Do I have to declare any business interests I have?

Register of business and pecuniary interest

Why do you need to have a register of interests?

It is important that governors and staff not only act impartially, but are also seen to act impartially. The governing board and school staff have a responsibility to avoid any conflict between their business and personal interests and affairs and those of the school. There is a legal duty on all governors to declare an interest likely to lead to questions of bias when considering any item of business at a meeting and for the governor concerned to withdraw, if necessary, whilst the matter is considered.

To help put this duty into practice, a governing board is required to establish and maintain a register of pecuniary interests indicating, for all governors and the headteacher, any business interests. The school should keep a copy of each governor's individual register as they must be available on request for inspection, by the local authority, governors, staff and parents. The registers will also be inspected by the auditors when carrying out during routine audit visits at the school.

What is a business or pecuniary interest?

Examples of business or pecuniary interests that should be recorded include:

  • business interests such as directorships
  • working for an organisation that may quote or carry out work for the school or provision of extended services
  • owning or having at least a 10% share of a company that may carry out work for the school for example, a local builder
  • if you are the leader of voluntary organisation using the school facilities;
  • if you are a member of a parents group using school facilities
  • if you are related to a member of staff or a governor at the school
  • any business or pecuniary interest of relatives and other individuals who may exert influence on a governor.

A relative can include:

  • a spouse
  • a partner
  • a parent
  • parent in law
  • son
  • daughter
  • step-son
  • step-daughter
  • child of a partner
  • brother
  • sister
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • uncle
  • aunt
  • nephew
  • niece
  • or spouse or partner of any of the above

If a governor has no interests to declare they should record it on the form and sign and date it. If a governor is in any doubt about whether or not to declare an interest it is recommended that they should.

More help like this can be found in Part 4 and Schedule 1 of The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances)England) Regulations 2013.

This page was last updated on 22 February 2023

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