Code of conduct for academy and maintained school governors (2018)

The seven principles of public life

In 1994, at the request of the Prime Minister, the Nolan Committee set out seven principles of public life, which require public servants, such as School Governors, to ensure the highest standards of propriety in their public life. These principles provide the context for the basis of this Code of Conduct. The 7 principles are as follows:

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

This model Code of Conduct is offered as a template to Governing Bodies of Academy and Maintained schools and unless stated otherwise is generic to Academy and Maintained schools.


General Principles

  1. We will strive to ensure that all our decisions are focused upon what is in the best interests of the students and the School, and be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of the School.
  2. We recognise that the Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of policy, day-to-day management of the School and the implementation of the curriculum and respect their role.
  3. We accept that all Governors have equal status and a common purpose.
  4. We have no legal authority to act individually, except where the Governing Body has given us delegated authority to do so, and observe collective responsibility by supporting the corporate decisions of the Governing Body.
  5. We have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice in all areas of our work, and to demonstrate a commitment to equality of opportunity in principle, policy and practice.
  6. We have a duty to be mindful of any individual conflict of interest and ensure that we act in accordance with regulation and in a fair and objective manner.
  7. We will encourage open government and will observe proper protocols and procedures to achieve this.
  8. We will consider carefully how our decisions may affect other schools, parents, students and the wider community.
  9. We will, where appropriate, seek and consider information, advice and guidance to inform our decision-making.
  10. We will abide by and actively encourage all policies and practices that safeguard and promote the welfare of students and young people.



  • 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 Body, attend meetings regularly, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees and working groups.
  • We will get to know the School well and take opportunities to involve ourselves in the life of the School.
  • When we visit the School on Governing Body business we will agree visits in advance, ensure they have an agreed focus and comply with any Governor’s visit policy and protocols the Governing Body has adopted.
  • We will seek and participate in appropriate training and development activities and ensure that we develop and maintain our skills and knowledge.
  • (Academies only) If acting as directors, we will not go beyond our duties or act outside of the powers of authority conveyed on us, and acknowledge that were we to do so we could be held liable to the School and/or third parties.
  • (Academies only) If acting as trustees on the Trust Body, we accept that we may be held responsible up to the limit in the Articles of Association, were the School to go bankrupt.



  • We will strive to work cooperatively as a team, expressing views openly, courteously and respectfully.
  • We will seek to develop effective working relationships with the Headteacher, staff, parents, local authority and other relevant agencies and the wider community.
  • In so far as we have direct or delegated responsibility for staffing matters we will strive to fulfil all reasonable expectations of a good employer.



  • We will observe complete confidentiality in any matters where the Governing Body decides that it is necessary and in accordance with good governance, and specifically in respect of complaints and similar processes in order not to taint any investigation.
  • We will exercise caution if a discussion of a potentially contentious issue affecting the School arises outside the Governing Body.



  • We will encourage the open expression of views at meetings.
  • We will only speak or act on behalf of the Governing Body when we have been specifically authorised to do so, although we recognise the need for Chairs to act on behalf of the Governing Body in urgent situations under the rules and protocols applying to Chair’s Action. We will ensure that our behaviour and conduct outside the Governing Body, both personally and within our communities, will not bring the School into disrepute.


Suspension and Removal

  • Suspension is considered as a last resort after seeking to resolve any difficulties or disputes in more constructive ways. However, we understand that any allegation of a material breach of this Code of Practice by any Governor shall be raised at a meeting of the Governing Body, and, if agreed as substantiated by a majority of Governors, shall be minuted and can lead to consideration of suspension from the Governing Body.

The Governing Body of Chessington Community College adopted this Code of Conduct on 19 September 2012 and it will be reviewed annually thereafter at the first meeting of the year.



Code of Conduct for Academy and Maintained School Governors

As a member of the Governing Body I will always have the well-being of the students and the reputation of the School at heart; I will do all I can to be an ambassador for the School, publicly supporting its aims, values and ethos; I will never say or do anything publicly that would embarrass the School, the Governing Body, the Headteacher or staff.

Governor/Associate Member Name in Print:







Chessington School, Garrison Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2JS

Chessington School is a co-educational, non-selective, secondary school providing excellence in education for pupils aged 11 to 16.

Everyone valued • Every day an opportunity • Every moment focused on success

Everyone valued
Every day an opportunity
Every moment focused on success

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