Response to the Charity Commission Code
Prepared by The Nominations Committee of the RGS Board of Governors and approved by the Governors’ Main Board
Updated December 2021
“The Charity Governance Code represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. We encourage all charities to read, follow and apply it if proportionate to their circumstances. And if you sign up to the code, go public about it on your website or your annual report.”
The Charity Governance Code p.10
Our appraisal of the way in which RGS Board meets the standards advocated in the Code:
Board members understand the Charity’s operating environment, obligations and duties, and discharge their responsibility for ensuring these are fulfilled. The Board determines the organisation’s strategy, and promotes its aims and objectives by monitoring performance. Monitoring by all Board members is enabled by regular briefings from the Chairs of the Main Board, the three Sub-Committees, and the Director of Finance and Operations.
For the future: identify areas for improvement in safeguarding the organisation’s aims, through the structured review of the organisation’s strategy and performance effectiveness.
The whole Board determines the Charity’s vision and aims, advised by the executive Strategy Group, which is also responsible for implementing them through the Ten Year Strategic Plan. The Board ensures that the ethos and values of the charity are promoted through the RGSW Code of Conduct; this clarifies what is expected in terms of professional behaviour from all members of the organisation, including volunteers.
For the future: regularly monitor and update the Ten Year Plan to further the Charity’s aims.
Governors declare their interests at the beginning of every Main Board meeting and their focus is entirely on providing the best education possible for all pupils in the School’s care; accurate and timely information is provided to. media when any information of importance to stakeholders and the public needs to be shared.
For the future: ensure governors complete background checks with rigour on joining and continue to act with integrity throughout their tenure.
Decision-making, risk and control
The Board is ultimately responsible for all decisions and actions of the Charity and delegates authority but not responsibility. The Board ensures that it is properly informed to make major decisions and decide what matters can be delegated; it implements suitable financial and other controls and assesses risks and opportunities, reviewed at every Main Board meeting. The Board’s main focus is on strategy, performance and assurance but it does not become involved in operational matters.
For the future: continue to revisit and update the risk register on a regular and frequent basis.
The Chair creates an environment where governors feel able to suggest, question and challenge, with differences aired before collective approval of decisions. Chairs of all committees are re-elected or approved annually, after skills audits by the Nominations Committee, and SLT soundings, to identify gaps. Professional advice to support governance is taken where needed.
For the future: succession planning to ensure that suitably experienced governors with time available are ready to maintain the effectiveness of the Board in all its rôles.
The Nominations Committee ensures a pipeline of governor candidates with the relevant skills and experience required by the Board and seeks to ensure that the appropriately qualified candidates are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds commensurate with the Charity’s purpose, needs, environment and constituency; it continues to address any imbalance in gender or ethnicity in the composition of the Board through regular training, on-going discussion, and active recruitment of diverse candidates from across society.
For the future: continue to increase the diversity of the Board by ensuring candidates are drawn from as diverse a range of society as possible and increase recognition of the importance and effectiveness of an inclusive diverse Board.
Openness and accountability
Members declare their interests at the start of every Board meeting. Full details of the experience and skills of Board members, together with key policies, are published on its website, accessible to all stakeholders and the public at large. Current activities are recorded regularly and frequently in online newsletters sent to stakeholders. Accounts are filed promptly on the Charity Commission’s website.