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Head of Governance College of West Anglia

  • Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk
  • Salary: £50k FTE (30 hours per week), £40k pro-rata
  • Closing date: 12 p.m. Monday 12th September 2022

The College of West Anglia is one of the largest colleges in the Eastern region, with a vision of ‘changing lives through learning’.

Currently, there are around 750 full-time and part-time staff. CWA has a large and diverse student body, including around 2,600 full-time 16–18-year-old FE students, 3,000 full and part-time adult FE students (including those recruited through our partnerships) and more than 300 students on Higher Education programmes. We also have more than 1,000 apprentices in training. The college turnover is around £29 million.

The college serves a mainly rural catchment area covering Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and South Lincolnshire. The main campus is in King’s Lynn – a historic market town with a population of around 40,000. There are two other campuses located in Milton and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, the former specialising in a land-based curriculum. We also provide specialist facilities to our sports students, who are based at our sports campus within Lynnsport in King’s Lynn, and we have a specialist centre for students with learning difficulties and disabilities on Providence Street in King’s Lynn.

The college has completed several major building projects to improve all of our campuses, including refurbishment of the landmark ‘Tower Block’ and a new creative industries facility at the King’s Lynn campus, two new technology buildings at our King’s Lynn and Wisbech campuses, a new build and refurbishment of the main building at the Wisbech campus and an overhaul of buildings at our Cambridge campus. A £6.5million centre for Higher Education opened at our King’s Lynn campus in September 2016.

The college is overseen by a Board of Governors, which comprises members from local industry, public bodies, councils and staff who serve on various committees with no remuneration and determine the college’s direction in terms of its strategy, mission and finances. A Senior Management Team consisting of the Principal & CEO, 2 Vice Principals and 2 Assistant Principals leads the college.

The curriculum is organised into 6 teaching faculties, each with a Head with responsibility for courses, student recruitment and teams of teaching staff in designated areas. There are 6 faculties in which the Head is supported by Programme Managers. These are:

  • Business, Humanities, Science and Computing
  • Care & Public Services
  • Creative Arts & Foundation
  • Land-based
  • Technology
  • English, Maths and ESOL

The college has strong working partnerships with local schools, with a healthy number of 14-16 students attending each year.

Our strategic ambitions are to

  • Deliver outstanding learner success.
  • Impact positively on local social & economic prosperity.
  • Develop a high-performance culture.
  • Use our resources to achieve maximum impact.

The College of West Anglia is a great place to work with an exciting future – why not come and join us?

About the role

As Head of Governance, you will provide full and comprehensive secretariat and advisory support to our Chair, Gill Rejzl, and the Board Members (Governors).

You will be responsible for advising the Board on constitutional matters, duties, and powers within the current legislative framework, and undertake research and development activities to ensure the approach to governance is based on sector best practice. In line with this, we require you to support us in developing an appropriate process for self-evaluation and alignment to relevant Codes of Good Governance, for example, the Association of Colleges.

You will be a strong networker and communicator, who is comfortable with presenting to the Board and working with other governance professionals to drive best practice across the sector. You will work closely with the Principal & CEO, David Pomfret, and Chair of the Board, Gill Rejzl, to ensure that governance and associated matters are driven to the very highest standard. This will be achieved by being not only an outstanding governance professional but also by building trusted relationships with all Board Members and the Senior Management Team.

You will apply your experience to confidently lead improvements to the governance structures, systems, and processes, and an ability to develop the Board’s strategic oversight of risk and compliance, will be welcomed. Recognising the Board’s role in ensuring statutory and regulatory compliance, you will also lead a new approach to organisational policy development and review, working closely with the Senior Management Team in a supportive and advisory capacity. To ensure the Board is enabled to make the best decisions based on the information provided by the Management Team, your review of the reporting style and approach will be welcomed, to ensure transparency and consistency.

You will be the ‘conscience’ of the College by providing independent, high-quality guidance on statutory, constitutional, operational procedural and ethical issues as they affect the Board, its committees, and its subsidiaries.

You will also lead all aspects of Board induction and ongoing development, to ensure our governors are supported and developed throughout their terms of office. Through an ongoing review of the Board’s membership, you will ensure the skills and experience of the Board complement the strategic ambitions and the governors reflect the diversity of our communities.

In line with the focus on governance development and the activities the college undertakes to support this, you must have experience in developing board members and enabling them to fully understand and carry out the public duties expected of them Working closely with the Chair and the Chairs of Committees, in close collaboration with our Principal & CEO, and wider Senior Management Team, you will plan and manage the business of the Board and ensure people are briefed and papers are timely and appropriate for the audience. With all of this in mind, we are looking to appoint an experienced and qualified governance professional with substantial previous experience as Clerk to the Board, Governance Lead and/or Board/Company Secretary.

Whilst we would ideally like candidates to have experience in supporting a Further Education governing body, what is more important to us is your ability to quickly grasp the legislative requirements expected of our Board, and the regulatory environment in which our college operates. It is vital that you have a strong desire to work for a forward-thinking education and skills provider which enhances the life chances of thousands of people each year.

The hours for this post are 30 hours per week over 52 weeks. Some flexibility is expected in this role, especially over busy periods, and when additional hours are worked, these may be taken back at a quieter time. Flexible working, including some working from home, will be possible in this role.

The postholder is required on-site on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when on-campus meetings usually take place. Regular liaison with the Chair, Principal and other managers/staff will be required at other times through attendance on-campus or via MS Teams.

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

Further education recruitment with Sarah Szulczewski

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

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Gill Rejzl

David Pomfret

Welcome from the Chair of Governors and Principal & Chief Executive

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the College of West Anglia (CWA). We have an exciting opportunity coming up! The post of Head of Governance will become vacant this year, due to the planned retirement of the current postholder and we are looking for the right person to take on this important role.

We are very proud of our college, our students, our staff and our Board of Governors. We enjoy many successes, and we hope that you will enjoy taking a look at our website to get a feel for our college. We hope that by learning about us, reading this information pack and speaking with our recruitment agents, you will feel inspired and will want to join our college and become part of our team.

CWA is a large, general Further Education college with campuses in King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Cambridge (Milton). CWA was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2019 (backed up by our latest self-assessment report) and achieved ‘Outstanding’ financial health in 2020/21. CWA is a successful and ambitious college, with strong performance, high-performing leadership and a self-critical culture leading to continuous improvement. Our college is a respected strategic partner and a strong leader in the community we serve.

We are bold, innovative, and decisive in our relentless pursuit of our strategic ambitions, and have invested over £50m over the last decade in accommodation and equipment.

We now boast some of the best facilities for teaching and learning in the sector.

As Head of Governance, you will work closely with the Chair, Board of Governors, the Principal and the Senior Management Team. You will provide strategic, advisory, and administrative support to the Board of Governors.

Championing excellence in corporate governance, you will support the Board in its decision-making and development, recruit and induct new Board Members, advise on procedure, regulation, and best practice, and maintain detailed and accurate records.

The Candidate Information Pack for this post contains further details about our vision for the college and the role of Head of Governance. We are looking for someone who shares our vision and ambition for the college and who can support the Board of Governors at the highest level.

This is an important appointment for us and to help us to find the right person, we have engaged the support of Peridot Partners.  Before submitting your application, you are encouraged to arrange an initial conversation with our lead consultant, by emailing Sarah Atkins-Boal, to discuss the role before the closing date.

We do hope you decide to apply for this exciting, challenging and rewarding role.

Yours sincerely,

Gill Rejzl
Chair of Governors

David Pomfret
Principal & Chief Executive

Introduction to the College of West Anglia

“Changing lives through learning”

The College of West Anglia is one of the largest colleges in the eastern region. Currently, there are around 750 full time and part time staff, and a student cohort of approximately 7,000. The college turnover was £28 million in 2020/21.

In January 2019, the college was inspected by Ofsted (Government inspectors of teaching) and was graded as “GOOD”. The college offers a wide range of academic and vocational courses across all programme areas.

The college serves a mainly rural catchment area, covering the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and South Lincolnshire. The main campus is in King’s Lynn – an historic market town with a population of around 40,000. There are two other campuses located in Cambridge and Wisbech. A land-based curriculum (Equine and Animal Care) is offered at our Cambridge campus. The Wisbech campus offers a general Further Education experience. The college works in partnership with the local leisure centre in King’s Lynn, and has a designated sports campus which operates from there.

The college has completed a number of major building projects at all 3 campuses, investing over £50m over the last decade, including a £7.5m new build/refurbishment at the Wisbech campus and a £6.5m new build University Centre building at King’s Lynn campus.

In 2022, the college opened its new School of Nursing Studies facility at King’s Lynn at a cost of £1m. The college has been very successful in attracting capital funding grants, and now has some of the best facilities in the sector.

The college has strong working partnerships with local schools, with a cohort of 14-16 students attending each year. Employer Responsive activity includes work-based learning provision and off-site employer training delivery. The large employer training offer includes Apprenticeship programmes, short bespoke courses and work-based assessment.

Whilst being primarily a Further Education college, the Higher Education (HE) curriculum is delivered in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University. This provides opportunities for HE courses from HNC up to Degree level. HE is offered at the King’s Lynn and Cambridge sites. The college also delivers teaching qualifications through The Learning Practice.

The college is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all learners, clients and employees. It is also committed to acknowledging the diversity of the society in which it works. The college takes a positive approach to the provision of opportunities for disabled students and staff, with facilities being constantly reviewed and improved. The college is part of the Positive about Disabled People programme.

The college is governed by a Board of Governors, comprising of members from local industry, public bodies, councils, staff and students, who serve on various committees with no remuneration. The Board determines the college’s direction in terms of strategy, mission and finances. The Chair and Board are supported by the Head of Governance. A Senior Management Team, comprising the Principal & CEO, two Vice Principals and two Assistant Principals leads the college.


The College of West Anglia is committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students in its care and all staff in its employment. For the college to be able to provide the right support in the right place and at the right time, students and staff of the college are encouraged to disclose any disability they may have, in a timely fashion. This will enable the college to make appropriate adjustments to meet their individual requirements. The college will provide appropriate opportunities to disclose information to relevant staff, whilst respecting and preserving confidentiality. Disclosure of a disability will be dealt with sensitively, enabling students and staff to feel in control of the information disclosed.

Processes and procedures for dealing with disability disclosure and confidentiality issues will be based on The Single Equality Act 2010. Staff and students need to be clear that if no explicit consent to disclosure is provided this may nevertheless lead to follow-up action in cases where other legislation overrides this policy, for example, Health and Safety considerations.

Further information:

We have worked with Access to Work on a range of support for staff to keep them employed or to assist them in their work including providing mobility scooters, voice recognition software and allocated spaces for parking.

Our EDI statistics can be viewed here.

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.

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    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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    Closing date: 12 p.m. Monday 12th September 2022

    Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. Monday 19th September 2022

    Interviews: Thursday 29th September 2022

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