Governance Regulations and Requirements
Instruments and Articles of Government
The Articles of Government define the roles and responsibilities of the Governing Body, its committees, the Principal/Chief Executive and the Clerk and make provision for audit and staffing matters. It is the key document that sets out how the College is to be governed.
Prior to 2011, the Instrument and Articles were the same for all colleges, but the Education Act 2011 gave colleges the power to vary their Instruments and Articles provided that certain key features are included. Broadly, a college’s Instrument of Government lays down the number of Governors colleges must have in each category (staff, students and so on), by what means and for how long Governors are to be appointed, and how meetings should be called and conducted.
Instrument & Articles of Government October 2018
Code of Governance
While there is no legal requirement for a college to adopt a code of governance, the Accounts Direction requires each Governing Body to publish a Statement of Corporate Governance and Internal Control as part of its Financial Statements and Annual Report. This must set out or refer to the principles by which the College is governed.
In 2015, the Association of Colleges (AoC) published the Code of Good Governance which has been widely adopted and has been adopted by Furness College. The Code sets out standards of good governance practice that are specific to the college sector.
Code of Good Governance for English Colleges
The Seven Principles of Public Life (the Nolan Principles)
The College Corporation is committed to the Seven Principles of Public Life. These apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in the Civil Service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), and in the health, education, social and care services. All public office-holders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources. The principles also apply to all those in other sectors delivering public services.
The Seven Principles are as follows:
Further details of the Principles can be found below.
The Seven Principles of Public Life (the Nolan Principles)
Senior Staff Remuneration Code
Fair and appropriate remuneration is key to the success and development of the college sector. To support governing bodies, a Colleges Senior Staff Remuneration Code (the Remuneration Code) has been developed by the Association of Colleges (AoC) Governors’ Council after wide consultation with AoC members, governors and college stakeholders. This Remuneration Code will be reviewed every three years, in consultation with the sector.
The use of this Remuneration Code is voluntary, and it can be used by all colleges. The Remuneration Code is to be used on an ‘apply or explain’ basis. This means that colleges should either publicly state that they have abided by the minimum requirements of this Remuneration Code or should provide meaningful explanations for non-compliance and how their alternative arrangements meet its principles.
The principles outlined in the Remuneration Code apply to all remuneration decisions affecting the emoluments of the Chief Executive, Principal and other Senior Post Holders as prescribed in constitutional documents or by the governing body as being within the remit of the Remuneration Committee. In England, the principles also apply to Senior Post Holders as defined in ESFA accounts direction. Furness College has three Senior Post Holders: the Principal/Chief Executive, the Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Quality, and the Deputy Principal, Finance and Resources.
Fair and appropriate remuneration requires three key elements – namely that there is:
- Appropriate and justifiable level of remuneration;
- Procedural fairness;
- Transparency and accountability.
Furness College adopted the Remuneration Code in July 2019. The College’s Remuneration Policy for Senior Post Holders and the Clerk, and the Annual Statement for Senior Post Holder Remuneration are available below:
AOC Colleges Senior Staff Remuneration Code
Remuneration Policy for Senior Post Holders 2019-2021
Annual Statement for Senior Post Holder Remuneration 2019-2020
Inspection and Regulation
As well as being regulated by the Department for Education (DfE), colleges, as providers of education, are subject to inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), an independent inspectorate which is funded by and reports directly to Parliament.
Ofsted inspects all colleges on a cyclical basis. The frequency of inspection depends on the grade awarded at the last inspection but all colleges are subject to an annual risk assessment. Most colleges can expect an inspection every two to three years. Furness College was last inspected in 2019. In addition, colleges which offer Higher Education are subject to regulation by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The Agency carries out quality reviews on HE providers to ensure they meet students’ expectations, maintain academic standards and provide good value for money, amongst other aspects. Furness College was last reviewed in 2016.
Ofsted Education Inspection Framework
Conflicts of Interest and Eligibility to Serve as Governors
On an annual basis, each member of the Corporation and senior leader is required to register all business interests, financial or otherwise, which s/he or (so far as s/he is aware) her/her spouse/partner/children or other close relatives may have. This is line with the College’s Conflict of Interest policy available below. In addition, members confirm that they are eligible to serve on the Board in line with the Instruments and Articles of Government of the Furness College Corporation. These declarations for each Governor/senior leader are available below.
Conflict of Interest Policy 2019
Governors’ Registers of Interests & Declarations of Eligibility 2019-2020
Senior Leaders’ Registers of Interests 2019-2020
Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker passes on information concerning wrongdoing, which is referred to as ‘making a disclosure’ or ‘blowing the whistle’. The wrongdoing will typically (although not necessarily), be about something that they have witnessed at work or as a volunteer at an organisation.
It is important to the Corporation that any fraud, misconduct or wrongdoing by employees of the organisation is reported and properly dealt with. The organisation therefore encourages all individuals to raise any concerns that they may have about the conduct of others in the organisation or the way in which the organisation is run. The policy sets out the way in which individuals may raise any concerns that they have and how those concerns will be dealt with. The policy can be downloaded below.
Whistleblowing Policy 2020