Viv Hughes


About me: I started as a Parent Governor at my daughter’s school more than a decade ago. Soon after this, I became the Chair of Governors at her school.

Since then I have amassed an in-depth knowledge and experience of governance in the following settings:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Alternative provision
  • Maintained schools
  • Multi-Academy Trusts

Excellence in governance is provided by getting the Right People to do the Right Things at the Right Time in order to Work Smart. My philosophy is one of continuous improvement, individual empowerment and team working.

I have provided leadership coaching / mentoring, training for governors and led strategic vision and planning working sessions. I became an NLG in 2015.

Location: (Borough/City/County) Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Governance experience:


  • Trustee / Director – Bury St Edmunds All-Through Academy Trust (MAT) for 5 years; resigned Jan 2018.
  • Led the formation of Believe Engage Succeed Trust (2016) – a MAT working in Alternative Provision, and lead Free School Application (application withdrawn due to change in locality circumstances).
  • Academy conversions – Currently working with two schools to convert them to be academies and join BEST and also one school whose academy conversion is being sponsored by BEST.
  • Chair of Governors – Barrow CEVC Primary School for more than 10 years, including 2 Ofsted Inspections – GOOD and then OUTSTANDING: resigned May 2018.
  • Chair of Managers – The Albany PRU, Bury St Edmunds for six years, asked to rebuild Management Committee following Inadequate Ofsted Inspection, instrumental in achieving GOOD in two years followed by second GOOD three years later.
  • Experience with HR issues – Chaired Disciplinary Panel as well as, worked on allegations by staff and against staff, capability procedures, management letters and staff redundancy etc.
  • Various roles requested by Suffolk County Council – Additional Governor (appointed) at another CEVC Primary School in Suffolk and (invited) at a High School in Suffolk, asked by SCC to Chair Management Committee of second PRU following Ofsted Inspection rating of Inadequate, including seeing it through its closure.

Other relevant experience:

  • Involvement in ConnectED TSA – Lead School
  • Experienced senior leader, line manager and project manager in both large and small business context.
NLG experience:





  • Provided informal and formal coaching to chairs
  • Completed issue analyses and training for whole governing bodies


  • Completed external reviews of governance for LA maintained schools
  • Led NLG team to complete extensive and sensitive external review of MAT in difficulties to ESFA’s requirements.


  • NLG Induction
  • Essential Deployment Skills

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

Readiness for Ofsted

Strategic financial leadership

Effective Safeguarding

Strategic business leadership

Strategic leadership of Pupil Premium and provision for disadvantaged pupils

Leading change management

Equality responsibilities

Managing and prioritising risks

 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

Presenting and analysing data

Performance Management of Chairs

Triangulation, benchmarking and holding to account

Governor appraisals

Headteacher performance management

Monitoring of staff performance management

Chair 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

Creating a team culture

Expectation setting and conduct

Holding the governance team to account

Meeting management

8. Training completed


– 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

External review of governance

Forming a Trust board

Forming a MAT

Joining a MAT