Guidance and Code of Conduct for the Governing Board
The Code of Conduct sets out the expectations of and commitment required from Governors for the Governing Board to properly carry out its work within the school and the community. The Governing Board can amend the Code to include reference to the aims and ethos of the school.
The Governing Board has the following three strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
As individuals on the board we agree to the following:
- We understand the purpose of the board and the role of the headteacher.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the board has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the governing board when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing board meeting.
- We have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice, and in so far as we have responsibility for staff, we will fulfil all that is expected of a good employer.
- We will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
- We will consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools.
- We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school. Our actions within the school and the local community will reflect this.
- In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school we will follow the procedures established by the governing board.
- We will actively support and challenge the headteacher.
- We acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
- We will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the governing board, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups.
- We will make full efforts to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to.
- We will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
- We will visit the school, with all visits to school arranged in advance with the staff and undertaken within the framework established by the governing board and agreed with the headteacher.
- We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development, and will undertake relevant training.
- We accept that in the interests of open government, our names, terms of office, roles on the governing board, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us and the register of interests will be published on the school’s website.
- We will strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
- We will express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all our communications with other governors.
- We will support the chair in their role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times.
- We are prepared to answer queries from other governors in relation to delegated functions and take into account any concerns expressed, and we will acknowledge the time, effort and skills that have been committed to the delegated function by those involved.
- We will seek to develop effective working relationships with the headteacher, staff and parents, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community.
- We will observe confidentiality regarding proceedings of the governing board in meetings and from our visits to school as governors.
- We will observe complete confidentiality when required or asked to do so by the governing board, especially regarding matters concerning individual staff or students.
- We will exercise the greatest prudence if a discussion of a potentially contentious issue affecting the school arises outside the governing board.
- We will not reveal the details of any governing board vote.
Conflicts of Interest
- We will record any pecuniary interest (including those related to people we are connected with) that we have in connection with the governing board’s business in the Register of Interests, and in any such conflicted matter arises in a meeting we will offer to leave the meeting for the appropriate length of time.
- We will also declare any conflict of loyalty at the start of any meeting should the situation arise.
- We will act in the best interests of the school as a whole and not as a representative of any group, even if elected to the governing board.
- We will not identify ourselves as governors of the school at which we are a governor on any social medium.
- We will not engage in activities involving social media which might bring the school at which we are governors into disrepute.
- We will not represent our personal views as those of the school at which we are a governor on any social medium.
Breach of this code
If we believe this code has been breached, we will raise this issue with the chair and the chair will investigate; the governing board will only use suspension or removal as a last resort after seeking to resolve any difficulties or disputes in more constructive ways.
Should it be the chair that we believe has breached this code; another governor such as the vice-chair will investigate.
All governors will sign to say they have read and understand the Code of Conduct at the first governing board meeting each school year.