free Modern Governor mobile app for Android and iOS gives a searchable, cross-references and offline glossary of educational terms - an essential tool for new (and established) governors.
    HfL offers a variety of training courses and advice to support all aspects of governance. The training is easily accessible and simple to understand and at the end of each module the knowledge gained is invaluable. Therefore makes your journey into governance a seamless transition.

    David Gray
    Thomas Alleyne Academy

    The perfect opportunity for Chair of Governors, Vice-Chairs and Committee Chairs to attend dedicated training and informative briefings to ensure all governing boards are kept up to date on relevant topics and themes relating to school governance.

    The Chairs’ Service provides opportunities to work collaboratively through a range of training courses designed to meet the specific needs of chairs and help chairs develop in their role. The service also includes a termly Chairs’ briefing, regular e-bulletin updates and chairs’ handbook to support Chairs of Governors in managing their board effectively and sharing best practice.

    The new Chairs' Portal on GovernorHub provides users with, focused news and information direct to their inbox, relevant articles, guidance, tools and templates to enhance the effectiveness of their role. The Portal also gives access to a rolling series of Modern Governor online training modules for Chairs.

    I have found the Chairs’ Service to be very supportive on various occasions for different queries. I have contacted them for help when I have needed someone for a governor panel and just to talk through an issue. Someone is always on the end of the phone or calls me back if I have had to leave a message. They have a wealth of knowledge which they want to share to help chairs in what can sometimes feel like a difficult situation.

    Ros Wood
    Blue Tangerine Federation


    I had a couple of tricky situations that I wasn’t familiar with the process around. The Chair's service meant I had the support I needed to ensure I could deal with the situations effectively, and it relieved the stress that could have been overwhelming from the situation as a new chair. 

    Simone Tyson (CoG) – Chorley Wood Primary

    Independent and impartial clerking support, guidance and advice for governing boards.

    Offering governing boards access to efficient and effective administrative support, the service ensures that governors have a key point of contact for guidance and someone who is up to date with the latest national DfE legislation.

    Governing boards are supported by a professional and trained clerk who has:

    • access to a dedicated phone or email helpdesk
    • specific face to face training courses
    • summaries of relevant documents and initiatives
    • termly list of suggested agenda items
    • termly networks for clerks, with focused updates to local and national legislation
    • dedicated access to an ‘HfL clerks’ network hub’ - – a secure online communication area
    • access to five online clerking courses (linked to DfE Clerking Competency Framework)
    • new from September 2020: ‘Knowledge Tab’ providing clerks and whole governing boards with access to a wealth of useful resources

    A Herts for Learning clerk provides support and advice leading up to, during and after the meeting, including drafting and distribution of documents.

    A school or academy HfL clerk is responsible for:

    • drafting and circulating the agenda and accompanying papers
    • attending meetings
    • producing minutes, and once approved, circulate to all governors
    • the clerk is also available outside of meetings to offer advice and guidance.

    Clerks for disciplinary, exclusion, appeals or complaint hearings are also available.

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or

    Our clerk is outstanding, very knowledgeable and helps me through meetings when needed. All paperwork is timely and accurate.

    Julie Lannon (CoG) – Haywood Grove.

    This is an essential and highly recommended service providing school-based clerks with a supportive network.

    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. 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.

    The service includes:

    • access to a dedicated phone or email helpdesk on specific clerking matters
    • a specific training programme for clerks both face to face and online
    • access to five online clerking modules (linked to DfE Clerking
      Competency Framework)
    • summaries of relevant documents and initiatives
    • a termly list of suggested agenda items
    • full access to the governors’ training and development programme (subject to the school purchasing governor training)
    • termly peer meetings for clerks to attend, with focused updates and networking opportunities
    • regular updates to national legislation issued by the DfE
    • new from September 2020 - 'Knowledge Tab' providing clerks with access to a wealth of useful resources

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or

    I have attended the Clerks' Network events regularly since becoming clerk to the  governors and have found the content to be both helpful and interesting, while the opportunity to meet other clerks and learn from their experience is invaluable.

    Sophie Bruton
    The Sele School

    The helpdesk staff are always prompt and helpful in responding to any queries that we have. The clerks’ network and training sessions are informative, relevant and professionally delivered.  They also provide good opportunities to share ideas with other clerks.

    Beverly Cox and Claire Beaver – Joint Clerk to Governors, Maple Cross JMI & Nursery School

    A modern way to run a school governing board or multi-academy board. GovernorHub handles the mundane tasks for schools and academies, allowing the Governing Board to focus on what matters most.

    A safe, secure and GDPR compliant dedicated area for governor communications, dates of meetings and uploading of key documents, reducing the need to email messages/sending of documents. GovernorHub makes handling and sharing of information across governing board(s) easy

    Features include:

    • record of governor membership including allocation of link governor responsibilities
    • digital storage of governor documents (GDPR compliant)
    • noticeboard for communication
    • upload constitution and committee structures and members
    • shared calendar to plan meetings and track meeting attendance
    • ability to track meeting attendance (can be used for meeting statutory website requirement to upload attendance at meetings)
    • access to the GovernorHub app.

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or

    GovernorHub is exceptionally good value for money, providing us with a much more efficient way of distributing papers, keeping a track of terms of office, diary dates, constitution, declarations, etc. It has good functionality and is intuitive to use.

    Sue Granville
    Watford Grammar School for Girls


    It is impossible to over-emphasise the positive impact GovernorHub has had on how the Governors conduct their business. It is a safe, secure, quick and easy way for us to contact each other, post important documents; keep our records and access useful information - from the latest information on the wider world of education to specific training courses - all in one place. We can tailor which Governors receive which alerts and can quickly communicate with each other instantly - no need for circulation of documents, queries and feedback via e-mail. It's been a real - game changer, completely secure and best of all, easy to use. 

    Linda Smith (CoG) – St Andrews C of E (VA) Primary, Hitchin

    A fully developed online resource centre of governance advice and practical tools. A comprehensive library of continually updated news, guidance, models, templates and
    tools; designed to grow governance skills and improve board output.

    Designed and administered by governance experts and fully integrated within GovernorHub, Knowledge Tab provides clarity and consistency to boards of maintained schools, academies and MATs.

    Note: If your setting does not subscribe to GovernorHub this will need to be purchased
    to access Knowledge Tab. HfL offers a reduced subscription to the standard
    GovernorHub package.

    • stay ahead of the game with a rolling body of up to date information
    • reduce time spent on research with tools, templates and guidance all in one place
    • improve efficiency by ensuring board members understand their roles and have the tools to carry them out
    • support the whole board with information for heads, chairs, governors/trustees and clerks
    • simplify development with GovernorHub integration (no new systems or passwords).



    The Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference held in November 2017 was ‘Governance and School Leadership – Working Together to Navigate Change’.

    The conference presentations are now available to view.


    The Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference held in November 2018 was 'School Leaders Managing Change' - Read more.

    The conference presentations are now available to view.


    The Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference held in November 2019 was 'Governors Understanding Education – a Look to the Curriculum' - Read more.

    The conference presentations are now available to view.

    Evaluative tools for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts

    Essential services for boards to consider annually.

    Self-evaluation of the governing board is recommended on an annual basis. This toolkit will help governing boards consider it's strengths and weaknesses, as recommended in the UK Corporate Governance Code.

    Good governance is vital for any school. For a board to work effectively, performing a self-assessment is essential. Governors are encourage to reflect as an individual and a team report is generated from the results. The Chair of Governors is sent the report and able to compare results with an example in the toolkit.

    There are 3 levels of service to choose from:

    • standard (self-administered)
    • standard + phone support
    • standard, phone + facilitator support.

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or

    A key question a governing board should be asking is “Do we carry out a review of Chairs performance?” Based on the Competency Framework for Governors the Chairs 360° Review is designed to develop best practice, skills and competencies that contribute to effective governance.

    The Chair has the key leadership role on the governing board, through reviewing the Chair’s performance governing bodies are able to identify strengths, identify areas for development and become more effective.

    The key benefits of completing a Chairs’ 360° Review of Performance are:

    • increase self-awareness
    • clarifies behaviours
    • measures “how” things get done as opposed to “what” gets done
    • promotes dialogue
    • improves working relationships
    • encourages personal development
    • increases accountability and
    • enhances overall performance of chair and governing board

    Chairs receive a toolkit with additional training and support opportunities that can support meaningful learning across the areas highlighted for development

    Telephone support is available upon request at an additional cost.

    An external review of governance is based on three functions for the effectiveness of governance, as laid out in the Department of Education (DfE) Governance Handbook.

    The review is designed to support, improve and develop governance and will help the governing board identify priorities for improvement, helping governing boards to become more skilled, focused and effective.

    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 later)

    Please contact Governance for prices and further information about this service on 01438 843082 or