Code of Conduct for Local Governance Committees
The Local Governance Committee has the following core functions:
Monitoring the strategic direction, by:
- Monitoring the vision, values, and objectives for the academy as set by the Trust in collaboration with the Local Governance Committee
- Agreeing the academy improvement strategy with priorities and targets specific to the academy and that align with whole Trust priorities and targets
- Meeting statutory duties where delegated by the Trust.
Ensuring accountability, by:
- Monitoring progress towards targets
- Performance management of the Headteacher/Head of school and monitoring performance management of academy staff as delegated by the Trust
- Engaging with stakeholders
- Contributing to Academy self-evaluation.
Ensuring financial probity, by:
- Setting the budget and making recommendations to the Trust who approve the budget
- Monitoring spending against the budget and reporting to the Trust
- Ensuring value for money is obtained
- Ensuring health and safety and risks to the organisation are managed, reporting any significant issues to the Trust
As individuals we agree to the following:
Role & Responsibilities
- We understand the purpose of the local governance committee and the role of the Headteacher/Head of school.
- We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the local governance committee has given us delegated authority to do so within their delegated powers from the Trust. We will only speak on behalf of the local governance committee when we have been specifically authorised to do so within their delegated powers and will not speak on behalf of the Trust unless given delegated authority to do so.
- We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the local governance committee or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the local governance committee 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 where delegated to do so on behalf of the Trust .
- We will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
- We will consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools or academies.
- We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our academy. Our actions within the academy and the local community will reflect this.
- In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the academy we will follow the procedures established by the Trust.
- We will actively support and challenge the Headteacher/Head of school.
- We acknowledge that accepting office as a local governance committee governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
- We will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the local governance committee, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on any sub-committees established by the local governance committee, as lead governors or portfolio holders or on working groups, where appropriate within our delegated responsibilities.
- We will make every effort to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to attend and accept the committee’s decision if they are not accepted.
- We will make sure that we are prepared for meetings by reading all relevant papers.
- We will get to know the academy well and respond to opportunities to attend academy activities.
- We will visit the academy, with all visits to the academy arranged in advance within the visit framework established by the local governance committee and agreed with the Headteacher/Head of school being mindful of the policy established by the Trust.
- We will seriously consider our individual and collective needs for training and development, and will undertake relevant training.
- We accept that in the interests of open government, our names, terms of office, roles on the local academy committee, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the academy’s website and the Trust’s website.
- In the interests of transparency we accept that information relating to the local governance committee will be collected and logged on the DfE’s national database of governors (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 with other academy committee governors, the clerk to the committee and the Trustees and Members of the Trust.
- We will support the chair in their role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times.
- We will provide reports on our work, as appropriate, to the clerk to disseminate to the local governance committee in a timely manner.
- We are prepared to answer queries from other committee 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/Head of school, staff and parents, other relevant agencies, the community, Trustees and Members.
Conflicts of interest
- We will record any pecuniary, business or other interest (including those related to people we are connected with) that we have in connection with the academy in the Register of Declared 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 Declared Interests will be published on the academy’s website.
- We will also declare any conflict or declared interest at the start of any meeting should the situation arise.
- We will act in the best interests of the academy and Trust as a whole and not as a representative/delegate of any group, even if elected by that group to the academy committee.
- 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 academy/trust business arise outside a local governance committee meeting.
- We will not reveal the details of any local governance committee meeting vote.
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 local governance committee will only use suspension as a last resort after seeking to resolve any difficulties or disputes in more constructive ways. Serious breaches will be escalated to the Trust Board for decisions in regard to removal.
- Should it be the chair that we believe has breached this code, another member, such as the vice chair 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.
Adopted by the local governance committee of Axe Valley Academy on 27th April 2017.