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Is there a better way to induct and prepare school governors?

Updated: Aug 30, 2018

Following another successful Festival of Education, Schools week is promoting the call by National Leaders of Governance and the National Governance Association for pre-appointment training for governors to be mandatory.  Training is essential for governors to ensure that they know what they are expected to do – but is there a better way?


When I started out as a parent governor over 12 years ago, there was very little focus on training, and you were literally thrown in at the deep end.  This brought many challenges for me including:

  • Getting to know new colleagues – that I had never met before, and would only meet probably 5 times across a year.  Not knowing my fellow governors, or their skills meant that teamwork was non-existent, and took time to build.

  • Getting to understand new terminology and acronyms – schools love their acronyms as we know, and learning these at the same time as learning the ropes of being a governor was tricky. The need to get to know the school, the staff, the governors and how to govern all at the same time is a complex task

Things are different now and there are many training offerings for governors (probably too many) and the call for mandatory training is great;  but for me, sending new governors to meet with other new governors to learn about governance in isolation from the school is missing a trick.


So, Is there a better way to induct and prepare school governors? Yes – I believe there is!


Last year, following 8 years developing my governance skills at a national good governance charity, I started my own governance improvement organisation and set about developing training for governors that their improved skills, confidence, and challenge to school leaders, whilst not using up much of their valuable voluntary time.

Working with schools, I created Shaping Governance® a one-stop-shop development toolkit that has many uses and can be used in any setting, phase or governance structure.


The now 'award-winning' toolkit is a proven way of developing whole governing boards, including new governors – by learning, sharing, developing and improving practice, relationships and impact. It focuses on nine key areas of governance and uses their insight to make an impact.

Since its launch nearly a year ago, I have worked with 100’s of governors to help them to navigate their role more effectively, and with a 4.9 out of 5 diamond rating from our clients, indicates the effectiveness and usefulness to them.

But don’t take my word for it, take a look at the many great testimonials on our website.  Shaping Governance® is absolutely changing the face of governor training and development.

The training material and in particular, the ‘Shaping Exercise’, helped us to focus on the key challenges that we face and without a doubt will help to inform our future strategy for the Governing Body. The session was very hands-on and Su’s approach is efficient and effective’. (Chair of Governors – Cheshire Primary)
Working with Su and her Shaping Governance® Toolkit allowed the Governors and I to effectively review our purpose and self-evaluate our work as a Governing Body. As a result, we now know what we do well and need to develop to continue to be effective. Su skilfully facilitates the discussion and evaluation, adapting her support to the values and needs and Governors and school, rather than a one size fits all model. (Headteacher – Cheshire Primary)

Find out how Shaping Governance® can help you  – book a conversation today

Su Turner, Director of Insight to Impact, and creator of Shaping Governance®

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