Leadership and

Schools and


Leadership and

Schools and

"services tailored so that you get what is right for you"


I help improve school leadership and governance through practical support, training, and guidance.

My approach is to tailor the services that you get, that way I can ensure they are right for your school, academy or multi-academy trust. 
I have programs that help you understand Ofsted, and the process of Academisation. By evaluating the effectiveness and impact of governance, I can design many courses, sessions or workshops to meet your needs.
I can provide support for chairs of governors and their governing bodies during periods of change, challenge or when rapid improvement is needed.
I also provide support for Headteachers Annual Performance Management – where an independent outlook can prove very useful – plus support during the recruitment of Business Managers.
The results are high impact, thought-provoking, and effective.
“Ruth has made a huge difference to our school and governance; her approach was probing, effective and impactful”

How can I help?

As a National Leader of Governance (NLG), I’m fully accredited by the Department for Education (DfE) and use their standards for this work. I have carried out a significant number of External Reviews of Governance in schools, academies and multi-academy trusts:

   – Multi – Academy Trust Boards
   – Primary schools and academies
   – Secondary schools and academies
   – Short- Stay schools/ PRU /alternative provision
   – Special schools
   – Hospital schools

External Reviews of Governance:

Based on DfE standards and guidelines, I focus on supporting Trust Boards, local committees and Governing Bodies to enhance their effectiveness, and assist the school in rapidly improving their impact.

Predicated on a self-evaluation process, these reviews are not intended to replicate an Ofsted inspection; these reviews incorporate a review of the effectiveness of the chair of governors too.

Reviews of Business Administration

A review of the effectiveness of a School Business Administration function allows schools to understand their efficiency, identify improvement, decide if a restructure is needed, and support to recruit the right people.

Joining or setting-up a Multi-Academy Trust or Free School

Governance consultancy service to support schools, either individually or as a group looking at different models of collaboration. This includes:

   – Finding the right partners and brokering
   – Due diligence
   – Developing effective governance structures and schemes of delegation
   – Supporting governing bodies through the transition or establishing a free-school

Multi Academy Trusts & Maintained schools

I will help to develop your model of governance and create consistency and excellence throughout your MAT; with elements for both central and local academy governance for a cohesive approach.

   – Review of effectiveness of governance at all levels
   – Bespoke, tailored services: governance support and development programmes for multi-academy trusts and their academies.
   – Governor training and development sessions designed to improve the effectiveness of governance.
   – Sessions for members, trustees, directors and governors as well as those on local committees

General governance courses suitable for all involved in governance to enhance understanding

   – Introduction to governance in an academy trust
   – Effective academy governance
   – ‘What’s new’ for governors
   – Introduction to academy finance
   – Financial efficiency
   – Safeguarding
   – Health and safety
   – Pupil exclusions
   – New and aspiring chairs development
   – Disadvantaged pupils

Examples of bespoke courses based on individual Academy/Trust needs

   – Introduction to governance in your academy trust
   – Preparation for Ofsted
   – Using and interpreting data
   – Academy finance
   – Effectiveness of governance; self-evaluation
   – Role of committee chairs in your trust – a development programme

National Leader of Governance

As an NLG, I concentrate on developing school governance capacity. In some cases I  work in partnership with a National Leader of Education (NLE)  or another Department for Education (DfE) Special Advisor to strengthen wider school leadership. I am a qualified coach, experienced mentor and chair of governors; using this experience I provide personalised support to governors, and primarily to chairs of governors.

I provide support in schools and academies:

   – That have been identified as being in need of significant improvement
   – Where attainment is below current minimum standards
   – Where financial issues have been identified
   – Are in transition to academy status or joining or moving to a MAT
   – Where the chair is new


   – Where working practices and/or relationships for a chair, headteacher or leadership group need further development.

Support can be delivered face-to face, by telephone, online or by email. A proportion of this work may be provided free of charge.

I am accredited by the Department for Education to undertake external reviews of governance for individual schools, academies and/or MATs.


As an experienced NLG and Chair of Governors, where requested I am able to be the external adviser supporting Headteacher Performance Reviews, both in terms of supporting the annual process as well as the in-depth discussions which form the heart of the review process.

Support can be delivered face-to face, or online. All parties find this useful since it provides an independent input based around the school context.

Headteachers & School Business Managers

Governors have a major role to play in recruitment of senior leaders for their school and trusts. The most challenging areas to recruit for are Chief Executives, Headteachers and School Business Managers.

HR and other bodies supply legal and pedagogical support and guidance but often governing bodies need support throughout these processes to ensure they can carry out their role efficiently and effectively.

I can provide advice and support for the Chair and the recruitment panel in:

   – Understanding their role and responsibilities
   – Deriving a suitable job specification for their school
   – Ensuring a fair application assessment
   – Constructing a meaningful recruitment process

Support for exclusions and complaints

Sometimes governing bodies need short term independent support.

This can be particularly so in the case of pupil exclusions or complaints against your school’s staff. I am:

  – Experienced in conducting investigations on behalf of governing bodies into complaints and allegations
  – Trained and experienced in pupil exclusion governor panels and panellist for independent review panels. I provide training and support for governors, clerks and Headteachers
  – Trained and experienced panellist for admission appeals.

Team building and Organisation development

With significant personal experience over many years in leading organisation change/development (and the associated team building required to support it), I can provide support for:

   – Development of shared vision and values – setting strategic direction
   – Implementing effective engagement strategies- communication strategies are an important part of change management
   – Multi-academy growth – development of governance

“Ruth supported my governing body and I with Headteacher’s Performance Management.  Her approach was a breath of fresh air.  I felt that my progress and achievements were celebrated and targets came organically from really productive conversations.”

Interested in knowing more?