A code of behaviour should set out how your board intends to behave as a team for the purpose of efficiently governing the school. It should also provide the basis for monitoring and evaluating your performance as a board.
What a board code of behaviour should include
A typical code of behaviour will feature statements about the ethical conduct of board members setting out that the board makes a commitment to:
- ethical conduct in all areas of its responsibilities and authority
- maintain and understand the values and goals of the school
- protect the special character of the school
- ensure the needs of all students and their achievement is paramount.
- be loyal to the school and its mission
- publicly represent the school in a positive manner
- respect the integrity of the principal and staff
- observe the confidentiality of non-public information acquired in their role as trustees and not disclose to any other persons such information that might be harmful to the school
- be diligent and attend board meetings prepared for full and appropriate participation in decision making
- ensure that individual trustees do not act independently of the board’s decisions
- speak with one voice through its adopted policies and ensure that any disagreements with the board’s stance are resolved within the board
- avoid any conflicts of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility
- recognise the lack of authority in any individual trustee or committee/working party of the board in any interaction with the principal or staff
- recognise that only the chair (working within the board’s agreed chair role description or delegation) or a delegate working under written delegation can speak for the board
- continually self-monitor their individual performance as trustees against policies and any other current board evaluation tools
- be available to undertake appropriate professional development.
There should also be a signed, dated statement from each board member saying:
I, xxxxxxxx, have read and understood this code of behaviour and agree to follow and abide by it to the best of my ability.