• Becoming a Governor

The importance of the Further Education sector is increasingly recognised for the significant contribution it makes to the success and development of its students, and through that, to the achievement of national objectives in education, training and employment.

FE Colleges became independent as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and as a result of this South Devon College has a Governing Body which is ultimately responsible for the success of the College.

The College’s Mission Statement is:

‘South Devon College: Inspiring our community through learning for all.’

The Mission focuses on the College’s role as a comprehensive general further education college delivering high quality teaching and learning to its community.

We are fully aware and committed to change and high standards and we know there are always things we can improve upon.  Much of the excitement generated in the college arises from the expectations that things will, and should, change and that is a good thing and an opportunity, not a problem.

South Devon College has expanded its facilities to include a University Centre, in partnership with the University of Plymouth and the South West Regional Development Agency, which was finished and ready for learners in September 2010. The College also opened a High School for 14-16 year olds in September 2014.

Governing Body Composition

The current composition of the Governing Body is:

12 Members
Those who have the necessary skills to ensure that the functions of the Governing Body (Corporation) are carried out in accordance with Article 3 of the Articles of Government*.

2 Staff Members
Staff Members are appointed to the Governing Body using the same selection and interview process used to appoint Independent Governors.

2 Student Members
A student of the College elected and nominated by students at the College.

1 Principal
The Principal of the College.

*Instrument and Articles of Government as enacted in December 2007 and effective from 01 January 2008.

Governing body and committee structure


The Governing Body meets five or six times a year, and meetings usually last two hours.

An acceptable minimum individual attendance at Governing Body meetings is currently set at 80%.

Governors are expected to sit on at least one, sometimes two, Committees of the Governing Body.  Currently, the following Committees are in existence:

Committee Frequency
Audit Four times per year
Quality, Teaching, Learning and Assessments Three times per year
Remuneration Once a year
People & Resources Three times per year
Search and Governance Twice a year

Normally, meetings of the Governing Body and its Committees take place in late afternoon or early evening, and meetings are scheduled to last approximately two hours.

Papers for meetings of the Governing Body and its Committees are sent out electronically at least one week in advance of meetings.  It is estimated that preparation for meetings should not take more than 2 hours.

Job Description and Person Specification for Governors

South Devon College values the experience and skills of its Governors.  It recognises the contribution that Governors make to the success of the College, and wants its Governors to feel that the job they do is rewarding and satisfying. A summary of the College Governor’s Roles and Responsibilities can be found at the link below:

Governor Role and Responsibilities

To find out more about the vital role played by Governors in FE Colleges, please watch some of these student clips created by Inspiring FE Governance.

The Next Step

If you wish to express an interest in becoming a Governor at South Devon College please submit a short letter, to the Head of Governance, of no more than two pages explaining why you wish to become a Governor and the contribution you believe you could make to the College together with a summary C.V., again no more than two pages. These documents should be emailed to: lisakeay@southdevon.ac.uk.

Your application should outline your skills and reasons for wanting to be considered as a prospective Governor at South Devon College.

If you would like further information or clarification about this role please contact the Head of Governance at: lisakeay@southdevon.ac.uk.

Click here to view our latest Governor Vacancy Advert

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