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Code of Conduct for the Governing Body

Agreed: Autumn 2023

Review: Autumn 2024


The core functions of the governing body are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


For governing bodies 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.


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

  • no governor can act on her/his 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, community, foundation), the overriding concern of all governors has to be the welfare of the school as a whole.


As individual governors we agree to the following:



  • We understand the purpose of the governing body and the role of the headteacher as set out above
  • We are aware of and accept the Nolan seven principles of public life (see Appendix)
  • 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 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
  • We will encourage open government and will act appropriately
  • We 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
  • 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 acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts 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 explain in advance in full why we are unable to
  • We will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities
  • Our 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 headteacher
  • We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development, and will undertake relevant training
  • We are committed to actively supporting and challenging the headteacher
  • We accept that in compliance with statutory regulation our names, terms of office, roles within the governing body, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the school website
  • The following information will also be published on the school website:
    • The structure and remit of the governing body and committees and the full names of the chair of each
    • For each governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months
      • Their full name, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), body responsible for appointing them
      • Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests) including governance roles in other educational institutions and any material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives)
      • Their attendance record at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year
    • The above information will also be published for associate members, and their voting rights made clear
  • Any governor failing to provide information to enable the governing body to fulfil these responsibilities may be in breach of the code of conduct and as a result be bringing the governing body into disrepute



  • 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.


Conflicts of Interest

  • We will record any pecuniary or other business interest that we have in connection with the governing body’s business in the Register of Business Interests
  • We will declare any pecuniary interest - or a personal interest which could be perceived as a conflict of interest - in a matter under discussion at a meeting and offer to leave the meeting for the appropriate length of time.


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 should only use suspension 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
  • 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 body, and, if agreed to be substantiated by a majority of governors, shall be minuted and can lead to consideration of suspension from the governing body
  • We are aware of the provisions of Regulation 17 of The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 which pertain to the grounds for suspension as a school governor, Schedule 6 (Regulation 22) of The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007 and Schedule 4  (Regulation 17) of The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012, relating to the qualifications and disqualifications for holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a school.


Removal from office

The Governing Body in determining whether to remove, rather than suspend a governor will make reference to the School Governance (Constitution and Federations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 and statutory guidance issued in August 2017 in considering whether:

  • There have been repeated grounds for suspension
  • Serious misconduct has occurred which either threatens to bring the school, Governing Body or Governance into disrepute
  • There has been serious or repeated failure to contribute meaningfully to the effectiveness of governance at the school, such as non- attendance at meetings, not engaging in training or not participating in meetings
  • They have engaged in conduct aimed at undermining British values
  • The actions of the governor are sufficiently detrimental and compromise the operational efficiency of the school.


Appendix: 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).



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.


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