How to use online tools to conduct business between meetings

You should use formal meetings (in person or virtually) as much as possible, but sometimes you need a way to communicate in between meetings. Understand the rules and what's appropriate when using a platform like GovernorHub or email to conduct governing board business.

Last reviewed on 30 May 2023See updates
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  1. What do we mean by 'online tools'?
  2. Set terms for how you'll use online tools
  3. Passing resolutions outside of a quorate meeting
  4. You can use online tools (like GovernorHub) for discussions
  5. Don't hold meetings via email
  6. If the matter is urgent
  7. Ofsted can request to see your communications

What do we mean by 'online tools'?

Examples that you might use to communicate with your board include:

  • A dedicated online platform such as GovernorHub
  • Email
  • Other business messaging apps such as Slack or Teams

We wouldn't recommend using encrypted messaging apps (such as WhatsApp or Messenger) for governing board business, as this is likely to go against the Governance Handbook's emphasis on transparent decision-making (page 16).

These apps are useful for social messages or sending reminders about meeting dates, but they shouldn't be used to conduct formal business. This is because of the:

  • Lack of minutes and recorded actions
  • Problems it could cause if your board receives a freedom of information request

You could also risk excluding any governors who prefer not to use or check these services regularly.

It's up to you as a board to justify how you operate and how you comply with legislation. This includes whether and how