Online Board Training

Imagine being able to access a wealth of insight about boards and their roles and responsibilities. Imagine if all board members were enlightened about the scope of their work so that they could be more impactful on the board. Imagine that at a time when schools are lurching from one crisis to the next, that boards could be more effective and without the cost and restrictions associated with travel.


Work at a time, pace and place that suits you


Clarity and insight coupled with practical strategies


Video content - deceptively easier and faster to learn

All on board!

The Board Essentials series is designed with school boards in mind, allowing convenient access to the entire board so that everyone is working from a common ground.
No Covid-19 restrictions on travel or gatherings or trouble agreeing on a common meeting time, just easy access, straight talking insights to help your board transform into a more effective team.

When your school signs up, you get a group code your board members to use.
If your school has already set up an account with us and you have a Group Code already, then register your personal account here:

Please note that our course materials are hosted on the Vivify Education learning platform.

You can always login to your account here.

Register your school

The Board Essentials package, with over 40 videos specifically focused on governance of international schools, is available on a school basis rather than individual seats.  A school licence ensures that all board members have access to the materials and makes it easier to ensure new members can start their professional learning as soon as they join the board (or before if you wish!)

Please note that our course materials are hosted on the Vivify Education learning platform.

What about other forms of board training?

The Board Essentials series of videos is the most popular training since it provides "just in time" learning, any time, online without the inconvenience of scheduling meetings or travel. However, there are other ways to engage with boards, wether through Zoom style training or indeed face-to-face sessions based in the school.

Nik Bishop
Nikolas Bishop, Director

The Blended model extends the Board Essentials video series by tailoring an additional series of online meetings, webinars or discussions to meet the needs of the school.  This is the best of the online learning model which allows for all trustees to develop a baseline appreciation of the roles and complexities of the board, while providing a platform for discussion and further professional development through real-time consultation. 

Find out more about Board Training

Sometimes there is no substitute for good old fashioned physical meetings and dialogue to help boards reach their optimal levels.  Get in touch to discuss your needs and how a bespoke programme can be crafted to help you. 

School leadership can be a lonely position! The two most crucial roles in the school, that of the Head of School and the Chair of the Board share similarities in that it can be difficult to confide in someone to share ideas or worries without appearing weak.  All elite athletes recognise the benefit of coaching to provide external perspectives and insights. Confidential mentoring services provides an opportunity for supporting the wellbeing of these two crucial roles in the school.

Leadership Mentoring

Simply get in touch and let’s start discussing how we can plan an effective program for your school.

Contact Nik

Further information about the Board Essentials series

When schools access the Board Essentials course, a group code is created that allows up to 15 board members to access the training materials (more seats options are available).  The videos are meant to be broad and deep in that some develop a bigger picture appreciation of the scope of the board’s work, while others take a deeper dive into the details and complexities involved.

Trustees give their valuable time, and usually bring expertise and valuable insight to the board from their own career paths, but that’s not a guarantee of an effective board.  Despite the best intentions, it’s easy for trustees to make mistakes simply because they are not (yet) experts in governance of international schools, and mistakes at the board level often lead to chaos and fractured relationships within the school.  When trustees are clear about their roles, are aware of how to avoid common mistakes and have strategies to be more effective, then the whole board can be impactful to the long term success of the school.  

Below is a selection of the introductory materials for the Board Essentials series so that you get an idea of the pace and style of learning.  You should find the learning easy – no complicated books to read.  Terminology and concepts overlap in many cases so that you can see things from different perspectives and reinforce the main ideas.   Video content is easy to digest, but the reflective questions challenge you to relate to your own experiences and boards.

Covid-19 has changed the educational landscape – and that includes access to board training. As International schools around the world adapt to the changing demands placed on them, boards must also adapt so that they can better anticipate the challenges and make the right decisions that will chart the direction for the school. When boards face some of their most challenging circumstances, it is easy to lose sight of the strategic nature of governance and for any new trustees joining the board it can prove very difficult to find the time to have a proper induction into the roles and responsibilities of the board. Covid-19 imposed international travel restrictions and associated high costs can create one more excuse for not investing in board training and yet this is exactly the time when school boards need to refocus on their long term responsibilities. The Board Essentials series of videos provides trustees with “just in time learning” opportunities to gain additional perspectives on their roles as well as the chance to reflect on effective board strategies. Only through having all trustees working from a common platform will schools really be positioned to emerge from the initial chaos of Covid-19 and develop strategies to successfully navigate the challenging economic times ahead.

The next phase of development includes scenarios or vignettes that can be used by boards to watch a situation unfold in a video as a mechanism to promote discussion and reflection. For example, the video below shows a typical scene where a parent approaches a board member, with a hidden agenda!

Please note that our course materials are hosted on the Vivify Education learning platform.

Structure of the Board Essentials video series

This introductory section provides an overview of the board development series and common terms, but also includes an important video on child safeguarding which has been purposefully put front and centre to ensure this important topic gets your attention.

  • Introduction to the board essentials series and effective governance
  • Board terminology and common terms used
  • Child protection and safeguarding – implications for boards

This section gives some broader perspectives that provides opportunities to reflect on the work of the board and your own personal motivation.  Videos include:

  • The 5C model of governance
  • Why Serve? What’s your own personal motivation for serving on the board
  • Insight into your own learning

This section begins to unpick the different facets of responsibilities within the board, by focusing on the following three areas:

  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Role of the trustee
  • Role of the Chair

This section looks at onboarding new board members, but also the important strategies to ensure that everyone on the board is working to a common set of assumptions.

  • Trustee Essential Agreements
  • Onboarding new trustees (2 videos)

This section explores the different ways boards may be structured and how to ensure these structures have the desired impact.

  • Board meetings and procedures
  • Committees and board structures
  • Committee Terms of Reference
  • Governance Committee

This section explores the fiscal responsibilities of all board members, but also goes into more depth with conflict of interest and the financial oversight for those on a Finance Committee.

  • Fiscal responsibilities
  • Finance Committee
  • Conflict of Interest

Boards often face challenges when complaints or appeals emerge.  These videos explore some of the issues and complexities that boards need to bear in mind.

  • Dealing with concerns
  • Managing appeals
  • Avoiding bias

What are the duties of the board?  These videos explore the three duties of governance and the importance of managing and monitoring policy.

  • The Three Duties of Governance
  • Managing and Monitoring Policy

This section explores the key role of the board in setting the strategic directions of the school in line with the mission.

  • Mission and Vision
  • Developing a board annual calendar
  • Strategic planning
  • Board goal setting
  • Accreditation and the implications for boards

What responsibilities and opportunities are there for building strong relationships with the Head of School and within the wider community?

  • Relationship with the Head of School
  • Hiring the Head of School
  • Relationships within the wider community
  • Board-led stories

This section unpicks some of the issues around evaluating the Head of School, but also the important and often forgotten aspects of evaluating the board.

  • Evaluating the Head of School
  • Dismissal or non-renewal of the Head of School
  • Evaluating the Board

There’s no magic pill to being a more effective board, but there are incremental steps that can be taken.

  • Modes of governance
  • Board succession planning
  • Board professional development

The role of the Board Chair is pivotal for a school.  This section breaks down effective board chair skills.

  • Introduction to board chair skills
  • Effective board chair skills (2 videos)
  • Chairing alternative style meetings