The consultancy service provides practical support for bespoke governance projects, providing a flexible approach that delivers sustainable solutions to meet individual school or academy needs.

The support, advice and guidance provided enables governing boards to fully concentrate on delivering sound governance practices. Examples of these might be:

  • School federations (maintained schools only)
  • Bespoke governor sessions (not offered through our governor training package)
  • External Reviews of Governance (Comprehensive, Light, or Focused)
  • Chairs’ 360 Performance Review (self-administered toolkit)
  • Self-evaluation of Governance Toolkit


Why use HFL’s Governance Consultancy Service?

External Reviews of Governance (ERG) are an excellent way of obtaining an objective alternative view of how your board is functioning.

All our reviews are based on three functions for the effectiveness of governance, as laid out in the Department of Education (DfE) Governance Handbook, and are designed to support, improve, and develop governance.

They will help the governing board identify priorities for progress, supporting boards to become more focused, skilled, and effective.


ERG - Comprehensive

The Comprehensive External Review focuses on five core areas of:

  • Vision
  • Holding senior leaders to account
  • Financial performance
  • Effective governance practice
  • Safeguarding

The Comprehensive review consists of an initial scoping discussion with the headteacher and/or Chair of Governors, a survey sent to all governors, focused meetings with key governors, and a facilitated action plan meeting.

You will receive a full report, an action plan and, six months later, a follow up Progress Impact Review meeting and report.



ERG - Light

1 day consultancy concentrating on:

  • holding senior leaders to account
  • effective governance practice

An ERG Light consists of an initial scoping discussion and a focused meeting with governors. You will receive comprehensive report, with key actions for the board to address.



ERG - Focused

1½ day consultancy concentrating on:

  • holding senior leaders to account
  • effective governance practice

There are also options within this package to select one of the core areas (listed above). Alternatively, there are other options within the DfE publication ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’ for you to select a specific competency focus.

It is the Department’s strong preference that an External Review of Governance is conducted routinely as part of a wider programme of self-assessment and improvement. All reviews can be adapted to the needs of the organisations.


For Multi Academy Trusts there are options to focus solely on the governance in selected local academies. Alternatively, the focus could be targeted at higher level governance – the role of Members and Trustees, or a certain aspect of governance across the Trust.



Find out more

If you would like an informal discussion about governance consultancy please contact the Governance team.



Contact our Governance team today to find out how we can help you.