Penny Conway


About me: I was designated as an NLG in 2014 by the NCTL. I have been a school governor since 1997 and have been a governor on temporary governing bodies for new schools and also served on IEBs for schools in challenging circumstances.  I have chaired in 5 different schools.

Since 2011 I have supported schools in Cambridgeshire as an Advisory Governor and latterly as an NLG.  In that time I have worked with a large number of schools on a variety of issues.

Location: (Borough/City/County) Cambridgeshire
Governance experience:


Chair of Governors of the following types of schools:

  • Primary
  • Faith School
NLG experience:





  • results below floor standards
  • sudden loss of a HT
  • recruitment and retention of governors
  • poor relationship between HT and GB
  • federation with another school
  • academy conversion
  • external reviews of governance
  • mentoring and coaching for new Chairs


Testimonials: From the Ofsted Report (Feb 2018) of a school where I chaired the IEB for almost 2 years:

Governance of the school

  • The IEB is highly effective. Members bring extensive educational experience and expertise. They have steadied the ship and ensured that they recruited ‘the right headteacher’.  They worked imaginatively to secure additional funding to strengthen the leadership team to ensure that the school has the internal capacity to drive further improvement.  They have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for further development.
  • Members of the IEB have been robust in protecting the headteacher from the heated disagreements over the structure of the school which could otherwise have distracted from the school’s improvement.
  • The IEB has provided highly effective governance since the previous governing body was removed. Members are willing to support the creation of a new governing body. Following the IEB’s very recent decision to not change the status of the school, leaders, the IEB and the local authority are working to establish a governing body that is more effective than its predecessor.

Areas of expertise:



– Strategic leadership of school organisations


– Governance Compliance

Creating a shared vision, ethos and strategic direction

Understanding the regulatory framework for governance

Strategic planning for schools and boards

Investigations, panels and appeals

Stakeholder engagement & communication


 – Strategic leadership of school improvement


– Governance reviews and health checks

Strategic Leadership of school improvement

External Reviews of Governance

Creating accountability structures, SMART targets and KPIs

Reviews of LGBs

Planning and leading strategic monitoring

Presenting and analysing data

Triangulation, benchmarking and holding to account

Headteacher performance management

Monitoring of staff performance management

Complaint investigation and management

-Governance team leadership


– Other NLG Deployment Skills

Team leadership

Delivering governor training

Recruiting and retaining the governance team

Succession planning

Creating a team culture

Expectation setting and conduct

Holding the governance team to account

Creating a governance development plan

8. Training completed

Relationship management

Conflict management

Meeting management


– Governance Structures


Governance team organisation, processes and structures – constitutions, terms of reference, role profiles

NLG induction

Creating a scheme of delegation

Essential deployment skills

Governance in a Local Governing Body

Power of Coaching

Joining a MAT

External Review of Governance

Governance in Federations