Code of Conduct for School Governors

Redhill Primary School - Code of Conduct for School Governors

Telford & Wrekin School Governance Service recommends that governing bodies adopt a code of conduct which sets out the purpose of the governing body and describes the appropriate relationship between individual governors, the whole governing body and the leadership of the school.   We recommend that the whole governing body thoroughly discusses the code so that they have ownership of it.  Once it has been adopted the governors should be asked to review it and sign it on an annual basis, ideally at the first meeting in the autumn term.   NB. Each governing body may want to tailor this recommended code to their own situation, but this gives them a starting point on which to build their own version.

Code of Conduct for                                                                             School Governing Body

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This Code of Conduct sets out the expectations and commitment 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 aims and ethos of the particular school. 

The purpose of the governing body

The governing body is the school’s accountable body. It is responsible for the conduct of the school and for promoting high standards.   The governing body aims to ensure that children are attending an effective school which provides them with a good education and supports their well-being. 

Sets the strategic direction of the school by

Setting the values, aims and objectives for the school. Agreeing the policy framework for achieving those aims and objectives. Setting statutory targets. Agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes approving the budget and agreeing the staffing structure.

Challenges and supports the school by monitoring, reviewing and evaluating  

The implementation and effectiveness of the policy framework. Progress towards targets. The implementation and effectiveness of the school improvement strategy. The budget and the staffing structure. 

Ensures accountability by

Signing off the school’s own self-evaluation report. Responding to School Improvement Partner and Ofsted reports when necessary. Holding the head teacher to account for the performance of the school. Ensuring parents and pupils are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate. Making information available to the community. Ensuring the well-being of students through robust safeguarding arrangements, including protecting them from extremist views and bullying via social media. Promoting diversity and respect across all cultural mores.

Appointing and performance managing the head teacher, who will deliver the aims through the day to day management of the school, implementation of the agreed policy framework and school improvement strategy and delivery of the curriculum and report appropriately to the governing body. Ensuring fair and transparent recruitment processes. Ensuring breadth and balance in the curriculum and compliance with the requirements for schools to promote social, cultural, moral and spiritual wellbeing of a civilised and peaceful society. Understanding how the school manages the budget and holding the head teacher and other leaders  to account for effective management of the school finances.         

For governors to carry out their role effectively, governors must be: Prepared and equipped to take their responsibilities seriously. Acknowledged as the accountable body by the lead professionals. Supported by the appropriate authorities in that task; and willing and able to monitor and review their own performance. The role of a governor: 

In law the governing body is a corporate body which means:

  • No governor can act on his/her own without proper authority from the full governing body.
  • All governors carry equal responsibility for decisions made, and although appointed through different routes (i.e. Parents, Staff, Local Authority, Co-opted, Foundation, Associate), the overriding concern of all governors has to be the welfare of the school, and the welfare and safety of all pupils.

General 

  • I understand the purpose of the governing body and the role of the head teacher as set out above.
  • I am aware of and accept the Nolan seven principles of public life (see appendix).
  • I 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.
  • I 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.
  • I will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
  • I accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the governing body or its delegated agents -This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing body meeting.
  • I will consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools.
  • I will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school and to keep our pupils safe.Our action within the school and the local community will reflect this.
  • In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school I will follow the procedures established by the governing body.
  • I will ensure that any safeguarding allegations against members of staff, volunteers or governors are referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
  • I will be subject to an enhanced DBS check if as part of our roles and responsibilities we arein positions that include regular work in the presence of children or who care for, train, supervise or are in sole charge of children or if our actions give cause for concern.
  • I will liaise with a range of stakeholder groups as and when itis appropriate to ensure that their views are sought, acted on when needed and  to ensure that the core functions of the Governing Body are met. 

Commitment

  • I acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy and agree that my attendance record at governing body and committee meetings is published on the school website
  • I will involve myself actively in the work of the governing body and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups.
  • I will make full efforts to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend, explain in advance, in full, why we are unable to.
  • I will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
  • My visits to school will be arranged in advance with the staff and undertaken within the framework established by the governing body and agreed with the head teacher.
  • I will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development and will undertake relevant training.
  • I am committed to actively supporting and challenging the head teacher.  

Relationships 

  • I will strive to work as a team member in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
  • I will express my 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.
  • I am prepared to answer queries from other governors in relation to delegated functions and take into account any concerns expressed.I will acknowledge the time, effort and skills that have been committed to the delegated function by those involved.
  • I will seek and develop effective working relationships with the head teacher, staff and parents, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community. 

Confidentiality 

  • I will observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern specific members of staff or pupils, both inside and outside school.
  • I will exercise the greatest prudence at all times when discussions regarding school business arise outside a governing body meeting.
  • I will not reveal the details of any governing body vote.  

Conflicts of interest 

  • I will record, in the Register of Business Interests, any pecuniary interest that we have in connection with the governing body’s business. This will include details of any other educational establishments I sit on as a governor and any relationships between myself and members of the school staff including spouses, partners and relatives.
  • I 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.
  • I agree to the following details being published on the website in line with statutory regulations August 2015
  • my full name;
  • The date of my appointment;
  • My category of governor
  • Which body appointed me;
  • My term of office;
  • The names of any committees I serve on;
  • Details of any positions of responsibility I hold such as chair or vice-chair of the governing body or a committee of the governing body
  • Any relevant business and pecuniary interests; (as recorded in the registry of interests) including governance roles in other institutions, any material interests arising from relationships between governors and school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives;
  • My attendance at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year.  

Implementation of this Code of Conduct 

  • I 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 body and, if agreed to be substantiated by a majority of governors, shall be minuted.
  • I am aware of the provisions of regulation 15(1) of the School Governance(Procedures)(England) Regulations 2003 which pertain to qualification and disqualification for the role of school governor and grounds for suspension (held as a separate document).  

The Governing Body of Redhill Primary School adopted this code of conduct on 5th October 2015. Governors will sign the Code at the first governing body meeting of each school year

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Selflessness - Holders of public office should take decisions 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.

Integrity - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

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.

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.

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 this.

Honesty - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any public interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example. From the ‘Second Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life’, The Nolan Committee, 1996