Morley College London is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and is a registered charity. It is governed by a board of governors (collectively known as the Governing Body) who are at the same time the members of the company, the directors of the company and the trustees of the charity.
The powers and duties of the Governing Body are set out in the College’s Articles of Association. In exercising those powers and discharging those duties, and in fulfilling its legal obligations (including under company and charity law) and the specific obligations imposed by its agreements with public funding bodies, the Governing Body follows the Code of Good Governance for English Colleges which it has adopted as its own governance code.
Broadly, the Governing Body’s main responsibilities under its Articles and the Code of Good Governance are:
- Articulating our mission, vision and values and responding to the needs of the communities that we serve
- Setting the strategic direction of the College through the Strategic Plan and other high-level strategies
- Shaping the culture of the College by effectively modelling and upholding our values
- Setting corporate objectives, monitoring progress towards them and assessing the impact of our strategies
- Promoting the interests of students and ensuring that students’ voices are significant in shaping the strategic direction of the College and the range and quality of the services that we provide
- Appointing the Principal, Deputy Principal, Chief Finance Officer and Clerk/Company Secretary and determining their pay and conditions of service
- Setting a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff
- Approving key policies (including the policy for determining tuition fees) and taking decisions on issues of strategic importance which would not be appropriate to delegate
- Providing challenge and support to the Principal and the Senior Leadership Team
- Ensuring the effectiveness of performance management systems, particularly those systems focused on improving learning, teaching, and assessment
- Actively promoting equality, diversity and inclusion
- Ensuring the safeguarding of students and preventing them from being drawn into extremism
- Ensuring the solvency of the College and the safeguarding and development of its assets
- Ensuring probity and effective financial management
- Promoting good practice in matters relating to environmental sustainability
- Monitoring the risks to which the College is exposed and the actions being taken to manage and mitigate those risks
- Ensuring that the College discharges its legal responsibilities as an employer and follows good employment practice
- Ensuring continuous quality improvement across the College, including in the effectiveness of the Governing Body
The Governing Body recognises that it is accountable to a wide range of stakeholders, including past, present and future students, local communities, communities of practice, and college staff, as well as to funding bodies and regulators, for the ways in which it meets these responsibilities. These responsibilities are set out in more detail in the Scheme of Delegation.
Membership and professional support
The Governing Body aims to ensure that it includes a diverse range of individuals who possess between them the necessary skills and experience to discharge all of the responsibilities set out above.
A majority of governors are appointed by the Governing Body following an open recruitment process. Each of these ‘external’ governors is appointed for an initial term of four years, and, if subsequently re-appointed, may serve for up to eight years in total (12 years in the case of the Chair and Vice-chair of the Governing Body).
The Governing Body also includes the Principal, two Student Governors (normally the Chair of the Student Council and one other student directly elected by the whole student body) and two Staff Governors (elected by their fellow members of staff).
As charity trustees, governors are unpaid and work on a voluntary basis. They are advised and supported by a Clerk and Company Secretary to whom any enquiries about the work of the Governing Body should be addressed. The current Clerk and Company Secretary is Martin McNeill.
The Governing Body takes decisions on all matters that it has not delegated to the Principal collectively, as a board. It has, however, established committees (see below) to advise it on different aspects of its work and has also appointed, as well as a Chair and Vice-chair, Lead Governors for three important areas: equality and diversity; safeguarding and ‘prevent’; and health and safety.
The Governing Body has adopted a Code of Conduct which all governors are required to accept, on appointment. It has also set out expectations as to how governors will discharge their roles in a statement on Governor Responsibilities.
Role descriptions and criteria for the appointment for each Governor role can be found below:
- Role Description and Criteria for Appointment – External Governor
- Role Description and Criteria for Appointment – Staff Governor
- Role Description and Criteria for Appointment – Student Governor
- Role Description and Criteria for Appointment – Chair of Governors
- Role Description and Criteria for Appointment – Vice-chair of Governors
The work of the Governing Body is supported by five committees:
- Audit Committee
- Finance, Resources, and Fundraising Committee
- Quality and Standards Committee
- Remuneration Committee
- Search and Governance Committee
The Committees operate to approved Terms of Reference as follows:
- Audit Committee Terms of Reference
- Finance, Resources and Fundraising Committee Terms of Reference
- Quality and Standards Committee Terms of Reference
- Remuneration Committee Terms of Reference
- Search and Governance Committee Terms of Reference
These Terms of Reference are reviewed annually.
The current membership of the board and the five committees can be found on this document: Governance Structure.
The Governing Body normally meets four times during the year, although it is sometimes necessary to arrange an extraordinary meeting, for example when a governor or senior staff appointment needs to be made, or a decision is required that cannot wait until the next scheduled board meeting.
The Audit Committee, Quality and Standards Committee, and Search and Governance Committee normally meet three times a year (once each term). The Finance, Resources and Fundraising Committee meets four times a year, and the Remuneration Committee once a year.
All meetings are conducted in accordance with the Governing Body’s Standing Orders.
In addition to formal meetings, the Governing Body devotes an hour before each board meeting to board development, and a half-day twice a year to strategy development (the latter undertaken jointly with the Senior Management Team).
The Governing Body has agreed on a calendar for Board Meetings, Committee Meetings and Development Sessions as shown in the Programme of meetings for 2021-22 and Programme of meetings 2022-23 (provisional).
It is the policy of the Governing Body to publish the minutes of board meetings as soon as they have been confirmed (at the start of the following meeting). The minutes relating to the current year and the two preceding years are available on the website, but earlier minutes can be made available on application to the Clerk and Company Secretary.