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
Welcome to the Isle of Wight College and the new year 2023 -2024. As the new Chair of the College I can share the excitement and maybe trepidation of those of you who are starting with us for the first time. What will it be like, will I be ok, can I manage the work, will I make friends? Because I have been a Governor at the College for a few years now I can hopefully allay some of those fears.
We are the only further education (FE) college on the Island and work hard to maintain our reputation as a high quality provider of many vocational and higher education courses. The courses are not the end point though. They help and support young people and adults into employment, future learning and career fulfilment. We place great importance on working alongside employers and our local community to understand the skills they need now and going forward and then we make sure our courses support our learners to achieve.
As the only FE provider we pride ourselves on providing a wide range of flexible and tailored courses to meet local demand so that we can help young people and adults secure the best outcomes and achieve their aspirations. Our courses range from catering to brick laying; engineering to animal care; hair and beauty to accounting; from GCSEs to T Levels, apprenticeships and access to degrees. Truly something for everyone. All of us at the College care deeply about our learners and work hard to develop a nurturing environment where everyone feels safe and able to thrive both in work and their learning.
As a member of the College you will have many opportunities for personal development and activities outside the college classroom or workshop such as volunteering in the community, international visits, exhibitions, and competitions both locally and nationally to name a few.
The coming year will bring many changes not least to the built environment which will bring enormous added benefit to learners, the community and staff alike with fit for purpose buildings and facilities that further support purposeful learning. However, initially, it will also bring some disruption as the work takes place and forbearance will be needed by all!
So, I hope those joining us this year feel more confident that they will be happy, safe, stretched and fulfilled here at the Isle of Wight College and I thank the staff and returning learners for all their contributions over the last year.
I look forward to meeting many of you over the next few months
Chair of Corporation
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.