Chair of Academy Council selected for National role


The chair of governors at Outwood Academy Ripon has been chosen for a national role supporting other chairs of governors to improve governance and school performance.

Annette Beckwith (pictured below) was one of only 100 governors to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Governance (NLG) in the latest recruitment round by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).


Successful candidates were invited to NCTL’s learning and conference centre in Nottingham for a formal induction and training for the role.

National Leaders of Governance are highly effective chairs of governors who will use their skills and experience to support chairs of governors in schools and academies for a variety of reasons. The chair may be new, governors may want to focus more on school improvement, or need support in dealing with significant strategic challenges – for example becoming a federation or converting to academy status.

They will provide coaching and can support their counterparts in a variety of different ways – for example in using data effectively to improve school performance or by providing more effective support and challenge for their headteacher.

Angela Sweeten, Principal of Outwood Academy Ripon, said, “As a new Principal I very quickly realised the advantages of having a highly committed and knowledgeable Chair of Governors to challenge and support me. Annette’s extensive experience is a strength of our Academy and was something that I believed other schools could benefit from. I encouraged her to apply to become a National Leader of Governance and I am incredibly proud that she has achieved this accolade”.

Sir Michael Wilkins, Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, added "we are delighted that Annette has been successful in becoming the first National Leader of Governance within our Group. Governors play a vital role in schools and Annette will bring a wealth of experience with her in leading and training other governors."

The role builds on the success of NCTL’s National Leaders of Education (NLE) programme where headteachers use their proven success as school leaders to provide additional leadership capability in struggling schools. In some case NLGs may be deployed in partnership with an NLE.

The latest milestone brings the overall number of NLGs across the country to just over 260, rising to about 300 by April 2014.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “Governors are the people who appoint headteachers and hold them to account so they have an essential role to play as leaders in our schools.

“High quality governance is vital for improving school performance and it is great that chairs of governors like Annette Beckwith are willing to step up and look beyond their own school in order to help others who will benefit from their support.”

For further information contact:

Chair of Governors Outwood Academy Ripon on 01765 604564 or

For more details about the NLG programme visit:
National leaders of governance : The Department for Education