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Chair of Governors West Thames College

Lead the Board of West Thames College as their next Chair. West Thames College knows who it is and lives by its principles with a team that cares deeply about providing opportunities for the communities it serves.

  • Location: Isleworth/Feltham
  • Salary: Unremunerated
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

About the Role

West Thames College serves the diverse communities from across the West London boroughs. Delivering to students across their Isleworth and Feltham campuses, they provide education and training to more than 5,000 students.

“It’s not hard to understand what makes West Thames different. We are an organisation with a clear set of values and principles. These are not just words on paper, but a clear set of behaviours we stand by.”

Tracy Aust – Principal & CEO

Over the last few years, the college has been on a very positive journey. A journey of growth and development driven by passion and ambition.

Rather than merge with neighbouring institutions, the college developed and lived a new ethos: stand alone – but grow through partnership. It is this philosophy that has seen the college thrive, with extensive partnerships with a range of local community partners, investment in areas such as their Skills + Logistics Centre at Feltham, and financial stability vital to their future. This success was recognised in the awarding of a ‘Good’ grade from Ofsted in September 2021, an achievement that everyone associated with the college was immensely proud of.

Looking to the future, incumbent Chair, Simon Wilcox has taken the decision to step down after two successful terms. With his planned departure in mind, the college now seek a new Chair to take up the challenge and opportunity to work with a collaborative Board, an experienced Principal & CEO, and a dedicated staff team, all of whom are trying to steer the college on their next step. Sights are firmly set on Ofsted ‘Outstanding’, deeper partnerships, and providing even wider opportunities for the communities that they serve.

Coming in as the new Chair of West Thames College, you will find it to be a role built on very strong foundations and underpinned by shared values and clear understanding of responsibilities between the non-executive board and the executive leadership.

“Being the Chair of West Thames College is a privilege – to see the difference and the impact of our decisions in our local community.”

Simon Wilcox – Chair of West Thames College

Who we’re looking for

To support the college through their next stage of development, they are looking to appoint a new Chair of their Governing Body; initially as a Chair Designate to shadow, learn, and understand current process, people, and relationships.

The Board are hoping to find an individual with significant executive management and leadership experience; someone who has navigated organisations through short- and long-term challenges to successful outcomes aligned to strategic aims. The new Chair will need to have excellent communication skills to effectively deal with a range of stakeholders both internal and external to the college.

Whilst the post holder does not have to be an expert in education, it is vital that they have a genuine passion for education and training. A strong relationship with West London and the communities that the college serves would be most useful.

The college would welcome candidates with diverse talents and experiences and are looking for a Chair who can offer something new, bring a fresh lens, and support the development of new links, partnerships and potentially, investment.

There is an expectation that the new Chair will need to be able to dedicate up to five hours per week to the role. This will include 1-2-1s with the Principal & CEO, meeting preparation and attendance, and other ad-hoc requirements.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994 524

Drew Richardson-Walsh by emailing laura@peridotpartners.co.uk

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dan Baxter

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Welcome from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

I have had the privilege of being a Governor and Chair of the Governing Body of West Thames College over the past eight years.

Throughout my career, I have been widely involved in community activities and developing people through coaching and education.  I first became aware of West Thames College when I worked at Heathrow Airport which is a major employer in the local area and which the college has continued to maintain and strengthen the relationship with.

For the last eight years I’ve been a governor and now Chair of West Thames College.  It truly is a fantastic organisation to be part of and I’m proud of what has been achieved during a challenging few years.  We are financially strong, provide high quality education and have fantastic facilities for our students to enjoy.

Our Principal & CEO, alongside the entire college staff team are deeply committed to making a difference. Walking into the college you get a real sense of the buzz and culture of West Thames College, a dynamic and vibrant college at the heart of our community.

The highlight of being a governor is listening to learners tell their stories and their ambitions – and to listen to how the college has helped transform their future opportunities.

Being a Governor, or a Chair, requires enthusiasm, time, and commitment – but in my experience the rewards in terms of learning and the joy of helping people makes it more than worth the effort.

Thank you for showing interest in the role of Chair.  I am confident the college has a clear strategy and a strong plan to deliver long term quality education at the heart of the community.

Under the future Chair’s leadership, I am certain the college will continue to flourish, and I wish you all the success in your application.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Wilcox

Chair of Governors

West Thames College

About West Thames College

We are West Thames College, a community of more than 5,000 students, supported and educated by a talented and dedicated staff team at our Isleworth and Feltham campuses. Our Skills + Logistics Centre at Feltham is our vocational centre of excellence for logistics, construction, engineering, and motor vehicle curriculum specialisms – areas we have invested significantly in over the past few years to meet the needs of employers.

In September 2021, Ofsted graded us as being ‘Good’ which we are incredibly proud of having achieved. Leaders and employees across the College have worked tremendously hard to achieve this milestone and we now have our sights on being Ofsted ‘Outstanding’. We are ambitious for our students and for ourselves, as reflected in our mission and vision to be a vibrant college, inspiring all our learners to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. Our outstanding education and training will contribute to a prosperous and cohesive community.

Underpinning this vision are our four shared values and beliefs of Integrity, Excellence, Equality & Respect

A key focus of ours is to provide clear progression routes into employment, further training, or higher education (HE) for our students. As such, many curriculum areas offer courses from entry/foundation level through to university level. In addition to our own HE provision, we work in partnership with key HE providers to ensure excellent progression routes for our students. We also offer courses for adults who want to change their careers or complement their current jobs by studying with us either full-time or through a range of part-time and evening courses across both our campuses.

Our Skills + Logistics Centre at our Feltham campus directly addresses skills gaps in the priority sector of logistics, an area in which we design and deliver high-quality vocational training with clear routes to employment. With the employability of our students in mind, we work closely with JCP and others to deliver training in a range of subjects such as warehousing and storage, forklift and reach truck driving. We are proud to be one of only a small number of providers delivering the national apprenticeship Standard in International Freight Forwarding Specialist to apprentices employed by several large national and global logistics employers.

Due to the local demographic around us, our courses designed for those who speak English as another language (ESOL) are hugely popular and we are pleased to support our local community with this specific need. In many cases, our ESOL pathways lead to our Pre-Employment Training (PET) programmes which have grown during a period in which unemployment has been relatively low. This provision has been increasingly important as unemployment rises due to the impact of COVID-19 and we feel well-placed to support the economic recovery by upskilling and reskilling the local workforce.

Working in partnership with employers is vital to our success and the development of our curriculum offer, and we are grateful to have employer partners which include:

  • Health & Care – Chelsea and Westminster Trust, Avant Healthcare, Healthwatch Hounslow and Isleworth Town Primary School
  • Business – ECOWorld, Move Inn Estates, London Borough of Hounslow and British Heart Foundation
  • ICT – SAP, Rowsey International, Chiswick Computers and Mentfield
  • Construction – Balfour Beatty, Mclaughlin & Harvey Construction, Volkerfitzpatrick and Countryside Homes
  • Hair & Beauty – Elemis, Urban Decay, Lionel Abrahams, Heathrow Airport and Mark Summers Casting
  • Public Services – Isleworth Crown Court, Brentford County Court, Royal Navy and Kingfisher Security
  • Aviation and Travel – Menzies Aviation, British Airways, Zee Travels and Skytrak Travel
  • Media – Richmond Theatre, Stride, adam&eveDDB, Sky and Gunnersbury Museum

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for colleges in the FE sector. Whilst we have worked hard to ensure the financial probity of our organisation and secure outstanding financial health, we have put in place plans to ensure this recent period of uncertainty does not have a lasting impact on our organisation.

  • Ofsted Report – September 2021
  • Governance Structure Chart
  • Financial statements 2020-21

West Thames College champions excellence, integrity, equality and respect. This means we aspire to the highest achievements for our students and the best possible working environment for our staff.

The whole college community – women and men, younger and older, from different , social and ethnic backgrounds, a variety of faiths, cultures and languages, lesbian, gay and straight, disabled and non-disabled – we are all treated with the same respect and entitled to the same chances to succeed.

We champion diversity because we know that a rich mix of people makes the college a more productive and creative place to study and work. And we champion equality because it is the right thing to do.

Some examples of our accessibility provisions include:

  • Step free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interview
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted

Adjustment of office or classrooms, materials provided in different formats and methods. Note –taker, interpreter and BSL.  Additional support and equipment, ramps, lifts and alterations to physical features.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “West Thames College – Chair” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

     Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994 524

    Drew Richardson-Walsh by emailing laura@peridotpartners.co.uk

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    Closing date: 12 p.m. Monday 27th June 2022
    Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. Friday 1st July 2022
    Interviews: Monday 4th July 2022

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and West Thames College are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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