The Isle of Wight College of Further Education is an independent Corporation with exempt charity status formed under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

The Instrument and Articles of Government set down its powers, membership, role and responsibilities. Most of the College’s provision is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and the Instrument and Articles are supplemented by the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Financial Memorandum and Audit Code of Practice, as well as general law relating to employment, equality and diversity, health and safety.

Corporation is similar to a board of non-executive directors. The Isle of Wight College Corporation is made up of members from the business and local community, public sector and staff and students. The Principal is a ex-officio member and the only executive member. Corporation is accountable for the use of public funds and has a duty of care for the assets of the College. Corporation is advised by a Clerk who is independent of College management and has access to independent professional advice.

The College’s board of governors (“The Corporation”) has legal responsibility for the College. It comprises up to 19 members, including two members of staff and two students. The Principal is the sole executive member and she is responsible for operational management of the College. The full Corporation meets monthly and further work is done via four committees.

Main tasks of the corporation

  • To determine the mission for the College (its “educational character”).
  • To ensure high standards are achieved in all aspects of the College’s work.
  • To ensure financial solvency and to protect the College’s assets (mainly property).
  • To oversee all aspects of the College’s work and to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Principal and her management team.

Introduction from the chair of the corporation

This has been another challenging year for all schools and colleges, but I was delighted to see our College full again with students after the difficulties of lockdown. My colleagues and I were consistently amazed by the attitude and resilience of our students who came back to College with such a significant commitment to learn and their delight in doing so; their engagement and energy is very up-lifting.

COVID-19 has been a 'once in a generation' experience, and one that I hope we do not experience again. It has been traumatic and devastating to many. As such, I would wish to also applaud our staff for being so innovative in their solutions to help our students achieve the success they have.

As ever, the College maintained a high-quality education and I am very pleased that results and progression of students remains good. A high proportion of our students have accepted places in Higher Education and/or have progressed to study higher level qualifications in their chosen vocational areas. I also wish to thank the many employers of our apprentices who were determined that their students would complete their apprenticeship programmes; their results have been first-rate despite the challenges they faced. Many employers also were also able to provide extensive periods of industry placement, so vital to the new qualifications recently introduced by Government. Without their support and generosity of time, our students would not have progressed as well as they have. In September 2022 we enrolled our first cohort of students to the new T Level qualification and during the summer over £2 million was spent, with the support of the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, to refurbish and improve facilities for the students studying in areas such as Health and Science, Childcare and Engineering. I look forward very much to this cohort achieving the goals set out by Government following the launch of this new qualification.

The College has managed substantial financial challenges well in the last year and the College's financial health remains Good. Ensuring that our students succeed whilst maintaining financial stability is a significant achievement, and one of which all staff and governors are justly proud.

Finally, progress on a multi-million pound investment in a new block here at the College has continued to move forward at pace. This single block will replace 4 older blocks, reducing significantly the carbon footprint of the College, reduce utility consumption and provide state-of-the-art facilities for students in vocational areas such as Electrical Installation, Performing Arts, Animal Care and Hospitality. Such investment into the College, and the Island, is good news for everyone and underpins the College's and Government commitment to its audience. I would like to thank the very many stakeholders who have supported us in securing an array of successful bids which, combined, will produce an investment of over £30 million over the next 5 years. This includes the College being a part of the successful South Coast Institute of Technology, with extended Higher Education curriculum and facilities becoming available in September 2024, covering areas of Maritime, Digital and Advanced Manufacturing.

The College continues to be well placed to support all students, employers and the Island community as it always has done. Despite operating in these unprecedented circumstances, the strong foundation laid will enable us to remain a core hub of learning for Islanders of all ages well into the future.

Dr. Nick England, Chair of Governors

Roles and responsibilities

Corporation’s statutory roles and responsibilities are set out in the Instrument & Articles of Government. The role is similar to that of a non-executive director, working with the executive management of the College to steer the College to success.

Corporation’s main duties are to determine the mission, ethos and values of the College, monitor performance, ensure financial health and protect assets. Corporation is fully involved in determining the College’s strategic direction, is committed to raising standards and providing a quality experience and environment for its learners.

Corporation has a set of Standing Orders which are the rules by which it operates. In addition there is a Code of Conduct for Governors, and each committee has clear terms of reference. Corporation has adopted a statement on the distinction between governance and management, has adopted the 7 Nolan Principles on Standards in Public Life.

All members are required to declare financial and other interests, which are held by the Clerk in a Register open to inspection. In addition eligibility is confirmed on appointment and annually thereafter. Members are also required to undergo DRB checks. Members are normally appointed for a term of 4 years initially, and this is renewable. Attendance is recorded and reviewed against a PI of 80%. Contribution outside formal meetings is also valued. As well as monitoring the College’s performance the Corporation also undertakes an annual review of its own effectiveness and takes action to ensure continuous improvement.

Corporation meets 10 times a year: 8 formal Full Board meetings, and 2 Review/Strategy meetings. Meetings and Corporation business are scheduled to address the Corporation Business cycle.

Instrument and articles of government for FE colleges

The Instrument & Articles of Government set out the regulatory framework within which a further education college or corporation operates.

Please refer to Instrument and Articles of Government document for further information.

Governance and management

Responsibilities Under The Statutory Regulations


  • Determination of educational character and ethos
  • Articulation of vision, values and strategic direction
  • Oversight and monitoring of College activities
  • Effective and efficient use of resources
  • Safeguarding assets
  • Approving annual estimates of income and expenditure
  • Appointment, grading, suspension, dismissal, appraisal and determination of pay and conditions of Principal, senior post holders and Clerk
  • Setting framework for pay and conditions of all other staff
  • Setting framework for tuition and other fees
  • Financial probity


  • Making proposals to Corporation about the educational character and mission
  • Implementing policies and decisions
  • Organisation, direction and management of The College
  • Leadership of staff
  • Appointment and management of staff within the framework set by Corporation
  • Determining all College academic and other activities
  • Principal accounting officer, accountable to Corporation and ultimately parliament

Corporation confidentiality

Corporation is committed to openness and transparency and keeps confidential items to a minimum.

Clarification about the status of a particular paper should be sought from the Clerk.


From 2008 approved minutes of Corporation and committee meetings have been published on the College website, termly in arrears.

Copies of agendas, papers and minutes are held by the Clerk.

Requests for information about Corporation and its business not available through the College’s Freedom of Information officer, the College website or otherwise in the public domain should be addressed to the Clerk.

Standing orders

For further information on Standing Orders for The Isle of Wight College of Further Education Corporation and its Committees, please refer to Standing Orders for The Conduct of Corporation Business document.

Scope of this

The legal framework within which the Corporation is required to operate is set out in the Instruments and Articles of Government, copies of which are provided to all Members on their appointment, and the Financial Memorandum with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). These Standing Orders set out the Board’s policy and practice on those issues which it has power to determine. Should there be any doubt in interpretation of the Standing Orders, the Instruments and Articles of Government will take precedence as the legal document.

Corporation’s advisory committees each have separate terms of reference relating to their remit and are reviewed regularly to ensure that they reflect current requirements and good practice.