Code of Conduct for Governors and Governing Boards
This Code of Conduct sets out the behaviour and conduct expected of all school Governors. It is expected that all Governors will know, understand and work within the prescribed regulatory framework. They must comply with the updated General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018.
The Governing Board
The Governing Board is legally responsible for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement.
The purpose of Governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.
Core functions of the Governing Board
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
It is the job of the Governing Board to:
2. Holding the headteacher/senior executive leader to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
This will take place through:
3. Ensuring the sound, proper and effective use of the school’s financial resources
The Governing Board is responsible for making sure the school’s money is well spent with effective controls for managing within available resources. They should do this by ensuring they have at least one Governor with specific skills and experience of financial matters, but everyone on the board should have a basic understanding of the financial cycle and legal requirements.
The Governing Board should play a strategic role and leave the running of the school to the Headteacher they have appointed. The Governing Board must not interfere in the day-to-day running of the school.
Ways of Working
The Headteacher / Senior Executive Leader (SEL)
In the absence of a Chair of Governors, the Vice-Chair will take on that role.
Chairs of Committees
Chairs of committees work with the Clerk to set committee meeting agendas and approve draft minutes for those meetings. They have responsibility for ensuring that if a function of the Governing Board has been delegated to the committee or a function of the Governing Board has otherwise been exercised by the committee, it is reported to the Governing Board.
In law, the Governing Board is a corporate body, which means that no Governor can act on her/his own without proper authority from the Governing Board. All Governors carry equal responsibility for decisions. If a function of the Governing Board has been delegated to an individual, the individual must report to the Governing Board in respect of any action taken or decision made.
The overriding concern of all Governors has to be the welfare of the school as a whole, regardless of the route by which they were appointed and the type of Governor they are i.e. Staff, Parent, Community, Local Authority, Foundation, Co-opted.
For Governing Boards to carry out their role effectively, Governors must be prepared and equipped to take their responsibilities seriously. They should:
In addition, they should:
The Seven Principles of Public Life
As recommended by the Committee on Standards in Public Life established by the then Prime Minister in October 1994, under the Chairmanship of Lord Nolan, to consider standards of conduct in various areas of public life.
1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
2. Integrity - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
3. Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
5. Openness - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
6. Honesty - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
7. Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
a) We understand the purpose of the Governing Board and the role of the Headteacher, Chair, Vice, Chair and Chairs of Committees as set out above.
b) We are aware of and accept the Nolan seven principles of public life.
c) We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the Governing 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.
d) 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.
e) We will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
f) We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the Governing Board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the Governing Board meeting.
g) We will consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools.
h) We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school and to promote community cohesion. Our actions within the school and the local community will reflect this.
i) In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school we will follow the procedures established by the Governing Board.
k) We understand that communication via social networking sites in a variety of formats is deemed comparable to one to one interaction for the purposes of this code of conduct.
a) We acknowledge that accepting office as a Governor involves the commitment of time and energy.
b) 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 or as nominated Governors.
c) We will prepare for meetings by reading papers beforehand.
d) We will make every effort to attend all meetings promptly, regularly and for the full time. Where we cannot, we will endeavour to explain in advance in full why we are unable to.
e) We will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
f) Our visits to school will be arranged in advance with the staff and undertaken within the framework established by the Governing Board and agreed with the Headteacher.
g) We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development and will undertake relevant training.
h) We are committed to actively supporting and challenging the Headteacher.
a) We will strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
b) We will express views openly, courteously and respectfully. The Governor chairing a meeting is responsible for ensuring appropriate conduct at all times, and the other Governors are responsible for supporting the Chair in that role.
c) 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.
d) We will seek to develop effective working relationships with the Headteacher, staff and parents, the Local Authority and other relevant agencies and the community.
a) We will observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern specific members of staff or pupils, both inside or outside school.
b) We will exercise the greatest prudence at all times when discussions regarding school business arise outside a Governing Board meeting.
c) We will not reveal the details of any Governing Board vote.
d) We will not reveal the details of discussions in Governing Board meetings or comments made by individual Governors at those meetings.
Conflicts of interest
a) We will record any pecuniary interest that we have in connection with the Governing Board’s business in the Register of Business Interests.
b) We will declare any personal or pecuniary interest in a matter under discussion at a meeting and offer to leave the meeting for the appropriate length of time.
Implementation of this Code of Conduct
a) We understand that any allegation of a material breach of this code of conduct by any Governor shall be raised at a meeting of the Governing Board and, if agreed to be substantiated by a majority of Governors, shall be minuted.
b) We understand that any Governor whose conduct is minuted twice in twelve months shall be suspended for a period of six months from the date of the second minute.
c) We are aware of the provisions of regulation 15(1) of the School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations which pertain to qualification and disqualification for the role of school Governor and grounds for suspension and the 2017 amendment regarding parent and staff governors.
d) We understand that no Governor/Associate member can refuse a DBS check and that all Governors must hold an Enhanced DBS certificate.
Publication on Website
The following information about each Governor / Associate member will be published on the school’s website:
The Governing Board of St Chad’s Cof E First School adopted this code of conduct on 14th November 2019.