Effective Governance Structures

Effective governance structures are a fundamental element of the Code of Good Governance for English Colleges.  This states that college governors must:

Ensure that there are organised and clear governance and management structures, with well-understood delegations. 

The following information includes resources on the board, remuneration of senior post-holders, the chair, board members, the principal, the clerk and board member appointments, terms of office, induction and training.  

Please note that further guidance on the recruitment of governors is available here.

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Case studies

National Leader of Governance (NLG) case study on refreshing the board

Using the 'School Governors One Stop Shop' to recruit business governors (PDF,367.63 KB)

Developing a new strategy to recruit governors - East Norfolk Sixth Form College (PDF,385.47 KB)

Guidance notes

What is Governance? (PDF,495.49 KB)

Asking powerful and challenging questions (PDF,444.54 KB) 
This aide memoire is primarily intended for first-term governors, but will be of use to all.

Getting the best from the board (PDF,396.84 KB) 
Guidance for governors, clerks and senior managers on managing the work of the board to best effect.

Monitoring the senior executive team (PDF,380.75 KB)

Policy Governance (PDF,390.43 KB)
"Carver" model governance. 

Being a critical friend (PDF,497 KB)
Developing the relationship between a college's governors and its managers.

Effective challenge of the senior leadership team (PDF,402 KB)
Developing the effective balance of support and challenge between the governing body and the senior leadership team.

Recruitment of staff, student and parent governors (PDF,247.04 KB)
This will be of particular interest to clerks and search committee members. 

Recruitment of the principal and other members of the senior team (PDF,390.61 KB)
This note is aimed particularly at chairs and members of search and governance committees, but will be of interest to all governors. 

Succession planning for senior staff (PDF,391.41 KB)


For those who are considering becoming or have recently been appointed as a Clerk, the following documents may be of interest:
Clerk's Career Path Part 1: Becoming a Clerk 
Clerk's Career Path Part 2: Career development
Sample Clerk job description 

Principals' challenges, priorities and relationships with governors.pdf (PDF,185.4 KB)

The effective clerk: creating excellence in college governance (PDF,633.67 KB)

Signposting guide for new clerks in college governance (PDF,543.92 KB)

Clerking in the new era: implications for college governance 
Full report (PDF,2.29 MB)
Summary report (PDF,480.54 KB)

A review of further education and sixth form college governance, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2013 (PDF,317.54 KB)
The above document contains the following on remuneration of governors:  Annex B: Payment and Expenses for Governors (PDF,159.2 KB)

Challenges for FE college governance and priorities for development (PDF,449.46 KB)

Creating excellence in college governance (PDF,1.92 MB)

An analysis of the role and responsibilities of chairs of further education college and sixth-form college governing bodies in England (PDF,193.11 KB)

The role of the staff governor, LSIS, 2012 (PDF,1.9 MB)

Ofsted's grade descriptors for effectiveness of leadership, management and governance (PDF,193.63 KB)

Webinars and video

What does Ofsted look for in good governance?  Marina Gaze, Deputy Director FE & Skills, Ofsted