About the college

Colleges will have a portfolio of internal information which they share with governors. This will describe the strategy and mission of the college, its course offer and the quality of its teaching. The clerk of the Board is likely to be the best person from whom to obtain this and other college information.

Internal information which the college may share with new governors (not exhaustive or compulsory)

Annual report and accounts

This report produced annually each autumn gives an overview of how the college has worked and met its objectives, describes the work of the governing body and provides financial information for the previous year (August to July). This is reviewed and agreed by the corporation, and is signed by the principal, chair of the corporation and the external auditors.

Budget reports

Governors who are members of the finance committee, and possibly other governors, will be given regular (monthly) financial reports. The draft annual budgets will be presented to the finance committee to be scrutinised and recommended to the governing body for agreement.

Business plan/quality improvement plan

The college may have produced a one-year plan of objectives, taken from its strategic action plan, with associated costs and timescales. This may also say who is responsible for each action.

Curriculum and qualification framework

Details of the courses offered by the college and which qualifications its students can obtain are likely to be available in the prospectus or from the website. 

History of the College

The college may have written an overview its development, which may also include intentions for its further development.

Management/organisation structure

Governors should be informed of the college’s management structure, especially as many senior post-holders or other managers may be invited to attend meetings. Some colleges may also make other staffing lists available to governors.

Ofsted Report

The college will have a copy of its latest Ofsted report and may have reports setting out the implementation of planned changes following inspection. 


The course prospectus may exist in either or both paper and electronic versions. In addition to listing the courses and qualifications offered, it may describe the college’s facilities and various extra-curricular activities. This can be a key document for presenting the college to potential students and stakeholders. 

Self-assessment report

This is an annual report, written by the college, providing a self-assessment of areas linked to the delivery of the curriculum. Governors should read and be aware of information contained within it. This report may be looked at by Ofsted prior to an inspection.

Stakeholders’ reports

The college may have written reports for its various stakeholders.

Strategic action plan/strategic plan

The format will vary but this is the long-term plan which the management will have agreed. It is regularly updated and feeds into the business plan. Governors need to be familiar with this plan to be able to fulfil their role in monitoring its development and implementation and to ask questions of the management team.