Local Governing Body Code of Conduct
Adopted by the Rye Academy Trust Board of Trustees on 10th November 2016.
This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from members in order for the Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) to discharge their duties effectively.
The local governing body has the following core strategic functions:
Establishing the strategic direction, by:
- Setting the vision, values, and objectives for the school(s)
- Agreeing school improvement strategies with priorities and targets
- Formulating policy
- Meeting statutory duties
Ensuring accountability, by:
- Monitoring progress towards targets
- Performance managing the head of school
- Engaging with stakeholders
- Contributing to school(s) self-evaluation
As members of the local governing body we agree to the following:
Role & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the LGB and the role of the head of school.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the LGB has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the LGB when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the LGB or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside meetings.
- 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 trust’s family of schools and the wider community.
- We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our trust/family of schools. Our actions within the trust, school(s) and the local community will reflect this.
- In making or responding to criticism or complaints we will follow the procedures established by the trust.
- We will actively support and challenge the head of school.
- 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 LGB and the school(s) 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(s) well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
- We will visit the school(s), with all visits arranged in advance with the relevant authority and undertaken within the framework established by the trust.
- 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, role(s) on the LGB, attendance records, relevant business and pecuniary interests, will be published on the school(s)/trust website.
- In the interests of transparency we accept that information relating to governors will be collected and logged on the DfE’s national database (Edubase).
- 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.
- 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 LGB 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 head of school and senior school leaders, 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 LGB business arise outside a meeting.
- We will not reveal the details of any vote.
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 LGB 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/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 and trust as a whole and not as a representative of any group.
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 trust will only use suspension/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 member will investigate.
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.