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Policies & procedures

Model governing board code of conduct

Use and adapt our model code of conduct to set out the behaviour and professional standards required of governors and trustees.

Tools & templates

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.

Boards should review and approve their code of conduct annually, normally at the first meeting of the autumn term. We recommend that boards publish their code of conduct on their school/trust website.

There are two distinct versions of the NGA model code of conduct: for maintained schools and academy trusts. They should be adapted to reflect relevant policies and your specific context.

Our model code of conduct covers:

  • the Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life
  • how governors and trustees fulfil their role and responsibilities
  • expected commitment to the role
  • building and maintaining relationships
  • respecting confidentiality
  • declaring confidentiality

How to use your code of conduct

  • When recruiting new volunteers, refer candidates to your code of conduct to ensure that they have a good understanding of expectations before being appointed.
  • New board members should agree to follow your code of conduct on being appointed, as part of your induction programme.
  • Chairs may also use their code of conduct to support annual evaluation discussions with individual governors/trustees.

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