Are you passionate about opportunities for people in your community? Are you keen to contribute to the work of your local Further and Higher Education College and help to make a real difference to the people of Southport? Then you may be interested to join our Board at Southport College.
Southport College merged with King George V Sixth Form in January 2018 and is now the largest provider of post-16 education in the area. It operates over two modern campuses in the town providing vocational and technical courses for school leavers and adult learners, as well as offering expert Apprenticeship training and a wide range of Higher Education courses to around 3,500 learners each year.
The Colleges’ retain their well-established brand identities, campuses and student populations as Southport College and KGV College but work together to share expertise and good practice and collectively offer a comprehensive range of courses for the local community.
The College has an annual turnover around £12 million and employs over 450 people making it one of the largest employers in Southport and an important part of the local business community and economy. The College is actively involved in the local community through its provision of training and education opportunities to both residents and businesses, but also supports 300 employers across the area to build a skilled workforce for the future.
The College has invested in exceptional facilities to support the varied curriculum and provide a first-class learning environment for students and staff. Run by experienced industry tutors, facilities include music, TV and radio studios, simulated Crime Scene and Hospital rooms, four Library Learning Centres, extensive workshops for construction and a nursery room where Childcare students work with visiting toddlers and pre-schoolers. The College also runs a commercial hair, beauty and barbering salon – Concept Salons and a fine dining restaurant – Clouds, in stylish surroundings with panoramic views of Southport.
In 2019, Southport College University Centre was formerly opened, providing Higher Education Students with high quality dedicated facilities and a social learning space. The Centre offers a wide range of degree and HND courses, all available to study in the town centre. Degrees are awarded through their partnerships with the University of Cumbria and UCLAN. The Centre has over 200 students each year. Southport College is proud to be a student focussed and highly inclusive college and were the first college in the country to achieve the Rainbow Flag Award (Jan 2020) in recognition of its commitment to equality and celebration of diversity in the college community. In addition, the college is recognised as a Disability Confident employer.
Students at the College achieve excellent results, with A level achievement in the top 10% of colleges nationally with a 100% pass rate in 2020. They are also proud to be approved by the DfE to deliver new T Levels from Sept 2022.
The Ofsted Inspection in February 2020 assessed the College as ‘Good’ and judged progress in quality to be ‘significant’. However, the College has the ambition to become outstanding. At a follow up visit in December 2020, Ofsted were impressed with the way the College had embraced modern technology, both with digital teaching resource and stimulating and engaging courses, virtual campus tours and open events during the COVID-19 restrictions. Their Apprenticeship provision however does require improvement, and this is a key area of focus for the College.
Financially, the College has faced pressures since the merger and has a recovery plan in place to achieve sustained financial recovery. It is highly reliant on education sector funding from recurrent grants which accounts for 91% of its total income. The College finances are influenced by student numbers and since the college has experienced a declining cohort of 16–18-year-old learners, with increasing competition from other local providers and school sixth forms, the recovery of student numbers is a critical part of future development. Despite these challenges, which are typical across the FE sector, the College is on a positive path to be a high-quality, high-performing college with a sound financial future.
A number of changes have taken place since the merger which have included the appointment of their new Principal and Chief Executive, Michelle Brabner in March 2020; restructuring their Senior Leadership Team, curriculum changes, an improved quality system and processes, and enhanced and refreshed the skills on the Governing Body.
The key points of their Strategic Plan include strengthening their reputation to be a provider of choice for school leavers, adults and employers; offering a range of professional, technical and academic programmes that meet the needs of individuals and contributes to the development of the local and national economy; achieve excellence in teaching, learning and support; ensure sustainable financial health, value for money and continuing investment in resources; develop and maintain high quality, modern, safe learning environments and to promote a high performing culture that fosters accountability, engagement and development.
The Corporation’s responsibility is to bring independent judgement to issues of strategy, performance, resources and standards of conduct. It is provided with regular and timely information on the overall financial performance of the College together with other information such as performance against funding targets, proposed capital expenditure, quality matters and personnel related matters such as health and safety and environmental issues.
The College is governed by an active board of governors who play an important role in its development, made up of 23 Members, which includes three staff, three students, one parent and two Associate Governors. Governors are from the local and wider community and bring a range of experience and skills from all walks of life.
The Board operates on a committee structure basis and has five committees including: Audit, Standards, Governance, Resources and Remuneration.
The Governing Body meets four times per year (early evening), with two strategy events a year.
In order for the College to be an exceptional provider of technical, vocational and professional education, they need an active and highly effective and committed Board to provide support and challenge to help reach objectives as efficiently and effectively as possible.
We are now looking to expand the board with two Governors; one of which needs to be a successor for the Chair of Resources Committee, who is looking to step down from the role this year. We seek people who will demonstrate a strong commitment to the College’s mission and values, work with a range of partners and stakeholders to create opportunities and make a real impact in the communities served by the College.
All Board members need to act in line with the Nolan Principles and with collective responsibility to contribute to the educational character, academic direction, strategic planning and mission of the College, as well as having oversight of its business, financial health, risk and reputation.
As a Governor it is expected you will come with significant experience of strategic commercial leadership and provide high-quality support and effective challenge to the College’s leadership team. You will have experience of working at board level in a commercial environment, to support the business, financial health, risk and reputation of the College. We are looking to complement the experience and skills of existing Governors, so in particular, it would be helpful if you bring experience of either the education sector, marketing and PR, or general commercial business.
As Chair of Resources Committee, you will be a qualified accountant with experience in financial strategy to challenge on the direction of travel as well as someone who can nurture positive working relationships including a new incoming Director of Finance and Facilities at the College. You will need to be a good communicator and have the sensibility and empathy to understand the challenges the FE sector and college is facing.
The Resources Committee meets four times each year. Although these are currently during working hours, timing can be negotiated to fit around member’s commitments. The Chair of Resources Committee will also be part of the Remuneration Board which meets once a year.
The time commitment for the Chair of Resources Committee is likely to be up to two days per month. This is based on four key board meetings per year, four committee meetings, regular informal meetings with the Director of Finance and Facilities, involvement in representing the College externally, reading and preparation and any other project or ad hoc activities. The time commitment for a Governor is likely to be around one day per month and may involve participation in a committee. The term of office is four years and can be extended for a further term up to a maximum of eight years.
To discuss the role further, please contact:
Liz Holderness | 07872 031079| email@example.com
Kristina Preston | 07931 238134 | firstname.lastname@example.org
To arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:
Liz Holderness | email@example.com
Kristina Preston | firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply, please submit a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter to be a maximum of two sides of A4 to outline your suitability for the role and your interest and motivation in applying.
Please ensure that your application is emailed to email@example.com with the subject header “Governor, Southport College”.
Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss any adjustments or support which are required.
We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please check your application has been received by contacting:
Closing date: 12 noon, Monday 15th March 2021
Interviews: Wednesday 17th March 2021
Appointment: by Wednesday 31st March 2021
Peridot and Southport College are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse, inclusive, 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 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 Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.