Welcome to the East Surrey College Governance web page. Here you can find out about the Corporation and its duties and responsibilities.
On 1 February 2019, the merger between East Surrey College incorporating the Reigate School of Art, and John Ruskin College took place as planned under the group name of Orbital South Colleges. Our merger presents an exciting opportunity for the future, building on the very many strengths of our Colleges to create a high-quality, sustainable learning community, whilst still very much retaining the identity of each organisation.
What is the Corporation of the College?
This is the Governing Body of the College which was established as an independent Further Education Corporation on 1 April 1993 under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The Corporation exists to provide Further and Higher Education and is also allowed to supply goods and services in connection with its provision of education. The Corporation’s Instrument and Articles of Government provide the legal basis on which it operates, specifying the composition of the Corporation, the way in which it must conduct its business, its duties and responsibilities and its role as an employer, with regard to students and with regard to the discharge of its financial responsibilities.
What does the Corporation do?
The Corporation's function is to decide on strategic policy and the overall direction of the College, as well as monitoring the performance of the most senior managers in the College. Collectively, the members of the Corporation must ensure that they operate within the legal framework of the College and must observe the duties which are set out for them within these documents.
How do Governors operate?
The Corporation must be properly constituted and each member of the Corporation owes a fiduciary duty to the College, that is, they must show the highest loyalty to the College and act in good faith in its interests. Effectively each member must try to act honestly, diligently and independently whilst, at the same time, paying due attention to the requirement to take collective responsibility as part of a corporate body. The Corporation regularly reviews and updates all of its policies and procedures which provide the framework for its operations, to ensure that they are up-to-date and comply with the best practice in the sector and particularly the key principles for public office, namely:
These values are enshrined in the Code of Conduct outlining the standards set by the Corporation for governorship and detailed Standing Orders for the operation of the Corporation and the way in which it conducts its business. These include Rules of Procedure for Membership and an open Register of Members’ Interests which is available for public scrutiny. The key documents which relate to the governance of the College are:
- Instrument and Articles of Government
- Code of Good Governance for English Colleges
- College Code of Conduct for Corporation Members
- Terms of Reference and Standing Orders for the Corporation
Appointment to the Corporation
Membership of the Corporation is broadly defined within the Instrument of Government and, within these parameters; the Corporation has agreed on the following profile following completion of the merger:
Independent members appointed for the range of experience and knowledge and suitability to perform the role
A staff member from each College, elected and nominated by staff
A student member from each College, nominated by the Student Union
The Chief Executive & Principal of ESC – ex officio
The Chief Executive and Principal for East Surrey College is Jayne Dickinson.
This profile seeks to maximise the College’s opportunities to make appropriate contacts across the whole community.
The Search and Governance Committee of the Corporation is responsible for all membership issues and no Independent member can be appointed to the Corporation without recommendation by the Search Committee. The Corporation has established a list of criteria against which all members will be measured:
- commitment and interest in education and training
- time and energy to undertake the role
- clear appreciation of the role of a Governor
- skills and experience likely to be of use to the College
- potential for a range of contacts likely to assist the College in its interface with the community
The detailed procedures for the Search and Governance Committee are available for public scrutiny and are included in the Standing Orders.
The Corporation believes that its business is open to public scrutiny and, with the exception of those items of business which are deemed to be confidential as defined within the instrument of Government, for example, the pay and remuneration of an individual, its policy is that the Corporation meetings are open meetings. Entitlement to attend meetings is defined within the Standing Orders. Members of staff who are not Corporation members or senior post holders are regularly in attendance at all meetings and other members of staff are invited, particularly where they are presenting particular reports to the Corporation. Papers and minutes of the Corporation are published in accordance with specific arrangements and, with the exception of those items specifically designated as confidential, all papers and minutes are available for public scrutiny as are any documents of the Corporation.
The Corporation operates through a number of committees which deal with the detailed work of the Corporation:
- Finance and Resources Committee
- Audit Committee
- Learning and Quality Committee
- Search and Governance Committee
- Senior Postholders' Employment Committee
- Strategy Committee
All of the committees operate to approved terms of reference and standing orders and to specified membership. In addition, governors also undertake a range of development and training to support and develop their understanding of the College.
Terms of Reference of the Search and Governance Committee
Terms of Reference of the Learning and Quality Committee
Terms of Reference of the Finance and Resources Committee
Terms of Reference of the Audit Committee
Terms of Reference of the Senior Postholders’ Employment Committee
Terms of Reference of the Strategy Committee
2019/20 Meeting Schedule
If you would like any further information about the Corporation, its work or the work of its committees, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Glover, the Clerk to the Corporation at the College; please email: SGlover@esc.ac.uk