Dudley College is a statutory Corporation whose members are also known as Governors.
The Corporation provides strategic leadership to the College and sets the mission and the framework of policies within which the College operates. While day to day management is the responsibility of the Principal and the Directorate, the Corporation has the key role of monitoring, challenging and supporting the management team.
The Corporation has twelve external Governors who are unpaid volunteers and are drawn from business, professional, public sector and community backgrounds. They bring a range of skills and experience to the Boardroom. The Corporation also includes the Principal, two staff Governors and two student Governors.
The Corporation meets eight times a year (including development events). It also has a number of committees whose membership consists mainly of Governors but also includes co-opted members. These committees carry out detailed work and make recommendations to the Corporation in the key areas of standards, audit and employer engagement.
Catering for over 10,000 learners of various types each year drawn from all parts of the community, Dudley College plays an important part in the life of the community. With an annual turnover of approximately £39 million, it is also one of the area's largest employers and is an important part of the local economy.
The Corporation is comprised of people from all walks of life, who give freely of their time to undertake an important role in overseeing the work of the College. They bring to the Boardroom their skills, experience and knowledge of the community. In return, they find that being a Governor can be a rewarding role, which brings them into contact with others who have an interest in the many different aspects of education and training.
The College keeps a database of people who have expressed an interest in supporting it by helping on a College committee or by becoming a Governor. If you would like to be included on this database, or if you have any other queries, please contact the Clerk to the Corporation, Edgar Williams, on 01785-711364 or e-mail him at Edgarwilliams1@aol.com.
The following questions are typically asked by people who are interested in the role and the answers provide clarification of the position:
Do I need any specific skills to become a governor?
No. There are particular rules about the skills or qualifications needed to become college governors. On the contrary, they are lay people who collectively bring to the Corporation a wide range of interests and expertise. When new appointments are made, account is taken of the experience and skills already present. What is much more important is that Governors are enthusiastic people, capable of working as part of a team and who have an interest in helping the College to fulfil its mission.
There are 17 Governors, in the following categories:
12 "external" Governors
2 elected members of staff
2 elected students
The Principal of the College
Governors do not act as delegates. They do not represent any particular organisation or interest group although they may have affiliations with other organisations and may even be nominated by them. All governors are on the Corporation as individuals, representing the community at large.
What is the Corporation actually responsible for?
The main business of the Corporation is to determine the character of the College and to ensure its overall well-being and financial solvency.
In brief, the Corporation is responsible for:
- the determination of the educational character and mission of the College and for oversight of its activities
- the quality strategy
- the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the College and the Corporation and for safeguarding their assets
- approving annual estimates of income and expenditure
- the appointment, grading, suspension, dismissal and determination of the pay and conditions of service of the holders of senior posts and the Clerk to the Corporation
- setting a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.
How much of my time will it take?
The Corporation itself normally meets four times a year usually starting at 4.30 p.m. These meetings last about two and a half to three hours. In addition the Corporation holds two or three development events a year usually in the afternoon.
There are also a number of Committees with particular responsibilities. Most Governors serve on one or two Committees. They each meet between three and five times a year. Almost all Committee meetings start at 4.30 p.m. and they usually last for about two hours.
The Committees are:
- Audit, responsible for monitoring the work of the College's internal and external auditors and for ensuring the effectiveness of the College's systems of internal control
- Dudley Advance Advisory, advises on employer engagement
- Search, which is responsible for recruiting new Governors
- Strategic Impact Committees which monitor the overall quality of performance
- Remuneration, responsible for recommending to the Corporation the pay and conditions of senior staff and for their performance review.
In addition, Governors play a part in the life of the College and may be invited to awards evenings, presentations, art shows and other events.
Will I get any training to help me?
Yes. New governors receive induction training to give them an insight into the work of the College and the Corporation. An experienced governor can act as a mentor to provide advice and to help them to settle into the role.
An annual programme of training is provided for all Governors and there are opportunities to attend regional and national conferences and seminars on issues of particular interest.
Do governors have a job description?
Yes. The Corporation has agreed a role description for Governors and a copy is available from the Clerk to the Corporation.
Are governors paid?
No. Governors at all colleges act in a voluntary capacity and expenses are not paid by the College for attendance at scheduled meetings. However, expenses relating to attendance at courses or conferences may be paid.
What if things go wrong – what are my liabilities?
In terms of personal liability, college governors have a similar legal protection to that available to company directors, charitable trustees and school governors. It means that, if individuals have acted honestly and reasonably, they can be excused personal liability by a court.