How to use online tools to conduct business between meetings

Boards need a way to communicate in between meetings. Understand the rules and what's appropriate when conducting governing/trust board business.

Last reviewed on 13 June 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 4778
  1. What are 'online tools'?
  2. Set terms for how you'll use online tools
  3. Passing resolutions outside of a quorate meeting
  4. Ofsted can request to see your communications

What are '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 guides' emphasis on transparent decision-making (section 5.7.1 for maintained schools and 1.1.2 for academies).

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/trustees who prefer not to use or check these services regularly.

Set terms for how you'll use online tools

When you do this, you'll need

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