Last reviewed on 16 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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Find out how an external review of governance (ERG) can help you improve your board's effectiveness, and how to commission a review. Know what to expect from the review process and how to make the most of it and benefit from the reviewer's insights.

This article is based on the Department for Education's guide to external reviews of governance.

Why have an external review of governance (ERG)?

Having an independent, external person review the effectiveness of your governance can give you:

  • An objective view of both strengths and areas for improvement
  • Clear recommendations for improvement
  • An opportunity to review your strategic direction 
  • The chance to evaluate the effectiveness of your processes and systems

The reviewer will assess your board's effectiveness based on the 6 features of effective governance set out in the Governance Handbook:

  • Strategic leadership
  • Accountability
  • People
  • Structures
  • Compliance
  • Evaluation

If you're in a multi-academy trust (MAT), the ERG should review governance across the whole trust, including looking at