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Chatsworth High School
& Community College

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Code of Conduct

This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from school governors and trustees in order for the governing board to properly carry out its work within the school and the community. School’ includes academies, and it applies to all level of school governance.

The role of the governing board is a strategic one, its key functions are to: set the aims and objectives for the school. As Governors we provide strategic leadership and accountability to the school. The role of governing boards is not to get involved in operational matters, but rather to scrutinise the data and ask the right questions.

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:

  • Agreeing/Approving the budget
  • Monitoring spending against the budget
  • Ensuring value for money is obtained
  • Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed

As individuals on the board we agree to the following:

Role & Responsibilities 

  • We understand the purpose of the board and the role of the headteacher.
  • We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the 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 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 Chatsworth Complaints Policy established by the governing board.
  • We will actively support and challenge the Headteacher.

Commitment 

  • 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 governing board, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on sub-committees or working groups.
  • We will make full efforts to attend all relevant 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, and undertaken within the framework established by the governing board and agreed with the Headteacher.
  • As part of our personal CPL, we will complete training that is relevant to the GB as a whole (i.e. safeguarding) & also relevant to our role on specific sub-committees (i.e. finance & budgeting, RPI's, pupil progress monitoring)
  • We accept that in the interests of open government, our names, terms of office, roles on the governing board, category of governor & 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 (Edubase).

Relationships 

  • 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 Headteacher, staff and parents, the Chatsworth Multi-Academy Trust, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community.

Confidentiality 

  • 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.

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 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.
  • Any governor failing to provide information to enable the governing board to fulfil their responsibility to publish this information will be in breach of the code of conduct, and as a result be bringing the governing board into disrepute. In such cases the governing board should consider suspending the governor in question.

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/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 governor, such as the vice chair will investigate.

Meetings Conduct

Preparation

  • We will ensure that all documents are read before the meeting.
  • We will submit 'Any Other Business' at least 2 days before the meeting.
  • We will prepare questions and positive comments. (Write them down).
  • We will be aware the Terms of Reference for sub committees.
  • We will be on time for meetings.

Participation.

  • We will demonstrate active listening & respect for other's views.
  • We will observe meetings protocols – signal to the chair that you want to speak.
  • Accept a share of the responsibility for making the meeting work.
  • We will challenge constructively where appropriate.
  • We will ask for more information, explanation or clarification if there is something we do not understand or wish to challenge.
  • We will contribute to discussions.

Reflection

  • We will review the meeting & reflect upon the level of useful contribution. 
  • We will ensure that action points are followed up promptly

The Seven Principles of Public Life (Published by The Committee on Standards in Public Life in October 1994. The committee was chaired by Lord Nolan, and was tasked with making recommendations to improve standards of behaviour in public life.Holders of public office are expected to uphold the following principles).

Selflessness - To 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 - To 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 - To be accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness - To 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 - To 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 - To promote and support these principles by leadership and example.