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Chair Designate of the Board | The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College seeks to appoint an experienced strategic leader with substantial exposure to a non-executive board as their Chair Designate. With knowledge of the City and region, and a deeply felt commitment to improving life chances of students through education and training, you will lead the board and oversee the work of the executive, and shape the ethos and direction of the College.

  • Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses

About the role

The Sheffield College’s Governing Body is made up of 13 independent members, the Chief Executive and Principal, two staff governors and two student governors. The Governing Body operates a committee stewardship governance structure working through four standing committees and a special committee (convened as required) to fulfil its responsibilities.

The College seeks to appoint a new Chair Designate to work for a time with the current Chair to fulfil their duties in:

  • determining the educational character and mission of the College and overseeing its activities
  • approving the College’s quality strategy to foster excellent teaching and learning
  • securing the financial health of the College and safeguarding its assets; and
  • setting corporate objectives and assessing the performance of the Chief Executive and Principal and other senior post holders in achieving those objectives.

Who we're looking for

The Sheffield College has a relatively new Executive Leadership Team led by Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, and including four other senior post holders appointed by the Governing Body: the Deputy Chief Executive (Curriculum, Quality and Assessment), the Executive Director of Finance and Resources, the Executive Director of HR and Organisation Development, and the Governance Advisor and Clerk to the Governing Body.

Ideal candidates for the role will uphold the following attributes:

  • Experience of leading successful change programmes in complex organisations of a comparable size to The Sheffield College
  • Experience of taking the wider view of issues and assessing the short and long-term impact through direct experience of working at a strategic level
  • Substantial experience as a non-executive director, trustee and/or board member
  • An understanding of how to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the role

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

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

Closing date for expressions of interest: 12pm, Monday 16th December 2019

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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Dear Candidate,

Early next year the Governing Body of The Sheffield College (which I’ve chaired since the beginning of 2018) will appoint a Chair-Designate, who will likely take over from me during academic year 2020/2021.

I’ll play no direct part in the choice, but I am intensely keen that our appointment panel of governors, helped by our chosen recruitment partner Peridot, find a very strong shortlist of candidates, and are then able to recommend for appointment someone who will thrive in the role.

In the published role description, we’ve tried to:

  • get to the formal heart of what being Chair of the College’s governing body involves;
  • accurately describe the personal characteristics, experience and skills that the Chair ideally needs.

This is a challenging but unpaid role, in a big and complicated organisation.

If you decide to go for it, and if you get it, you will be rewarded by:

  • being stretched to the full;
  • leading a board of experienced, motivated, supportive and challenging people;
  • shaping the work of great team of interesting, capable and committed senior staff;
  • helping the College take the right path in the next phase of its development.

Most importantly, you will be playing a central role in a College whose staff are making a crucial difference to the:

  • lives of tens of thousands of learners;
  • effectiveness of hundreds of employers;
  • long-term success of the City of Sheffield and the wider City Region.

If you think you fit the role-description I urge you to submit an expression of interest; and if you want to talk to me informally about the role, drop me an email on seb.schmoller@sheffcol.ac.uk to arrange a call.

Seb Schmoller
Chair of Governors
The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College is a large further education college that enrols over 16,000 students and apprentices annually from across the City of Sheffield and nearby areas.

The College has a turnover of approximately £50m and a total headcount of approximately 1,600. The College offers more than 800 qualifications including apprenticeships, BTEC, vocational diplomas, A Levels, ‘Access to Higher Education’ courses, and both Foundation and Honours degrees. The College works annually with over 2,100 employers on nearly 140 apprenticeship programmes.

The Sheffield College has four main campuses:

  • City (at Granville Road)
  • Hillsborough
  • Olive Grove
  • Peaks

The College also has teaching centres at:

  • Fir Vale
  • Eyre Street
  • Stocksbridge Engineering Steels

The College is in a process of rapid change, signalled by:

  • the findings of our most recent Ofsted Monitoring Visit in October 2018 and our September 2019 Ofsted inspection
  • the improvements our students are making in terms of achievement
  • our strong relationships with employers and other partner-organisations across Sheffield
  • the decision by Mayor Dan Jarvis’s Combined Authority to invest more than £3.7m in the development of skills training capacity at our Olive Grove engineering training centre, the Liberty Speciality Steel engineering training centre, and the CTL workplace training facility.

The Sheffield College is a diverse college serving a diverse city. We are proud of our diversity and we have ambitious objectives to advance equality for all groups studying and working at our College.

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 & Person Specification and please fill out the Equality Monitoring Form.

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

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

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

Individuals with the appropriate experience, skills and personal qualities are invited to complete this Expression of Interest Form.

Please ensure that your expression of interest is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chair Designate, The Sheffield College” into the subject field.

People with a disability 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.

We wish to encourage expressions of interest 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 expressions of interest will be considered solely on merit.


Closing date for expressions of interest: 9am, Monday 16th December 2019
Candidates informed of outcome: by 5pm, Monday 13th January 2020
Interviews: Friday 31st January 2020

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and The Sheffield 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 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 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 expression of interest.

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