New handbook aims to simplify school governance and provide stepping stone for new governors

A new book, ‘My School Governance Handbook’, written by education veteran Al Kingsley, has been published this week with the intention of providing greater support to the thousands of volunteer school governors in the UK. Filled with useful insights and practical tips and resources, the handbook will help ensure school governors are equipped with the knowledge and skills to positively impact the education of young people across the country.

Published at a time when changes in education policy and the Ofsted framework are bring increasing scrutiny on the governance of schools, Al draws on his nearly two decades of school governance and leadership experience to break down the realities, challenges and responsibilities of being a governor, including an overview of school finances and fiscal responsibilities, how to create a robust risk register and tips to help understand curriculum development from a non-academic perspective. The book also includes advice on how to effectively prepare for an Ofsted inspection, as well as the steppingstones for new governors to get up to speed in their first few years.

As Chair of Hampton Academy Trust since 2014, Al understands the importance of appointing the right governors and recognises the need for greater support for those who are considering, or already contributing to their communities in this way, particularly after noticing many people weren’t familiar with the roles and responsibilities involved.


Al Kingsley, Chair of Hamptons Academies Trust and Group CEO of NetSupport, said:

“What people often forget is that school governors make up the largest volunteer base in the UK. These people take time out of their daily lives to try and support their local school or Trust and as the Government pushes towards academisation, the workload and expectations of governors is only increasing.

“Governors play a vital role in the school community and help inform the strategic direction of school development. It is therefore, essential that we are getting people who are prepared for the realities of the role and who are equipped the right skills.

“It is my hope that this book will help shine a light onto the role and expectations, helping governors be more aware of what they should know and helping to remove any barriers they may face.”


Hannah Stolton, CEO of Governors for Schools, said:

“’My School Governance Handbook’ is a great resource for anyone starting their governance journey and wondering what they need to know first. If you’re already a governor, it will help you think about the broader activities going on and how you can improve further.”


Carl Ward, Chair of Foundation for Educational Development and CEO of City Learning Trust, said:

“This book is an excellent governance handbook written by a highly effective and successful school governor and trustee. It is essential reading for any experienced or would be governor of schools or trusts allowing them to understand the complexity of the education landscape and creates a blueprint for their own education governance journey.

“Written in an informative, lucid and engaging style, I highly recommend it to the many volunteers engaged in supporting schools, colleges and trusts.”