Nigel Gann is regarded as one of the leading authorities on school governance in the UK.
He was trained as a teacher, his first appointment being in Islington, London, and then worked in secondary community schools in Leicestershire and Cumbria to headship level. He has also taught in the adult education service, and in pre- and in-service teacher education. He has been Research Fellow at the Universities of Leicester and Southampton, and consultant to the BBC on two series of education programmes for television and one for World Service radio. In Southampton in 1986, he was first general manager of a community education project governed by local people, providing education, social welfare and leisure facilities in the most disadvantaged area of the city. Since 1989 he has been an independent consultant in education and community development. Between 1999 and 2002, he was Senior Consultant with CfBT Education Services, one of the leading third-sector providers of education services.
Nigel Gann has been working with school governing bodies and senior managers in schools since 1979, has written and spoken widely on the subject, and has acted as consultant to AGIT (Action for Governor Information and Training), CEDC (Community Education Development Centre) and the former Grant Maintained Schools Centre. He has trained and contributed to conferences for governors, headteachers and clerks in Community, VA, VC, Foundation, academies, free schools and independent schools throughout more than 90 LAs and dioceses in England and Wales and has presented governor conferences for the Times Educational Supplement, the London Diocesan Board for Schools, Lloyds TSB, BP and Rolls Royce. He has written and delivered courses for governors and clerks leading to accreditation by the University of Southampton (for Dorset LA); wrote and delivered the national introductory course for school governors in Wales (accredited by the South East Wales Open College Network for Governors Wales); and wrote an online course accredited by the College of Teachers. He has been governor (including chair and vice chair) of two secondary community schools, an academy, a first school and chair of governors of a Church of England Primary School. In 2012-13 he served on the Interim Executive Board of a Somerset primary school.
Nigel Gann has conducted research and evaluation for a number of local authorities in the area of education and community development. He provided the framework and training for post-LMS community education and community use of schools policies in Tower Hamlets, Southampton and Portsmouth in the early nineties and worked with Southampton City Council on a number of initiatives, including providing a training framework for community development work. He has also evaluated and provided training for developments in Sandwell and Dorset, and provides ongoing support to a supplementary school in Whitechapel, East London. He conducted an interim evaluation of the NCVO™s national Advancing Good Management programme. More recently, he has completed an evaluation of a community project in Tower Hamlets, of an Early Excellence Centre in Tottenham and the Haringey Family Learning initiative; a needs analysis for governor support in Southend on Sea and a Best Practice Review of supplementary schooling throughout the UK. He has contributed the governing body element of a programme for school self-review used in a number of local education authorities in the UK. His principal work is on school improvement, working with senior management teams and governing bodies of primary and secondary schools, setting up strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating school performance.
Nigel Gann was consultant to the BBC Open University Governing Schools series; in February, 2001, he completed a twelve-programme series Making Schools Work for the BBC World Service. His book Improving School Governance: How better governors make better schools (Falmer Press 1998) was described by the National Association of Governors and Managers as a must for your bookshelf. Targets for Tomorrow’s Schools: A Guide to Whole-School Target-Setting (Falmer Press, 1999) has been reviewed as an essential reading for all governors and school staff who wish to build and maintain effective strategies for a genuine shared commitment to school improvements. Schools in the Spotlight: A guide to working with the media, jointly written with Tim McClellan of Southampton Institute of Higher Education, was published in the autumn of 2001. He has contributed to numerous other publications.
Nigel Gann worked on a range of leadership programmes for the National College (formerly NCSL). He is currently working on staff wellbeing in schools and support for headteachers as a consultant/facilitator for Worklife Support (www.worklifesupport.com). He has been awarded the contract for providing support and development to the directors and governors of the Diocese of Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust. He has recently delivered a series of keynote addresses to governor conferences in West and South Yorkshire, where his contributions have been described as "thought-provoking and inspiring".
In 2012, he and his partner, Cathy Wood, established a website for all those working in schools: www.workinginschool.net. This "virtual staffroom" provides news, blogs and discussions for teachers, support staff and governors.
In 2007, Nigel was awarded a Distinction in the National Teaching Awards, in the Governor of the Year category.