Governor training policies

Create a governor training policy to make sure everyone on your board knows their responsibilities around training and development.

Last reviewed on 13 July 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 38474
Contents
  1. Key facts
  2. Legal requirements
  3. What to include in your policy
  4. See example policies from schools
  5. Access training from GovernorHub

The Department for Education (DfE) withdrew the Governance Handbook on 7 March 2024, and replaced it with 2 separate new governance guides for maintained schools and academies.

Take a look at our summary for what you need to know about the changes.

We’re in the process of updating our articles to reflect the new guides. Select ‘save for later’ at the top of the page to be notified when this article has been updated.

Key facts

  • This policy is non-statutory for all school types
  • You can delegate the approval of this policy to an individual or committee
  • Your board determines the review cycle
  • It's up to you to determine who will write and be responsible for the implementation of this policy. It's likely to be the person responsible for governor training, perhaps a link governor or the chair or vice-chair

Legal requirements

With the exception of safeguarding and safer recruitment training (see below), there aren't any legal requirements for governors to do specific training.

It's up to your board to determine what training the board, committee members or individuals need based on roles, strengths and weaknesses (use our skills audit to find gaps in your board's skills). This is explained in section 4.2 (pages 43 to 44) of the Governance Handbook

Safeguarding

Governing boards and school proprietors should make sure all governors receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training at the point of induction. Having the training ensures all governors understand their responsibilities both individually and collectively. 

Such training should provide governors with the knowledge they need to:

  • Provide sufficient challenge
  • Assure themselves that policies and procedures are effective
  • Make sure there's a whole-school approach to safeguarding in place

On top of their safeguarding and child protection training, governors should also be aware of their:

This is explained on pages 23 to 24 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023.

Prevent training isn't required, but it's recommended. Take a look at our article on safeguarding training for more guidance.

Safer recruitment

If you're in a maintained school, at least 1 governor who conducts interviews must have completed safer recruitment training. This is set out on page 52 of KCSIE.

For academies, this isn't statutory, but forms part of the non-statutory guidance on staffing (page 13), so you should still make sure that those involved in recruiting are appropriately trained.

What to include in your policy

Having a policy on governor training means that members of your board are clear on what they need to do, and who is responsible for what. 

Use your policy to set out:

  • Any specific training your governors need to take
  • Any induction training new governors need to take, including the time frame for doing so
  • Approved sources of training
  • How to access training
  • Any arrangements for paying training-related expenses

Use it to set out who is responsible for:

If your board has appointed a governor training and development link governor, your policy could assign many of these responsibilities to them. 

See example policies from schools

Stanley Crook Primary School, a community school in County Durham, has a governor training and development plan and a policy. 

The Blue Coat School, a secondary academy in Liverpool, has a trustee policy that includes a section on training on page 5.

The Harvey Grammar School, a secondary academy in Kent, has a governor training, allowances and visits policy, which includes information about the role of the training link governor. 

Access training from GovernorHub

If you're looking for training to upskill your governors or trustees, point them to our on-demand training courses. These will help them learn in bitesize chunks, whenever best suits them, with best practice and examples from governance experts. 

Once they pass the final assessment on our courses, they'll receive a certificate, which will appear in their GovernorHub training record.

To fulfil their statutory safeguarding training requirement, any governor or trustee can take our safeguarding for governance course. They can supplement this with training on the Prevent duty and safer recruitment, suitable for all governors and trustees. 

Point your link governors and committee members to our range of other courses, so the whole board can upskill:

Direct your staff governors and parent governors/trustees to our specific training courses to help them fulfil their roles with confidence.

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