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Chair of the Governing Body MidKent College

MidKent College seeks an experienced Chair with commercial acumen, a passion for vocational education and an ambition to build on our continued success for the benefit of our students and the local community.

  • Location: Maidstone and Medway, Kent
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 24th June

Who we are.

MidKent College is at the heart of our community with a serious commitment and drive to help our students, local businesses, and our local economy thrive and grow through high-quality education and training. We’re ambitious, forward-thinking, and innovative both in the way we deliver to our customers and in the way we manage and develop our people.

We’re committed to being a vibrant and supportive part of our local communities and work closely in partnership with local government, public services, primary care trusts and employers.

We achieved a “Good” Ofsted rating in November 2018 and are confident that our next inspection will reflect the continued hard work, aspiration, and achievements of each one of our departments, people and students. We have three campuses; Maidstone (which is also home to our Institute of Technology, 6th Form Centre and Green Construction hubs), Medway, and the Medway School of Arts site in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard.

About the role.

We are looking to engage a new Chair to lead our non-executive Governing Body with energy, enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication. Our expert Board currently comprising of 15 members collectively monitors the progress and development of the College to ensure we achieve our strategic priorities. Our Governors come from a range of industries and backgrounds including local authority, higher education, engineering and financial services.  To review the current membership of the Board, click here.

Above all else, we will require you to be ambitious for the College and its students, driven by our values – Resilience, Purpose, Passion and Pride. The Chair will have a responsibility to ensure the Board upholds the educational character of MidKent College and acts in accordance with our governing documents and sector-specific legal parameters. The Chair works closely with the Clerk to the Corporation, Corine Burkin, and our Principal & CEO, Simon Cook, to plan the annual business of the Board. Working in close collaboration with the Committee Chairs and other executive leaders the Chair will ensure that agendas are effective, and meetings are run efficiently with full engagement and contribution encouraged.

Whilst our Principal & CEO and his team are experts in building professional relationships with industry, civic partners, and other major local stakeholders, it is expected that our Chair is able and willing to take on the role of lead ambassador for MidKent College in Maidstone and Medway, our regional communities and wider to ensure the advancement of both our own interests and those of the further education college sector.

For your time, energy and expertise, we promise to ensure you receive the critical support and development you will need in order to be successful in this non-executive leadership role. We will invest in you as you are investing in us, and through our partnerships with national membership and sector-based organisations, we look forward to working with you to recognise how fundamental the further education sector is to our country’s economic development, and more crucially to the lives of the people who study with us – regardless of their age, background, or prior learning.

Who we are looking for.

Our next Chair will have a good understanding of the needs and challenges in Medway and Maidstone, and the surrounding areas, recognising the impact on the College and its students, staff and stakeholders. Working with other Board Members and the leadership team, a key part of the role will be to ensure people in our locality have the opportunity to reach their potential.

You will be able to demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to MidKent College and to our strategic priorities. We want to benefit from your significant connections and influence in the region, and ideally on a national level, as well as your ambassadorial networking abilities.

You will be commercially astute whilst having an appreciation of the advantages and constraints of guiding the College as a public sector organisation.

A number of new governors have recently joined the Corporation and you will lead the whole Board to become a cohesive team, reflecting on and reviewing the 2020 College Strategy to ensure it drives forward our ambition for the future. You will work with each member individually to bring their different strengths to the fore and create a united Board.

In order to lead our Board, we feel it is important you have experience of, or prior exposure to a non-executive board and can easily recognise the key differentiators between strategic oversight and operational delivery. With sound knowledge of corporate governance and how fundamental it is to both the success and sustainability of an organisation, it would be helpful if you brought previous experience of chairing meetings and events, ideally in the capacity of a non-executive Chair, Trustee, or Director.

Recognising the diversity in our area, we very much encourage the interest of candidates who will support us in our ambition to further diversify the leadership and governance of MidKent College. We acknowledge there is work to do and working hard to ensure our decision-makers are reflective of the communities we serve.

Across all of this, we need our next Chair to have the necessary time to devote to the role.  It is so important to us that you have the capacity to take on this public duty and become the next custodian of MidKent College, for the benefit of tens of thousands of students who will study and train through us over the coming years ahead.

Peridot Partners and MidKent College are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

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

Drew Richardson-Walsh, please contact Abbie Johnson | abbie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07398 140 818

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Yultan Mellor | yultan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07432 841854

Education recruitment with Drew Richardson-Walsh

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Drew Richardson-Walsh

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Welcome from Simon Cook, Principal

About Midkent College

Every year over 7,500 students from Medway, Maidstone and beyond choose MidKent College to continue their studies and prepare for their future careers.

The Medway Campus boasts some of the best vocational training facilities in the country as well as its own fine dining restaurant, and staff and student social zones. The refurbished Maidstone Campus on the Oakwood Park complex has undergone a major redevelopment to provide state-of-the-art workshops, social zones and much more focused around the whole student experience. As part of the rebuild and refurbishment, the college proudly opened the University Centre Maidstone, providing a valuable higher education and professional training centre for Maidstone.

For over 100 years MidKent College have been providing high-quality technical training and apprenticeships in a range of subject areas.

In November 2018 Ofsted rated the College as ‘Good’.

Ofsted describes the college as a ‘student-centred College’ where every decision, in every area of the College, is focused on how it benefits the students. Their success is the colleges success, and they will do everything in their power to help students achieve and thrive at the college.

More young people choose to study with MidKent College than any other school or training provider in Medway and Maidstone. That means they have a thriving community where students can enjoy their time at College whilst preparing for the world of work. It also means the college can offer a broad range of programmes to suit the student’s needs and future aspirations.

A high proportion of the training is carried out in simulated work environments – Yes, they have ‘normal’ classrooms too, but much of a student’s study programme will involve a significant amount of time in one of the simulated work environments; getting to grips with the same equipment and technology that would be found in the workplace. This means for example that Healthcare Practitioners learn in a mock hospital ward (and, thanks to a unique partnership with organisations like Medway Hospital and Cygnet Health Care, real wards too), graphic designers work in fully-

equipped design studios, construction tradespeople develop their skills in spacious workshops, and cabin crew take to the skies in the aircraft cabin!

Each lecturer at MidKent College has built their careers in their subject areas prior to becoming teachers. That means every student will benefit from their considerable experience in the workplace, and their teaching will come to life through real-life case studies and examples of projects that they have been involved with – invaluable in supporting students to prepare for work. They also have links back to industry, which helps with securing the very best guest speakers and work experiences for the students.

With secure and healthy finances, MidKent College are in a privileged position to build on their successes, plan for the future and continue to focus on the outcomes for students and the community.

The college also runs a subsidiary organisation – MKC Training Services.

MKC Training Services are experts in training and education to organisations and adult professionals in the areas of construction, engineering and health & safety. MKC Training was set up over 10 years ago to design and deliver artisan, technical and professional training services in 13 different trades to the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) at Brompton Barracks in Gillingham. They also provide world-class training to a wide range of commercial and defence businesses, across all industries and in both public and private sectors, offering:

  • All-inclusive training and support services
  • World-class workshops
  • Excellent equipment and facilities
  • Knowledge from industry professionals, defence and academia
  • Innovative training that blends face-to-face instruction with e-learning and augmented reality

In addition to their regular timetable of public and in-company courses, MKC Training also builds bespoke courses in Engineering, Construction and Health and Safety to suit individual business’s needs. From designing all elements of the course, including e-learning materials to delivering and assessing – they take care of the whole training package, saving organisations time and money.

Our college is led by an experienced Governing Body – the legal non-executive board of our organisation – and a talented executive leadership team committed to the management of the College through robust operational strategies.

Strategically, we are committed to:

Education – the delivery of high-quality education and training to our students.

Economy – ensuring that the skills and qualifications gained by students meet the needs of local businesses and support economic growth.

Community – preparing students to serve as valuable, contributing members of the local community.

Digital Transformation – the adoption of technology in teaching learning and assessment and across our business operations.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) – being a welcoming and supportive environment for our staff, students and communities where people from different backgrounds can achieve their potential.

Sustainability – evaluating and mitigating the impact of our operation on the local and global environment.

This is all possible thanks to the strategic oversight and challenge of our Governing Body – responsible for the direction and function of the College, our financial health and the quality of service we offer to the community. Our Governing Body comprises individuals with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences who volunteer their time and skills to the benefit of our students and the communities we support.

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. We offer the following amenities:

  • 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

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

Drew Richardson-Walsh, please contact Abbie Johnson abbie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07398 140 818

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Yultan Mellor | yultan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07432 841854

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


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    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 “Application: MidKent College – Chair of the Governing Body” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

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

    Drew Richardson-Walsh, please contact Abbie Johnsonabbie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07398 140 818

    Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

    Yultan Mellor | yultan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07432 841854

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

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    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 24th June 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 28th June 2024
    Interviews: Thursday 11th July 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and MidKent 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. 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.

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