How to approve a school policy: process

Governors are responsible for approving the majority of school policies. Understand how approval can be delegated and why it can be a good idea, as well as what to ask before approving anything. Plus, read good practice on signing and storing them.

Last reviewed on 12 July 2023
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  1. Ask if you really need the policy
  2. Be clear who needs to approve the policy
  3. Consider the policy: where approval is delegated
  4. Consider the policy: where the full board must approve it
  5. Approve it
  6. Sign it
  7. Store it

Ask if you really need the policy

Policy overload causes hours of lost work for you and your school leaders. Make sure your school only creates policies when they're absolutely necessary. 

Use the flowchart below when reviewing an existing policy to sense check if you still need it, or if you can embed the objective in another relevant policy.

You can also use our flowchart before asking your school leaders to write a new policy, to determine whether the policy is really what’s needed, or whether you could achieve the same outcome by another means.

See a list of the statutory policies your school must have.

Flowchart: do we need a policy on this?

Be clear who needs to approve the policy

Some statutory policies have specific approval rules, while others are up to your board to decide For non-statutory policies, it's up to your board to decide who can approve them. It will typically be: The

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