New recruitment guide ‘The right people around the table’ published

A new recruitment guide has been published today for the Inspiring Governance service. ‘The right people around the table’ is a practical guide designed to help school governors and trustees plan and carry out recruitment and induction. The guide highlights good practice for induction, training and succession.

Five short chapters cover:

  • Evaluating: composition and currant practice
  • Recruiting: attracting good candidates
  • Appointing: interviewing and references
  • Inducting: training and support
  • Succession planning: ensuring there is leadership of the board

The guide is designed to complement the Inspiring Governance, which is a free online recruitment service connecting volunteers interested in serving as governors and trustees with schools who are looking for new recruits. Inspiring Governance is funded by the Department for Education and run by the charity Education and Employers in partnership with the National Governance Association.

When volunteers become governors or trustees through Inspiring Governance, NGA will provide free support including:


  • An NGA induction guide
  • Access to eight NGA Learning Link induction modules
  • Access to telephone and email support
  • Access to NGA’s Guidance Centre
  • Membership of the Young Governors’ Network

If you are looking for a new governor or trustee, get started by signing up to Inspiring Governance:


Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governance Association, said: “This document is one the most important resources we have on the topic of recruitment and induction. We need to keep focussing on recruitment, succession, training and relationships because the work of governing boards largely depends on how well they work as a team.


“When it works, the governing board is dynamic, diverse and productive and efforts are directed towards school improvement. This guide reminds us that good people are at the heart of good governance. It clarifies what the expectations are for induction and training in the pursuit of improving the educational standards and well-being of children and young people.”


Nick Chambers, Chief Executive of Education and Employers, said: “In the new era of school governance the Inspiring Governance programme seeks to provide a steady pipeline of skilled and experienced people willing to govern our schools. This guide provides clear and practical steps to help build stronger governing boards and highlights the wealth of support available along the way, including from Inspiring Governance. Hundreds of thousands of individuals volunteer their time, free of charge, to provide leadership and accountability within our schools. But it is our collective responsibly to ensure they are supported. This guide strengthens the recruitment process of governing bodies across the country, and so underpins the success of all our schools.”


Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said: “Getting the right people around the table is hard work. It’s about good leadership and balance. Maintaining that over the long term amid the tumult and distraction requires real persistence. The relationship between governors and school leaders needs to be constructive and involve both challenge and support in equal measure. That’s why it’s important to invest so much thought into who serves on the board, how they inducted and how well they are trained. We hope that this excellent resource will improve and strengthen governing boards in the coming years.”


Malcolm Trobe, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “There has never been a greater need for effective school governance. We know that effective governing boards are skilled teams of individuals that have an enormous influence in the success of our schools and the wellbeing and safety of teachers and pupils. Their success depends on establishing the right people around the table, governing with skill and confidence. We hope that heads, governors, trustees and clerks will find this guidance tremendously useful.”


Lord Nash, Under-Secretary of State for Schools, has said:  “Many boards are already reaping the rewards of recruiting people from business and I call on more schools to make use of the DfE funded services from Academy Ambassadors and from Inspiring Governance, a new service from the Education & Employers Taskforce and National Governance Association.”

Click here to find out more and download ‘The right people around the table