Clarifying Governance

Mastering the art of support and challenge

Available in-person.

Typical inspection issues

  • ‘Governors too readily accept the information as providing the full picture. As a result, they do not hold leaders fully to account for key weaknesses in the college’s provision.’
  • ‘Leaders and governors have not reversed the decline in standards since the previous inspection.’
  • ‘Leaders, managers and governors overestimate the strengths of the college and have not recognised a number of key weaknesses.’


Clarifying Governance is a 3.5 hour session. In a full day version, delegates will also complete much or all of their Quality Standard.

Publicity information for potential delegates

One of the ubiquitous challenges of governance is to balance the role as ‘accountability audience’ with the need to develop a culture in which staff feel intrinsically motivated to continually focus on improving quality. The questions governors ask can bring an organisation firmly down on one side rather than the other.

In this session, we will explore the process of writing a Quality Standard that sets out the ideal impact of a governing board on staff and learners. This Quality Standard can then be used to influence the questions, challenge and support for the leadership team and form the basis of impact-focused governor self assessment. It can also be used to shape the makeup of sub committees and meeting agendas, and provide a high degree of confidence to interact effectively with inspectors.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • write a Quality Standard for governance
  • use their understanding of the tension between accountability-style governance and a culture of ownership and control by front-line staff to determine the most appropriate governance strategies
  • feel confident in the questions they ask of their leadership team
  • feel confident to answer questions asked by Ofsted inspectors.


Clarifying Governance is a 3.5-hour session, but could be a whole-day session to enable delegates to complete more or all of the Quality Standard writing. Alternatively, it could combine well with the following courses in a governor development day:


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.


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