Our Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct for Local Governing Body
The principles of good governance are absolutely key to making a difference. The crucial ingredients needed to transform a team of diverse people with a range of skills, experience and knowledge into a highly effective Governing Board are:
- The right people around the table with the right skills, knowledge and experience.
- Understanding of, and clarity around, the role and responsibilities
- Good chairing
- Professional clerking
- Good relationships based on trust
- Knowing the school or academy - the data, staff, parents, pupils and the community
- Commitment to asking challenging questions
- Confidence to have courageous conversations in the interests of the children and young people.
We agree to abide by the Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life:
- Selflessness We will act solely in terms of the public interest.
- Integrity We will avoid placing ourselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence us in our work. We will not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for ourselves, our family, or our friends. We will declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
- Objectivity We will act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
- Accountability We are accountable to the public for our decisions and actions and will submit ourselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
- Openness We will act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information will not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
- Honesty We will be truthful.
- Leadership We will exhibit these principles in our own behaviour. We will actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
In our Church Schools we agree to seek to uphold the Christian foundation of the school.
The Local Governing Body will ensure that Christian values underpin the relationships between governors and others. These core values based on the Beatitudes may be summarised as follows:
- faithfulness and integrity
- dignity and compassion
- humility and gentleness
- truth and justice
- forgiveness and mercy
- purity and holiness
- tolerance and peace
- service and sacrifice
Governors of a Church of England School are committed to upholding and modelling the school’s Christian values along with the requirement to ensure the promotion of British Values.
We will apply the highest standards and will:
- act within our powers
- promote the success of the trust
- exercise independent judgement
- exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
- avoid conflicts of interest
- not accept benefits from third parties
- declare interest in proposed transactions or arrangements
We will focus on our core governance functions:
- ensuring there is clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction (which is underpinned by Christian principles in our Church of England of England Schools)
- holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and the performance management of staff
- overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
and in addition, we will ensure that the voices of stakeholders are heard.
As individual body members, we agree to:
Fulfil our role & responsibilities
- We accept that our role is strategic and so will focus on our core functions rather than involve ourselves in day-to-day management.
- We will fulfil our role and responsibilities as set out in our scheme of delegation.
- We will develop, share and live the ethos and values of our trust.
- We agree to adhere to trust policies and procedures.
- We will work collectively for the benefit of the trust.
- We will be candid but constructive and respectful when holding senior leaders to account.
- We will consider how our decisions may affect the trust and local community.
- We will stand by the decisions that we make as a collective.
- Where decisions and actions conflict with the Seven Principles of Public Life or may place pupils at risk, we will speak up and bring this to the attention of the relevant authorities.
- We will only speak or act on behalf of the trust body if we have the authority to do so.
- When making or responding to complaints, we will follow the established procedures.
- We will strive to uphold the trust’s reputation in our private communications (including on social media).
- We will have regard to our responsibilities under The Equality Act and will work to advance equality of opportunity for all.
- We will act as the local ambassadors for our trust.
Demonstrate our commitment to the role
- We will involve ourselves actively in the work of the body, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, serving on committees or working groups where required.
- We will make every effort to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to.
- We will arrive at meetings prepared, having read all papers in advance, ready to make a positive contribution and observe protocol.
- We will get to know the school/s well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
- We will visit the school/s and when doing so will make arrangements with relevant staff in advance and observe school and body protocol.
- When visiting the school in a personal capacity (for example, as a parent or carer), we will continue to honour the commitments made in this code.
- We will participate in induction training and take responsibility for developing our individual and collective skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis.
Build and maintain relationships
- We will develop effective working relationships with leaders, staff, parents and other relevant stakeholders from our local communities.
- We will champion the voices of our school community and stakeholders.
- We will establish effective working relationships with trustees.
- We will express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all our communications with body members and staff both inside and outside of meetings.
- We will work to create an inclusive environment where each body member’s contributions are valued equally.
- We will support the chair in their role of leading the body and ensuring appropriate conduct.
- We will observe complete confidentiality both inside and outside of school /trust when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern individual staff, pupils or families.
- We will not reveal the details of any local governing body vote.
- We will ensure all confidential papers are held and disposed of appropriately.
- We will maintain confidentiality even after we leave office.
Declare conflicts of interest and be transparent
- We will declare any business, personal or other interest that we have in connection with the body’s business, and these will be recorded in the register of business interests.
- We will also declare any conflict of loyalty at the start of any meeting should the need arise.
- If a conflicted matter arises in a meeting, we will offer to leave the meeting for the duration of the discussion and any subsequent vote.
- We accept that the Register of Business Interests will be published on the school/trust’s website.
- We will act as a local governing body member; not as a representative of any group.
- We accept that in the interests of open governance, our full names, date of appointment, terms of office, roles on the governing body, attendance records, relevant business and pecuniary interests, category of governor/trustee and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the school/trust website.
- We accept that information relating to body members will be collected and recorded on the DfE’s national database (Get information about schools), some of which will be publicly available.
We understand that potential or perceived breaches of this code will be taken seriously and that a breach could lead to formal sanctions.
Signed: [chair of local governing body]