Set on a picturesque campus with views of the Malvern Hills, New College Worcester is a unique education provider, currently searching for four new Governors to shape and support their provision.
New College Worcester is a unique college, delivering education to young people who are blind or vision impaired (VI) in a beautiful, rural setting to the southwest of Worcester. The college has a long and proud history. Initially established in 1886, the college moved to its current site over a century ago. Today, the college welcomes students from across the country. As a provider of both day and residential education, the majority of students attend from outside of the immediate, local area.
“The students here are just amazing. When times are tough, just spend two minutes with one of our students, and you realise why you are here. It’s a genuine privilege to work here.”
Nicki Ross – Principal
Due to this ‘national catchment area’, the college works hard to foster a sense of community and is very proud of its success in relation to this. It is this sense of ‘feeling like family’ which is frequently described by staff, students, and parents/carers alike and is one of the keys to the college’s success.
Senior Leaders and Governors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the college has the appropriate mix of education and curriculum knowledge, coupled with expertise relating to visual impairments to create a successful and ambitious learning environment for their students.
Ask anyone at the college what makes the place special, and they will all say the same thing; quite simply, it’s the students:
“The students blow your mind! Their confidence, courage, uniqueness, and their skills. It’s just a very special place.”
Diana Fulbrook OBE – Chair of Governing Body
The college currently delivers a curriculum almost identical to that provided in a mainstream setting, from Years 7 to 13 – including GCSE’s and A Levels. There is an additional focus on independent living skills, mobility, accessibility technology, braille, and a keen focus on extra-curricular opportunities. The college has a lot of success in relation to academic attainment with many going on to higher and further education, but to New College Worcester, success isn’t just about grades or pass rates. Whilst these are of course important, success to New College Worcester means ensuring their young people are appropriately prepared to live independent, happy and fruitful lives once their education is complete.
“All of our students are ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. And so, we focus on not just doing all of the paperwork, but making sure that they are kids who get to be kids.”
Nicki Ross – Principal
At present, the college currently has 75 students enrolled, with additional capacity to enrol a further small number. Alongside the continuous quality improvement processes relating to education, the college have ambitious plans for the future. There is a desire to expand and modernise accommodation to increase capacity, whilst adapting and developing the wider site more generally.
To support all of the aspirations highlighted above, and to ensure that the college continues to offer high quality education in a safe setting, where the safeguarding and wellbeing of students is paramount, the college are seeking to appoint a total of four new Governors to support two different committees.
Firstly, two new Governors will sit on the college’s Residential Care and Safeguarding Committee (RCSC), including one being appointed as Chair, with the incumbent looking to step down after many years of success.
Secondly, two other Governors will be appointed to the Education Services Committee which seeks to support the continued excellence of educational provision at the college.
The focus of these two committees is distinctly different in focus but collectively, they are vital in supporting the long-term success of New College Worcester.
With regards to the role of Chair of the RCSC, the postholder will need to have extensive experience in the safeguarding of young people along with up-to-date knowledge of relevant policies and practice. This does not need to have been in a formal education setting.
To complement the skill set of the new RCSC Chair, the college are looking to appoint a second Governor to this committee who has experience within the residential care sector – especially where this relates to young people.
It would be useful for candidates of these RCSC roles lived within a commutable distance of the college, as there will be a requirement to attend a minimum of one meeting per month each at the college, to assist and advise on relevant matters.
“I want to show new governors the potential of the place for the future, and I want to find governors who can stretch our thinking and think big with our site.”
Diana Fulbrook OBE, Chair of the Governing Body
In terms of the Education Services Committee roles, individuals interested in these roles will need an in-depth understanding of education, preferably gained through a delivery background at a senior level. This does not need to be within a specialist education setting; a background in mainstream education would be welcomed. Applications to these roles are welcomed from across the country.
It is expected that all Governors, (where not a Chair), would need to dedicate a minimum of 4 days per term to the role. All meetings of the governing body and its sub-committees currently take place during the college day.
I am delighted that you are considering applying for the role of a Trustee Governor at New College Worcester (NCW).
Being a national college and unique in its offer for blind and vision impaired (VI) children, NCW offers a unique opportunity to use your skills and experience in a very special environment. You will be joining a strong board of people from different backgrounds all of whom are passionate in our aim to be a centre of excellence for blind and VI young people. Most had little experience of this when they joined but quickly saw how special the college community is.
Like all educational establishments, we operate in challenging times and the board has been working with the senior leadership team to plan a new phase of development for NCW to sustain its long-term future. A 5-year rolling strategic plan is reviewed annually and from September we will have three strategic priorities: students make excellent progress; Residential care is outstanding; and secure a sustainable future for NCW.
The college is a charity, a company and a school, and the skills and experience of the trustee governors reflect these areas of responsibility. It is a residential establishment so care, safeguarding and the development of independent living skills are a central part of community life.
Staff and trustee governors are passionate about providing the very best for students in preparation for adulthood and meeting individual need is at the forefront of provision.
Whilst NCW is a niche college for the blind and VI, with some also having complex needs, it is primarily for more able children. We have a new Principal starting in September and the governing body works effectively with the senior leadership team. We believe we have a potentially exciting future and would love to hear from those attracted to joining us in the challenges ahead.
Diana Fulbrook OBE
Chair of Governing Body
New College Worcester (NCW) is an independent national residential college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or vision impaired. It has been in existence for over 150 years in various forms and is now a non-maintained special school. At NCW, it is our aim to ensure there are no barriers to success for any child with a vision impairment. The combination of tailored learning, extra-curricular experiences and the immense support offered by staff and peers means that every child has the opportunity to achieve their very best potential.
The college accepts students with a broad variety of vision impairments and some students have additional needs such as a hearing impairment, autism or have limited mobility. Places are usually funded by the student’s Local Authority.
NCW Students have a wide range of academic ability following the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, following onto GCSEs and AS/A2 courses. The college offers some entry level and vocational courses in key stage 4 and 5 and some sixth-formers follow vocational programmes at a local college supported by NCW staff. Students also have Independent Living Skills (ILS), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mobility, Braille and PE lessons, and some students follow ASDAN courses (personal, social and communication skills).
There are currently 75 students enrolled and most of whom stay as full or weekly boarders, with a few attending daily. There is separate accommodation for those in the sixth form and some sixth-formers stay for a third year to consolidate their learning and independence skills.
The Equality and Diversity policy outlines the commitment of the staff, students and governors of New College Worcester (NCW) to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the college community. For NCW, this means not simply treating everybody the same but understanding and tackling the different barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for different groups of students in college, whilst celebrating and valuing the achievements and strengths of all members of the college community.
Our accessibility provisions include:
If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultant for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfil your needs.
Thank you for your interest in this role.
Please download the Application Form, Committee Chair Role Description and Person Specification or Member of the Governing Body Role Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.
To formally apply, please complete the Equality Monitoring Form and Application Form, clearly outlining your career history 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 email@example.com inserting “New College Worcester – Governor” or “New College Worcester – Chair of RCSC” 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07939 994524
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 11th July 2022
Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. Friday 15th July 2022
Interviews: Tuesday 19th July 2022
Peridot and New College Worcester 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.