Skip to content

Enter the Outstanding Governance Awards

Bex photo

Rebecca Hudson


| 4 minute read
survey graphic the hoot 5

Are you part of an excellent board with a great improvement story, or do you work with an outstanding clerk or governance professional?

The National Governance Association's (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards celebrates what a positive contribution good governance can make to our children and young people.


About the awards

Boards and governance professionals can gain recognition for excellent practice, stories of improvement and significant achievements in the NGA’s Outstanding Governance Awards which are now open for entry.

There are 5 categories available to enter:

  • Outstanding governance in a single school
  • Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust
  • Outstanding governance in a federation
  • Outstanding clerk to a governing board
  • Outstanding lead governance professional
  • Plus, nominated boards will also have a chance to win the outstanding vision and strategy award.

2021 winners

The last awards in 2021 were a bumper year for nominations, and they celebrated practice of those across the country.

Anglian Learning winner MAT

Anglian Learning in East of England

Cleeve school 2

Cleeve School in Gloucestershire

Recap on who won in 2021

Outstanding clerk to a governing board

  • Sarah Steven of The Galaxy Trust in Kent. Her trust CEO praised her diligence, efficiency and above all “unwavering dedication to the pupils and staff”.

Outstanding Governance Professional

  • Carina Sawyer for service to Magna Learning Partnership in Wiltshire, for her work training and developing the trust’s clerking team and governance structure.

Outstanding governance in a single school

  • Cleeve School in Gloucestershire put inclusion at the heart of their improvement, from deep dives into pupil attendance and exclusions to ensuring school trips and educational experiences are accessible to all.

Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust

  • Anglian Learning in East of England were recognised for their strong purpose to ensure the best outcomes for pupils. When taking on a smaller trust of five schools the board balanced moral purpose with effective challenge, scrutiny and risk management throughout the process.
  • STEP Academy Trust in South London and East Sussex impressed judges with their ongoing reflection of their practice, and record of school improvement. The board’s development of trust-wide roadmap to becoming an anti-racist organisation, underlined their commitment to equality, social justice and how the board led change across the trust.

Outstanding vision and strategy

  • Learn Academies Trust in Leicestershire for their focus on pupils which flowed throughout the organisation. Everyone was clear on their role in achieving their vision, while judges were impressed with how the board worked to preserve the unique character of each school.
  • Riccall Community Primary School in North Yorkshire. Judges were impressed with the “innovative and outward-looking approach” taken by the board in embedding their new vision for 2021. The board learned from local schools, worked collaboratively with the leadership team and found ways to engage even the youngest pupils in the process.

Top tips for entering or nominating

1. These awards are not about perfection – but about improvement and achievement

The NGA wants to hear from boards and governance professionals who are committed to improving their practice, whose work has had a positive impact, whether that’s on the outcomes or wellbeing of pupils, on staff, or governance professionals whose expertise and work has positively improved governance or developed those the work with. You don’t need to be the finished product – but proud of the work you’ve done!

2. Not about how you write but what you write

The NGA wants the awards to be as easy to enter as possible, so the questions are designed to give them the best understanding of your work. They're not looking for eloquently written essays, but clear and concise evidence of how you meet the criteria as well as the achievements and improvements you’re proud of.

3. We know ‘outstanding’ can mean different things to different people

The NGA says outstanding in this instance isn't to be taken in the traditional 'Ofsted' sense, but about those boards or professionals going above and beyond their core duties, those that are reflective and focused on improvement practice. To help, the NGA is putting on two free webinars on what outstanding governance is, and what excelling as a governance professional looks like.

You can sign up for free to help you with your nomination. You can also read the information sheets for each category – which detail the criteria and how to make a successful nomination.

What now?

Entry is now open for this year's award, and you have until 9am on Monday 27 March to complete the form.


Enter now

You might also like:

Post your comment

By submitting your details, you agree to have your name and email address stored for the purposes of managing your enquiry. For more information see GovernorHub's Privacy Policy.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments