This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from school governors in order for the governing body to properly carry out its work within the school and the community.
As individuals on the body we agree to the following:
Role & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the body, its statutory responsibilities and the role of the headteacher.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the body has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the governing body when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the body or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing body meeting.
- We have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice in all aspects of our work.
- We will consider carefully the potential impact of decisions we make and actions we take.
- 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.
- We will exercise the greatest prudence at all times when discussions regarding school business arise outside a governing body meeting.
- We will not reveal the details of any governing body vote.
- 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 body.
- We acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
- We will get to know the school well, involve ourselves actively in the work of the governing body, and make reasonable efforts to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to.
- 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 body and agreed with the headteacher.
- We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development, and will undertake relevant training
- 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 his/her role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times.
- We will prioritise the development of effective working relationships with the headteacher, staff and parents, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community.
Conflicts of interest
- We will record any pecuniary or other business interest (including those related to people we are connected with) that we have in connection with the governing body’s business in the Register of Business Interests, and if 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 body.
Breach of this code of conduct
- If we believe this code has been breached, we will raise this issue with the chair and the chair will investigate; the governing body will only use suspension/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.
Grounds for Disqualification from membership of a Governing Body
- A person who is under the age of 18.
- A person who is adjudged bankrupt or whose estate has been sequestered or who has made a composition or arrangements with his/her creditors and who has not been discharged.
- A person convicted within the last five years of any offence resulting in a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of three months or more without the option of a fine.
- A person convicted within the last twenty years of any offence resulting in a sentence of imprisonment for a period of two and a half years or more.
- A person convicted of any offence resulting in a sentence of imprisonment for a period of five years or more.
- A person convicted within the last five years of an offence under Section 547 of the Education Act 1996 (nuisance or disturbance on school premises and grounds) and sentenced to a fine.
- A governor who, without the consent of the governing body, fails to attend meetings for a continuous period of six months beginning with the date of the first meeting missed.
- A governor who commits a breach of the Code of Conduct which cannot be resolved.
- A person who is detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
- A person subject to disqualification under the Company Directors’ Disqualification Act 1986 or under the Insolvency Act 1986.
- A person removed from the office of Charity Trustee by the Charity Commissioners or High Court on the grounds of misconduct or mismanagement.
- A person who has not received satisfactory clearance through the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- A person disqualified under the Education Act 1996 from being the proprietor of an independent school or from being a teacher or other employee in any school.