Code of Conduct
This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from trustees in order for the Board to properly carry out its work within the Trust. ‘School’ includes academies, and the principles for conduct adopted here should apply to all level of school governance.
Core Strategic Functions
Establishing the strategic direction, by:
- Setting the vision, values, and objectives for the Trust
- Agreeing each school’s improvement strategies with priorities and targets
- Meeting statutory duties
Ensuring accountability, by:
- Appointing the Executive Headteacher
- Monitoring progress towards targets of all schools
- Performance managing the Executive Headteacher
- Engaging with stakeholders
- Contributing to self-evaluation
Ensuring financial probity, by:
- Setting the budget for the Trust
- Monitoring spending against the budget
- Ensuring value for money is obtained
- Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed
Roles & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the Board and the role of the Executive Headteacher.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually regarding Trust business, except when the Board has given us delegated authority to do so.
- We will only speak on behalf of the Board when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
- We will only communicate with members of school staff regarding responsibilities and duties delegated to us by the Board. Any other communications should be through the Chair.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the Board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the 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 schools. 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 Executive Headteacher.
- 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 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 consider seriously our individual and collective needs for 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 Board, attendance records, relevant business and pecuniary interests, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the Trust’s website.
- 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.
- 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 governors 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 Executive Headteacher, 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 school business arise outside a Board meeting.
- We will not reveal the details of any Board 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 the 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 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 Trust.
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 Trustee, such as the vice chair will investigate.