|MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR GOVERNORS
Adopted: 7th November 2016
Review Date: September 2018
The attached model code of conduct can be used to set out the commitment and expectations required from Governors in order for the Governing Body to properly carry out its work within the school and the community. It can be amended to include specific reference to the ethos of the particular school. ‘School’ includes academies, and it applies to all level of school governance.
Each Governor should be asked to sign a copy of the code, when they join the Governing Body, at the space provided.
There are high expectations of Governing Bodies; they are the strategic leaders of the school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school Governing Bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.
In all types of schools, Governing Bodies should have a strong focus on the following three core strategic functions:
a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
This amounts to a demanding role for the Governing Body and can only be done well if ALL Governors are committed to doing what is best for the school and the children it serves.
It is important that Governing Bodies play a strategic role, and avoid routine involvement in operational matters and the day-to-day running of the school. It should focus strongly on holding the Headteacher to account for exercising his/her professional judgement in these matters and all of their other duties.
“School Governor Services believe that all children and young people should thrive in schools that are ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and in order to achieve this schools need effective governance” Wakefield Council School Governor Services
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE GOVERNING BODY OF
As individuals on the Governing Body we agree to the following:
Role & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the Governing Body and the role of the Headteacher.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the Governing 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 Governing Body. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the Governing Body meeting.
- 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 Body.
- We will actively support and challenge the Headteacher.
- We will use social media responsibly and ensure that neither our personal/professional reputation, nor the school’s reputation is compromised by inappropriate postings.
- We acknowledge that accepting office as a Governor involves the commitment of time and energy.
- We will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the Governing Body, 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, make it known in advance.
- 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 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 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 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.
Register of Business Interests
- A Register of Business Interests will be kept in school which includes the following information:
- Our names.
- Our Business interests.
- Our appointment category.
- Our appointing body.
- Our term of office as a Governor.
- The names of any committees we serve on.
- Details of any position of responsibility held, such as chair or vice-chair of the governing body or a committee.
- Details of any other educational establishments we may govern.
- Details of any personal relationships we have with members of staff including spouses, partners and relatives.
- We agree to the Register of Business Interests being published on the school website in line with statutory requirements.
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, who will then 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.
Confirmation of agreement to abide by this code of conduct, which has been agreed by the Governing Body
As a member of the Governing Body I will always have the well-being of the children and the reputation of the school at heart; I will do all I can to be an ambassador for the school, publicly supporting its aims, values and ethos; I will never say or do anything publicly that would bring the school into disrepute.