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National Leader of Governance (NLG)

NLGs are highly effective chairs of governors who use their skills and experience to support chairs of governors in other schools and academies.

They work to increase leadership capacity to help raise standards so that improvements can be sustained.

NLGs can be deployed to work:

  • with an Ofsted or local authority category, or who is at risk of going into one
  • in a newly formed federation or trust
  • where attainment is below floor standards
  • transition to academy status
  • where the chair of governors is new and the school is in challenging circumstances
  • where working practices for a chair, head teacher or leadership group need developing

For further information please follow the link below;




Graham Exon, National Leader of Governance

With some 20 years' experience in school governance, Graham has had significant involvement in both the maintained and independent sectors and is designated a National Leader of Governance. He is currently Chairman of the Governing Board at Talbot Heath Independent Girls School (ages 3 to 18) and chairs Bournemouth Schools' Forum. Graham is Chair of Bournemouth Septenary Trust, representing seven primary academies, having previously served as Chair of Governors at St Michael's Primary CE (VC) School, Bournemouth. He sits on admission appeal panels and is a member of the Strategic Board of Linwood Teaching School Alliance. He also works with the Portsmouth & Winchester Diocesan Board of Education as part of the Associate Education Staff (Governance) and is a Director of Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Academy Trust.

As an NLG, Graham frequently works with chairs of other schools in a mentoring or advisory capacity and undertakes External Reviews of Governance. He has also chaired Interim Academy Boards and worked with schools through academy conversion and sponsorship.

Following a successful career in banking Graham was appointed Chair of Bournemouth Churches Housing Association and has served as a non-executive director of a number of local companies. He has significant experience within senior management and of corporate governance. Graham has also acted as a consultant to boards and trustees on dispute resolution and business planning.

As a keen musician Graham is Director of Music for the Parish of St John with St Michael, Bournemouth.