Local Experience - Local Knowledge - Local Support
National Leaders of Governance

National leaders of governance (NLGs) are highly effective chairs of governors who support chairs of governors in other schools. With the increased emphasis on the role of governors in the management of their schools the government introduced a support mechanism designed to provide a critical friend for governing boards.

If you would like to discuss how an NLG could improve the leadership and performance of your school's governing board, East Sussex Governor and Clerking Service can arrange for support to the chair of governors and their boards which is independent, impartial and delivered by experienced governors with a track record of success.

We have a number of NLGs in East Sussex from a variety of backgrounds and school phases and aim to identify an NLG that best suites your needs depending on the type and level of support your governing board requires.

Typical activities include, but are not limited to:

  • advising on reviewing headteacher performance
  • coaching and mentoring
  • reviewing the responsibilities of the governing board
  • external reviews of governance
  • action planning

An NLG will work directly with your school's chair of governors. Their support can include:

  • phone calls
  • emails
  • face-to face meetings
  • attendance at governor meetings

The NLGs are very aware of the time commitment that governors already make and will try and arrange contact to suit the school being supported, so the time can be spent across full or partial days, during evenings or at weekends.

NLGs in East Sussex

East Sussex currently has five registered NLGs.

To arrange a telephone conversation with a local NLG:

NLGSchool/s where a governorLA Maintained /Academy Contact
Jennifer Dudgeon

Netherfield Church of England - Voluntary Controlled Primary

Claverham Community Secondary 

LA Maintained 


LA Maintained 

Karen Marr

Robertsbridge Community Secondary 

Jarvis Brooke Primary

Brede Community Primary

LA Maintained


LA Maintained

Katharine Rabson Stark

St Thomas a Becket Church of England Federation  - Framfield and Blackboys Church of England - Voluntary Controlled Primary 

LA Maintainedkatharinerabsonstark@gmail.com
Keith May

Robertsbridge Community Secondary

Westfield Community Primary

LA Maintained

LA Maintained

Mandy Watson

The Pioneer Federation  - East Hoathly Church of England, Chiddlngly Church of England and St Mary the Virgin  - Voluntary Controlled Primary 

LA Maintainedmandy.watson2@yahoo.co.uk
The regional NLG advocate can also provide support:
Jennifer Barnard-Langston

Fletching Church of England - Voluntary controlled Primary

Benfield School Brighton - Community Primary

LA Maintained




To discuss your needs prior to a telephone conversation with a local NLG

  Contact the team

Get talking.........................

The NLGs in East Sussex have taken a proactive approach to the support and guidance available to schools across the county. In partnership with the East Sussex Governor and Clerking Service (ESGCS), a series of health checks have been developed that are designed to help governors consider the support and development of effective governance in their school. 
The following health checks take the form of a series of questions aimed to trigger discussion and debate concerning: 
Effective leadership 
Traditionally, we tend to think of the leadership of the governing board as being vested in the chair and perhaps the vice chair. However, for a governing board to be truly effective and guard against the impact of rapid change, it needs to distribute leadership. 
  • Being Effective - Review how the board operates and develops as a group; and develops individuals to be leaders
  • Being Developed - Review how the board considers the recruitment and development of individual governors
Maximising your potential for a successful Ofsted inspection
  • Being Prepared - Discuss how prepared the board is to meet the Ofsted inspection framework
If you would like to discuss how an NLG could improve the leadership and performance of your school's governing board please email governors@eastsussex.gov.uk

Thinking of becoming an NLG?

If you're an experienced chair of governors who is interested in supporting chairs of governors in other schools, you can apply to be a National Leader of Governance (NLG). This is part of the government's plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.

Unfortunately the application round is now closed. To receive notification of when the next application round opens, please register your interest with the DfE.

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