CODE OF CONDUCT FOR GOVERNING BODY
The following is not a definitive statement of responsibilities but is concerned with the common understanding of broad principles by which Governors operate.
The Governors of Juniper Hill School accept the following principles:
- Governors have responsibility for determining, monitoring and keeping under review, the broad policies, plans and procedures within which the School operates. They should recognise that the Head Teacher is responsible for the implementation of policy, day to day management of the School and operation of the curriculum.
- All Governors have equal status and although Governors are appointed by different groups (e.g. Parents, staff and LEA), their central concern should be the welfare of the School as a whole and its pupils.
- Governors have a general duty to act fairly and without prejudice at all times.
- Governors may have a number of different relationships with the School (for example Parent, Teacher, or member of staff, friend or spouse/ partner of any of these). Governors should aim to separate these different relationships and make clear from which perspective they are acting, especially when in discussion outside formal Governing Body meetings. In formal Governing Body meetings all Governors must act only in their capacity as a Governor or make it explicit that they have a conflict of interest.
- In so far as they have, or share, responsibility for the employment of Staff, Governors should fulfil all reasonable expectations of a good employer.
- Governors should consider carefully how their own decisions might affect other Schools.
- Governors should encourage open government and should be seen to do so.
- Governors have no legal authority to act individually except when the Governing Body has given Governors delegated authority to do so.
- Governors name, category of governor, term of office, and any pecuniary interests will be published on the Juniper Hill website.
- Being a Governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy. Careful regard should be given to this when agreeing to serve, or to continue to serve, on the Governing Body of the School.
- All Governors should involve themselves actively in the work of the Governing Body and accept a fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees and working groups.
- Regular attendance at meetings of the full Governing Body, its committees and working groups is essential. Governors should prepare appropriately for meetings so that they can contribute and complete any agreed actions from meetings.
- Governors should know the School well and take all possible opportunities for involvement in School activities.
- Governors have a responsibility to ensure they are fully conversant with Education legislation and DfES guidance for Governors. Newly appointed Governors should make every effort to attend induction training.
- All Governors should allocate at least 30 hours per year to training and development, including attendance at and preparation for Governing Body and committee meetings, and targeted reading.
- Governors should strive to operate as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
- Governors should respect fellow Governors’ diverse views and backgrounds.
- Governors should develop effective working relationships with the Head Teacher, Staff, the Friends of Juniper Hill, the LEA, the local community and other relevant agencies.
- Governors should behave professionally at all times and consider the audience they are talking to e.g. use of teachers full names when talking with parents.
- Unless a communications plan has been agreed, Governors should observe complete confidentiality in all topics relating to the Governing Body, especially in relation to matters concerning individual staff, pupils or parents.
- Although decisions reached at Governors’ meetings are normally made public through minutes or otherwise, the discussions on which decisions were based should be regarded as confidential.
- Governors should exercise the highest degree of prudence when discussion of potentially contentious issues arises outside the Governing Body.
- Governors undertake a School Visit to inform the full Governing Body on aspects of School life or on an agreed topic. The aim is to help all governors understand what is happening.
- Governors have a responsibility to restrict themselves to observation and factual reporting, and should reflect staff views and concerns in a supportive manner
- Governors do not undertake a visit to judge or assess teacher performance and should ensure they do not comment on matters for which they may not be qualified.
Complaints & Concerns
- Governors may be approached by parents or other interested parties regarding the organisation of the school, or concerns about the education given. In all such cases Governors should advise the individual to take up the matter with the classroom teacher in the first instance, then the Head Teacher if required. The Chair of Governors may only become involved where there is a concern that the correct procedure has not been followed.
- Governors may be approached by parents or other interested parties on matters of school policy. In such cases Governor should refer the individual to the Chair of Governors.
- Where there is doubt or uncertainty about the nature of the concern, the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors may choose to handle the issues together.
- If a governor has a concern about the Governing Body, he or she should communicate this to the Chair of Governors for consideration and appropriate action.
- Governors should express their views openly within meetings and then accept collective responsibility for all decisions.
- Governors should only speak or act on behalf of the Governing Body when they have been specifically authorised to do so.
- Governors have a responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of the School. Their actions within the School community should reflect this.