PURPOSE OF THE ROLE
- As a member of the Corporation of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, to play a full part in College governance, including:
- setting the strategic direction of the College;
- establishing and modelling the College’s values and ethos;
- ensuring that appropriate systems are in place to achieve the College’s strategic aims and manage the concomitant risks; and
- ensuring accountability.
- On request, to provide independent but non-professional advice to the Principal/CEO and Senior Leadership Team on any issues affecting the governance or management of the College.
- To act as an ambassador for the College in the wider community.
These are specified in the Instrument and Articles of Government. Governors are responsible for: –
- Determination of educational character and ethos;
- Articulation of vision, values and strategic direction;
- Approving the quality strategy of the institution;
- Oversight and monitoring of college activities;
- Effective and efficient use of resources;
- Financial probity;
- Safeguarding assets;
- Approving annual estimates of income and expenditure and a three-year financial plan;
- Approving strategic plan;
- Appointment, grading, suspension, dismissal, appraisal and determination of pay and conditions of the Principal, designated Senior Post Holders and the Clerk;
- Setting the framework for pay and conditions of service of all other staff;
- Agreeing retention and achievement targets, monitoring academic achievement and raising standards;
- Ensuring the correct policies and procedures necessary to fulfil its legal obligations.
- Preparing for, attending and participating in meetings of the Corporation (‘Board meetings’). There are currently five Board meetings a year, generally on the evening of the third Monday of the month, beginning at 5.30 p.m. In addition, there is an all-day Strategic Planning Event held each year. · We estimate that the time commitment required of a governor is between five and eight hours a month.
- Attending training as required. In-house training seminars (including updates on important developments affecting the College) are sometimes arranged before the Board meetings, beginning at 5.00 pm. Governors also have access to training and other events run by in-house or through external agencies, such as the Association of Colleges at various locations around the Country. Induction training is provided for all new governors
- All Governors are expected to participate in appropriate opportunities to meet with students and staff, such as attending ‘Learning Walks’ and events promoting student and staff achievement and activities organised by students.
- Attending at least some of the public and private events at which important stakeholders are present, including student awards ceremonies, open days, major shows and other external events.
- Most governors also serve on one or other of the College’s standing committees each of which meets between three and up to six times a year.
- From time to time a governor may also be asked to contribute his or her expertise to a task-and-finish group established by the Board or by College management or to serve in a non-executive capacity on a standing College committee (such as the Equality and Diversity Committee). Governors may also be asked to participate in senior staff appointments or the letting of major contracts.
- We estimate that the time commitment required of each governor is a minimum of 10 to 15 hours a month. This includes an allowance of one hour’s preparation time for each hour that the governor is expected to spend in a Board, committee or link meeting, but does not include the time spent travelling to and from meetings or events.
- Not disqualified from becoming a charity trustee.
- Normally able to attend at least 80% of Board meetings, and to participate in other College events and training sessions as required.
- Passionate about education and the difference that it can make to individuals and communities.
- An effective communicator, able to support, encourage, challenge and persuade colleagues and stakeholders.
- Able to analyse and understand complex problems from a variety of different points of view.
- Comfortable with the routine use of ICT – able to receive and send emails, download information from websites and from the College’s Intranet, complete forms online and create or modify simple Word (or similar) documents.
- Committed to Shrewsbury College’s core purpose, vision and values.
An appointment as a governor of Shrewsbury Colleges Group is a public appointment. All governors are required to abide by the Corporation’s Code of Conduct, which is based on the seven principles of public life (the ‘Nolan’ principles): selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. Governors are required to make an annual declaration of eligibility and of interests. This is held by the Clerk to the Board and is made available to members of the public.
A person is not eligible to be a Governor of an FE college if he or she has been declared bankrupt within the last three years or served a sentence for a conviction within the last five years or been removed from office as a member of an FE Board within the last ten years.
Governors should not normally have a teaching role or be a student at the college unless they are appointed as staff or student members.
Although not a statutory requirement, Governors are required to agree to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record checks on appointment and on re-appointment.
All governors, including staff and student governors, work on a voluntary basis. The College meets reasonable out-of-pocket expenses (such as travel expenses) incurred by governors in the performance of their duties.
Each governor is appointed for a term of up to four years. This term may be extended for a further period of up to four years. Exceptionally, the Corporation may invite a governor to continue in membership for a third term where the governor possesses particular skills or relevant experience that the Corporation is anxious not to lose.
In making and considering the extension of appointments, the Corporation will have regard not only for the skills and knowledge of each individual candidate but also for the balance of skills and knowledge available to the Board as a whole, including the extent to which the Board has access to the views of different stakeholder groups.
The performance and effectiveness of each governor are assessed on an ongoing basis as part of the Board’s review of governance.
Note on governor liability: The College has indemnity insurance to cover governors acting in good faith. In most circumstances, if there is a problem at a College resulting in loss to a third party, the aggrieved person may sue the College as a corporate entity. In certain exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for a claimant to sue an individual governor. However, the law* provides some protection in this situation so long as the governor has acted honestly and reasonably. (* Section 145 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000)
Clerk to the Board