Become a governor

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Corporation Membership: role description, eligibility confirmation and application

The duties of the Corporation (governing body) are specified in its Instrument & Articles of Government. Collectively, individual members contribute their professional, specialist and general management skills to the Corporation (in its entirety) in a non-executive role. A member is required to be as flexible as possible in the conduct of their responsibilities and duties, ensuring the balance of oversight of the college and its business is seen as a positive contribution that does not interfere with the day-to-day management of the college. The terms ‘governor’ and ‘corporation member’ are often used interchangeably across the sector. 

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Application, role description and eligibility confirmation

The duties of the Corporation (governing body) are specified in its Instrument & Articles of Government. Collectively, individual members contribute their professional, specialist and general management skills to the Corporation (in its entirety) in a non-executive role. A member is required to be as flexible as possible in the conduct of their responsibilities and duties, ensuring the balance of oversight of the college and its business is seen as a positive contribution that does not interfere with the day-to-day management of the college. The terms ‘Governor’ ‘Board Member’ and 'Corporation Member' are often used interchangeably, and the terms, 'Governance Professional', 'Clerk to the Corporation' and 'Director of Governance', are often used interchangeably, across the sector.

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    Corporation Member - Eligibility

    As outlined in the Instruments & Articles of government for the college, some people are not eligible to become governors.

    • no person under the age of 18 may become a governor (unless as a student governor)
    • no person who is a member of staff may become a governor (unless as a staff governor or the Principal)
    • no student of Telford College may become a governor (unless as a student governor)
    • The Clerk to the Corporation cannot be a governor
    • no person adjudged bankrupt or subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or a bankruptcy restrictions undertaking within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986 may be a governor
    • no person who has made a composition or arrangement with creditors, including an individual voluntary arrangement may be a governor until 3 years after the terms of the arrangement have been fulfilled or the debt paid in full.
    • no person who:
      • within the previous 5 years that person has been convicted, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, of any offence and has received a sentence of imprisonment, whether suspended or not, for a period of three months or more, without the option of a fine; or
      • within the previous 20 years has been convicted and has received a sentence of imprisonment, whether suspended or not, for a period of more than two and a half years; or
      • has at any time been convicted and has received a sentence of imprisonment, whether suspended or not, of more than five years.

    Corporation Member - Role Description

    The primary duties of a Corporation member are to:

    • Determine and periodically review the educational character and mission of the institution and to oversee its activities
    • Approve the quality strategy of the college.
    • Make effective and efficient use of resources, safeguard the solvency of the Institution and the Corporation and their assets.
    • Approve annual estimates of expenditure and income.
    • Set a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.
    • Comply with the Instruments & Articles of Government; the English Colleges’ Foundation Code of Governance; the Corporation’s Standing Orders and code of conduct; and any other related governance policy and procedure.
    • dAppoint, grade, suspend, dismiss and determine pay and conditions of the service of senior post holders including the Clerk to the Corporation.
    • Serve on an appropriate committee or working party of the Corporation.
    • Contribute to the business of the Corporation in an effective, efficient, open and transparent manner.
    • Assist in the formulation and monitoring of the college’s strategic plan; financial forecasts and budgets; capital programmes; management of risk; and quality improvement plans, all of which provide the essential framework for the internal management of the college
    • Set measurable targets to support the delivery of the college’s strategic plan
    • Act in the best interests of the college at all times


    The responsibilities of a Corporation member are to:

    • Understand it is their role to determine the strategic policy and overall direction of the college; oversee its activities; and monitor the performance of the Principal and other senior post holders. They are accountable for the solvency of the college and for the proper use of public funds. The Principal is responsible for implementing the Corporation’s decisions; for managing the college’s affairs within the budget and frameworks fixed by the Corporation; and for the day-to-day running of the college
    • Observe the provisions within the Instruments & Articles of Government (and in particular discharge the responsibilities given to them by the Articles), comply with the Standing Orders and ensure the Corporation acts within the powers conferred on it by the Further & Higher Education Act 1992
    • Show the highest loyalty to the college and act in its best interests at all times. This means:
      • Corporation decisions must always be taken for the benefit of the college, its students, staff and other users and with a view to safeguarding public funds
      • Corporation members must not be bound by mandates given to them by other bodies
      • Corporation members must avoid putting themselves in a position where there is an actual, potential or perceived conflict between their personal interests (including those of their family) and those of college. Corporation members must declare any relevant interest in accordance with the provisions in the Instruments and the Code of Conduct
    • Observe the duties set out in the college’s financial memorandum with government bodies and ensure the proper use of income derived from other sources
    • Conduct themselves in accordance with the highest ethical standards and embrace the seven principles of public life laid down by the Nolan Committee
    • Discharge their duties with skills, care and diligence
    • Be committed to securing safeguarding and equality of opportunity within the college, to combating discrimination of whatever grounds and to discharging their legal duties under the relevant anti-discrimination legislation
    • Abide by the principle of collective responsibility. Once a decision has been taken by the Corporation, members have a duty to stand by it, even if they voted against the decision or were absent from the relevant meeting
    • Ensure the business of the Corporation is conducted openly and transparently and, as a general principle, students and staff have free access to information about the proceedings of the Corporation and confidential items are kept to a minimum
    • Attend/undertake all training designated mandatory for Corporation members and inform the Clerk of attendance and/or completion
    • Provide the Clerk with up-to-date contact details and declarations of interest

    Corporation Member - Person Specification

    To be a member of the Telford College Corporation, the following abilities are essential:

    • Working positively with others and debate issues whilst maintaining a constructive atmosphere.
    • expressing ideas / plans in a clear manner and listening actively to other views.
    • establishing quickly an effective course of action for self and others to achieve goals that can be monitored by realistic performance targets.
    • being visionary for the future plans of the college.
    • creating the energy and enthusiasm necessary to be effective and having the tenacity to overcome obstacles.
    • developing a broad-based view of issues / events and perceiving their long-term impact.
    • demonstrating a knowledge and understanding of facts and rationalising appropriately.
    • demonstrating behaviour and skills that motivate others to achieve and inspiring confidence in others to achieve objectives.
    • commitment to developing their own effectiveness as a governor.
    • interest in learners of all ages and their educational development.
    • ability to devote the time required of the role.

    Declaration of interest

    All governors are required to complete a Register of Interests and Eligibility each year.

    This document, which is publicly available, is a record of all governors' business interests, financial or otherwise - the name of their employer; self-employment; related-party transactions; significant shareholdings; partnerships; membership of professional bodies; membership of closed organisations; any financial interest with the college such as the provision of goods or services or remuneration for lectures or consultancies; and elected offices, trusteeships and public appointments (paid or unpaid).

    Formal Confirmation

    Upon appointment, all governors undergo an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, the cost of which is met by the college.

    You will be required to attend approximately 10 scheduled Corporation meetings a year, serve on a committee / group and attend several governor training events / on -site visits throughout the year.