Shrewsbury Colleges Group
Group Minutes of the Search Governance Committee
Date 13th February 19
Time 5.47 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.

01/19. Declarations of Interest

A. Allen declared a standing interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.
G. Channon declared an interest in Minute No. 04/19 (Co-Opted Audit Committee Member Vacancy – Interview with Prospective Candidate), as the he was known to the candidate. He took no part in the interview.
R. Heath declared a standing interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.
R. Heath declared an interest in Minute No. 04/19 (Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning- Update). He took no part in the item.
M. Willmot declared an interest in Minute No. 04/19 (Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning- Update). He took no part in the item.

02/19. Minutes of Meetings (Appendices – Agenda item 4).

a) Held on 26 September 2018; and
b) Special Meeting held 03 December 2018.


That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 26 September 2018 and Special Meeting held on 03 December 2018, were approved and signed as a true record.

03/19. Matters Arising

Minute No. 27/18 - Strategic Planning Day 2019

The Committee acknowledged the successful Strategic Planning Event held on 25 January 2019.

04/19. Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning Update (Appendix – Agenda Item 4a)

Co-Opted Audit Committee Member Vacancy – Interview with Prospective Candidate

The Committee had invited a candidate to attend the Committee meeting for the Co-Opted Audit Committee Member Vacancy.

Having conducted the pre-interview diligence checks, the Committee interviewed the prospective candidate, based on assessment of a submitted CV, completed skills audit and application form (confidential previously circulated).

The Committee, having conducted the interview, referred to the Co-Opted Committee Member Specification and the current Board Skills Audit (previously circulated). Having considered the skills of the candidate, the Committee considered that the candidate could provide the required technical insight to the Committee and acknowledged that the candidate would receive Induction support and development and therefore made the following recommendation -

Resolved: It was RECOMMENDED TO BOARD that C. Sharp be appointed to the Co-Opted Audit Committee Member Vacancy with effect from March 2019, for a Term of two years.

Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning- Update

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

The Chair reported on informal discussions with governors whose terms were ending by mid-year 2019, regarding their intentions and to inform succession planning. After discussion of the report, the Committee AGREED that the F&BO Committee considers the appointment of R. Heath as Committee Vice-Chair. The Committee would normally expect candidates for vice chair positions to move to chair positions, to reflect the Board’s investment in the mentoring of governors and on-going development of governors’ skills. The Committee also AGREED that those governors who had indicated that they would consider an extension to their terms for a period of one year be considered at the next meeting.

At the last Board meeting, R. Rosson’s Term as an Independent Governor was extended to the end of October 2019, as was his Term as Vice-Chair. The Committee, having considered the current succession plan, AGREED that the Clerk to the Board canvass current Board members regarding interest in the forthcoming Board Vice-Chair vacancy. The Committee also requested that the role descriptions of the Chair and Vice Chair be reviewed by the Clerk and Chair of the Board of Governors.

Resolved: It was RECOMMENDED TO BOARD that:

      1. Helen Hawksworth be appointed as Academic Staff Governor (London Road Campus) for a Term to be determined by the Board, with effect from 25 March 25 2019; and
      2. Having considered the current Board skills set, the Board’s Succession Plan and the performance, contribution and skills base of the individual, Roger Wilson be appointed as an Independent Governor for a Term of Four Years with effect from 25 March 2019.

05/19. Governor Development - Update (Appendix – Agenda Item 5)

Further Education Bodies: Insolvency Guidance – checking the Board skills audit

New insolvency legislation, which makes clear how colleges will be managed if they become insolvent, came into force on 31 January 2019. The Department for Education (DfE) has issued Guidance for senior college staff and governors. Whilst, currently, the College has a Good ESFA Financial Health Score and has in place robust controls to maintain a sustainable financial position, the Committee noted that the Guidance placed emphasis on the Board ensuring it had appropriate financial skills bases covered – this had also been echoed by recent comments of the FE Commissioner (extract from FE Week circulated at meeting). The Committee noted that the latest Skills Audit showed that all of the key skills identified as required were present.

The Committee also reviewed advice provided by legal experts and the Association of Colleges (AoC) (previously circulated) setting out good practice principles to mitigate the risk of liability and it was confirmed that these good practice principles are in place at the College.

Learning Walks Programme

The first Learning Walk of the 2018 – 19 year was held in December 2018 in Electrical, Gas & Plumbing. Those governors that attended the Walk had been very positive about the event. The next Walk was scheduled for after February 2019 Half Term. The Committee AGREED that the Learning Walk Schedule for the remainder of 2018 – 19, be as follows –
Spring 2019 – English Bridge Campus - Media, Film and English; and
Summer 2019 – Welsh Bridge Campus – Psychology/Sociology and Business Studies.

Governance Supporting OFSTED

The College is anticipating an OFSTED Inspection this academic year. The Board has expressed its support for the College’s preparations and that a cohort of governors will be available to meet inspectors. As part of preparations, the Clerk is compiling a ‘Q&A’ sheet and has used feedback from the Leadership & Management session at the recent Strategic Planning Event to inform preparations. The Principal/CEO will also provide further information.

The Committee AGREED that the following governors be, if possible, available to meet OFSTED Inspectors –
Chair of Board – G. Channon;
Apprenticeship Lead Governor – A. Allen;
Safeguarding and E&D Lead Governor – C. Gore;
Chair of Quality, Standards & Curriculum Committee – C. Davies;
H.E. Lead Governor and Chair of Search & Governance Committee – M. Willmot.

The Committee noted with gratitude that a number of other governors, had volunteered to support the College during inspection, should the governors set out above be unavailable.

Mandatory Development Modules

Governors were required to undertake several mandatory development modules to support both their understanding of their role and to appreciate the importance of issues crucial to the College. The target was 100% of governors undertake and evidence completion. To date

      • Safeguarding and PREVENT – 84% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module, with the expectation of 100% completion, as newly-appointed governors completed the module as part of their Induction targets;
      • The updated ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Guidance came into effect 3 September 2018. 100% compliance with a signed Declaration that Governors had read and understood Part 1 of the Guidance;
      • Equality Essentials – 84% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module, with the expectation of 100% completion as newly-appointed governors completed the module as part of their Induction targets;
      • Health & Safety - the Health & Safety Officer would deliver this on 25 March 2019.

06/19.Governance Self-Assessment (Appendix – Agenda item 6)

Action Plan 2018 – 2019 – Progress

The Committee reviewed the Board’s plan (previously circulated) and noted that all actions had been achieved by deadline.

Governance KPIs 2018 – 2019

The Committee noted that progress against the 2018 – 2019 Governance KPIs (previously circulated). The Committee particularly noted the high level of attendance at meetings and events. The Principal/CEO expressed the SLT’s gratitude to the commitment shown by governors.

07/19. 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.

08/19. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting – Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 5.30 p.m.


The meeting concluded at 7.35 p.m.