Home / Roles / Chair of the Corporation Board | Coventry College

Chair of the Corporation Board | Coventry College

Coventry College is looking to appoint their next Chair of the Board – the College is moving through a period of change and development with a recently appointed Principal & CEO. The College is looking to engage an experienced Chair to bring senior executive expertise, a passion for vocational education and a drive for ambition to the benefit of the students, staff and Coventry.

  • Location: Coventry, West Midlands
  • Salary: Unremunerated

About the role

Following the decision of our current Chair, Sue Noyes, to step down at the end of this academic year after three and a half years, we are seeking to appoint her successor to work closely with the Principal & CEO, Carol Thomas, and the senior team.

As Chair, you will have a pivotal role in fostering collaboration between the executive team and the Board of Governors, especially in developing and implementing a new strategic plan for the College. The Chair will ensure that the Board appropriately appraises the College’s performance in meeting strategic objectives, receiving both support and challenge in improving organisational outcomes.

With the support of the Head of Governance, the Chair will ensure that meetings of the Board and its committees have strategic focus and are inclusive in terms of Governor participation, drawing on individual expertise and knowledge.

The position of Chair is voluntary, although all reasonable expenses will be met. We expect the Chair to have the capacity to provide the equivalent of 20-25 days per annum to perform the duties associated with the role.

Who we are looking for

The College has a strong and dynamic Board with a breadth of experience. We require a Chair to complement this existing experience and draw out the very best in the Board. With a naturally strategic mind, experience of operating at a very senior level (ideally within a large, complex business environment), and with a passion and commitment to education and lifelong learning, you will be aware of what good governance looks like in action.

The successful candidate will need to have links to Coventry and its environs and recognise the integral part that further education will play in the development and growth of the city now, and as life starts to return to a level of normality.

As Chair, you will be expected to be an ambassador for the College across the city and beyond, building relationships and developing the reputation of the College in tandem with the Principal & Chief Executive.

Your style should be inclusive and collaborative, enabling and fostering open and honest discussion and debate around the board table. With previous board-level experience (ideally as Chair or Vice-Chair), you will recognise the difference between executive leadership and operations, and Governor decision making and oversight.

With the further education sector expected to continue to change and adapt in response to Government policy, the Chair will need to be decisive; recognising when to act independently and when to draw on the expertise of the Board, the executive team and peers within the sector.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our recruitment consultant:

Sarah Szulczewski | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017 043

Closing date for formal applications: 12 noon, Tuesday 1st June 2021

Further education recruitment with Sarah Szulczewski

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Szulczewski

View profile

Welcome from George Trow, Vice-Chair of the Corporation and Chair of Recruitment Panel

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for expressing an interest in becoming the new Chair of the Corporation: a role requiring commitment and dedication, but one which is highly rewarding in equal measure.

Coventry College has a proud heritage occupying an important place in providing transformative opportunities for the people of Coventry and surrounding area whatever their age.

Following merger in 2017, the College has been on a journey to ensure that it has a sustainable future. To that end, the Corporation has taken the strategic decision to consolidate onto a single, fit-for-purpose campus from summer 2021.

Despite the unique challenges of the past year, the College has performed well in maintaining its core funded numbers and exceeded its adult education targets. The level of support and guidance provided to students during this difficult time has been praised in a recent Ofsted report.

In leading the Coventry Board, you would be joining a balanced group of talented and skilled individuals who want to achieve the very best for our student body and all stakeholders.

We look forward to receiving your application.

George Trow
Vice-Chair of the Corporation and Chair of Recruitment Panel

Welcome from Carol Thomas, Principal & CEO

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining the Board at Coventry College as the incoming Chair of the Corporation.

You will be joining at a time when the College is undergoing a period of rapid change from both a local and national perspective.

The national focus of further education is about providing the next generation with the right level of training for jobs, so it is key that our college is working with employers to understand their needs, so we can create a meaningful pathway for our students which also fulfil employment needs. We have now devised a three-year plan around strategic skills to understand how we can meet those needs by growing the capabilities of our existing facilities and teaching staff.

The lockdown has given us an opportunity to look at the city centre campus which has received overdue investment. Having a single, city-centre campus from September 2021 with up to 8,000 students will help us to create a vibrant and modern atmosphere for both students and our staff.

Coventry College is such an exciting place to work. Staff are starting to see a change now as a result of the time and investment being paid to them as individuals, which, in turn, positively impacts the service that is being provided to our students.

My vision for the College is to be somewhere that people would want to study and know that they are going to get high quality education and as Chair, and I will need your support in achieving this. We need to strengthen our brand and reputation across Coventry and see this as where we need to support each other to be the external ambassadors with our stakeholders.

If you share this vision, have the ambition and energy to help us achieve what we need to, then we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Carol Thomas
Principal & CEO

Transforming lives, enhancing business, enabling communities

Coventry College was formed in August 2017 and is the largest provider of general further education in the City. The College delivers a broad curriculum to over 10,000 learners across a range of exciting and dynamic subject areas from entry level to higher education. The curriculum offer includes vocational, technical and professional education and training designed to meet the needs of the local community and economy.

Building upon the rich histories of its predecessor colleges, City College and Henley College, the Coventry College can trace its origins back to the 19th century with the formation of the Mechanics Institution in 1829. Both predecessor colleges have a proud history of working closely with their communities and industry and this remains a key part of Coventry College’s ethos and vision to provide exceptional education, skills and training.

In September 2021, the College will be moving all operations to the City Campus. With over £1m having already been invested in the single campus, further developments are planned to ensure students have access to high-quality and vibrant learning spaces and facilities.

The vision of Coventry College is underpinned with a set of core values:

  • Learner first: they have high aspirations and high expectations for all learners that supports and challenges each learner to learn, develop, progress and succeed.
  • Excellence: they strive for excellence in all their work, enabling learners to realise their full potential in a positive, inspiring and caring environment.
  • Inclusivity: they are open to all learners, offering a safe environment and celebrating the diversity of their community and the success of their learners.
  • Teamwork: the college works collaboratively to deliver their vision, mission and values.
  • Trust: they value staff, learners, stakeholders and partners, promoting mutual respect and a culture of openness, personal responsibility and accountability.
  • Transparency: they engage with all stakeholders, consulting and seeking their input and welcoming feedback to support growth and improvement.

Coventry is a dynamic and thriving city, with a huge range of growth, innovation and regeneration drivers, albeit with significant socio-economic disparities to overcome in order to ensure these opportunities are fully grasped by the city’s residents.

Coventry is ranked as the eighth best city to live, work and do business in the UK.

The evident growth in job creation and resident employment levels are also accompanied by skills shortages, with many employers citing this as a key inhibitor to further growth, particularly at higher levels. Alongside these concerns, there is an ageing workforce with significant replacement skills and retraining demands forecast to be placed upon businesses over the next 10 years. There are over 20,000 working age residents who still have no formal qualifications and a gap in the number of people in the city region who have higher education qualifications, compared to national and regional comparators.

Additional information about Coventry College can be accessed by using the following links:


    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advisers at Peridot Partners:

    To apply: please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the education, training, knowledge and experience criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

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

    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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    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.


    Application deadline: 12 noon, Tuesday 1st June 2021
    Candidates advised of outcome by: 5pm, Friday 4th June 2021
    Interviews: Friday 11th June 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Coventry College are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse, inclusive, 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 equality monitoring form.

    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 Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    Data Processing, Protection and Privacy Policy

    By completing the form to view, or if you have access to this page from an email invitation, Peridot Partners will have processed your personal information. For more information about Peridot Partners’ data processing activities and your rights, please read our Privacy Policy.

    You might also be interested in: