The two national governors’ organisations have agreed to merge to create a single body to represent and support school governors.

The National Association of School Governors and the National Governors’ Council will pool their resources and become the National Governors’ Association from 1 January 2006. Stephen Adamson, vice chair of NASG, said the new NGA would be ‘a single, strong organisation that speaks on behalf of all governors’. The executive committees of both organisations have been working hard for much of this year on drawing up a constitution for a possible new body and their proposals were put to NASG and NGC members at their respective annual general meetings in October and November. Both organisations voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger.

Proposing the motion to merge at the NASG meeting, Stephen Adamson, said that, because for the past 10 years there had been two organisations ‘both trying to speak on behalf of their members and both trying to provide support for governors as well’, governors had not been as well served as they might have been.

He argued that both organisations had different strengths that would be complementary in a merged body. He characterised NASG as very good at providing services for its members – especially through publications such as its SmartCards and Governors’ News journal – but too heavily reliant on the time of volunteers to be able to consult with them effectively. In contrast, he felt that the NGC’s strength was consultation. NASG President, John Adams, added: ‘We need a proper professional backup to do the job members want us to do and we can only do that by pooling resources.’

Previously known as the National Association of Governors and Managers (NAGM), the NASG has been representing school governors for 35 years. It is funded by subscriptions from around 50,000 members, who join either as individuals or governing bodies. The NGC was set up 10 years ago. Originally its funding came from the government, but it now supplements membership income with fees from consultancy work. Its members join through local associations, of which it has 90.

The new association will have three categories of members – associations, governing bodies and individuals – and all current members of the two existing organisations will automatically become members of the new NGA, receiving services appropriate to the category they fit into. As both existing organisations have offices in Birmingham, there will be immediate financial benefits from combining their operations. The permanent staff of the NGC will move

to join those at the NASG offices and Jean McEntire, the chief executive of the NGC, will take up the same post at the NGA.