Guy Blakesley


About me: I was accredited as a National Leader of Governance in January 2014, having become a governor in 1999, Chair of the Board of a local primary school in 2000 and Chair of the Board of a local secondary school in 2012. Currently the Safeguarding lead governor in both schools.

During my time with these schools, we have: amalgamated infant and junior schools to become a primary; managed extensive facilities enhancement at the primary school; converted to academy status at both the primary and secondary schools; introduced a sixth form to the secondary school; brought in a 3 year Key Stage 4.
As an NLG, I have conducted External Reviews of Governance and made recommendations; worked with Boards to be ‘Ofsted-ready’; been asked by the Local Authority to support the Board of a local school whose Ofsted inspection had not gone well, whose Chair had departed, whose Vice Chair didn’t feel confident in stepping up to take on the role and whose Board were not robust in either challenge or strategic vision / operation; developed and prepared that Vice Chair to take on the role of chair; provided on-going support to that Chair and worked on the Chair / Headteacher relationship; supported a school in a neighbouring Local Authority as a member of a Headteacher dismissal appeals panel.

Location: (Borough/City/County) Rayleigh, Essex
Governance experience:


Chair of Governors of the following types of schools:

  • Infant (Grant maintained and Foundation)
  • Junior (Grant maintained and Foundation)
  • Primary (Foundation and Academy)
  • Secondary (Foundation and Academy)
  • Faith School (Community)
  • Academy
  • Multi Academy Trust – Member
  • Multi Academy Trust – Chair
  • Multi Academy Trust – Trustee
NLG experience:





  • Interim Chair
  • Chair development
  • Board succession planning
  • Change management
  • Relationship brokering / enhancement / Chair – Head relationship
  • Ofsted preparation / readiness
  • Strategic overview & responsibilities
  • Lines of accountability / responsibility and structures
  • Headteacher performance management
  • Head / Deputy Headteacher recruitment – advertising; assessment day; interviews; personality profiling


  • External Reviews of Governance


Not governor specific but my background is as a professional developmental trainer, coach and NLP Master Practitioner and have developed / delivered group and individual leadership, team working, management, communication, interpersonal awareness and trainer training programmes for HMRC; BT; IBM; the European Commission; English Tourist Board; Marks and Spencer


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

Compliance with the Academy Financial Handbook

Strategic financial leadership

Readiness for Ofsted

Strategic HR leadership

Effective Safeguarding

Strategic business leadership

Strategic leadership of Pupil Premium and provision for disadvantaged pupils

Data management and GDPR

Investigations, panels and appeals


 – 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

Skills audits and action planning

Planning and leading strategic monitoring

Facilitated governance self-reviews

Triangulation, benchmarking and holding to account

Performance Management of Chairs

Headteacher performance management

Governor appraisals

Monitoring of staff performance management

Complaint investigation and management


-Governance team leadership


– Other NLG Deployment Skills

Team leadership

Developing governor training

Recruiting and retaining the governance team

Delivering governor training

Succession planning

Developing governance support materials

Creating a team culture

Expectation setting and conduct

Other pertinent skills:

  • Trained and certified as a coach
  • Certified NLP Master practitioner

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

Trust board governance

Power of Coaching

Forming a Trust board

External Review of Governance

Forming a MAT

Governance leadership programme (DfE)

Improvement Champion (Essex only)