Worcester Sixth Form College are specialists in the education of 16-19 year olds, currently attended by over 1400 students from the whole county of Worcestershire and surrounding areas. The college specialises in delivering the widest range of A-Level courses in the county alongside a range of Applied courses.

The Local Governing Body of 20 members is made up of external, staff, parent and student governors from a diverse variety of backgrounds in education, finance, HR and architecture. Their experience, knowledge and professional skills make a vital contribution to the development of the college and the student experience.

We spoke to Jo Payne, Clerk to the Local Governing Body, to find out about her experiences of using the Inspiring FE Governance recruitment service to search for skilled volunteers for a vacancy on the board.

What skills and expertise were you looking for when advertising your governing board vacancy? 

A governor had stepped down from the board who had a very strong quality assurance background – they were very good at picking up on our quality assurance processes and procedures, and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to challenge decisions and offer an expert opinion. Having someone with these skills on our governing board was key, so we were looking to source a volunteer that had a similar background and experience who would be able to fulfil that role.

How did you find out about Inspiring FE Governance?

I believe it was through an email communication from the Education and Training Foundation, which came right at the time I was beginning the recruitment process so I thought I would give it a try. Inspiring FE Governance had previously helped us with a couple of finance-focussed vacancies a couple of years prior which had been filled successfully,  so it was a case of adding another opportunity, this time with a new skill set, and waiting to see if the service could help us.

How did Inspiring FE Governance help you with your search?

I added the vacancy to the site and then one of your colleagues got in touch to find out how the search was going – they then helped me through the process to find suitable candidates and directed me to volunteers in the area to get in touch with.  The result was that one of the candidates was a local, a former student of the college who was working as the head of Key Stage 3 in a local middle school and had the quality assurance background that we needed – he ticked all the boxes. So a great match!

How long did the process take?

Only around 6-8 weeks, which was great for us, from the Inspiring FE Governance getting in touch to our new governor being appointed. Due to the pandemic his experience of governance has been 100% virtual, but we’re hoping to rectify that with a visit to the college soon!

Do you have any advice for other colleges looking to fill board member appointments? 

Be very clear about the skills that you want in the role, rather than being open ended, because it helps potential candidates understand whether the role it is the right position for them. You want candidates to see how they will bring their skills to the table, make a difference and experience the personal benefits of the role.

In conclusion, be clear what the role involves and the skills you’re looking for, check the platform regularly and be proactive in inviting potential candidates to apply – don’t wait to be nudged by the Inspiring FE team!

Do you have a vacancy on your governing board? Find out how we can help.