Model Code of Conduct - 2017

The National Governance Association has for a number of years recommended that governing boards adopt a code of conduct which sets out the purpose of the governing body and describes the appropriate relationship between individual governors/trustees/academy committee members, the whole governing board and the executive leaders. We recommend that the code should be thoroughly discussed so that the whole governing board has ownership of it, and, once it has been adopted, the governors/trustees/academy committee members should be asked to review and agree it, on an annual basis ideally at the first meeting in the autumn term.

The NGA model has been updated for the 2017/18 academic year ahead. You can download this today but do remember to tailor it to reflect your specific governing board and school structure.

Unlike previous versions we have not produced separate codes for academies and maintained schools, but instead focused on one code that can be used and easily tailored in any school governance setting to be adopted by all.

The NGA model code of conduct is anchored in the Seven Nolan 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.

If you have any comments or questions on the Code, please send them to

Download the Code of Conduct - Word