A pecuniary interest is any form of renumeration. The school is not forbidden to buy goods and services from the firm but the interest should be declared.
Declaration of personal interests is a standard agenda item at each meeting. The completion of the annual pecuniary interest forms takes place each year during the autumn term. These are completed and signed by Governors and returned to the school. If a new Governor is co-opted/elected during the academic year they will complete a form at the time they are appointed.
What is a conflict of interest?
Conflicts of interest arise when a Governor has any interests that may affect, or be seen to affect, their ability to take decisions that are impartial and in the best interests of the school. These may arise from personal relationships, business or financial activities, or involvement in the governance of another school/trust or charity.
Register of interests
School must publish a register of interests on the school website. It will include details of:
- Governors and associate members in maintained schools
- Any relevant business, or pecuniary, interests. This includes governance roles in other educational institutions, as well as material interests that arise from governors’ close personal relations.
Potential interests during meetings
In addition to declaring interests for inclusion on the register of interests, Governors have an obligation to declare any potential conflicts of interest during meetings. Before every meeting, there should be an opportunity for Governors to disclose any interests that they have related to items on the agenda. This applies to Governors, Associate Members, as well as staff members that are present at the meeting. If a Governor has declared an interest, they should withdraw from the meeting for the relevant item of business and not vote on the matter. If there is any doubt as to whether they should withdraw, the matter can be decided by a majority of those present and eligible to vote.