Code of Conduct for Governors

The governor's code of conduct is the document that lays out the behaviours expected of members of our governing body. It is, of necessity, an extensive document that details the obligations of the governing body in its role of overseeing the education of the pupils of Broad Oak Primary School. It also explains why the governors have to behave in the way they do to preserve the confidentiality of all stakeholders whilst dealing with the needs of indivduals.

Broad Oak County Primary School

Code Of Conduct For Governors

Background

This Code of Conduct is to be used as a basis for clarifying the behaviour and conduct expected of all school governors. Whilst recognising that every governing body works and operates differently according to the type of school there is nevertheless a general expectation of the standard of behaviour that is acceptable. This Code of Conduct seeks to articulate that expectation in a framework that can be easily understood by all governors.

There is no statutory framework for enforcing such a Code of Conduct or for dealing with situations where behaviour of governors is unacceptable. In adopting this Code of Conduct governing bodies are setting their own standards in behaviour and it is hoped that governors will be mindful and respectful of this Code of Conduct in all their actions.

Aims and Standards

  • People who become school governors make a positive contribution by giving of their time and bringing their experience to help the school provide the best possible education for each of its pupils by enabling staff and pupils to reach the highest standards of achievement.

  • All governors are expected to contribute to the development of the school; its strategic framework; determining the character, aims, ethos and values of the school; and developing its policies.

  • Governors need to have a clear understanding of the role of the head teacher and the senior leadership team which, through their day to day organisation and management of the school, are to deliver the curriculum through the implementation of policies, plans and procedures agreed by the governing body.

  • Governors have responsibility for determining, monitoring and keeping under review the broad policies, plans and procedures within which the school operates.

  • We have no legal authority to act individually, except when the governing body has given us delegated authority to do so

  • Governors are expected to behave as "critical friends" to the school at all times. This includes monitoring and evaluating the work of the school; offering support, constructive advice, a sounding board for ideas, a second opinion on proposals and help where needed. This will also include challenging and asking questions of the head teacher and senior leadership team.

  • The governing body is accountable to the community: to those who established and fund the school and to parents and the wider community for the way it carries out its functions. In the longer term the governing body is also accountable to the pupils of the school.

  • The governing body acts at all times in accordance with the requirements laid down in Acts of Parliament and Regulations, and on matters where regulations do not exist, then the governing body as a whole shall decide.

  • The governing body acts at all times fairly, without prejudice, and in accordance with the principles laid down by the Committee on Standard in Public Life ("Nolan Committee"), which are set out later in this Code of Conduct.

  • The governing body is to support the aims and objectives of the school and safeguard the interests of the school and the students in the wider community.

  • The governing body should support and promote appropriate partnership and collaboration with other schools in the area and Local Authority especially in the current climate.

  • The aim of the code, therefore, is to provide governors with a clearer understanding of their role and provide a framework within which they will be able to carry out their duties effectively.

    Individual Responsibility

  • Governors acknowledge that the office of governor involves a commitment of time and energy to the role and that they should become actively involved in the work of the governing body, attending meetings regularly and accepting a fair share of responsibility, including serving on committees and working groups, and visiting the school.

  • Governors should accept the necessity of addressing individual and collective needs for training and development, and should corporately monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the governing body on a regular basis.

  • Governors should ensure they are prepared for meetings by reading all papers beforehand.

  • Governors should attend induction and other relevant training courses in order to aid their development.

  • Governors are to be encouraged to express their views openly within meetings.

  • Governors' decisions should always take account of the views of staff, parents, pupils, community and other interested parties and governors will need to be mindful of how their decisions may affect all interested stakeholders.

  • Governors have the right to request any matters discussed at meetings to be recorded in the minutes, subject to confidentiality.

  • Governors will be required to declare any personal or financial conflict of interest arising from a matter before the governors or from any other aspect of governorship and should not use their position as governor to benefit him/herself or other individuals or agencies.

  • When governors are unable to attend meetings they should ensure that the chair and clerk to the governors is notified in advance of the meeting.

  • Governors should be aware of the procedures established by the governing body for responding to criticism or complaint relating to the school.

  • Governors should never speak out against decisions, in public or in private, outside the governing body

    Collective Responsibility

  • The governing body is a corporate entity and acts as a group. No one category of governor has any right to act individually, except when the governing body has given delegated authority to do so (or when the Chair [or Vice-Chair] has to take urgent action).

  • The strength of a governing body lies in the talents and commitment of its members, and in their ability to work together as a team for the good of the school. Every governor has an equal right to participate and to state his or her own views. No governor has the right to expect preferential treatment because of his or her status on this or any other body or group.

  • Governors should recognise and support the head teacher with his/her responsibilities for the day-to-day internal organisation, management and control of the school and for advising on, and implementing, the governing body's strategic framework

  • Governors are elected or appointed by different groups - including parents, teachers, staff and the LEA. Although chosen by different groups each governor has a responsibility to make up his/her own mind about issues that are considered by the governing body. Once decisions are made by the governing body (or under the delegated authority of the governing body), individual governors are bound by them and are expected to support and abide by them.

  • Governors have a responsibility to act fairly and without prejudice at all times, and in so far as they have responsibilities for staff, will fulfil all that is expected of a good employer. Concerns about individual members of staff will be dealt with through the head teacher and not aired publicly.

  • Governors have a duty to get to know the school and are encouraged to involve themselves in school activities. Visits to the school will be undertaken within the framework established by the governing body and agreed with the headteacher.

  • Governors are accountable to the community in the way they carry out their functions.

    Relationships

  • Governors should operate as a team and always in the best interests of the school.

  • Governors should recognise that each member of the governing body has equal status irrespective of their appointing or electing body (i.e. parents, staff, LA, diocese or the governing body) unless particular responsibilities are conferred on them by the full governing body.

  • Governors should listen to and respect the views of others and be loyal to collective decisions made by the governing body.

  • Governors should develop effective working relationships with the head teacher, senior management team, teachers, support staff, parents, LA and other relevant agencies where appropriate.

  • In exceptional circumstances if the need arises, the governing body may use the sanction of suspending or removing a governor follow laid down procedural regulations so as to ensure a fair and objective process. We also recognise that to suspend or remove a governor from office is a last resort and that all other avenues to solve difficulties

    Confidentiality

  • The governing body encourages open governance, and should be seen to be doing so at all times.

  • The governing body as a whole decides if an item for discussion is confidential and all governors are expected to abide by that decision. Individual governors are expected to respect that confidentiality and not disclose information deemed as confidential in any other forum. All discussion in reaching decisions should remain confidential to those present at the meeting.

  • All reports to the governing body and its committees are public documents after the meeting has considered them and must be available at the school to anyone wishing to view them unless the governing body specifically decides they are confidential.

  • Only those specifically authorised will speak or act on behalf of the governing body.

  • Individual governors should observe complete confidentiality in all matters discussed at governing body meetings especially in relation to matters concerning staff or pupils and also any other matters agreed by the governing body. Failure to comply can lead to disciplinary action.

 

Principles of Public Life (from the Second Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life or "Nolan Committee")

Governors hold a public office and are expected to abide at all times by the principles governing those in public life. These principles apply at all times and should also guide the work and operation of the governing body.

These principles are:

Selflessness

Holders of public office should take all 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 their friends or a specific stakeholder at the expense of all stakeholders.

(In the case of school governors this means not seeking to pursue a policy or course of action solely because it benefits family or friends or one specific stakeholder of the school and recognising that the reason for holding office is for the benefit of all the children at the school not one particular group in isolation. In cases where a governor has a pecuniary or direct interest they should declare this, withdraw from the meeting and not take part in the decision making process).

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 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 the public office should be as open as possible about 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.

(Governing bodies should be mindful of the reasons for determining information as confidential in cases other than when individuals are named or directly affected).

Honesty

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 public interest.

Leadership

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

The Governing Body of Broad Oak Primary School first adopted this Code of Conduct on the 16th March 2011. This code will be reviewed annually. Latest review date: 15th September 2016 when this version was adopted by the full governing body.

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