Information for Chairs

Welcome to the Chairs' area. We hope that you find this informative and relevant to your role as Chair, whether that is Chair of a maintained school, an academy, a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) or a committee.

We welcome your feedback. If you would like to recommend any changes or additions please email governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk

If you are a new Chair please see the Welcome New Chairs Handbook.

The Chairs' service has been supported in its development by Chairs across Hertfordshire.

We look forward to working with you in the future.

Chairs' Service

The Chairs' Service is an evolving and developing service. The service believes in good governance, whatever the organisation, and offers specific training, support and guidance for Chairs. 

Cost of subscription:

  • £145 pa – Nursery/Primary/First/Special
  • £200 pa – Middle/Secondary

What do you get for your subscription?

Please access The Chairs' Service Information Booklet. 

  • Chairs e-Briefing – a monthly newsletter.
  • Chairs Handbook – this is in disc format and is updated on a yearly basis. FREE to members.
  • Chairs Networks – termly opportunities to meet other Chairs and receive updates from a range of professionals.
  • External Reviews of Governance - a tool developed by the National College of Teaching and Leadership to support governing body development.
  • Strategic Leaders of Governance – representing Chairs in Hertfordshire, supporting the development of the service and supporting other Chairs in times of need.
  • Training and Development – that will support you in your Chairing Career
  • Welcome New Chairs - booklet is free for all Chairs regardless of whether you subscribe or not.

Chairs Briefings

Chairs Briefings are one of the benefits of buying into the Chairs' Service.

The Chairs' Briefing is a regular monthly email notification of timely and important issues from:

  • Ofsted
  • Government – Department of Education, etc.
  • National news
  • Local news

The benefits are that you do not have to search websites and papers to identify areas of concern and action – this is highlighted for you.

If you identify an issue that you would like to share, please do contact the Chairs' Service.

Chairs Networks

Chairs Networks are one of the benefits of buying into the Chairs' Service.

They are an opportunity to attend once a term, where you will meet other Chairs and discuss a range of relevant issues with presenting professionals and local authority officers.

You will also receive an update on relevant governance issues from a governance officer.

They are advertised through the Briefings and on the training database.

Comments from Chairs:

Another useful network, well done!

Really interesting.  Gave me food for thought.

Always worth coming.

Your presentation made it so much clearer.

Training fees

Subscribers to Chairs service - no charge

Non-subscribing schools - £80 per delegate

Cancellation fees

Cancellation of this training event requires 2 clear working days' notice by emailing governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk 

Non-subscribers are charged the full cost of the training (£80 per delegate). Subscribers are charged £10 per delegate.

Working with clerks

It is imperative that you develop a strong and professional relationship with your Clerk.

We would encourage to you visit the experts' corner – Clerks Corner.

You will find on there links to a Model Job Description and Model Person Specification and lots of other useful information.

Clerks monitor your database on behalf of the governing body.  If you want any information about your governors training, time in office or what services you are buying from governance, then speak to your clerk.

Chairs Handbook

FREE to all those who subscribe. Non-subscribers can purchase the handbook for £40.

A useful guide, it is designed to help:

  • Boards of Trustees or Directors
  • Chair of a maintained school Governing Board
  • Chairs/Vice Chairs of committees
  • Chairs within a local academy MAT

In this book you will find guidance on:

  • Support from the Governance Team
  • Formalities
  • The Role of the Chair
  • The Chair's Public Role
  • The Chair and the National Agenda                                
  • Your Relationship with the other Governors and developing Team             
  • The Relationship with the Headteacher                                                
  • The Relationship with the Clerk      
  • The Curriculum                                                  
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Governing Body Meetings

                     (i) Leading the Governors  

                     (ii) Planning and Managing the Workload  

                     (iii) The Annual Cycle of Agenda Item

                     (iv) Minutes of Meetings

                     (v) Managing Conflict                                               

  • Delegating the Workload
  • Important areas -  Budget, Finance and Schools Financial Value Standard; Dealing with Allegations of Abuse; Headteacher Performance Management; Ofsted; Safeguarding; School Improvement Plan and School SEF; Schools Causing Concern.
  • The Chair's Role in Appointing a new Headteacher or Other Senior Members of the School Staff
  • Academies, Free Schools and Studio Schools                           

The handbook has been produced on CD Rom and will be sent to all Chairs that subscribe to the Chairs Service.

To order your copy please email governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Training and development for Chairs in maintained schools, academies and Multi Academy Trusts

Becoming an Effective Chair

The Effective Chairs' course is run at least twice a year in different parts of the county.  Vice Chairs, Chairs of Committees and Aspiring Chairs will also find this course helpful.  It will encompass:

  • Leading and managing the work of the governing body
  • The Chair's role in supporting strategic leadership
  • The Chair's role in ensuring accountability

Training fees

Subscribers to Chairs' service - no charge

Non-subscribing schools - £175 per delegate

Cancellation fees

Cancellation of this training event requires 5 clear working days' notice by emailing governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Non-subscribers are charged the full cost of the training (£175 per delegate). Subscribers are charged £30 per delegate.

Chairs Advanced Training 

The Chairs' Advanced training programme has been developed in Hertfordshire to provide all Chairs with the skills they need to lead the team and manage the work of their governors.

Whilst this course is designed primarily for more experienced Chairs, we welcome any governors in a leadership role e.g. Vice Chair or Chairs of committees.

It is a requirment that all governors undertaking this programme must have undertaken the Becoming an Effective Chair course. It is very skills based, so do come with an open mind and use the opportunity to network with other Chairs.

Training fees

Subscribers to Chairs' service - no charge

Non-subscribing schools - £80 per delegate

Cancellation fees

Cancellation of this training event requires 2 clear working days' notice by emailing governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Non-subscribers are charged the full cost of the training (£80 per delegate). Subscribers are charged £10 per delegate.

Becoming a Hertfordshire Leader of Governance

If you have been an Effective Chair for a year or more and feel you have the capacity to support a new Chair, please email governance@hertsforlearning.co.uk

External Review of Governance

An External Review of Governance in based on the four core areas for the effectiveness of governance as laid out in the School Inspection Handbook, Ofsted, but it is not another inspection.

The review is designed to support, improve and develop governance and will help the governing body identify priorities for improvement. It will also provide support on what steps to take.

The document below will give you more information and contact details of how to take this forward.

2016 External Review of Governance Factfile (MS Word)