Last reviewed on 12 November 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3860

If you act honestly, reasonably and in good faith, you'll generally be protected from personal liability. Understand the unlikely circumstances where you could be held personally liable, and whether you need liability insurance.

Governors are "generally protected" from personal liability

Although the governing board is legally responsible for the conduct of its school(s), individual governors are "generally protected" from personal liability. 

As long as you act honestly, reasonably and in good faith, you shouldn't be held personally liable. 

This is explained in section 4.5 on page 47 of the Governance Handbook

Chairs and vice-chairs aren't more liable than other governors

The Department for Education (DfE) told us that all governors are equally protected from personal liability.

Liability beyond period of office

If a governor hasn't acted in good faith, it's uncertain how long they'd remain personally liable – it'll be judged on a case-by-case basis, according to the DfE.

If you or your governing board are concerned about the legality of any actions taken, you should seek legal advice.

It's possible for an individual acting in their capacity as a governor to