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Governor (Curriculum and Quality expertise) Gateshead College

Bring your curriculum and quality expertise to the Board of Gateshead College and support them as they continue to develop skilled, confident learners who succeed in work and life.

  • Location: Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
  • Salary: Voluntary, reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 27th March

Gateshead College delivers education with employment edge, industry-inspired education that combines high-quality learning with real-world skills, helping all learners develop the confidence, and personal and professional skills to be successful.

Could you bring your curriculum and quality expertise to the College’s Board and make a difference to learners?

Who the College are

Gateshead College is based across four campuses and works to support a diverse range of students to develop the skills and qualifications they need to be successful.

Working in partnership with employers and organisations across the North East, the College plays a key role in shaping and responding to the skills agenda and provides an industry driven curriculum that meets employer needs. It supports over 7,000 students each year, offering study programmes for young people, apprenticeships and a wide range of adult education.

In March 2023, the College was graded as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and ‘Strong’ for skills, reflecting its focus on industry-led education.

The College is an active member of its community and is committed to using its expertise and resources to make Gateshead and the wider region, a better place for everyone to live, work and study.

The day-to-day management of the College is led by the executive team who will support you as a member of the governing body.

The Board’s role is to set the College’s vision and direction and ensure that as an organisation, it is working towards its strategic ambitions whilst maintaining the highest of standards — always putting learners at the heart of everything.

About the role

The College’s Board comprises 16 members from a variety of backgrounds and sectors led by the Chair of the Board, Michael Wood-Williams, and supported by Director of Governance and Compliance, Nicola Taylor.

Board members have a wide range of experience and expertise – currently across education, community, business, finance and leadership.

Because of their diverse backgrounds, they can share corporate responsibility for ensuring the educational character of Gateshead College. They oversee the health of the organisation to ensure it remains financially sustainable, focused on achieving exceptional outcomes that matter and is a place where everyone feels they belong and can succeed.

“Our Board is full of enthusiasm with an aim to be the best in class. As a college, our future couldn’t be brighter, and our culture is unique to anywhere I have worked before. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Michael Wood-Williams, Chair of the Board

The work of the Board is supported by its six formal committees, with governors and co-opted members contributing to oversight across a range of areas: Curriculum and Quality Standards, Finance and General Purposes, Governance, People, Senior Post Holder Remuneration and Audit.

To strengthen the level of expertise on the Curriculum and Quality Standards Committee, the College are now seeking to appoint a new member to their board and this specific committee.

The person appointed will not only contribute to the business of the committee, focused on supporting the growth and improvement of the broad curriculum but also help increase the level of scrutiny, challenge and support available to the College’s senior leaders across the wider governing body.

Who the College are looking for

Led by Principal and Chief Executive, David Alexander, the College has delivered the first year of its strategic plan, has reflected on the successes of the journey so far and considered the areas which need to be prioritised so it can continue to deliver on its agreed purpose.

The leadership team receives support, challenge and scrutiny from a range of dedicated experts, and the Board believes that they can still do more to help shape and support further success for Gateshead College with the addition of another expert who shares their values.

“The College has been through a period of change and development. Our Board is relatively new, and they have joined with enthusiasm to create a great dynamic. Our new governor will have a chance to help create and shape our future.”

David Alexander, Principal and CEO

As such, they seek to appoint a new member to the Board. The appointed candidate will also be invited to join and perhaps, in the future, lead the Curriculum and Quality Standards Committee.

Candidates for this role will need to be able to demonstrate a successful track record as a senior leader in their professional capacity. This experience could have been gained in either a formal education setting, perhaps as a former senior leader within the FE sector, or as a current senior leader in a different educational setting. It may be that your knowledge and understanding of education comes from a relevant role in a non-traditional education setting, such as within a local employer or regional skills focussed entity.

Gateshead College is looking for analytical candidates, who can ask questions that the Board perhaps are yet to ask themselves and use their creativity and innovation to spark new lines of discussion.

Whilst previous governance experience is not essential, candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of governance and how these should be implemented to discharge fiduciary responsibilities in the context of a non-executive board.

Expectations and Commitment

Direct experience in further education is not essential, but you will need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the impact that education has on improving life chances and supporting economic prosperity, as well as a strong commitment to the values and vision of Gateshead College in improving standards of education for the benefit of the students and communities it serves.

You should want to apply your specialist knowledge and expertise to contribute to strategic discussions and decision-making by working constructively as part of a non-executive team. You should demonstrate an understanding that governors must act fairly and impartially, with a commitment to the principles of safeguarding, equality and diversity.

The appointed candidate will be expected to attend four meetings of the Board each year and four additional Curriculum and Quality Standards Committee meetings. All meetings take place in person, allowing governors to experience the vibrant college atmosphere whilst on site. All of these meetings take place between 16:00 – 18:00. Additionally, there are two Board strategy days per year.

Governors on the Board should not be required to dedicate more than 10 hours per month to their role.

Governor induction, training and development opportunities are all available, as well as the invitation to attend exciting events and ceremonies throughout the year. This type of engagement by the governing body with the wider college community is both encouraged and supported.

Peridot Partners and Gateshead 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 consultant at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

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

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Welcome from the Chair

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Governor at Gateshead College. I am delighted to be leading the Board and I’ve been the Chair since April 2023, having previously been the Vice-Chair and a governor since January 2021.

As a College, whose learners achieve excellent outcomes, we are committed to supporting and nurturing students to become employment-ready, helping them fulfil their potential and encouraging their aspirations and ambitions. This is at the heart of everything we do.

We are looking for individuals who share our commitment and passion to ensuring our learners succeed, and who will strengthen our current Board with relevant skills and experience. We welcome diversity of thought and viewpoint – new ideas and ways of working.

If you would like to be part of helping shape how the College delivers its objectives over the coming years, we would be delighted to receive your application.

Michael Wood-Williams
Chair of the Governing Body

Accessibility information

Gateshead College wants to ensure that it is a place where everyone feels included and that they belong. A place where people are valued for being themselves and where there are no barriers to their success.

The College’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is underpinned by the College values and commitments in its strategic plan. This enables it to provide a supportive environment where equality, diversity and inclusion is championed and where teams work hard to meet the needs of different people taking deliberate action to create environments where everyone feels respected and able to achieve their full potential.

Any form of prejudice, discrimination, victimisation or harassment against learners, employees, or members of the public will not be tolerated. Everyone who studies and works at the College shares a responsibility to ensure that learners and colleagues are free to pursue their College and work lives without any kind of harassment or discrimination.

Visit Gateshead College’s website to view its EDI statistics.

The following adjustments can be offered:

  • Height adjustable workstations.
  • Accessible computer keyboards.
  • Adapted office furniture.
  • Speech-recognition (speech-to-text/text-to-speech) software.
  • Hearing loops available for employees, visitors and students — 4 are available and can be made available for interviews.

EDI Leadership programme – The Head of People has been trained with two further leaders to be trained this academic year.

The College is a Disability Confident Employer (level 2 – valid until June 2025)

Applicants 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.

    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 “Gateshead College – Governor (Curriculum and Quality expertise)” into the subject field.

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

    Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

    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.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support 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. Wednesday 27th March 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Tuesday 9th April 2024
    Interviews: Tuesday 16th April 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Gateshead 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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