Key Guides: Effective School Governance

What is a governor? How do you become one? And how can you make a difference to your school?

Effective School Governance

*Order copies for all of your governing body with over 20% off using the code PREESG20 (for 10+ copies)

The entire education system relies on people like you who volunteer many hours for the benefit of our schools and children. The weight of this responsibility and the volume of information already available on school regulation, however, can be overwhelming.

If you want a guide to cut through this morass, offering practical advice from a governor who has led several boards to make vast improvements in their schools, this book is just what you need. It will help you find your way, make good decisions and become more effective.

Who should buy this book?

It will be your job to ensure your school makes the most of its opportunities and meets its obligations. This book is required reading for school governors, head teachers and teaching staff with leadership responsibility. It is particularly relevant to schools operating in England and Wales.

What does it cover?

  • The core responsibilities of the governing body: operating strategically, being accountable and understanding school finances
  • Preparing for Ofsted
  • Getting the best out of governors, staff and all the roles on committees
  • Holding the school to account

A reassuring companion for all governors, as well as a useful tool for headteachers and the leadership team, this book will help fine-tune your governing body into an exceptional team.

‘This is a book that should be read by every governor as part of the training regime adopted by all schools across the country.’ Professor Sonia Blandford, Founder and CEO, Achievement for All and Professor of Education and Social Enterprise, UCL Institute of Education [from the Foreword]


‘Effective governance is a vital part of a good school. Yet whilst there is a whole structure for training school heads and leaders, volunteer governors too often don’t get the information, advice or support they need. This handbook can play a vital part in filling that gap. It gives relevant and up-to-date information in way that is easy to access and easy to understand. All school governors will find something of value.’ Baroness Estelle Morris, Chair, Strategy Board, The Institute of Effective Education and former Secretary of State for Education and Skills


‘This is a must read and not just for new governors. It is an amazingly forthright and practical read and doesn’t bog you down in unnecessary detail.’ Huw Evans, Independent Education Consultant, Realising Learning

‘Mark A’Bear goes beyond the theory and gives practical guidance and examples on how to become a truly effective governing body.’ Sylvia McDonald, Former Education Services Manager, Wokingham Borough Council


‘I have seen Mark, first hand, transform our school into a thriving, professional organisation with a clear focus on how to achieve our future goals. How wonderful that his wisdom can be shared with others in this book!’ Francois Walker, Headteacher, Whiteknights Primary School


‘A very useful book written in a very approachable way. As a new Chair I found it very user friendly and I was able to dip in and out as required.’  Karen Mitchell, Chair of Governors, Granville Sports College


‘Effective School Governance is a very good introduction to the subject. It offers guidance on both becoming and the responsibilities of being a successful governor and, in clear and concise language, addresses all the key educational issues affecting schools today. It helped me, as a new Chair, to clarify how our governing body should operate with clear direction and enable it to be more effective and productive.’ Sotos Mandalos, Chair of Governors, Hillside Primary School

What the press have said

‘A practical and accessible guide… Helpful call-out boxes explain key concepts and the guide is split into clear sections, making it an easy to digest introduction. ’ Academy Today and Independent Education Today.


‘The book is packed with helpful and memorable practical phrases which – if you wanted to seem smart as a new governor using the book as a cribsheet.’ Modern Governor


‘The accessible nature of the book – and its belief that doing (and thinking about) the role with a focus on strategic outcomes is the core of effective governance.’ Modern Governor


‘A’Bear writes in a  clear, crisp and accessible way that will not leave new recruits to the world of governance scratching their heads. More experienced colleagues will find his guide a useful primer and source of best practice.’ Guy Davies

Look inside

Have a look inside Effective School Governance.

About the author:

Mark A’Bear

Author Mark A’Bear MBE, has been a school governor for 18 years at 5 different schools. He is a National Leader of Governance with the National College for Teaching and Leadership and coaches, mentors and supports Chairs of Governors. Mark was a Northern Europe Education Manager with Adobe for 4 years from 2010 and Education Strategic Partner Manager at Microsoft from 1997 – 2010.

Buy the book

Price £16.95

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