Governors’ Code of Conduct
2021 - 2022
At Alderman Bolton School, the Local Governing Committee recognises their responsibilities and strategic functions as follows:
Establishing the strategic direction, by:
- Setting and ensuring clarity of vision, values, and objectives for the school(s)/trust
- Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets
- Meeting statutory duties
Ensuring accountability, by:
- Appointing the lead executive/headteacher (where delegated)
- Monitoring the educational performance of the school/s and progress towards agreed targets
- Performance managing the lead executive/headteacher (where delegated)
- Engaging with stakeholders
- Contributing to school self-evaluation
Overseeing financial performance by:
- Setting the budget
- Monitoring spending against the budget
- Ensuring money is well spent and value for money is obtained
- Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed
As individuals on the Governing Committee we agree to the following roles and responsibilities. We:-
- understand the purpose of the committee and the role of the executive leaders,
- accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the committee has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the governing committee when we have been specifically authorised to do so,
- accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the committee or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing committee meeting,
- 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,
- encourage open governance and will act appropriately,
- consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools,
- are always mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school and group of schools. Our actions within the school and the local community will reflect this,
- follow the procedures established by the governing committee in making or responding to criticism or complaints,
- actively support and challenge the executive leaders,
- accept and respect the difference in roles between the committee and staff, ensuring that we work collectively for the benefit of the organisation,
- respect the role of the executive leaders and their responsibility for the day to day management of the organisation and avoid any actions that might undermine such arrangements,
- agree to adhere to the school’s rules and polices and the procedures of the governing committee as set out by the relevant governing documents and law,
- ensure our comments reflect current organisational policy even if they might be different to our personal views when formally speaking or writing in our governing role,
- are mindful of and strive to uphold the reputation of the organisation when communicating in our private capacity (including on social media).
As individuals on the committee we accept the following commitments. We:-
- acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy,
- each involve ourselves actively in the work of the governing committee, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups,
- make full efforts to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to,
- get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities,
- visit the school, with all visits being arranged in advance with the headteacher and undertake these visits within the framework established by the governing committee,
- maintain our underlying responsibility as a governor when visiting the school in a personal capacity (i.e. as a parent or carer),
- consider seriously our individual and collective needs for induction, training and development, and will undertake relevant training,
- accept that in the interests of open governance, our full names, date of appointment, terms of office, roles on the governing committee, attendance records, relevant business and pecuniary interests, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the school’s website,
- accept that information relating to governors will be collected and logged on the DfE’s national database of governors (Edubase) in the interests of transparency.
As individuals on the committee we accept the following responsibilities regarding relationships. We:-
- strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted,
- express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all our communications with other governors, the clerk to the governing committee and school staff both in and outside of meetings,
- support the chair in their role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times,
- are prepared to answer queries from other committee members 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,
- seek to develop effective working relationships with the executive leaders, staff and parents, the trust, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community.
As individuals on the committee we accept the following responsibilities regarding confidentiality. We:-
- observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern specific members of staff or pupils, both inside or outside school,
- exercise the greatest prudence at all times when discussions regarding school/trust business arise outside a governing committee meeting,
- do not reveal the details of any governing committee vote,
- ensure all confidential papers are held and disposed of appropriately.
As individuals on the committee we accept the following responsibilities regarding conflicts of interest. We:-
- record any pecuniary or other business interest (including those related to people we are connected with) that we have in connection with the governing committee’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,
- accept that the Register of Business Interests will be published on the school’s and trust’s website.
- declare any conflict of loyalty at the start of any meeting should the situation arise.
- 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 committee.
- understand that the requirements relating to confidentiality will continue to apply after a governor member leaves office.
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 committee 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 governing committee member, such as the vice chair will investigate.
The seven principles of public life
(Originally published by the Nolan Committee: The Committee on Standards in Public Life was 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, and to make recommendations).
Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
Integrity – Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
Objectivity – Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
Openness – Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
Honesty – Holders of public office should be truthful
Leadership – Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
First adopted by the Local Governing Body of Alderman Bolton Primary School on September 27th 2018.