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 a very difficult year for all schools and colleges, but I am delighted by the way in which the College has continued to function so successfully. Our achievement rates have again been impressive; the College has managed its budget well; and the students and staff have shown great resilience in overcoming the difficulties and challenges of the closure. Students adapted quickly to studying at home, and I applaud the efforts of all staff in implementing a blended learning solution for learners quickly, efficiently and productively.
As ever, the College has delivered high quality education and the results and progression of students remain very good and have improved even further. A high proportion of our students have accepted places at their first choice university; students have performed better than was predicted when they entered the College, demonstrating that we ‘add value’ in our education. We thank the 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. The GCSE grades achieved in maths and English were also very good, and I congratulate students on earning high grades which will help them progress their careers.
The College has managed substantial financial challenges well in the last six months; even though we lost income from our international business, caused by the difficulties of travel, we still met all our financial objectives. The FE sector has struggled financially over the last few years, but the Isle of Wight College has out-performed the sector and continues to operate ‘in the black’. Ensuring that our students succeed whilst maintaining financial stability is a significant achievement, and one of which all staff and governors are justly proud. A 500,000 Euro contract has been won, which will enable students to participate in international activity, and a £500,000 grant secured to improve our facilities. A significant programme of refurbishment of classrooms has already been completed over the last few months, and we shall use our grant to invest further in up-to-date, high quality, learning resources.
The College is well placed to support students, employers and the Island community as it always has done. Despite operating in these unprecedented circumstances the strong foundation we have laid will enable us to remain a core hub of learning for Islanders of all ages.
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 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.
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.