An Introduction From the Course Designer

Course curriculum

    1. Getting Started

    2. Finding Your Way

    3. What to Expect

    4. Assessing Learning

    5. Extend & Contextualize

    6. Let's Go!

    1. Meet Your Instructor

    2. Course Goals

    3. Course Flow

    4. Guiding Questions

    5. Course Timings: Planning Your Time

    6. Tools: Learning Log

    7. Key References

    1. Setting the Scene

    2. The Core Function of the Board

    3. Essential Understanding

    4. Barriers to Effective Governance

    5. Reflection and Mini Quiz

    1. Board Effectiveness and Efficiency

    2. Trusted Relationships

    3. The Role of Board Committees

    4. Reflection

    1. Affinity Mapping Protocol

    1. What is your current reality?

    2. The relationship between the Head of School and the Board

    3. The Evaluation of the Head of School

    4. The Recruitment of a new Head of School

    5. Final Thoughts- Your Head needs You!

About this course

  • 55 lessons


Who is this course for?

  • Board Members

    All Board members, including parent board members who want to develop and deepen their understanding of their role and responsibility as a Board member and how they can contribute to the ongoing school performance in creating a sustainable strategic direction.

  • Senior Leaders

    Heads of School who want to extend their knowledge and understanding of their relationship with the Board in creating strategic direction, recognising some of the challenges they may face as Head of School in working with Boards. Some of these challenges may be that there is a high turnover of Board members, confidentiality and conflict of interest issues, a lack of understanding of the clear role and responsibility of Board members in ensuring the strategic direction of the School.

  • Senior Leadership Teams

    Senior leaders and their teams who want to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the School and the Board and how they can work together to build board capacity to improve a school’s performance, provide strategic direction and sustainability, through a culture of accountability and responsibility.

Learning Outcomes

What will you be able to do upon course completion?

  • Identify the characteristics and behaviours of an effective and efficient and united board, inclusive of individual roles and responsibilities of team members in the light of 13 key performance indicators.

  • Recognise the individual board member roles, responsibilities, and selection process for ongoing performance and creation of a sustainable strategic plan for the school.

  • Develop/create effective approaches/procedures to benefit strategic, fiduciary, and generative areas, inclusive of safeguarding, governance, and leadership.

  • Gain more knowledge of the tools and resources, such as codes of conduct, policies, procedures, agendas, meeting minutes, reports, and protocols to support an effective and united working Board.

  • Deepen understanding of the crucial relationship with the Head of School and how this effective partnership can lead to a sustainable future for the School and one focused on student outcomes.

  • Consider ways to strengthen board partnerships and build board capacity for the sustainability of the school and for the benefit of learners.

Impact on Learning

How will this course have a positive impact?

You will leave this course with fresh insights into the role of an effective board in strategic, fiduciary and generative areas, inclusive of safeguarding, governance, and leadership. You will have deepened your understanding of the role played by individual board members, their selection and their membership of board committees. This course will invite you to consider performance indicators and approaches, and provide you with tools to support, and work as part of, an effective governing body for ongoing school performance and sustainability.

Meet the Course Designer

Helen O'Donoghue

Helen O’Donoghue is the Director of Sunridge Associates, a UK-based company with a global network that specialises in educational training, consultancy and management in the UK and overseas. Helen’s work with leading UK and international schools draws on her passion for improving children’s learning and over 30 years’ experience as an educator. A sought-after trainer, consultant, leadership coach and conference speaker, she has led two IB World schools, opened two Free Schools in London and delivered bespoke training and consultancy to over 300 school leaders in 30 countries. Her numerous roles include being Ambassador for Leadership Matters, a British Council Ambassador and a senior consultant with Fieldwork Education.


What are you still wondering?

  • Is this a certified course?

    Yes. Certification is awarded by MiniPD, from Faria Education Group.

  • What do I need to do to gain my certificate?

    You will need to complete all modules, learning activities in practice, and checking for understanding final assessment.

  • What certificate will I receive?

    You will be awarded the Certificate of Completion in 'Building Board Capacity in International Schools'.

  • Can MiniPD courses count towards my continuing education requirements?

    MiniPD is partnering with Kent State University, a R1 university in the United States, to grant graduate credits for completing MiniPD courses. To receive graduate credits, the learner must complete a required number of MiniPD Core or MiniCourses, and submit the completed MiniPD Learning Logs for each course. Details of the credit application process can be found at Please check with your license issuing authorities for details on the number of credits needed for your license renewal.

  • How can I continue learning?

    You will be presented with suggested pathways to support continued learning. These will include carefully designed resources, MiniCourses, and personalized coaching conversations.

  • How can my school leverage the learning and amplify impact?

    We can support you to implement this course in your own school with suggested approaches for interleaved professional development days, professional learning communities, and ongoing job-embedded peer learning structures.

Connect With A Coach

Connect with leadership coaches who have extensive experience in working with international school boards. They are here to support you as a reflective thought partner!