About Governance & Leadership in South West England

School leaders value the support of a skilled board which understands the school and keeps focus on the agreed vision. When making strategic decisions, it is helpful to know that leaders have the support of their board and are not standing alone.  The board’s distance from the day-to-day leadership and management of the school allows them to take the long view, looking past the experiences of current pupils or the next inspection and towards the challenges of an ever-changing society.  While individual leaders come and go, the board remains the corporate guardian of the many experiences which make up each pupil’s education. Effective governance at every level is  central to the success of our education system.

National Leaders of Governance (NLG)

School governance is a significant responsibility. Collectively governors have the power to influence the future of our society.   If a school is not as effective as it could be, it may well be missing effective governance.  National Leaders of Governance are designated by the DfE. They are experienced and effective chairs of governors who use their skills help other boards to ensure they are having a positive impact on school and academy performance. They might do this through

  • Mentoring chairs and through them, supporting the board  
  • Undertaking an External Review of Governance (ERG) and making recommendations for  future practice
  • Mediating difficult relationships
  • Providing a fresh pair of eyes, which can help even the best boards to improve

We want to see every governing board ensuring that every pupil has the best possible chance of improvement. There is no board that wants to do a bad job. NLGs are deployed to facilitate the development of existing boards, not to take over.  Nevertheless, in circumstances where schools have significant challenges, an NLG might be called upon to

  • Chair and/or be a member of an interim executive board (IEB)
  • Join a governing board of a school in need of support

To find a named NLG, go to the ‘Find Support’ tab at the top of this page, go to the drop down menu ‘designations’ and select ‘NLG’ then search by postcode.  You can also search by subregion if you know which area you are in.

We work in subregional teams. Each subregion has a Regional Governance Lead who works closely with their Regional Teaching School Lead. A Project Manager is responsible to the TSCSW national council member for the NLG governance network in the region.  For details, see ‘contacts’ below.

Local Leaders of Governance are now being recruited to support the work of the NLG network in the South West.  Might you be, or know someone who could support governance in this way?  To find out more (Download Flyer) and/or apply, contact the Project Manager (Julia Steward)  for an initial conversation. 

Regional Leadership and Governance Events

Free Governor Training : 
Essential Training for School Governors – 24th January 2019 
Trustees Supporting Schools in Cornwall - 30 January  2019 
30 March 2019 Cornwall Governors Conference (venue tbc)


 Region   Local Authorities    Lead
 Region A  BANES, Bristol, North Somerset,  Somerset,  South Gloucestershire  Geoff Mountjoy
 Region B  Gloucestershire, Swindon, Wiltshire   Keith Clover
 Region C  Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole   Keith Clover
 Region D   Cornwall,  Devon, Isles of Scilly, Plymouth, Torbay  Jackie Eason
 South West Region NLG Network Project Manager   Across the region.  Julia Steward

Sub Regional :


 Sub Region 

 Regional Governance Lead   Teaching School Lead 
 A: Bristol, BANES, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and North Somerset  Geoff Mountjoy  Sian Kinder
 B: Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire  Keith Clover  James Passmore
 C:  Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth  Keith Clover  Fritz Penn-Barwell
 D: Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Plymouth, Devon and Torbay  Jackie Eason  Teresa Lawrance
 Project Manager  Julia Steward

 National TSC South West representative

Tony Bloxham