Board Effectiveness 5 Year Review 2023
Next review due 2028
Summary of findings:
Within the overall review of the Board’s effectiveness, there is an appropriate governance function at Stanmore college, increasingly enabling the Board to address the challenges of their sector.
This summary of review outcomes should be read in conjunction with the full report as the report contains important contextual information, rationale, and evidence for all the recommendations made. The review considered the Board’s effectiveness and governance maturity across the 5 principal areas.
GOVERNANCE ROLES & STRUCTURES
The Governance Professional has collaborated closely with a National Leader of Governance to ensure governance structures and processes are appropriate, and statutory and regulatory compliance is being met. Roles and responsibilities are set out clearly in documentation and could be further clarified through the issuing of a Letter of Engagement to board members, and as part of a personalised induction program.
There is a satisfactory level of candour and mutual respect between governors and between governors and the senior team. More opportunities for social interaction between governors and between governors and the Executive will continue to support relationships built on trust and openness. The Board seeks engagement with all stakeholders and wishes to see this element of the role increase, enabling greater triangulation of executive information and more understanding of the implications of discussions and decisions on stakeholders.
Board members, which include a number of new members, are growing in confidence in their role as critical friend, providing constructive challenge. Members are committed and are keen to participate and feel appreciated. Members feel able to contribute freely and willingly to discussions in meetings. More detail in executive reports on the decision-making process underlying presented recommendations and actions, including implications on stakeholders and on the achievement of the strategic objectives, could give board members greater confidence in the decisions they make.
The Board has been engaged in strategic planning discussions, agreeing the vision, values, and ethos of the college, and reviews risks on a regular basis. Expanding the governors strategic role to include a more generative mode of governance, could strengthen the Board’s alignment behind the strategy. As the Board becomes more familiar with the Local Skills Improvement Plan and the college’s Accountability Agreement, it should gain a deeper understanding of local skills need, both immediate and future, and how the college’s curriculum plan aligns with this.
The Board has sought to recruit members with diversity of skills, expertise, and thought, to bring different perspectives to discussions and decisions. Setting out a detailed strategy/principles/KPIs for greater diversity and inclusion at Board level could support this work further. Board members understand how their skills and expertise are relevant to the college’s work and are committed to improving governance. Succession planning for both the Executive and the Board could be more formal as this is a key risk area, and therefore requires greater clarity. Using exit interviews is a fantastic way to support succession and governance improvement and should be considered.