Professional Reviews and Governor Mark Accreditation

We offer a comprehensive Professional Review of Governance for schools where Ofsted have recommended an external review of Governance, or for schools who have commissioned an external review themselves as a developmental tool, or as an aid to improving governance in preparation for accreditation such as Governor Mark.

Governor Mark

Governor Mark is a national award. It is a kite mark which provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school. Governor Mark accreditation lasts for a period of 3 years. Schools wishing to continue to hold this recognition will need to reapply at the end of this period.

Governor Mark identifies national standards for good governance. It can be used as is a governing body self-evaluation tool based on the descriptors for governance found in the 2003 – 2005 Ofsted Framework. This remains the finest description of what good governance looks like.

The Governor Mark Standards apply to maintained schools and academy trusts. Some local governing bodies can also apply for Governor Mark. The Governor Mark Standards Document is freely available to any governing body for use as a comprehensive health check, and can be used as the basis for self evaluation or accreditation. Guidance and an application form can be found on the GLM Partnership website at

This is a challenging award. Not only does a governing body need to show that it follows good procedures and fulfils statutory duties, but there is a high value placed on evidence of impact – the difference the governing body makes to a school.

Sometimes governors work hard and make a real difference, but no proper record is ever made of this. Governor Mark helps to sharpen practice as well as create the framework through which governor support and challenge can be shown through real evidence.

Schools who have used the Governor Mark materials for self-evaluation or accreditation have provided very positive feedback on the process: they have said it makes them focus on the most important thing that happens in their schools – the teaching and learning, the relentless quest for improvement, the real work which strives to improves outcomes for all children.

Gaining Governor Mark Accreditation –

Our Experience

Joe Bathurst - Vice Chair St Crispin’s CEP School, Kent.

“Our Governing Body had been working hard to develop effective processes and systems. We wanted to know how else we could improve and felt that the Governor Mark would be a good way to find out. The whole process took about 18 months – for us it was a gradual process and a great exercise in maximising our impact.

Our first step was to consult with other schools that had been through the process to find out more about what it would entail. We then established a working group open to all Governors. This group started meeting regularly to complete an evidence matrix around areas such as Strategic Leadership, Statutory Responsibilities and Support and Challenge.

Over the next few months, we built up a really good evidence base and highlighted areas where we were working well, and also (more importantly) those where we were falling short of the expectations. As a result, some minor but important improvements in our working practices were made.

Next, we divided up the writing of three impact statements about the work of the Governing Body in the areas of Pupil Safety and Wellbeing, Partnership Working and School Improvement. Having completed the evidence grid, we found it easy at this stage to focus on impact. Through the hard work of Governors along with some exemplary work by our Clerk, we then reached a point where we felt ready to apply.

The final step was an interview with two Governor Mark assessors who went through our application and asked some testing questions about our ways of working. An absolutely essential tool in this part was the evidence file. Thanks to the efficiency of our Clerk who cross-referenced all our meeting minutes, we could easily find all the evidence to back up our answers. A few weeks later, we were told we had passed and we now proudly display our Governor Mark.

The whole process was very enlightening. Firstly, our meetings are now a lot more structured around the actions we can take to have a positive impact. It was also an excellent opportunity to assess our ways of working, strengthen our procedures, highlight our strengths and weaknesses and discover what we can do to move forward as an effective, cohesive Governing Body.

We are all very proud of the outcome. It was not an easy process, but we all got a lot out of it and would certainly recommend it to other Governing Bodies. Three things are essential: teamwork, the willingness to change and a good Clerk!”

Information and downloadable guidance documents can be found at