SBW take the view that all schools can benefit from an External Reviews of Governance at any stage in their journey. As one of the few NLG who are actively clerks as well Fiona can help you ensure that you are not only looking at your own effectiveness but encouraging you to ensure that your clerk is an integral part of the governance team.
The main outcomes of a review are
Fiona tries to ensure that ERG are "done with you not to you" and that everyone has the chance to talk. One of the most important aspects of an ERG is coaching and mentoring and as a DfE Women Leading in Education coach Fiona is able to support chairs and heads as appropriate.
What is an ERG?
ERG are an excellent way to assess your current governance model and to help you prepare for the future. ERG are powerful tools and will help you shape your practice, develop an action plan, identify strengths and weaknesses and are an opportunity to talk about underlying issues in confidence. You can chose to have an ERG at any time and many outstanding schools are taking the oppoortunity to have a review led by an external reviewer.
An ERG is a 'facilitated toolkit' which will help your Governing Board identify priorities for improvement, identify clear boundaries between the strategic and the operational, identify roles, responsbilities and expectations, and support Governors in their key role in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes. Fiona has been trained by the NCTL to undertake ERG and uses her experience as a Governor and clerk to help Governors.The focus of the review is dependent on the setting - sometimes Ofsted require an ERG to be undertaken; sometimes schools chose to have them to support governor and board development. Further information can be found here;
If you have had an ERG it is often worth revisiting the outcomes later in the academic year - these reviews are known as Performance and Impact Reviews. Fiona or one of her colleagues are happy to help you with PIR.
To find a NLG reviewer there is a published list here
What to expect from an ERG
The DfE in the 2017 Governance Handbook explains that ERG should be carried by external system leaders such as a National Leader of Governance or Education (who are trained by National College for Teaching and Leadership to do reviews) or other governance professionals such as those appointed by an LA or Diocese. The Reviewer works with the governing board, headteacher and clerk to improve the overall effectiveness of the Board. Whilst all Reviewers approach the review in different ways all should be following the guidance on ERG published by the NCTL. The NCTL also undertake quality assurance of NLG and NLE who have been designated by them.
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