The governing board of Tithe Barn Primary School is dedicated to working in partnership with the head teacher and school team to provide the best possible education for our children. The Governing Board is an elected or co-opted group of teachers, parents, local authority and community members that devise policy for the school and manage school issues such as budget and code of conduct.
Governors do not get involved in the day-to-day running of the school. The governor’s role is that of a ‘critical friend’, asking challenging questions and providing support in those areas in which they have particular expertise.
In order to be effective in their role, governors are expected to attend training sessions, read all relevant documentation and attend the full governing body meetings. Depending on the individual skill set we also work on one or more committees.
Teaching and Learning Committee
Tithe Barn Primary School Governors’ Charter
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE GOVERNING BOARD
The following is not a definitive statement of responsibilities but is concerned with the common understanding of broad principles by which the governing board and individual governors will operate.
Governors of Tithe Barn Primary School accept the following principles:-
Role & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the governing board and the role of the Headteacher or principal.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the governing board has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the governing board when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the governing board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing board meeting.
- 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 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 board.
- We will actively support and challenge the headteacher.
- We will accept and respect the difference in roles between the board and staff, ensuring that we work collectively for the benefit of the organisation;
- We will 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;
- We agree to adhere to the school’s rules and polices and the procedures of the governing board as set out by the relevant governing documents and law
- When formally speaking or writing in our governing role we will ensure our comments reflect current organisational policy even if they might be different to our personal views;
- when communicating in our private capacity (including on social media) we will be mindful of and strive to uphold the reputation of the organisation
- We acknowledge that accepting office as a governor/trustee involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
- We will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the governing board, 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 why we are unable to.
- We will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
- We will visit the school, with all visits to school arranged in advance with the headteacher/principal and undertaken within the framework established by the governing board and agreed with the headteacher/principal.
- We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for induction, training and development, and will undertake relevant training.
- We accept that in the interests of open government, our full names, date of appointment, terms of office, roles on the governing board, 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, trustees and academy committee members will be collected and logged on the DfE national database of governors (currently Get Information About Schools).
- 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, trustees, the clerk to the governing board and school staff both in and outside of meetings.
- 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 board 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.
- We will seek to develop effective working relationships with the headteacher/principal, staff and parents, the local authority/the trust 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 board meeting.
- We will not reveal the details of any governing board vote.
- We will ensure all confidential papers are held and disposed of appropriately.
Conflicts of interest
- We 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 board’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. We accept that the Register of Business Interests will be published on the school’s/trust’s website.
- We will also declare any conflict of loyalty at the start of any meeting should the situation arise.
- We will 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 board.
Ceasing to be a governor
- We understand that the requirements relating to confidentiality will continue to apply after a governor 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 board will only use suspension or 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 board member, such as the vice chair will investigate.
Governors are considered to be holders of public office, and as such should have regard to the Nolan Principles: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life
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.
This Code of Conduct is based on the NGA Code of Conduct and can be found in full at http://www.nga.org.uk/Guidance/Legislation,policies-and-procedures/Model-Policies/Code-of-Practice.aspx
Adopted by the governing board of [Tithe Barn Primary School on 15th October 2019
Governors Code of Conduct
Developing Cheerful, Confident Achievers
- Respect the professional expertise of the Headteacher and staff, and the fact that responsibility for the day to day running of the School rests with the Headteacher;
- Give sufficient notice of meetings and distribute paperwork to all governors in good time
- Ensure that meetings are chaired effectively, so that the Chair
- Keeps to the agenda
- Paces the meeting so that time is given to each matter in proportion to its importance
- Draws on all members for contribution
- Keeps discussion to the point
- Ensure that accurate minutes are produced promptly following meetings
- Encourage all Governors to contribute equally
- Support the training and development needs of all Governors
- Ensure that its decision-making processes are transparent
- The Headteacher will always endeavour to
- Respect Governors as volunteers who bring additional skills, experiences and perspectives, and value their contribution
- Work openly with the Governing Body and provide clear, concise and relevant information on which to base decisions
- Be approachable and accept Governors’ role of ‘critical friend’
- Enable all Governors to become involved in the life of the School
- Contribute to the induction, training and development of Governors
- Expectations of individual Governors are that they will
- Act and take decisions that are in the best interests of the School and not those of self, individuals or groups
- Regularly attend meetings, including full Governing Body meetings and relevant Committee/Working Party meetings, and play an active part
- Where this is impossible, send apologies to the Chair of Governors or Chair of the relevant Committee or Working Party
- Be prepared to contribute personal skills through involving themselves in the work of appropriate Committees and/or Working Parties
- Prepare for meetings so that they are well informed, having as a minimum read all the papers sent out with the agenda
- Respect the points of view of other Governors even where these differ from their own
- Raise concerns with the Headteacher between meetings in a positive and constructive way
- Respect confidentiality and support corporate decisions even where they go against personal opinions
- Respect the guidelines laid down for Governor visits to School
- Demonstrate their commitment by getting to know the School and becoming involved in School life and activities
- Support the School with parents and in the community
- Take a proactive approach to their own training and development.
We will also be publishing relevent information from the governing body meetings. If you would like to contact our chair of governors please email firstname.lastname@example.org