Sunderland College

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Dear Applicant,

Thank you for taking an interest in this very important role. I do hope that you will consider the opportunity carefully and once satisfied that there is a potential fit, please apply.

The City of Sunderland College is one of the largest colleges in the North East. We merged with Hartlepool Sixth-Form College last year, which has added breadth to our exciting learning portfolio, and organisational scale. The merger went smoothly and as a result we have been able to extend our geographical reach and better serve even more students and employers.

We now have another opportunity to grow again, as we have been selected by the Governing Body of Northumberland College as its preferred merger partner. As you will appreciate, a merger isn’t a merger until it happens so our focus remains on serving our current communities, and this role is key to this task. On completion of merger then there will be even more to do and to look forward to.

This college is an excellent one and has a long-standing high reputation. We are a cohesive senior team, supported by a strong Governing Body and we continue to navigate the complexities and challenges that FE brings, not least in making our funding stretch as far as it can and ensuring that we minimise administration and bureaucracy for our staff and learners.

To support our progress, we need someone to ensure effective operation of the Corporation and this role is essential to enable the Board to successfully support the College in delivering our vision, mission and values. The policy aspect of this role is also key, quality, timeliness and consistency with regards to all policies across the College is paramount. You will work closely with the Chair of Governors, alongside me and the wider senior team.

If you have a proven track record in corporate governance and want to work within the FE sector then we offer a friendly place to work, future career development and job satisfaction.

I look forward to meeting you.

Ellen Thinnesen
Principal & Chief Executive

ABOUT Sunderland College

Set across state-of-the-art campuses, including a new £30m flagship City Campus and a dedicated Sixth Form in Hartlepool, Sunderland College is a world class provider of education, offering one of the North East region’s largest ranges of school leaver, sixth form, apprenticeship, adult and higher education provision.

We are a National Beacon Award winner for our engagement with employers and feel deeply connected to the communities we serve. We also boast some of the best apprenticeship achievement outcomes in the region and an outstanding record of student progression, with 94.7% of our students achieving a positive destination after studying with us. Recent investments in new facilities amount to over £50 million and this includes a £20 million extension of our Bede Campus – a former grammar school which includes Sunderland Sixth Form, a new Sports Academy and a new Visual and Performing Arts Academy. Our new city centre campus also houses industry standard engineering, manufacturing, motor vehicle and construction workshops, a training restaurant, travel agency, hair, beauty and barbering salons meaning our college is fully able to meet the region’s future skills needs through high quality professional and technical education and training.

We are an incredibly ambitious college; ambitious for our students, our employees and the region which we serve.  We merged with Hartlepool Sixth Form College in 2017 and plan to complete a further merger with Northumberland College in spring 2019 which will diversify our curriculum offer, increase our turnover from £38m to £56m and see us providing an exceptional learning experience to over 19,000 students.

The quality of our education and the support we provide to our students is incredibly important to us.  We pride ourselves on this and our success speaks for its self:

  • We have officially been recognised as good in our Ofsted inspection.
  • We have held a 99% pass rate for the past seven years and have an impressive number of students securing places at top universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and Laine Theatre Arts
  • Many of our vocational programmes have a 100% pass rate
  • We are one of the largest trainers and suppliers of apprentices in the region
  • We have been awarded the Matrix, National Quality Mark for Advice and Guidance four times in a row

Our Board is central to our success and we recognise the positive impact which investing in our governance has on our organisation.  The role of Head of Corporate Governance & Policy will be fundamental in ensuring we have the best possible governance, assurance systems and structures in place with a highly experienced and credible Corporation Board.

For more information, please click through the following links:

about the role

Head of Corporate Governance & Policy

Sunderland College

£50,000 plus 35 days annual leave and Local Government Pension Scheme

An exceptional opportunity to help shape the governance, assurance and policy work of the largest multi-campus further education provider in the North East.

Sunderland College is a further and higher education college with campuses currently located across the Sunderland and Hartlepool. We deliver education and training to around 13,500 students ranging in age from 14-19 years and above. Our curriculum spans all education routes including GCSE’s and ‘A’ levels, professional and technical education, apprenticeships, higher education and commercial training.

As the College gears up to deliver our ambition to provide an aspirational learning and skills offer to people of the North East we need to ensure our governance structures, systems and support are in place and ready to become sector-leading.  What we already do is excellent, but we know there’s more we could be doing, and our Head of Corporate Governance & Policy will be instrumental in helping us achieve this.  We aren’t looking for a typical Clerk to the Corporation Board/Board Secretary, though recognise it’s an important part of the job, which is why we are offering an outstanding person a full-time, permanent, senior appointment at our college.  As well as providing administrative support and counsel to our governing body and its committees, this person will be busy developing internal systems for policy review and renewal alongside developing our governance assurance work across the College.  From the very outset we imagine you’ll be reviewing how we currently operate and the work needed in the context of pre and post-merger.

You will be working to support a vibrant Board and a skilled Chair, whilst also working closely with the Principal & Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team as they deliver the College’s ambitious Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.

Our culture places students and people at the heart of everything we do.

We are looking for someone who is self-assured and confident with first class interpersonal, communication and administrative skills. We are seeking a high performing governance professional, capable of building authentic relationships with others and placing high value on respect, integrity, standards, compliance and a desire to impact positively upon continued improvement.

Knowledge and understanding of outstanding governance, board support, policy development and robust data protection regulations and principles are essential.

In return for your hard work and commitment we offer a competitive salary, generous annual leave entitlement, access to the Local Government Pension Scheme and the opportunity to help shape something which will be considered unique in the sector.

For a confidential discussion please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Drew Richardson-Walsh
M: 07739 364033 
E: drew@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing Date: Friday 4th January 2019


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