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Clerks' Development Programme


The course has underlined the importance of the role of the clerk and has given me much more confidence and knowledge to deliver a better service to the governing body.

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The Clerks Development Programme is designed for clerks working in a single school, multiple schools, multi academy trust or for a local authority. This programme is designed to develop your professional knowledge, understanding, skills and competence in clerking.

You will have the opportunity to engage with collaborative learning, sharing good practice and networking with peers, and you will put your learning into practice through school-based activities.

You will increase your knowledge and understanding of education, governance, legal frameworks and regulations, and, ultimately, the course will help you to improve your current practice, enabling you to contribute effectively to the governance of your organisation.

Suitable For

Whether you are a high-performing experienced clerk or you are looking to build your confidence in this area, this course will support you to become more effective in your role, improving your performance and progressing your career.


The course has rolling start dates. Please contact us for details.


Typically nine months. (However, there is no set timescale.)

You can flex your study around home and work commitments, completing the qualification at your convenience.


Sessions are delivered across the Yorkshire and Humber region.


Courses are facilitated by current or former headteachers and experienced governors.



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Learning Outcomes


The programme has a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise. You can develop your own areas of professional interest through the choice of elective modules, giving you the opportunity to develop leadership skills through our blended learning approach.

Each of the modules is designed around the skills, knowledge and understanding associated with high-quality clerking.

The programme consists of:

  • Completion of leadership diagnostic tool to gain 360 degree feedback to assist with your professional development. 
  • Five essential modules (which are the same topics as the face-to-face course) and one elective module (circa 35 hours).
  • Five face-to-face development sessions, equivalent to five halfday sessions. 
  • Workplace learning (approximately 20 hours) and practice activities. 
  • Face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning and reading, reflection and online learning. 
  • Access to online learning resources and materials. 
  • Completion of a learning log and action plan to reflect on your learning.

Face-to-face Days and Essential Online Units (Modules)

Plus Icon Essential Unit 1: Induction

You will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the programme and your personal learning journey through a facilitated day. You will increase knowledge and understanding of core competencies and skills for effective clerking.

Plus Icon Essential Unit 2: Clerking in Practice Record Retrieve and Research

You will learn the key administrative skills required of an effective clerk.

Plus Icon Essential Unit 3: Clerks and Accountability

You will increase your understanding of the legislative framework for governance, identifying the clerk’s role and the annual planning cycle.

Plus Icon Essential Unit 4: The Team Approach

You will learn how to work with and support the head and chair to strategically lead the school.

Plus Icon Essential Unit 5: Impact and Evaluation

You will reflect on your learning and the impact this has had on your clerking competency and practice, and on the effectiveness of the governing body.

Plus Icon Elective Modules

You need to complete one of the following modules:

  • Clerking Governing Body Panels.
  • Clerking in Church Schools.
  • An Introduction to Academies.
  • Multi-School Settings.
  • An Introduction to Sixth Form Colleges

Certification and Completion

You will be required to complete and submit a learning log as evidence of your learning and successful completion of the programme. The learning log will record the outcomes and findings of school-based activities and learning from each of the units. In addition to the learning log, an action plan will be completed and submitted at the end of the programme.

Completion Requirements

  • Attend the face-to-face sessions.
  • Undertake all the essential units and one elective module.
  • Submit the learning log and action plan.

Bespoke Options

If you are part of a school cluster or federation and are interested in a bespoke programme, please contact us.

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Case Study - Catherine Newton

I cannot express enough how much this programme has improved me as a clerk. I now feel confident and clear on my role in supporting the governing body.

Catherine Newton, HR Officer and Clerk to the Governors, Lisle Marsden CofE Primary Academy


I have been a clerk to the governors since the school became an academy in November 2011. At that time, the governing body decided to move away from using a local education authority clerk, so I was just handed the last set of minutes and asked to turn up at the next meeting.

I had no real experience of how a governing body works and my knowledge of the education system was limited. Although my confidence has grown since then, I knew I would have a lot to learn when I enrolled on the course.


Prior to starting the course, I felt very isolated with no one to ask for advice outside of my working environment. Now, thanks to the programme, I have been given the tools and confidence to take my role to the next level and feel positive I can keep up to date with any changes that may lie ahead.

My skill set has also greatly improved. Even skills I considered to be my key strengths, I have found ways to improve by learning from my peers and initiating changes.

Since completing the course, I feel I offer more support and advice to the chair and headteacher and provide the best service I possibly can to the governing body.


After participating in the course, my legal and constitutional knowledge has improved and I know when to access support systems for information. I have integrated myself more into the governing body in many areas, taking a more proactive role and planning ahead.

I have implemented a mentor system for new governors, conducted a skills audit and supported the governors in preparing for reconstitution next year by ensuring the correct procedures are followed. All these changes have received positive feedback from the governing body.

I now feel confident in communicating with the chair and the headteacher and our relationships have improved. I am now trusted to support them, easing their workload by planning ahead and making sure things run smoothly.

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