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Induction training for governors

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Last updated on 10 March 2017
School types: All · School phases: All
In-depth article
What induction arrangements should be made for new governors? We relay advice from an experienced governance consultant on induction training for new governors. We also link to a free e-learning module produced by The Key, and look at the induction process in two schools.

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  1. 1 Induction training for governors is recommended
  2. 2 Free governor induction from The Key
  3. 3 LA induction training
  4. 4 In-school induction training
  5. 5 Examples of induction arrangements

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  • 7 external links

Induction training for governors is recommended

Governing bodies should set aside a budget for training and induction

Guidance from the DfE

The Governance Handbook, produced by the Department for Education (DfE), says on page 34:

As part of induction and continuous development, effective boards encourage everyone involved in governance, especially those new to the role, to make the most of the resources, guidance and training available to develop their knowledge and skills.

It also says governing bodies should set aside a budget for training and induction.

Advice from an expert

We asked Nicki Wadley, a governance consultant, for advice on induction arrangements for new governors.

Nicki said although it is not compulsory for governors to have induction training, it is regarded as good practice. The training should set out the governing board's expectations of governors, and explain what the role will entail.

Free governor induction from The Key

Governor Induction is a free e-learning module produced by The Key in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and SGOSS — Governors for Schools. It is designed for new governors and trustees in maintained schools, academies and multi-academy trusts, and can also be used as a refresher for existing governors and trustees.

The module includes information, activities, videos and practical resources. It provides an overview of:

  • Your role and responsibilities
  • The impact you can make

Governor Induction is a free e-learning module produced by The Key in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and SGOSS — Governors for Schools

  • Learning about your school
  • Attending your first meeting
  • Your accountabilities

Governor Induction takes around an hour to complete. The module is free to access and can be completed on PCs, tablets and smartphones.

LA induction training

Nicki recommended that new governors attend a formal induction training course to gain a general overview of the role. This also allows new governors to meet other new governors from different schools.

She pointed out that some local authorities (LAs) and academy trusts offer induction training to governors in their schools. 

You may wish to check whether your LA or academy trust provides such training.

Salford City Council, for example, runs a one-day induction course covering topics such as:

  • The principles of good governance
  • The roles and responsibilities of governing bodies
  • How the governing board should challenge and support the work of the school
  • Governors' use of data
  • Ofsted's impact on the role of the governing board and what to expect from a school inspection

Getting to grips with your governor role

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The Key has created a bundle, bringing together information on the core functions of the governing board, to help new governors get to grips with the role.

In-school induction training

Nicki said it is also important that new governors receive an induction within the school. This might involve:

  • A tour of the school
  • An introduction to staff
  • Meetings with the headteacher and chair
  • A meeting with the school council
  • An introduction to a governor mentor/buddy

Nicki also said new governors should be provided with important documents, such as a copy of the school's last Ofsted report.

In another article from The Key, we provide a KeyDoc checklist for new governors. This contains a list of documents that a new governor should receive.

The article also contains further guidance on carrying out new governor inductions. 

Examples of induction arrangements

Small voluntary controlled (VC) primary school, Oxfordshire

St Blaise Church of England (CofE) Primary School has published a governor induction policy. 

The purpose of the school's induction programme includes the following points:

  • Welcoming new governors to the governing board
  • Explaining the partnership between the headteacher, school and governing board
  • Allowing new governors to ask questions about their role

The policy outlines steps in the induction process, and a list of the materials given to new governors. 

An appendix on page 4 of the provides a checklist for new governors to work through. 

Medium-size community primary school, West Berkshire

The policy also contains information on the school's new governor welcome pack and mentoring system

The Winchcombe School has also published an induction policy for new governors. 

This policy provides an outline of the board's induction procedure for new governors, which includes the following steps:

  • The headteacher arranges a tour of the school, including a meeting with the senior leadership team, staff and pupils
  • The chair gives a briefing on the role and responsibilities expected of governors
  • The LA arranges for the new governor to attend training

The policy also contains information on the school's new governor welcome pack and mentoring system. 

In another article from The Key, we look at further examples of schools' induction arrangements for new governors.

This article was updated in response to a question from a governor of a medium-size urban primary school in the south east.

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