Agenda item

Skills Survey

Report of the Town Clerk.


The Committee considered the report of the Town Clerk on the Skills Survey.


With regard to the vacancies existing for co-opted and common councilmen Board members, the Principal confirmed that she had discussed possible co-opted member candidates with the Chairman. The Deputy Chairman commented that the Principal would be the best source for identifying appropriate Board members where a skills gap was evident but that for common councilmen, although it would be possible to indicate that the Board was looking for particular skills, the final decision on those elected rested with the Court of Common Council. Members noted the Principal’s view that prospective Board members be provided with a ‘position description’ that would give them a pointer to what would be expected of them.      


It was noted that Professor Crossick’s previously circulated view was that it should be ensured that there is a small number of Members (1 to 3) with a high score (4 or 5) in all that is regarded as necessary for the Board’s ability to discharge its processes. The Committee then proceeded to examine the results of the survey, to rank the categories in order of importance and to identify the important skill areas that appeared currently deficient. A Member made the point that the survey was subjective in that the Board had been asked to rank their skills against each category and that personal views on how highly to score would differ. Members were generally of the opinion that, in future, greater explanation was required for categories along with revisions to the personal 1 to 5 grading system. A Member put forward the view that a description of what a Board member considered the role of a Governor to be would be useful.


Debate continued and the Committee decided that a skills category ranking of (a) would indicate the high priority areas; that (b) would show those skills that were ‘nice to have and still of importance’; and (c) would be those skills regarded as lower level and secondary. Arising from the detailed discussions, the following comments, rankings, additional future categories and revisions to existing categories were agreed. The Committee also agreed that the Board should be informed of those skills categories ranked (a) and (b) where less than 2 current Board members would rank their score 4 to 5.  


Corporate and Financial Management


1.    Insurance (c)


2.    Investments (c)


3.    Finance (a) 


4.    Change Management (b)


5.    Strategic Management and Business Planning (b)


6.    Governance (a)


7.    Higher Education Governance (a) (new category)


Specialist and Technical Areas


1.    Health and Safety (c) (not considered essential skill for Governors as dealt with elsewhere in CoL governance structures)


2.    Fundraising (a) (to be merged with 13 below and renamed Fundraising and Relationship Management)


3.    Estates and FM (b) (to be merged with 17 below and renamed Estates,  Property and Sustainability)


4.    Enterprise / Business Development (a)


5.    Equality and Diversity (a)


6.    Education Management (a)


7.    Drama (a) (to be merged with 12 below and renamed Acting and Drama)


8.    Creative Learning (b) (to be incorporated in 25 below)


9.    Charity Organisation (c)


10.  Campaigning (a) (to be renamed Advocacy and International Relations)


11.  Arts (b) (to be renamed Performing and Visual Arts)


12.  Acting (b) (to be incorporated in 7 above)


13.  Relationship Management (a) (to be incorporated in 2 above)


14.  Quality Systems (b) (to be renamed Higher Education Statutory, Regulatory and Quality Frameworks and include 22 below)


15.  Public Sector Organisations (a) (to incorporate 21 below)


16.  Public Relations (b)


17.  Project Management (b) (to be incorporated in 3 above)


18.  Music (a)


19.  Mediation (c)


20.  Marketing (b) (to be merged with 23 below and renamed Communications, Information and Marketing)


21.  Local Authorities (a) (to be incorporated in 15 above)


22.  Legal (b) (to be incorporated in 14 above) 


23.  Information and Communications (b) (to be incorporated in 20 above)


24.  Human Resources and Personnel (b)


25.  Widening Participation (b) (new category to incorporate 8 above)


26.  Visual Arts (b) (to incorporate 27 below and be renamed Visual Arts and Theatre)


27.  Theatre (b) (to be incorporated in 26 above)


28.  Technology (a)


29.  Teaching – Higher (a)


30.  Teaching – Further (b) (to incorporate 31 and 32 below and be renamed Teaching (Other)


31.  Teaching – Secondary (b) (to be incorporated in 30 above)


32.  Teaching – Primary (b) (to be incorporated in 30 above)


33.  Safeguarding (a)


34.  Student Wellbeing (a) (to be renamed Staff and Student Wellbeing)


35.  Risk and Audit (a)


36.  Research (a) (new category)


37.  Government Relations (a) (new category)


38.  Cultural Policy (a) (new category)


It was duly noted that in the skills ranking of (a) high priority areas and (b) ‘nice to have and still of importance’, there were no categories listed as (a) where less than 2 Board members currently rank themselves 4 to 5, and 5 categories listed as (b) where less than 2 Board members currently rank themselves 4 to 5 (as set out below):-


·         Estates and FM (b) (to be renamed Estates, Property and Sustainability) – currently 0 members scoring 4 – 5


·         Quality Systems (b) (to be renamed Higher Education Statutory, Regulatory and Quality Frameworks) – currently 0 members scoring 4 – 5


·         Legal (b) (to be incorporated in Higher Education Statutory, Regulatory and Quality Frameworks) – currently 1 member scoring 4 – 5


·         Human Resources and Personnel (b) – currently 1 member scoring 4 – 5


·         Teaching – Further, Secondary, Primary (b) (to renamed Teaching (Other)) – currently 1 member scoring 4 - 5


Further Note: that Board members would benefit, in due course, from some advice from the School’s Development Team on their role in fundraising.




(a)  the Board be advised of the outcome of the Committee’s discussions and the categories where skills deficiencies were currently identified;


(b)   the skills survey categories should be amended in the light of the above, with descriptors also provided for each category and revision to the personal 1 to 5 ranking system, to ensure that in future Board members be asked to provide an assessment of experience rather than competency; and


(c)  a revised and updated skills survey document be recirculated to Board members in due course for completion and return.


Supporting documents: