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updated on 19 November 2021
Ref: 4765
School types: All · School phases: All

There's nothing to prevent personal relationships between governors and staff. But it's also true that all personal relationships have the potential to create conflicts of interest. Learn how to manage this effectively.

Our governance experts Fred Birkett, Jane Edminson, Bill Dennison and Kate Foale helped us with this article, as well as governance consultant Nicki Wadley and the support service One Education.

Declare the conflict of interest

On the register of interests

The register of interests must include any relationships that might sway a governor's decision-making ability and lead to a conflict of interests. This includes personal relationships with any employees of the school.

Read more in our articles on the register of interests in maintained schools and academies.

In meetings where relevant

If a conflict of interest occurs in a meeting, the governor must:

  • Disclose the interest
  • Withdraw from the discussion
  • Not vote on the matter

For maintained schools, this applies to governors, associate members, the headteacher and the clerk. 

For academies, this applies to trustees. There's nothing to prevent a person from clerking a meeting where there may be a

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