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The voice of specialist further education

College governance

It is important for specialist colleges to have a governance structure that supports the college, with governors who have a good understanding of further education and a clear vision for the college. Natspec is currently producing a set of resources and training material for college governors, which will be available on this page shortly. Governors need to be familiar with the FE and Skills Inspection Handbook, and if the college is newly opened, they should know when to expect the first monitoring visit and the specific themes/questions Ofsted will explore with new providers

The resources will help leaders and managers articulate their provision and give them the tools to answer questions such as:

  • What is the college purpose? How is it distinctive from local schools, adult social care, or supported employment provision? How is it different from the local GFE college?
  • What is the college’s contribution to the local offer/your role in the region or, if appropriate, on a national level?
  • What are the processes in place for a self-assessment review (SAR) and developing and implementing a quality improvement plan (QIP)?
  • How have governors established a culture of continuous improvement whereby staff at all levels are encouraged to consider how they could build on strengths and not just address deficits?
  • How have governors assessed the college’s strengths and weaknesses, provided challenge to senior managers and held them to account – particularly in relation to quality of provision for 16/19+ students with SEND?
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