For ten years B11 Education has been supporting schools across England to improve outcomes for their pupils. Much of this work has been focused on supporting leadership and management, including middle leaders as well as headteachers and principals.

As part of this work we recognised that, in some schools, the dedication and hard work of the professionals in leadership and management roles could be undermined if there were weaknesses in their governing bodies or trust boards. B11 recognises just how difficult it can be for schools and academies to find the right people with the skills, commitment, dedication and time to undertake this critical voluntary role. We identified a need to support this through the provision of high-quality training.

The experience of many of our staff and consultants as governors and trustees told us that there was potential to develop a unique training course for governors. We sent an initial proposal to Transcend Awards with an outline of the opportunity to develop a regulated qualification that would address this gap at a level that would support new governors, while also providing appropriate recognition of the work of those who have more experience.


Feedback from headteachers and CEOs of multi-academy trusts indicated that there was demand for training and development of those responsible for governance in a range of settings.

Transcend were happy to work on this with us and so began our collaboration to develop the qualification that we are now proud to offer.

Their research showed that there are no qualifications for governors which have had achievements since 2016. Furthermore there are no qualifications available at the level commensurate to the strategic leadership role that governors are required to fulfil.

While non-regulated courses do exist, we wanted to have something that would actively demonstrate competence and effectiveness in the role. The need for governors / trustees to hold executive leaders to account as one of the three core functions also drove us to reconsider the level for the qualification.


We wanted to develop a qualification that addressed the high level of knowledge and skills that are required of a governor.

According to the level descriptors within the Ofqual handbook[1], the holder of a level six qualification can:

  • critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and ideas (knowledge)
  • evaluate actions, methods and results and their implications (skills)

Our work with Transcend has been developed with this in mind and our proposed delivery of the qualification will provide learners with the opportunity to; examine the core documents in detail; to consider what they are doing in their role as a governor/trustee; and to reflect on the effectiveness of their actions. They will also be guided to consider what evidence they might need to demonstrate this.

Proposed delivery model

B11’s proposal for delivery is to have a two-day workshop with governors. The first of these will consider the governance handbook, while the second will cover the education inspection framework (EIF) and the school inspection handbook. During these two days, learners will discuss their current role as a governor/trustee and how this fits with the requirements set out in these key documents. Over the subsequent three or more school terms, learners will need to compile a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates their preparation and contribution towards a range of meetings and school events that they have attended. They will then submit a report of 1500-2000 words evaluating how effectively they have contributed to the core functions. In addition, after each meeting or school event, they should reflect on their ability to fulfil the three core functions of a governor and on the overall effectiveness of the board. This should also be presented in the portfolio of evidence.

The final assessment will be an Ofsted style interview at which learners will be expected to demonstrate the leadership set out on p12 of the EIF[2].

  • Those responsible for governance understand their role and carry this out effectively. They ensure that the provider has a clear vision and strategy and that resources are managed well. They hold leaders to account for the quality of education or training.
  • Those with responsibility for governance ensure that the provider fulfils its statutory duties, for example under the Equality Act 2010, and other duties, for example in relation to the ‘Prevent’ strategy and safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of learners.

Delivery partner

B11 Education has arranged to deliver this qualification through Train with Premier, a recognised centre with Transcend Awards. B11’s carefully selected experts will provide the trainers and assessors for the qualification, all of whom have knowledge and experience of delivering training to governors and school leaders, and of sitting on governing boards and / or boards of trustees.

If you are interested in finding out more about the qualification or would like to arrange training for your governors or trustees, please click here or contact us via the link below.




[1] Ofqual Handbook 

[2] Education Inspection Framework


School Governance Survey 




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