The Bishop Harvey Goodwin (VA) C of E Primary School

“Bonum Vincit Et Amor Dei” Good Wins Within the love of God


At The Bishop Harvey Goodwin School, we have a full Governing Body which is then divided into two sub committees (this has been reduced from 3 sub committees as of July 2023). Whilst each committee has set areas of school to focus on, our governors are supported to gain the bigger picture of school through reading minutes of each committee and monitoring school aspects.


The Governors at our school have three roles;


1. Ensuring the clarity of vision, purpose and values and strategic direction of our school


2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the performance of the school and its pupils and the performance of staff


3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure that its money is well spent. They also secure Safeguarding and Prevent.


In addition to the above roles the Governors have the specific task of appointing the Headteacher, supporting their well being, attending meetings and undertaking relevant training. 


Diversity in our Governors is important to us as we wish to reflect the community we serve. We seek to ensure we have a diverse board of Governors that also have the right skill set to move the school strategically forward successfully. 



 This code of practice is concerned with the common understanding of broad principles by which governors operate and not a definitive statement of responsibilities. It has been produced collaboratively with Governors’ Voice, Cumbria LA, Carlisle Diocesan Board of Education and the professional associations.

The Governors of this school initially accepted and confirmed their commitment to this Code of Practice in February 2003.   This code is re-affirmed at the first Governing Body meeting of each academic year.



An effective Governing Body must have a clear sense of purpose and direction for its school.  The Governing Body is accountable to the school community and the wider community for the effectiveness of the school.  In its work the Governing Body collaborates with and seeks information from the Headteacher and staff, who are responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the school. The Clerk needs to work effectively with the Chair of Governors, the other Governors and the Headteacher to support the Governing Body. The Clerk is accountable to the Governing Body.



The aims of the Governing Body are to:

  • Support the school in meeting its statutory responsibility to provide the best possible education for each individual pupil
  • Exercise its responsibility of care for the well-being and morale of all the staff as employees
  • Be fully accountable to those who established and fund the school and also to parents and the wider community for the way in which it carries out its functions as a Governing Body
  • Act at all times in accordance with the requirements laid down in Acts of Parliament, statutory regulations and the school’s instruments and articles of government
  • Maintain and develop the Christian ethos and reputation of the school
  • Act with due regard for the safeguarding of children in other schools in supporting the activities of our own particular school
  • Ensure that the school’s interests are properly represented at local level and at national level wherever and whenever appropriate


Roles and Functions

  • All governors have equal status whether they are appointed or elected; they represent the interests of the community as a whole rather than the interests of any specific group.   The foundation of the school is protected and assured by the foundation governors
  • The Governing Body has an overall responsibility for school effectiveness; this involves determining, monitoring and reviewing the broad policies, plans and procedures within which the school operates as well as the outcomes of its activities
  • The Headteacher, and not the Governing Body, is responsible for the implementation of agreed policy, the day-to-day leadership and management of the school and the operation of the curriculum
  • As a corporate body, with a collective responsibility, the Governing Body has powers to delegate responsibility to individual governors, to committees and/or to the Headteacher: to this end, it must have a clear and agreed Scheme of Delegation: No Governor, other than the Chair of Governors, may act alone without the direct permission of the Governing Body
  • To inform their work, governors should take all possible opportunities to learn about the school and to participate in school activities
  • All visits to school, for whatever purpose, should be undertaken within a framework which has been established by the Governing Body and agreed by the Headteacher
  • Our Governing Body has a direct responsibility for the employment of staff and their well-being and therefore must fulfil all reasonable expectations of a good employer
  • The Governing Body should develop effective working relationships with the community and parent groups, the Diocesan Board of Education, the LA and other relevant agencies
  • The Governing Body should establish a clear procedure through which concerns and complaints can be addressed
  • The Governing Body should, on a regular basis, monitor and evaluate its own effectiveness as a corporate body


Confidentiality and Conduct

  • The Governing Body should encourage open governance and should be seen to do so whilst respecting the need for absolute confidentiality when appropriate
  • The Governing Body has a general duty to act fairly and without prejudice at all times
  • The Governing Body should seek to operate as a team, effectively developing constructive working relationships using the skills and expertise of individual members
  • The Governing Body should encourage the open expression of views within the meeting
  • All individual governors must accept all collective decisions of the Governing Body and must uphold them
  • The discussion of governors in reaching these decisions is confidential to the meeting
  • The Governing Body must determine which items of business are confidential, particularly items related to staff and this binds pupils and all members of the Governing Body.  They must exercise a high degree of prudence when potentially contentious issues come up in discussions outside the Governing Body
  • In the case of items that are confidential to a particular committee or a nominated governor, all members of the Governing Body must recognise that without this confidentiality the fair following of procedures will be prejudiced
  • With the exception of any items deemed to be confidential, the Governing Body will make its decisions public through its minutes and reports
  • Governors should only speak or act on behalf of the Governing Body when they have been specifically authorised to do so. The Chair, Vice-Chair (or Assistant Vice-Chair in her absence) and Headteacher have these delegated powers.


Mrs V Patrick - Jones

Chair of Governors

Reviewed annually


The Bishop Harvey Goodwin School

Code of Conduct for School Governing Body

This code sets out the expectations on and commitment required from school governors in order for the governing body to properly carry out its work within the school and the community.


The governing board has the following core strategic functions:

Establishing the strategic direction, by:

  • Protecting the Christian foundation of the school
  • Setting the vision, values, and objectives for the school
  • Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets
  • Meeting statutory duties

Ensuring accountability, by:

  • Appointing the headteacher
  • Monitoring progress towards targets
  • Performance managing the headteacher
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Contributing to school self-evaluation

Ensuring financial probity, by:

  • Setting the budget
  • Monitoring spending against the budget
  • Ensuring value for money is obtained
  • Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed


As individuals on the board we agree to the following:

Role & Responsibilities  

  • We understand the purpose of the board and the role of the headteacher.
  • We accept that we have no legal authority to act individually, except when the board has given us delegated authority to do so, and therefore we will only speak on behalf of the governing board when we have been specifically authorised to do so.
  • We accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the governing board meeting.
  • We have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice, and in so far as we have responsibility for staff, we will fulfil all that is expected of a good employer.
  • We will encourage open government and will act appropriately.
  • We will consider carefully how our decisions may affect the community and other schools. We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school. Our actions within the school and the local community will reflect this.
  • In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school we will follow the procedures established by the governing board.
  • We will actively support and challenge the headteacher.



  • We acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
  • We will each involve ourselves actively in the work of the governing board, and accept our fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups.
  • We will make full efforts to attend all meetings and where we cannot attend explain in advance why we are unable to.
  • We will get to know the school well and respond to opportunities to involve ourselves in school activities.
  • We will visit the school, with all visits to school arranged in advance with the staff and undertaken within the framework established by the governing board and agreed with the headteacher.
  • We will consider seriously our individual and collective needs for training and development, and will undertake relevant training
  • We accept that in the interests of open government, our names, terms of office, roles on the governing body, category of governor and the body responsible for appointing us will be published on the school’s website.



  • We will strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
  • We will express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all our communications with other governors.
  • We will support the chair in their role of ensuring appropriate conduct both at meetings and at all times.
  • We are prepared to answer queries from other governors in relation to delegated functions and take into account any concerns expressed, and we will acknowledge the time, effort and skills that have been committed to the delegated function by those involved.
  • We will seek to develop effective working relationships with the headteacher, staff and parents, the local authority and other relevant agencies and the community.



  • We will observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern specific members of staff or pupils, both inside or outside school
  • We will exercise the greatest prudence at all times when discussions regarding school business arise outside a governing board meeting.
  • We will not reveal the details of any governing board vote.


Conflicts of interest

  • We will always be mindful of our responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of our school. Our actions within the school and the local community will reflect this.
  • In making or responding to criticism or complaints affecting the school we will follow the procedures established by the governing board.
  • We will actively support and challenge the headteacher.


Adopted by the governing board of The Bishop Harvey Goodwin School