Shrewsbury Colleges Group
Group Minutes of the Board
Location Room A. 41, London Road Campus, Shrewsbury and by remote access through Teams
Date 25th May 23
Time 5.32 p.m.
Minutes Membership In attendance by electronic device and contributing towards the meeting quorum, in accordance with Instrument 12. (Members may count towards the quorum if they are able to be present by electronic or digital communication (including attendance by video conferencing or telephone conferencing).
Dr. J. Barratt, A Benghiat, A Caesar-Homden, B. Greenaway R. Harrison, G. Mills, R. Sartain, C. Sharp, J. Staniforth (Principal/Chief Executive), M. Thompson, P. Tucker and R. Wilson (Chair).
In Attendance Members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT):
C. Armstrong, Vice Principal, Students & Partnerships (VP – S&P)
M. Brown, Vice Principal, Quality, Apprenticeships & Information (VP – Q, A & I)
M. Laws, Vice Principal, Technical & Vocational Education (VP – T&VE)
D. Lucas, Vice Principal – People (VP – P)
S. McAlinden – Assistant Principal - Curriculum Support (AP, CS)
P. Partridge – Executive Director of Finance (EDoF)
C. Sears – Vice Principal, A Level Studies (VP - ALS)

T. Cottee - Clerk to the Board
Apologies A Hodson, J. Hoyland, D. Jones, N. Stitch and B. Wilson.


16/23. Declarations of Interest


17/23. Matters Arising

The Board Chair advised that he had agreed that an additional, urgent item be placed on the agenda of the special meeting. It was agreed that this item be considered in accordance with Standing Order No. 3.3.

18/23. Accountability Agreement (Confidential Appendix – Agenda item 5)

The Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022, placed a duty on the college to produce an Accountability Agreement to be signed off by the Board and submitted to Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) by 31 May 2023.

The Strategy and Development Day held in April, had focussed on how the college met the needs of stakeholders with a focus on the national, regional and draft LSIP priorities.

Representatives of an external consultancy appointed to provide independent insight into the work also presented on the day.

The Draft Accountability Agreement, drafted in accordance with Guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE), had been circulated to all governors in advance, together with the Agreement exemplars issued by the DfE.

The P/CEO presented the Draft Agreement and explained –

      • The background to the requirement to produce the Accountability Agreement;
      • That the minor updates and revisions made would be incorporated into the final document.
      • The Draft Agreement presented clear, definable smart actions and included reference to projects the college had ambitions to achieve.

In response to questions –

      • The accountability framework element of the Agreement would be used by the DfE and the ESFA to secure assurance about the use of public funds. It would also form part of the discussions in the college’s annual strategic conversation.
      • The student travel to college data referred to the Agreement had been provided by the Association of Colleges. It reflected the rural nature of the county and the wide geographical range some students travelled across to attend college; although over 50% of students lived within the town. The Agreement would refer to the data source.
      • The senior leadership team had reviewed the Agreement and agreed that it would assist with the strategic development of the college.
      • The Agreement would be posted on the college’s website.

The Board, having reviewed the Draft Agreement to ensure that it reflected the Guidance requirements and that it reflected the college’s strategic plans to support students’ progress and meet local, regional and national skills needs, through a unanimous show of hands,

RESOLVED: That the Accountability Agreement, revised as reported, be approved and submitted to the Department for Education by 31 May 2023.

19/23. Recommendation from Search & Governance Committee (Agenda Item 6)

The Committee Chair presented the following recommendation -

20/23. Independent Governor

The Committee had interviewed formally a candidate for an Independent Governor appointment, based on an assessment of a submitted CV and application form/skills audit (previously circulated).

Having considered the skills and experience of the candidate, which included extensive experience of working in and understanding the public sector, the future skills requirements of the Board and to maintain quality governance, it was

Resolved that: A. Prichard be appointed as an Independent Governor for a Four-Year Term, with effect from 01 June 2023 and be appointed to the Quality & Standards Committee.

Action: Clerk to support newly appointed governor in Induction.

In accordance with Standing Order no. 3.3, the following additional urgent item was considered. The reason for urgency being the need to implement the recommendations.

21/23. Governor Initiative

Further to Board Min. No. 68/22, the Board Chair presented a proposal (previously circulated), based on the work of the Task & Finish Group, for a new governor initiative to support and promote the college, as governors had numerous networks they could advocate the college to and draw interest and support from.

In response to questions, the SLT confirmed that they were supportive of the initiative.

Having reviewed the proposal, it was agreed that there was an opportunity for governors to support the promotion of the college within the community and


      1. A Community Liaison Group be established with the remit and membership as set out in the Proposal; and
      2. A Network/Employers’ lunch be held before the end of the Summer Term, hosted by the Board and SLT.

22/23. Risk (Agenda Item 11)

The Board reviewed those risks specific to the Board.

23/23. Date of Next Meeting

Scheduled Meeting – Monday, 10 July 2023 from 5.30 p.m. Venue tbc

The meeting concluded at 6.19 p.m.