School Governance Improvement Service

The quality of school governance has never been as important as it is now. Having an excellent governing board can make the difference between a school or academy being judged ‘outstanding’ or not by Ofsted. It can also have a profound impact upon the outcomes of children attending school. Sheffield has high ambitions for its schools and their governance and Learn Sheffield’s School Governance Improvement Service (SGIS) aims to play a key role in delivering those ambitions.

Download the School Governance Improvement Service 2021-2022 leaflet

Download the School GovernorHub and NGA leaflet

Core Support and Advice Service


Ensures that your governing board or trust board has access to the latest information about good governance and what is expected of them. We provide a responsive service including a telephone helpline and email support. We can also offer support using Zoom, Microsoft teams or Google Meet.

Please also note that governor training is included in the Learn Sheffield Subscription Offer.


Examples of support and advice offered include:

  • All schools will be provided with Governor Hub - a dedicated and secure online portal for all your governing board or trust’s needs - including document storage, calendar, information about your board, healthcheck tools and much more. See the attached flyer for more information about Governor Hub
  • The service now includes standard membership of the National Governance Association (NGA). Includes: NGA guides available at a discounted rate; copies of Governing Matters magazine to the home of three governors/trustees and a copy to the school; access to members-only content in our online Knowledge Centre containing a wealth of governance resources; a weekly e-newsletter featuring the latest education news and policy updates; free places at NGA conferences and events, including the Summer and Annual Conferences, Clerks’ and SEND Networks; NEW: free places at governance leadership forums; access to NGA’s webinar and podcast series; representation at a national level through NGA lobbying and campaigns. NGA Gold Membership is discounted for Learn subscribers - contact us for details.
  • Support with governor and chair recruitment – Learn Sheffield brokers recruitment and we work with national partners, Inspiring Governance, to provide a joined up local service
  • Advice helpline for governors – by phone, email, face to face or video call
  • Half-termly Sheffield Governor Newsletter and regular email communications
  • Annual Governing Board and Trust Business Planner
  • Advice and guidance on legal and policy requirements and statutory governance regulations
  • Support and resources for governing board self-evaluation and improvement
  • Help and advice on how to handle complaints and provide conflict resolution
  • A central point of sharing valuable best practice advice between governing boards
  • Access to a range of documents and guidance, including model policies, audit tools, briefing notes
  • Support to governors and heads to implement changes driven by the DfE, ESFA and/or Ofsted
  • Advice and guidance on governing board and committee structures – including partnerships and changes to school status

Full Support Service


This service level includes everything in the Core Support & Advice Service and also provides full meeting support, including clerking. This ensures that your governing board and governors have access to the latest information and advice about good governance and what is expected of them. Also ensures that the business of the governing board and committees is carried out efficiently and effectively, thereby demonstrating that the board is fulfilling its core functions. Where appropriate, provides specialist advice and support to enable governing boards to make sound decisions in relation to changing any aspect of school governance, including engaging an executive headteacher, merging or collaborating with other schools.


All the advice and support a school needs in order to have an efficient and effective governing board including: a well-trained and dedicated clerk to provide information and advice and to ensure that the business of the board is properly conducted; assistance, advice and support to recruit suitably skilled governors when required; advice, guidance and support on improving and strengthening partnership governance structures, implementing relevant changes driven by DfE and/or Ofsted relating to school business, including important changes to legislation, regulations, policies and guidance.

Service Electronic Paper
Support and Advice Service £1,290 N/A

Full Support Service including Clerking

  • Includes the support and advice service plus 6 hours’ worth of clerking support per year – clerking services supplied over and above this limit are charged at £50 per hour, pro-rata to the length of the meeting. This covers meetings such as extra Full Governing Board meetings, regular committee meetings etc.
  • Extraordinary meetings such as permanent exclusion meetings, disciplinary meetings, complaints, appeals etc. will be charged at £75 per hour pro-rata. For services not listed please contact us.
£1,650 £2,125


Charges for bespoke services for non-subscribers:

  • For clerking services for non-subscribers, please contact us with your needs and we will provide pricing


The Key for School Governors

Schools can buy The Key for School Governors for £250 per board per year (normal price £275-£845, depending on school size).

To contact the team

About the team

The members of the governance improvement service team are:

  • Andy Wynne – Learn Sheffield Operations Director and Head of Governance Improvement Service
  • Andrew Bingham – Senior Governance Officer
  • Jane Smith – Governance Officer