Last reviewed on 22 December 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
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Are you clear on when to withdraw from a meeting because of a conflict of interest? See real-life examples to understand the underlying principles and find out what to do when they arise.

Our thanks to Keith Clover and Jane Edminson, two of our associate education experts, for their input.

What a conflict of interest is

A conflict of interest is any interest that you have that could potentially affect your ability to make impartial decisions. 

Broadly speaking, conflicts can arise from:

  • Personal relationships
  • Business or financial activities
  • Governance roles in any other educational establishments. There are many ways educational institutions can be linked which may not seem obvious at first, for example independent pre-schools can be ‘feeder schools’ for primary schools, or staff can move between primary and secondary schools

Your governing board must have a register of interests

What qualifies as a conflict that you must record on your register depends on whether you're in a maintained school or an academy

You can add your declarations of interest to your GovernorHub profile, which is now included with your membership to The Key for School Governors.

Why it matters