Model code of conduct

Effective boards clearly set out what they expect of members, particularly when they first join. All governing boards should adopt a code of conduct which details the behaviour and professional standards required for the governing board to carry out its work.

The NGA model code of conduct is suitable for boards in all types of school or trust. However, the model code is designed to act as a template and should be adapted to reflect:

  • your specific governing board and school structure

  • your board’s delegated responsibilities

  • policies and procedures that your individual school or trust must follow; the code of conduct should not contradict other constitutional documents such as articles of association

Model code of conduct

Guide to the NGA model code of conduct

The accompanying guide to the model code of conduct has been developed to support adoption and effective use of a code of conduct. The guide covers:

  • the principles of the NGA model code of conduct

  • using a code of conduct to support effective teamwork

  • tailoring the NGA model code of conduct

  • adopting and reviewing a code of conduct

About the 2020 update

The NGA model code of conduct has been refreshed for 2020. However, the core content and substance are unchanged from 2019. Updates include:

  • The model code of conduct has been reformatted to allow for easier adaptation.

  • The code continues to draw upon Nolan’s principles of public life but has been clarified to ensure accessibility for all levels of governance.

  • The guide which accompanies the model code is new for 2020 and includes suggestions to help boards use their code of conduct to support teamwork and development.

Further reading

NGA has a range of guidance available that is suitable for boards adopting a code of conduct or working on improving their effectiveness. Relevant guidance includes:

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