You are here:

'Approving' and 'ratifying' policies: is there a difference?

Ref: 4531
Last updated on 4 January 2017
School types: All · School phases: All
In-depth article
Is there a difference between 'approving' and 'ratifying' a policy? We explain that there is no official guidance on the definition of either term but that the Department for Education (DfE) refers only to approval of policies. We include examples of the use of both terms by governing bodies.

Article tools

Want to read more?

To read this article in full, sign up for a free trial of The Key.

Membership starts from £1.10 per day and includes an unlimited number of logins for all of your governing body. If you join today, we'll also waive the £100 joining fee.

Membership gives school governors access to:

  • More than a thousand online articles, with information and resources to help governors get to grips with their role
  • Policy bank from schools and other organisations
  • Downloadable template forms and reports, and planners
  • Our unlimited 'Ask the expert' service
  • Pre-inspection resources, including questions that inspectors may ask
  • A weekly News Briefing


  1. 1 Is there a difference between approving and ratifying a policy?
  2. 2 The DfE uses 'approval' of policies
  3. 3 Use of ‘approve’ and ‘ratify’ by schools and local authorities

Article features

  • 1 video
  • 8 external links

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence.