Governing Body Code of Conduct
NORHAM HIGH SCHOOL
GOVERNING BODY CODE OF CONDUCT
Whole Governing body
This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from governors for the Governing body to properly carry out its work within the school and the community.
The Governing body has the following three core strategic functions:
- Establishing the strategic direction by:
- Setting the vision, values, and objectives for the school
- Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets
- Meeting statutory duties
- Ensuring accountability by:
- Appointing the Headteacher
- Monitoring progress towards targets
- Performance managing the Headteacher
- Engaging with stakeholders
- Contributing to school self-evaluation
- Ensuring financial probity by:
- Setting the budget
- Monitoring spending against the budget
- Ensuring money is well spent and value for money is obtained
- Ensuring risks to the school are managed
As individual Governors we:
Role and Responsibilities
- Support the 7 Principles of Public Life (originally published by the Nolan Committee).
- Understand the purpose of the Governing body and the role of the Headteacher.
- Accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the Governing body has given us delegated authority to do so.
- Accept that all Governors have equal status, and although appointed by different groups (i.e. parents, staff, the LA, local community, the North Tyneside Learning Trust) our overriding concern will be the welfare of the school.
- Encourage the open expression of views at meetings, but accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the Governing body or its delegated agents. This means we will not speak out against decisions, in public or private, outside of the Governing body.
- 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.
- Will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
- Will consider carefully how our decisions may affect other schools and the local community.
- Will, in making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school, follow the procedures established by the Governing body. We will not bring the school into disrepute or compromise our own integrity as ambassadors for the school in communications, either personal or professional: this includes comments made on social networking sites.
- Will in discharging our duties always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school.
- Support tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths, or those of no faith, cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare our pupils positively for life in modern Britain.
- 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 and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the school’s website.
- In the interests of transparency, we accept that information relating to Governors will be collected and logged on the DfE’s national database of governors (Get information about schools - GIAS).
- Acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant time and energy.
- Will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the Governing body, attend regularly and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups.
- Will get to know our school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
- Will carry out visits to school undertaken within the framework established by the Governing body, in agreement with the Headteacher and staff.
- Will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development.
- Will work together with the school and the LA, to establish a safeguarding culture in our school in line for all our young people.
- Will strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
- Will express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all our communications with other governors.
- Will support the Chair in their role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times.
- Will seek to develop effective working relationships with our Headteacher, staff, parents, the LA, the Learning Trust, other relevant agencies and the community.
- Will observe complete confidentiality regarding proceedings of the Governing body in meetings and from our visits to school as Governors.
- Will observe complete confidentiality when required or asked to do so by the Governing body, especially regarding matters concerning individual staff or pupils.
- Will exercise the greatest prudence if a discussion of a potentially contentious issue affecting the school arises outside the Governing body.
Conflicts of Interest
- Will record any pecuniary or other business interest (including those related to people we are connected with) that we have in connection with the Governing body’s business in the Register of Business Interests which is published on the school’s website.
- Will declare at any Governors’ meeting/committee meeting any pecuniary interest or conflict of interest and withdraw from the meeting if appropriate.
Breach of this Code of Conduct
- Will, if we believe this Code has been breached, raise this issue with the Chair and the Chair will investigate; if we believe it is the Chair that has breached this Code, then another Governor such as the Vice Chair will investigate; the Governing body will only use suspension/removal as a last resort after seeking to resolve any difficulties or disputes in more constructive ways.
- Recognise that removing a governor from office is a last resort, and if the need arises to use the sanction of removing a governor, we will do so by following the Constitution Regulations to ensure a fair and objective process.
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. 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 seek to 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.
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 the public interest.
Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
Adopted by the Governing body of Norham High School in February 2017 and revised in September 2017