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Governor (Finance) Bath College

Make a difference to Bath College at the start of an ambitious change programme. The College seeks a visionary, strategic and commercially minded qualified finance professional to join the Corporation Board.

  • Location: Bath, Somerset
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 26th June

About Bath College

Bath College is a community of learning, constructed through the dynamism and vibrancy generated by our different students who are at the heart of all we do. We aim to ensure students enjoy their learning and training experience and benefit from exciting and inspiring teaching. Student’s individual needs are accommodated in the teaching and training approach which integrate and maximise the use of technology and digital learning within delivery.

The recent history of the college began with the joining of two distinct former colleges, City of Bath College and Norton Radstock College, which took place in April 2015.

The College continues to operate over two main campuses at the City Centre and Somer Valley. Recent investment in estates at both campuses has been supported by the West of England LEP and the Combined Authority, the local authority B&NES, and the College itself. The College also offers adult provision in community venues across Bath and North East Somerset.

The College has a good reputation with its stakeholders and partners, offering a distinctive curriculum which is well-matched to local, regional and national needs, particularly with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) priorities. There is a strong focus on vocational and technical education at all levels. This includes full-time provision for young people, apprenticeships for all ages, and part-time and flexible provision — no A levels are offered.

There is a strong and growing provision for SEND across both campuses with a newly developed SEND centre at the Somer Valley Campus. There is also a thriving programme of adult community courses.

Partnerships with businesses and key stakeholders are central to the College’s work, alongside a very strong community and civic ethos. Recent examples of partnerships include Institute of Technology status for Bath College opened in 2020; a FWD programme in partnership with the University of Bath, Bath Spa University and B&NES local authority; and a Restart initiative with Bath Spa University.

Bath College serves the World Heritage city of Bath and the north east Somerset town of Radstock and the surrounding areas. Students also travel from north and west Wiltshire to study, as there are good train links from Chippenham, Trowbridge and Westbury. Some students travel from parts of Bristol with which there are also good train links.

Bath itself is generally a prosperous area but also includes some of the most economically deprived areas in the country, with B&NES seeing some of the worst achievement for disadvantaged young people in England and Wales. The area is strong in the creative industries: arts, crafts, media, design, software, architecture and engineering.

Financial and professional business services also make very significant contributions to the local economy. The retail and tourism sectors have played a major role in the local economy.  Part of the city, North/South Quays, is an enterprise area.

In the Radstock area, much employment is in manufacturing. Although some large-scale businesses have been closed, this area presents positive opportunities to increase economic competitiveness, particularly with SMEs and highly skilled entrepreneurs. Radstock has been designated as an enterprise zone.

Strategic planning

Financial challenges and an Ofsted rating of ‘requires improvement’ in October 2023 have necessitated a significant change in the strategic direction and stewardship by the Board in 2024.

Rightsizing Bath College to be a sustainable standalone College, financially secure and able to meet the challenges of future FE policy changes has been the focus of strategic review and planning in the first half of 2024.

Recognising that a period of consolidation and transformation was required; the Board sought to secure leadership with expertise in turnaround, and the Board appointed a Fixed Term CEO and Principal (Martin Sim) to set a renewed trajectory for the College for a period of 12 months. This appointment commenced in March 2024 and will end in March 2025. The objectives for the fixed-term role are to set the College on a path to sustainability. It is anticipated that the substantive CEO will continue the path of this first 12 months and will be able to build on the foundations we have built during this time.

The appointment of a substantive CEO and Principal will therefore be skilled in leading successful organisations, and able to translate vision into turnaround and transition.

Our Chief Operating Officer commenced in January 2024 and is making a strong contribution to leading the financial planning, estates, marketing and MIS functions — as well as looking to commercial development.

An Interim Director of People and Culture started in May to lead a programme of culture change and workforce planning and review – crucial to achieving the systemic and innovative recovery plans the Board has required.

Peridot Partners and Bath 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:

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

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Atkins-Boal

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Who we are looking for

We have an accomplished qualified (CIMA) accountant in our Chair of Finance and Resources Committee, and we are seeking another qualified finance professional to work alongside her to add an additional skillset to the mix.

We are embarking on a recovery journey and have some exciting choices ahead and need someone visionary to scrutinise the options ahead.

We’re also looking for someone who might have a broader skillset. Perhaps you have been a Chief Operating Officer or CEO? Perhaps you are an accountant but have also led estates and marketing as part of a portfolio of departments.

We’d be interested in a Governor who has a wider skillset and who can add additional viewpoints and expertise.

In return, you get to work with us to make a real difference. We are at the beginning of a change programme. You’ll get to see it through with us.

There is a strong and experienced skillset amongst the Governors of the Corporation Board, including representatives from major businesses and organisations in the area as well as key community representatives.

The Chair of the Corporation is Professor Andy Salmon, who has had a long career in both further education and higher education and has held other non-executive positions in charities and third sector bodies. Andy has been Chair since July 2021.

There is a streamlined Board of 15 governors which meets monthly and until 2023 had minimal committees, so that Governors considered issues as a whole and a strong strategic focus was fostered.

In 2023 a ‘revised’ Committee structure was introduced to consolidate focus in the areas of finance and quality in particular. This is under review to ensure these committees support effective scrutiny and add value to the work of the executive. There are Link Governors in safeguarding, SEND, careers, teaching and learning and digital.

The work of a Member of the Corporation Board (Governor) in setting the strategic direction of Bath College and providing leadership is central to the success of the College.

By becoming a Governor at Bath College, you will be joining a committed board and aspiring college. This is your opportunity to steer provision that benefits the students, the local community and employers directly. Being a Governor at Bath College is hugely rewarding and is an opportunity to make a real difference to the communities served by the College.

Sound governance requires more than simply ensuring that the books balance and that the CEO & Principal is getting on with the business of running the College within the parameters established by the Governors.

Colleges must be able to respond to changes in direction of government policy and anticipate changing needs in their communities. The Corporation Board must be actively involved in reviewing the role of the College and in planning and managing change to ensure the long-term health and success of the College.

You will need to have a passion for education and a drive for ambition to build on the College’s success for the benefit of their students, their staff and the local communities. This should be underpinned with a track record of strong strategic leadership and expertise as a qualified finance professional.

You will support the development and influence the direction of Bath College at a time of challenge and turnaround for the College as it seeks to secure the organisation for the future and aspire to provide strong education and training opportunities for young people and adults across the region.


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

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

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

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    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 26th June 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 5th July 2024
    Interviews: Friday 12th July 2024

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