Information for Governing Boards 2023-2024

An External Review of Governance (ERG) examines the effectiveness of the board in relation to the six features of effective governance as set out in the Governance Handbook: strategic leadership; accountability; people; structures; compliance and evaluation.

The review will examine the governance structures, operations and performance across the board with the ultimate aim of supporting good quality governance. It may look at the process and impact of decision making, the impact of any training provided to the board or consider whether the board is statutorily compliant.

The review can also be used to provide reassurance to stakeholders that the board takes its responsibilities seriously and carries them out effectively.

Ultimately, though, the ERG should provide an independent and objective view of the board’s strengths and weaknesses, provide clear recommendations for improvement and provide an opportunity for the board to review the effectiveness of their work in supporting their strategic plans.

The review comprises the following core activities

  • Review of board documentation for the past 12 months. The reviewer has access to the relevant governance documents provided by the school.
  • Face-to-face discussions: the reviewer meets the chair of governors, the headteacher, other governors as necessary and the clerk to governors. A questionnaire may also be distributed to all board members linked to focus areas identified during the review.
  • Written report: the review provides the board with a written report identifying the governance strengths and outlining the priorities for improving governance at the school and key recommendations.
  • Attendance at a board meeting: to summarise the findings, answer any additional questions and recommend an action plan for agreement.

While there is no prescribed timescale for ERG, it is best practice for boards to undertake reviews at regular intervals, and particularly before a board undertakes any significant change.

Cost: £900 - £1600, depending on the size of the school

For more information, please contact: