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Our NLGs

National Leaders of Governance (NLG) are highly experienced individuals who give their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to schools. They are designated by the Department for Education. NLGs are recruited using stringent criteria, and there are currently about 480 nationally. Every NLG is a governor or trustee and are often Chairs themselves.

“Governors and trustees provide vital strategic direction for schools and good governance is essential to ensure that schools are doing all they can to support pupils to achieve their best. Learning from, and being advised by the best is a great way for governors and trustees to extend their knowledge and skills, and so become more effective in discharging their important role.”   Sean Harford HMI, National Director, Education, Ofsted


Every school deserves relevant and timely governance support. NLGs are part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system. NLGs are one aspect of how schools give to each other through peer to peer support. Their role aligns with National Leaders of Education, they often work together. NLGs give schools access to experienced support from those who want to help them to offer the very best opportunities for the children in their care.

Our Team

Meet our National Leader of Governance:

Stephen Hopkins

Chair of C.I.T Academies

Stephen provides training and consultancy support for the Governing Boards of maintained schools, academies and MATs. He has extensive experience of undertaking reviews of governance, supporting MATs to strengthen their governance arrangements, and of supporting boards with the appraisal of headteachers and CEOs. Stephen facilitates the chair and the clerks’s development programmes.

Stephen has extensive headship (primary and secondary) and school improvement support and inspection experience. He is Director of his own consultancy company – Touchstone Development Ltd, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management, a Fellow of the Institute of Training and Organisational Learning (ITOL), and an affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

Stephen is an experienced and accredited Coach and Counsellor, and a National Leader of Governance (NLG) with over thirty years’ experience of school governance. He has been a member of a University Governing Body, a Trustee of a large national MAT where he chaired the Education and Personnel Committee. He has been a governor on the board of a Primary Federation, the chair of a Primary Academy, the chair of a small Secondary MAT, and the chair of an IEB.
Stephen is currently The Chair of the Community Inclusive Trust (CIT) – a MAT of eleven schools (special and primary).