The Nolan principles

The Nolan principles are 7 rules that everyone involved in public life must abide by, including governors and trustees. Understand what they mean for you and see examples of codes of conduct that refer to them.

Updated
on 9 July 2024
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Contents
  1. The 7 Nolan principles of public life
  2. The Nolan principles in your code of conduct

The 7 Nolan principles of public life

Everyone in governance should be aware of and accept the 7 principles of public life, known as the Nolan principles. They apply to anyone, locally and nationally, who is elected or appointed as a public office-holder. 

Your responsibility to follow these principles as a governor or trustee is set out in section 2.1 of the governance guide for maintained schools and in section 1.1 of the governance guide for academies.

Selflessness: holders of public office should act solely in the public interest Integrity: holders of public office shouldn't place themselves under external obligations that could influence their public duties. They shouldn't act to benefit themselves or family and friends, and must declare any interests that could impact on their public work Objectivity: holders of public office must make decisions impartially and based on merit Accountability: holders of public office are accountable to the public for their actions Openness: holders of public office

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