We are looking for individuals with the right skills to serve as FE board members in England, including as future finance committee chairs – an important role that requires specific skills and experience. This is a voluntary post with similar duties to a non-executive director of a company.
By serving on an FE board, you’ll be using your expertise to make a difference to the life chances of young people and adults in your community. You’ll also be helping to ensure that your region has a skilled, well-trained workforce, which in turn has a positive impact on the economy.
You’ll also have the opportunity to develop your own skills and experience in strategic planning, leadership, financial management, data analysis, communication and negotiation. While the role is unpaid, the personal and professional benefits are significant.
Please note, many FE providers require their board members to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as they may be in contact with vulnerable adults and young people. Individuals who have been declared bankrupt are not able to serve as board members.
Are you signed up to another governance recruitment service? Not to worry. You are welcome to register with Inspiring FE Governance regardless of which other services you have signed up to.
The Role: FE board member
Good governance is essential to the success of our FE providers. FE boards are made up of governors, anywhere from 10-18 individuals, who operate like non-executive directors on a company board. They are highly committed external members who are volunteers, drawn from a range of backgrounds including business, local government and education, along with staff and student members.
The governing board oversees the strategic direction of the college or other FE provider. It appoints senior post holders who are responsible for running the organisation on a day-to-day basis. The governing board will also:
- ensure the solvency of the organisation
- safeguard public funds and assets
- approve the annual budget
- determine the organisation’s mission
FE boards are looking for governors with high-level, professional experience, including leadership and management, operations, finance, project management, human resources, public affairs, marketing and more.
For more information, see the board member role description and person specification.
Interested in finding out about vacancies in your area?
The Role: Finance committee chair
The finance committee is a subcommittee of the main governing board, usually with 6-8 members. While the terms of reference will differ across colleges and FE providers, the broad remit is to give assurance to the main governing board, and hence the executive team, on the suitability and appropriateness of the financial strategy and policies.
This is likely to include:
- reviewing financial plans and budgets
- monitoring financial performance against budget
- reviewing funding, banking and other financing arrangements
- approving capital projects and other major commitments
The chair’s role is key to the successful running of the finance committee and the overall board, by ensuring it has the financial information it needs to make effective strategic decisions. As such the chair needs skills in strategic leadership and chairing meetings, as well as robust financial awareness and the ability and confidence to manage budgets in the range of £12 million to £120 million.
We are looking for volunteers to serve on finance committees, with a view to taking on the chair role in future.
For more information, see the finance committee chair role description and person specification.
Interested in finding out about finance committee roles in your area?
Access to training
Current or future finance committee chairs and board members with responsibility for finance can access training through the Education and Training Foundation. Combining distance learning and a half day face-to-face delivery, this reasonably priced course focuses on effective governance and finance responsibilities. The course will enhance participants’ understanding of FE finance and funding, including leading practice approaches to performance monitoring and risk management. See more information.
The Inspiring FE Governance service is funded to support governance of FE providers in England. For more information about FE governance in Wales, a good starting point is Colleges Wales. In Scotland, the body that represents FE colleges is Colleges Scotland. Northern Ireland, the relevant organisation is Colleges Northern Ireland. To make connections with other types of FE providers, a starting point is the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, which has members across the UK.