The Governing Body's Responsibilities
The Governing Body comprises 16 members. The majority of its members live, work, or have links within the Wakefield District. As an inclusive college, we’re keen to involve people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Governors may have experience in business, community or social work with charities, financial or legal practice, or even be an entrepreneur. What's important is Governors' commitment to making the College a place to improve the lives of all people in the communities we serve. The Governing Body of Wakefield College determines its membership within the restraints which are clearly set out in the Instrument and Articles of Government.
The responsibilities of the Board of Governors are laid out in the Articles and cover key areas of the College’s activity including:
- the determination of the educational character and mission of the institution and the oversight of its activities;
- publishing arrangements for obtaining the views of staff and students on the determination and periodic review of the educational character and mission of the institution and the oversight of its activities;
- the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the institution and the Corporation and for safeguarding their assets;
- approving annual estimates of income and expenditure;
- the appointment, grading, pay and conditions of service of the holders of senior posts;
- setting a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.
The Governing Body has set the following vision and strategic objectives for the College:
“At Wakefield College, our Vision is to be an outstanding college at the heart of the Wakefield District.”
“Transforming lives through learning...
...by enabling young people, adults and employers to fulfil their potential.”
- Deliver a high-quality, destination focused learning experience to all learners
- Meet the skills needs, aspirations and interests of the Wakefield District and the wider region
- Have a skilled, engaged workforce who feel safe and promote College values
- Resource a high-quality student experience
As a Board of Governors, we take great pride in the College’s ethos of treating every student as an individual and striving to meet their needs not just academically, but personally and socially; regardless of their starting point in life. The education landscape is constantly changing and we support the College in adapting to those changes for the benefit of its students, staff and the communities we serve.
The Governing Body
Andrew McConnell OBE
Chair of Governors
Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and is the Director of Finance at a local University.
Throughout his career Andrew has had a commitment to education, taking governance roles at schools, colleges and a university in the local area.
Andrew is also a Board member of the Education and Training Foundation which is responsible for workforce development in the FE sector; he is a Board member of Wakefield and District Housing Ltd; and he is a Board member of the Higher Education Statistics Agency Ltd (and Chairs its Audit Committee).
Andrew was invited to become a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute in 2017 and he was awarded an OBE for services to accounting and the community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2015.
Having worked in the further education sector for more than twenty years, Sam was delighted to become Principal of Wakefield College in March 2011. She feels that Wakefield College is a very special college, committed to ‘transforming lives through learning’ and is passionate about the College’s values, where the learner is very much at the heart of everything it does.
Sam’s vision for the College is to be an outstanding institution that serves the needs of all of Wakefield’s communities and is leading the development of strong partnerships to meet these needs, and to provide excellent lifelong learning opportunities for young people, adults and employers alike.
Dmitry’s experience in the youth work sector has taken him throughout most of South and West Yorkshire. He works for The Youth Association – the UK’s oldest youth work charity with a proud history of developing some of the most innovative work in its field.
As ‘Enterprise and Communities Manager’, Dmitry manages the organisation’s business and enterprise work, as well as all its community-based provision across seven local authority areas in Yorkshire. Among other areas of experience, Dmitry leads the bulk of the HR functions at The Youth Association, including recruitment and headhunting. Dmitry is also responsible for building and maintaining strategic partnerships with the larger grant funds providers and local businesses.
Martyn is the Executive Director of Technical Services at Wakefield District Housing and a Chartered Construction Manager. He is responsible for leading a large workforce across a full range of trades, ensuring his teams work within regulatory frameworks, such as those relating to Health and Safety, Gas, Electrical and those specific to the Housing sector. As part of the Executive Team, Martyn takes a lead on the Compliance and Assurance Committee, and is involved in business continuity, ensuring WDH is prepared for largescale, unforeseen events.
Prior to working at WDH, Martyn’s early career was in the energy industry which gave him extensive project and programme management experience. He then went onto working in a national role as the Operations Director at Eon Property Services, as well as running his own local business for a period of time before joining WDH. As well as this, Martyn has also undertaken voluntary roles, as a Magistrate and as Director of the Gas Industry Safety Group.
Throughout his career, Martyn has had a passion for developing people and their skills, as demonstrated by his commitment to supporting apprentices working within the trades to complete their training and progress their careers. Martyn has also been involved in a project to encourage more females to consider working within the trades to break down gender stereotypes and to promote diversity within the workforce.
Julie has lived and worked mainly in the Wakefield area for the last 36 years, initially as a teacher of Economics and latterly as an Executive Headteacher and CEO of a cross-phase Multi Academy Trust. Following her recent retirement from the day job, Julie was delighted to be invited to join the Governors, hopeful that her skills and experience would not be lost, but instead might be useful in supporting her local College to achieve further success.
Julie is passionate about raising aspirations for the next generation in her district by providing the best opportunities, teaching and support and is committed to ensuring that the state education sector achieves this.
Ruth Sacks is the Founder of Boardroom Focus providing bespoke executive development and leadership programmes.
Ruth has worked in higher education and the private and public sectors. She is able to combine practical entrepreneurial and business experience with a facility to share her learning in an academic context. She is passionate about creating engaging learning experiences on-line and face to face.
Ruth has led a range of culture and strategy change projects in the UK, Europe and the USA. Clients have included HSBC, Barclays, Swissport, the NHS, Cadbury Trebor Basset, and The United Nations. She lived and worked in Paris for 14 years and speaks fluent French. Ruth has a Doctorate in Business Administration and a Masters in Organisation Development.
In her free time Ruth enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling abroad and going to the theatre.
A former student at the college, Neil is the Chief Finance Officer at Wakefield Council, with responsibility for all aspects of the Council’s financial affairs.
Neil qualified with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1997, and became a Fellow of the Association in 2002 before going on to complete a Masters’ degree in Finance and Accounting.
He has lived in Wakefield all of his life and is passionate about improving the life chances of people across the Wakefield District.
Claire Corneille is the Head of HR at Sheffield City Council, where she is responsible for the implementation of the Council’s people vision and strategies, through leading a range of strategic and operational HR services.
Prior to her role in the Council, Claire worked for over 20 years in the healthcare system. Initially working on the development and implementation a range of NHS Workforce policies, whilst working in the Department of Health and Social Care, and more recently in a range of HR roles, where she has developed and embedded HR Business Partnering, managed large scale organisational change and led a range of HR functions.
Claire is a values driven individual who is passionate about people, ensuring that they have a voice which is heard, and understood, and that everyone has an opportunity to be the best they can be.
David followed his father, a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, into FE, starting as a part-time hourly paid lecturer in Travel and Tourism at Stafford College of Further Education in 1986. He moved into senior management and then, via staff development, into teacher education in 2005 when he became a Lecturer in Teacher Education at Craven College. David joined the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education in 2009 and until April 2020 was the Director of the Education and Training Consortium, an initial teacher education (ITE) partnership between the University of Huddersfield and over 20 FE colleges.
Academic Staff Governor
Ben has been a member of the academic staff team at Wakefield College since 2017 and in this time has gained experience of both FE and HE teaching. Ben has also undertaken various roles including programme leader and union representative and has been involved in various working groups such as the Digital Steering Group and the eLearning Project Group.
Through his roles as a lecturer and academic staff governor, Ben hopes to help the organisation grow, thrive, and succeed and continue to provide opportunities to and meet the needs of the College’s students, staff and community.
Support Staff Governor
Yasmin is part of the Student Experience staff at Wakefield College and oversees the Tackling Inactivity Project developed by Sport England. Her main aim is to provide sport and physical activity opportunities to all students in a bid to reduce inactivity and improve student’s overall health and wellbeing. Yasmin has worked in sport and physical activity primarily in Further Education for over 11 years and has been a member of staff at Wakefield College for 6 of these. With a passion for creating inclusive opportunities both in and outside of sport and physical activity, Yasmin also oversees the student Equality and Diversity group and is also an active member of the staff Equality and Inclusion group.
Becoming a Governor
Join our Board of Governors and help transform lives through learning.
Over 8,000 students choose to study at Wakefield College each year. Your contribution and commitment can help young people, adults and employers to fulfil their potential. As a College Governor your knowledge, skills and experience can widen the perspective of the Board.
We’re keen to involve people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. You may have experience in business, community or social work with charities, financial or legal practice, or even be an entrepreneur. The broader your vocational field and cultural experience the better. What's important is your commitment to making the College a place to improve the lives of all people in the communities we serve.
This voluntary role also brings many professional rewards such as boardroom experience, adding to your CV and a positive step towards long-term career development.
If you are interested and would like to apply call 01924 789208 or email Sam Cremore, Clerk to the Corporation, in the first instance. The Search Committee considers all applications before they make recommendations to the Board on appointment. Their terms of reference can be downloaded here.
Governors’ Code of Conduct
The Governors’ Code of Conduct aims to assist Governors in discharging their role and responsibilities, distinct from those of the Principal, both of which are prescribed in clauses 3(1) and 3(2) of the Articles of Government.
A Governor of Wakefield College should:
- conduct himself/herself in accordance with the highest ethical standards and embrace the seven principles of public life laid down by the Nolan Committee (leadership, selflessness, objectivity, openness, integrity, honesty and accountability);
- support the aims and objectives of the College and promote the interests of the College and its students in the wider community;
- work co-operatively with other Governors in the best interests of the College;
- support majority decisions of the Governing Body, including those decisions upon which s/he holds or held a different opinion;
- form a view on matters before the Governing Body according to the best interests of the College within the framework of the College vision, mission and strategic objectives, and refrain from partisan views;
- acknowledge that, as an individual Governor, s/he has no legal authority outside the meetings of the Governing Body and its committees;
- understand that an individual Governor does not have the right, other than through the Chair and with the Governing Body’s agreement, to make statements or express opinions on behalf of the Governors;
- resist any temptation or outside pressure to use the position of Governor to benefit herself or himself or other individuals or agencies;
- declare openly and immediately any personal conflict of interest arising from a matter before the Governors or from any other aspect of governorship;
- respect the confidentiality of those items of business which the Governing Body decides from time to time should be kept confidential;
- take or seek opportunities to enhance her or his effectiveness as a Governor through participation in training and development programmes and by increasing her or his own knowledge of the College;
- give priority, as far as practicable, to attendance at meetings of the Governing Body and its committees;
- have regard to her or his broader responsibilities as a Governor of a public institution including the recognition of public accountability for the actions and performance of the Governing Body.
Being a Governor is a voluntary role, but highly rewarding, and this is a particularly exciting time to be involved with Wakefield College.
The Governing Body conducts its work through full Board meetings which are held approximately six times a year and through the following committees.
The Audit Committee ensures that the internal control systems and audit activities of Wakefield College Corporation are objectively and actively monitored. It reinforces the effectiveness of the internal audit function, providing an independent medium of communication with the Corporation’s auditors.
- Martyn Shaw
- Neil Warren
- Julie Craig
- Ruth Sacks
Audit Committee Terms of Reference
The Remuneration Committee reviews and determines the Corporation’s policy on the terms and conditions of employment of senior staff.
- Andrew McConnell
- Dmitry Fedotov
- Claire Corneille
- Julie Craig
The Search Committee seeks to identify suitable external candidates for nomination to the Governing Body. The Committee also advises the Governing Body on matters related to governance.
- Andrew McConnell
- Sam Wright
- Dmitry Fedotov
- Martyn Shaw
Search Committee Terms of Reference
These documents cover information relating to the way Wakefield College is governed and how decisions are made. In some instances information from committee minutes will be exempt from disclosure where it contains personal information, information that may damage the commercial interests of Wakefield College or that may threaten the health and safety of specific individuals.
The Instrument of Government outlines the membership and size of the Board of Governors, as well as the terms of appointment, and the length of service of governors. It also allows committees to be established.
These Standing Orders are based on, and should be read in conjunction with, the Instrument and Articles of Government. Every member of the Corporation shall be bound by these Orders.
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Governance Policy & Procedures
1, Requirements under the Instrument & Articles of Government
The Instrument and Articles specify that the following documents should be made available at the College during normal office hours to any person wishing to inspect them:
- For any meeting of the Corporation where documents do not contain matters which the Corporation has identified as confidential or which name current or future students or employees or any material relating to the Clerk:
- the agenda;
- the minutes;
- any report, document or other paper considered at the meeting.
- A written statement of policy on attendance at committee meetings by persons who are not committee members.
- A written statement of policy regarding the publication of minutes of committee meetings.
- The register of financial interests of members of the Corporation.
- Any rules specifying the conduct of the Search Committee, together with its terms of reference and advice to the Corporation.
In addition, copies of the Instrument and Articles must also be made available for inspection on request during normal office hours to every member of staff and to students.
2 The Corporation’s Arrangements for Public Access
The Corporation’s Standing Orders relating to arrangements for public access to Corporation business include the following statements:
3.10 Declaration of Personal Interest
- The Register (of Interests) shall be made available during normal office working hours at the College to any person wishing to see it.
3.11 Public Access to Meetings
- In accordance with clause 16 of the Instrument, any question whether any person who is not a member of the Corporation or the Clerk to the Corporation should be allowed to attend a meeting of the Corporation shall be determined by the Corporation.
- The Corporation may hold one meeting each year, to be known as the Annual Public Meeting, which is open to members of the public.
- The Corporation often discusses business that is confidential in nature. It also feels that free and frank discussion may be inhibited by the presence of persons other than members. Therefore, members of the public will normally not be allowed to attend meetings of the Corporation and its committees.
3.12 Publication of Agendas, Minutes and Papers
- The Clerk shall ensure that a copy of the agendas and minutes of a non-confidential nature relating to the meetings of the Corporation and its committees shall be posted on the College website. In addition, the Clerk shall also ensure that agendas, papers and minutes are available for public reference at the College during normal office working hours upon request to the Clerk to the Corporation.
- The Corporation shall review regularly all confidential material and make any such material available for inspection where it is satisfied that the reason for dealing with the matter on a confidential basis no longer applies, or where it considers that the public interest in disclosure outweighs that reason.
In addition, the terms of reference for the Governors’ Search Committee specify that the duties of the Committee shall include:
- to make available for inspection by any member of the public, in accordance with paragraph 5(3) of the Articles of Government, the remit of this Committee and the advice that it gives to the Corporation.
Copies of the Instrument and Articles are lodged at each of the College’s Learning Resource Centres and are also available on request from the Clerk.
1, Wakefield College Corporation aims to uphold the highest standards in conducting its business and seeks to demonstrate the seven principles of public life which includes openness about its decisions and actions.
2, The Corporation does recognise, however, that, from time to time, some items may need to be considered confidentially. Paragraph 17(2) of the Instrument of Government upholds this action and states:
“There may be excluded from any item required to be made available in pursuance of paragraph 1 (publication of minutes and papers)any material relating to:
- a named person employed at or proposed to be employed at the institution;
- a Governor or applicant for Governor of the institution;
- a named student at, or candidate for admission to, the institution; and
- any matter which, by reason of its nature, the Corporation is satisfied should be dealt with on a confidential basis.”
3, Items which the Corporation, and its committees, will consider as confidential are those containing:
- personal information relating to individual employees or potential employees;
- personal information relating to a Governor or applicant for Governor;
- personal information relating to individual students or potential students;
- information relating to the financial and business affairs of people or companies who are providing, or seeking to provide, goods or services to the College or Corporation;
- information furnished to the College or Corporation by a recognised authority (e.g. Government department) on terms which forbid the disclosure of the information to the public;
- commercially sensitive information;
- information on action likely to lead to a prosecution.
4, When the timing of the release of information is sensitive, the item will be issued with an embargo on discussion prior to the meeting. The decision to release the item or require it to remain confidential will be taken by the Committee or Board at the meeting.
5, The Corporation, and its committees, may also consider an item as confidential for reasons not listed in paragraph 3 or 4 above should the Chair, in consultation with the Principal, determine that it is confidential due to its specific nature.
6, Papers submitted as confidential to the Corporation or its committees should clearly state the reasons for confidentiality.
7, Where, following consideration of an item, the Corporation and its committees decide to classify an item as confidential; the confidentiality criteria will be clearly recorded on the item.
8, Confidential items will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine whether the information should now be released into the public domain. This review will be undertaken by the Clerk to the Corporation on an annual basis with the relevant member of the Principalship.