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Chair of the Board Hopwood Hall College

Bring your values-led leadership skills and your strategic, professional expertise as Chair of the Board of Hopwood Hall College, an award-winning college with big ambitions and an outstanding reputation.

  • Location: Rochdale, Greater Manchester
  • Salary: Unremunerated, with reasonable expenses paid

About Hopwood Hall College

Based across two sites in Rochdale and Middleton, towards the north of Greater Manchester, Hopwood Hall College delivers a broad range of education and training, including 16-18 study programmes, adult education, higher education and apprenticeships to over 8,500 students.

Through this diverse curriculum, the College has a strong focus on ensuring that the educational needs of people within the local community are met and that the skills needs of local employers are supported so that people and businesses across the Borough of Rochdale can prosper.

The College has a reputation across the sector for being a vibrant place which creates a true sense of belonging for its students. But more than this, we are a results-driven provider with high aspirations for our students. Our vision is simple – we want to bring out the best in our students!

“The ambition that our board has for all of our students and our staff is stronger than a golden thread. It is the underpinning consideration within every conversation, and the key driving factor in each decision they make.”

Julia Heap, Principal & Chief Executive

Guided by a set of values shared by the 600 staff who work here, we are in the penultimate year of delivering our current 4-year strategic plan. We are proud of the success we have already achieved in delivering on our four key strategic intentions but are determined to go further to realise our longer-term ambitions.

Our strategic intentions are:

  • Providers of excellent education & skills.
  • Champions of inclusivity.
  • Drivers of economic prosperity.
  • Guardians of the environment.

Our recent Ofsted grading of ‘Good’ (April 2023) is a clear demonstration of the progress we continue to make to the quality of our provision, a fact underpinned by the continued positive achievement and outcomes experienced by our students.

“This college is all about making a difference to learners and the community. You see it when you walk around the College. Staff are totally committed. The driver behind governance here is simple – it’s about doing what’s right for our students, giving them opportunities to make the most of their lives.”

Nazir Afzal OBE, Chair

In relation to inclusivity, we have received a range of awards in recent times. Most notably, we were recently awarded the Queens Anniversary Prize in recognition of our groundbreaking trauma-informed approach to widening participation for those 16–18-year-olds from marginalised communities. This award is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a further education college and is something we take great pride in achieving. We have also won awards for our work on becoming a more sustainable college.

Finally, as an organisation, we have an in-depth focus on supporting the training and skills needs of our local employers. Through the delivery of a diverse and high-quality curriculum, we can ensure that our provision is actively supporting a diverse range of local employers, industry partners and other stakeholders whilst ensuring that they, in turn, remain engaged in our college community.

We consider ourselves privileged to have such a committed, high-performing governing body of 17 individuals who are each experts in their respective fields and willing to dedicate their time to our college.

With the College in such a positive and successful place, our current Chair, Nazir Afzal OBE, has taken the difficult decision to step down from his role. We have been fortunate to have had the support and commitment of Nazir over the last number of years, and we thank him for his dedicated service.

If we are to achieve our future ambitions, we will need to further improve the quality of our provision, be more creative and innovative in our approach to organisational development and be able to extend our reach with key stakeholders as we continue to support our students, employers and local communities. With these aspirations in mind, we seek to appoint a new Chair who can provide outstanding leadership to our board, ensure that our governance remains efficient and effective, and support us in achieving our goals.

Peridot Partners and Hopwood Hall 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 consultants 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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Role Description

With growth and development expected across the Borough of Rochdale in the near future, as a College, we need to continue to push ourselves further still. However, we need to ensure that we are asking ourselves the right questions, challenging our processes, and remaining compliant.

Our governance is the key driver which underpins everything that we do, and our Chair plays a vital role in these processes. As such, our new Chair will need to have previous board experience, preferably in a leadership role such as Chair, Vice Chair or Committee Chair. Coupled with this boardroom experience, you will need to understand and appreciate the complexities and impacts that our College and the wider FE sector have on the communities that we serve.

Our new Chair will be a successful senior leader with strategic experience gained through their professional capacity. You will bring an understanding of organisational transformation and stakeholder engagement along with the credibility to help us as an ambassador of our College as we continue to develop our outstanding reputation.

Alongside this, you will be a values-led leader who can lead a committed and increasingly collegiate group of governors with an ambition to engender an inclusive team ethos which is able to offer respectful support and scrutiny in the role of critical friend.

Whilst we will welcome applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds, we are especially interested in those individuals who live or work within our local area and have a particular interest in supporting its development, growth and prosperity.

Above all else, our new Chair needs to share our organisational values of integrity, enjoyment, ambition and sustainability whilst supporting us to nurture our staff and learners so that they feel empowered to become drivers of their own destinies.

As the leader of our Board, you will play a crucial role in offering support to the other members of the Board and our experienced and dedicated senior leadership team. As Chair, you will need to be able to dedicate 3-4 days per month to the role. The time you need to dedicate will be influenced by meeting schedules, academic cycles, and other ad-hoc support needs. To achieve this, there is a need for our Chair to be accessible. We ask our board members to commit to a four-year term of office. We try to ensure that all our meetings are in person wherever possible. We do however appreciate that many of our governors have busy working lives and try, where needed, to support virtual attendance in specific circumstances.

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

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    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 your CV and supporting statement is in a Word format.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Hopwood Hall College – Chair of the Board” 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.

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 21st February 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 29th February 2024
    Interviews: Tuesday 5th March 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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