- The purpose of the Code is to enable individual governors to have a clearer understanding of their role.
- People who become school governors make a positive contribution by giving time and bringing their experience to help with the school improvement.
- This Code has been agreed by the Oxfordshire Governors’ Association (OGA) and the Oxfordshire Heads’ associations (OSSHTA, OPHTA, OASSH and Nursery Head teachers)
Individual Governors should:
- Support the aims and objectives of the school and safeguard the interests of the school and its students in the wider community;
- Support and promote appropriate partnership and collaboration with other schools in the area, Oxfordshire County Council and the Diocese of Oxford;
- Work co-operatively with other governors in the best interests of the school and attend meetings of the full governing body and committees regularly;
- Support the work of the governing body by reading paperwork relevant to their meetings and taking an active interest in the life of the school;
- Acknowledge that differences of opinion may arise in discussion of issues, but, when a majority decision of the governing body prevails, it should be accepted. Governors should not dissociate themselves from decisions of the governing body. It is not intended that this should necessarily stifle wider debate but, dissent must not risk damaging the reputation or authority of the governing body;
- Base his or her view on matters before the governing body on an impartial assessment of the available facts;
- Take due account of views of parents, pupils, staff and other interested parties;
- Acknowledge that the day-to-day management of the school and implementation of plans and policies of the governing body is the responsibility of the head teacher and other senior managers of the school;
- Understand that an individual governor has the right, only when the Chair (or Vice Chair if the Chair is absent) and governing body have given their agreement, to make statements or express opinions on behalf of the governors.
- Governors should be encouraged to feedback information about governing body decisions (but not individual views) to those who elected or appointed them.
- Resist any temptation or outside pressure to use the position of governor to benefit himself or herself or other individuals or agencies;
- Declare openly and immediately any personal conflict of interest arising from a matter before the governors or from any other aspect of governorship. (Complete a Declaration of Interest annually);
- Respect the confidentiality of those items of business which the governing body decides from time to time should remain confidential;
- Take or seek opportunities to enhance her or his effectiveness as a governor, through participation in training and development programmes and by increasing his or her own knowledge of the school;
- Have regard to her or his broader responsibilities as a governor of a public institution, including the need to ensure public accountability for the actions of the governing body.
The Seven Principles of Public Life:
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.