Governance at St David's Sixth Form College 2015-16

The 1992 Further and Higher Education Act incorporated Further Education Colleges including Sixth Form Colleges.

St David’s Catholic Sixth Form College as one of the then 16 Catholic Sixth Form Colleges in England and Wales was subject to the provisions of governance laid down in that Act Under Section 29 of that Act the college was governed by an Instrument and Articles of Government made by the then Governing Body of the College and approved by the then Secretary of State in England and Wales. The College was protected by special provisions in the Act, in respect of religious education, collective worship and the Foundation majority on the Governing Body.

Following devolution the College began negotiating with the Welsh Government to change its Instrument and Articles of Government. The Catholic Education Service for England and Wales represented the Archdiocese of Cardiff in those negotiations. Under the powers of Sections 143 and 152 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 conferred on the then National Assembly of Wales an Incorporation Order was made. On August 5th 2005 the Saint David’s Catholic Sixth Form College Incorporation Order came into force and the Governing Body, as constituted at present, was created in accordance with that Order.

 

The Principal Powers of the Governing Body are set out in this order.

1. “To conduct the College as an institution within the further education sector in accordance with its trust deed and in accordance with its established character as from time to time preserved and developed and in particular may...

  1. provide further education and higher education
  2. provide secondary education suitable to the requirements of persons who have attained the age of fourteen
  3. provide education which is secondary by virtue of Section 2(2B) of the Education Act 1996.
  4. Participate in the provision of secondary education at a school

2. the governing body may not provide education of a kind specified in paragraph (1) (b) (c) or(d) unless it has consulted such local education authorities as it considers appropriate

3. this article has effect subject to the college’s instrument and articles of government

4. In this article “trust deed” includes any instrument (other than an instrument or articles of government) regulating the constitution of the College’s governing body or the maintenance, management or conduct of the College”

 

The Further and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Act 2014 came in to force on January 27th 2014 and the Act enhances the autonomy and decision making abilities of Further Education Institutions. In this Act sections 29B and 29C of the FHEA 1992 have been replaced with a new section 29B. The effect of this is to remove the requirement for the Welsh Ministers’ consent before designated institutions can modify or replace their instruments and articles of government and to remove the Welsh Ministers’ power to modify and replace articles and instruments of government.

The main functions of the governing body are to set out and approve policies, set the budget and maintain the solvency of the college, define expectations, delegate powers where necessary, and ensure performance management is carried out towards delivering the College’s strategic aims and objectives.

These are set out in the Governors Handbook that also includes a Governors’ Code of Conduct.

The AOC executive summary of “Creating Excellence in College Governance” states

one of the most important aspects of good governance is an appropriate division of responsibilities between strategic governance led by the Governing Body and operational management led by the Principal and the Senior Leadership Team.

St David’s Catholic Sixth Form College Governing Body strives to meet those terms in all its work.

 

- Michael D Howells, Clerk to the Governing Body