Shrewsbury Colleges Group
Group Minutes of the Search Governance Committee
Date 26th September 18
Time 5.30 p.m.
Minutes Membership A. Allen, G. Channon (Chair of the Board – Ex-Officio), R. Heath, J. Staniforth (Principal/Chief Executive) and M. Willmot.
In Attendance Clerk to the Board, T. Cottee
Apologies None.

20/18. Election of Chair


That Mike Willmot be appointed Chair of the Committee for the 2018 - 2019 academic year.

Mike Willmot in the Chair.

21/18. Declarations of Interest

A. Allen declared a standing interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.
R. Heath declared a standing interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.

22/18. Minutes of the Meetings held 05 May 2018 (Appendix – Agenda item 4).


That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 05 May 2018, were approved and signed as a true record.

23/18. Matters Arising


24/18. Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning (Appendix – Agenda Item 5a)

Governor Vacancy Opportunity – Interview with Prospective Candidate

The Clerk reported that the prospective candidate scheduled to be interviewed was now unable to attend this meeting.

It was AGREED that the candidate be offered the opportunity to attend a Special Meeting to be held from 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 01 October 2018. ACTION: Clerk to arrange.

Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning- Update

The Committee reviewed the current position regarding current Governor Terms, vacancies and opportunities (previously circulated).

      • Search activity had increased, to plan for 2019. The current Determination of the Board was 19 (11 Independent; 2 Parent; 3 Staff (2 academic & 1 Support), 2 Student and the Principal/CEO). With a number of governors completing their terms during 2019, the Committee considered if this Determination should be maintained. Having considered the skills base of the current membership and the skills required to support the College for the foreseeable future, the Committee AGREED that the Determination should remain at 19.
      • The Board had 1 vacancy for an Independent Governor. Two expressions of interest had been received following a presentation made on the College at a recent Chamber event. The Committee thanked the Group Vice-Principal, Curriculum Support & Business Development for her positive promotion of the College and the work of the Board and for securing this interest.

Since the last Committee Meeting-

      • The Academic Staff Governor (EB & WB campuses) had been appointed to the Board (Board Min No. 31/18 refers). His Induction had begun and was on target;
      • A Valid Nomination for the Vacancy for the 16 – 18 Student Governor had been received, which would be reported to Board;
      • The Clerk continued to seek a co-opted committee member for the Audit Committee;
      • J. Evans, the HE Student Governor, had resigned on 10 September 2018. The Clerk was currently working with the HE Lead to recruit a successor. The Committee requested the Clerk to write to Jae to thank her for her contribution to the Board.

The Committee discussed the current position regarding vacancies and noted that nine Terms would end during 2019, including the current Chair and Vice-Chair and three long-serving committee chairs. The Committee agreed that the Board’s approach to appointment should remain based on skills and should take into account the requirements of the Board to support the College’s strategic priorities going forward (i.e. sustainable financial stability and quality teaching and learning) and manage the risk of the loss of Board ‘institutional memory’.

The Committee discussed how the impact and performance of governors was assessed. The Committee agreed that the current approach (using individual performance against Board KPIs, latest self-evaluation and committee evaluation) should continue.

The Committee agreed that the Chair approach those individuals with terms were ending within the next six months, to assess their intentions.

G. Channon took no part in the next item.


    1. Meg Chandler be appointed as Student Governor (16 – 19) for a Term to be determined by the Board, with effect from 01 October 2018; and
    2. Having considered the current Board skills set, the Board’s Succession Plan and the performance, contribution and skills base of the individual, the Committee, Gordon Channon be appointed to a Second Term of Four Years with effect from 01 April 2019.

G. Channon re-joined the meeting.

Committee Membership 2018 – 2019 (Appendix – Agenda item 5b))

The Committee last reviewed the committee structure and membership in March 2017 (approved by Board - Min No. 15/17 refers) (previously circulated).

The Committee considered the current committee membership. Committee evaluation had indicated that, to date, governors considered the current structure/committee mix/numbers appropriate and the Board was responsive should additional committees or task and finish groups be required. Board had delegated authority to the Committee (Board Min. No. 52/17 refers) to appoint newly-appointed governors to committees. The Committee referred to the most recent Skills Audit (S&G Min No. 25/18 refers) and dates terms of office when considering committee membership.

      • The Principal/CEO indicated that, as the quality cycle was now embedded in College, he would withdraw as a member of the Quality, Standards & Curriculum Committee. The Committee recognised the positive endorsement this gave to the Committee and the officers supporting it. However, it agreed that the Committee membership remain at 7, to accommodate the possibility of a suitably-skilled independent governor joining the Board in the near future;
      • The Committee considered that the Human Resources Committee should, in the near future, meet to determine its future role. The Committee also acknowledged that the Co-Opted Human Resources Committee member’s Term of Office would end when the Committee completed its tasks.

RECOMMENDED TO BOARD: That the Committee Membership 2018 – 2019, with effect from 01 October 2018, be as follows –

Audit Committee
L. Carroll
I. Gilmour
N. Merchant
R. Sartain
Co-opted committee member

Finance & Business Operations Committee
G. Channon
R. Heath
D. Pulford
R. Rosson
J. Staniforth
M. Thompson
P. Tucker

Human Resources Committee
I Gilmour
R. Rosson
R. Sartain
J. Staniforth
Co-Opted Committee Member – Anne Dokov
G. Channon (ex-officio)

Quality, Standards & Curriculum Committee
A. Allen
C. Davis
C. Gore
J. Harry
N. Merchant
M. Willmot
G. Channon (ex-officio)

Remuneration Committee
G. Channon
C. Davies
I Gilmour
R. Rosson

Search & Governance Committee
A. Allen
R. Heath
J. Staniforth
M. Willmot (Chair)
G. Channon (ex-officio)

Governor Leads - A Allen – Apprenticeships & Marketing, C. Gore – Safeguarding, PREVENT, SEND & E&D, R. Rosson – H&S, M. Willmot – H.E., Risk – N. Merchant.

25/18. Governor Development - Update (Appendix – Agenda Item 6)

Learning Walk Programme

Learning Walks in 2017-18, had focussed on governor development through enabling governors to get a feel for a particular curriculum area. The purpose was to inform understanding of the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment of the College in a specific area and not to judge teaching, learning and assessment.

The Learning Walk Programme for 2017 – 18, consisted of -

        • Autumn Term Learning Walk in Engineering & Motor Vehicle at the London Road Campus;
        • Spring Term Walk in Art & Design at the English Bridge Campus;
        • Summer Term Walk in Maths & Chemistry at the Welsh Bridge Campus.

At its last meeting, the Committee agreed – subsequently endorsed by Board – that the Learning Walk Programme and format introduced in 2017 – 2018, had met its objectives and would continue into 2018 – 2019.

The Committee agreed that the Board Chair, Committee Chair and Principal/CEO liaise to consider provision areas or themes it may wish to recommend for the Walk Programme for 2018 – 2019.

Mandatory Development Modules

The Clerk reported on progress regarding governors’ mandatory training -

          • Safeguarding and PREVENT – 100% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module. The updated ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Guidance came into effect 03 September 2018. The Director of Curriculum Support was aware of the need to update the Board and the Clerk was working with him to programme this into the Governor Development Calendar;
          • Equality Essentials – 100% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module;
          • Health & Safety - would be completed in consultation with the newly-appointed Health & Safety Officer.

Draft Governor Development Plan 2018 - 2019

The Committee reviewed the Draft Governor Development Plan 2018 – 2019 (previously circulated). The Plan aimed to provide a robust but manageable framework that covered both mandatory elements and increasing governors’ understanding of key strategic issues going into the next year.

The Principal/CEO explained that it was likely that the College would receive a full OFSTED Inspection during 2018 – 2019 and the Committee discussed how it could support governors’ understanding of and preparation for this. It was agreed that the Principal/CEO discuss with the Clerk and Board Chair to identify governors who could assist in the Inspection process.

Skills Audit 2018

The Committee had directed the Clerk to revise the Board’s Skills Audit pro-forma at its last meeting. This updated format had been circulated to all independent governors to complete. The Committee considered the latest completed Audit (analysed by both skill area and by individual), based on the returns received to date for the Committee’s consideration (previously circulated).

The Skills Audit showed that all of the key skills identified as required were present and that the Board had met its Key Indicator No 2 (Skills Audit Analysis to indicate at least one member has ‘High’ level of expertise/knowledge in each required area). However, it was also pointed out that only one governor had self-assessed as having a high level of expertise in ‘understanding local employer needs and skills gaps’ and the Committee should be mindful of this in its search and governor development plans going forward.

26/18.Governance Self-Assessment (Appendix – Agenda item 7)

Action Plan 2017 – 2018 – Progress

At the end of the 2017 – 2018 governance cycle, the Board and each committee had been invited to complete an evaluation exercise. Governors last undertook an individual self- assessment in July 2017. These had informed the Board’s self-assessment return and improvement action plan 2017 – 2018. The Committee reviewed the Board’s plan (previously circulated) and noted that all actions had been achieved by deadline. It directed that the Plan be amended to indicate that the Board had approved the College’s Strategic Plan at its meeting in March 2018 (Board Min. No. 06/18 refers)

Not all committees had completed their evaluation exercise during the Summer Term, therefore, it was not yet possible to produce an analysis to inform the Self-Assessment Action Plan for 2018 – 2019. The Committee agreed that this should not reoccur during 2019.

Governance KPIs 2017 – 2018

The Committee noted that all 2017 – 2018 Governance KPIs (previously circulated) had been achieved. It was now possible to track year on-year performance and against 11 of the KPIs, evidence indicated that performance had been achieved and improved on the previous year. The Committee particularly noted the high level of attendance at meetings and events and the Principal/CEO also referenced the attendance at meetings of non-committee members as observers.

27/18. Strategic Planning Day 2019 – Preparation (Appendix – Agenda Item 8)

The Committee discussed the format and framework of the Strategic Planning Event scheduled in the Board Calendar for 25 January 2019.

It agreed that the format of the event held in 2018, consisting of validation of the College’s Self-Assessment Report (SAR) in the morning and consideration of key strategic issues with an invited external speaker would meet the strategic needs of the Board for 2019.

28/18. Risk

As part of the discussions on the College’s Risk Register and Board Assurance Framework agreed (Board Min No. 67/17 refers), the Audit Committee had requested that each committee, at each meeting, examine those risks within its remit and ensure that they had either been identified or adequately discussed at the meeting.

The Committee concluded that the risks identified were adequate and that there had been sufficient discussion of the issues at the meeting.


29/18. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting – 09 February 2019 at 5.30 p.m.


The meeting concluded at 7.07 p.m.

22/18. Minutes of the Meetings held 05 May 2018 (Appendix – Agenda item 4).


That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 05 May 2018, were approved and signed as a true record.