Becoming a Governor of Derwentside College

The Governing Body is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the College, determining policy, and monitoring performance across the various key strands of our business.

The Governing Body consists of up to 16 Governors, each of whom bring a diverse and valuable range of skills and experience to the role.  Our Governors are volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the education and life chances of our learners and apprentices.

The position of Governor requires attendance at regular Board meetings (approximately 9 per year), as well as other activities, such as learner engagement, throughout the year.  The time commitment is not onerous and many of our Governors enjoy the role and the impact they have on our staff, students and the local community.  The position is voluntary and unpaid, although reasonable expenses can be claimed.

The College is always looking for enthusiastic and talented people to join its Governing Body.  If you are interested in the opportunity, please contact our HR department in the first instance (, or 01207 585 900).

Further information on the role is included in the sections below.

The Governing Body is keen to ensure that its membership reflects the strategic needs of the College and the diversity of the community it serves by making sure there is an appropriate balance of skills and expertise on the Board.

If you are interested in becoming a Governor and would like to discuss the role further, please contact our HR department, who will arrange for an informal discussion to take place with a member of our team.

In the event that you are interested in applying to join our Board, you will be required to submit the following:

  • A covering letter of no more than two pages, outlining your interest and what you would bring to the role;
  • An up-to-date CV;
  • An EDI monitoring form.

All applications will be considered by our Search and Governance Committee.  Any candidates who are shortlisted by the Committee, will be invited to attend for interview.  Following the interview, successful candidates will be offered the opportunity to observe a Governing Body meeting, before formally being invited to join us.

All newly appointed Governors will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) and barred list check, and the receipt of two satisfactory references.  In addition, the HR Team will undertake checks against the registers identified below:

  • the Individual Insolvency Register maintained by the Insolvency Service, which contains details of current and recent bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements;
  • the register of disqualified directors maintained by Companies House;
  • the register of all persons who have been removed as a charity trustee either by the commission or by an Order of the High Court since 1 February 1993.

All new appointments will be subject to a period of probationary review period of 6 months (at least 3 Governing Body meetings).

As agreed by the Board, the Board Membership Appointment Process sets out the process for appointing new members to the Board in line with the Search Committee’s terms of reference.

  1. Information about becoming a Board Member will be made available on the College website.
  2. A person applying to become a member of the College Corporation will be invited to an initial informal meeting with the Chair and Clerk to outline the role and responsibilities of the Board.  This will be followed up by a formal meeting with the Chair and Clerk to ensure that the role is clearly understood and at that point an invitation will be made to observe a Board meeting.
  3. After the Board meeting, an approach will be made to the person and if they still want to become a Board member their appointment will be discussed at Search Committee, with a view to formally recommending appointment to the Board.
  4. New appointments are made with a defined probationary period of three full Board meetings, which may then be extended to a four year term after review.  This is in line with the Instrument and Articles of Government.
  5. Upon expiry of their first term of office, and subject to satisfactory attendance and ongoing contribution, members will be reappointed to the Board for a second four-year term, with the option to take a break after each period of tenure.
  6. Members will be appointed for a maximum of two four-year terms of office unless the Search Committee considers that exceptional circumstances can justify an extension in the length of service of existing Board members.  Exceptional circumstances includes a period of time where the Board is unable to sustain effective membership and/or Chairmanship and is at risk of failing to perform its statutory duties.

All Board Members have to fulfil basic eligibility criteria.  Individuals who have been bankrupted or served prison sentences may not be eligible to become Board Members.  All Board Member appointments are subject to disclosure of any financial or personal interests.

Derwentside College aims to ensure that all employees, learners and visitors are treated as individuals, regardless of age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, sexuality, trade union activity, unrelated criminal convictions, socio-economic background, or other relevant distinction.

We are determined to ensure that we treat all individuals fairly, with dignity and respect; that the opportunities we provide are open to all; that we provide a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for employees, learners and visitors.

Full role description here.

If you wish to contact us for more information about becoming a Board Member, please write to, or e-mail:


The Clerk to the Board

Derwentside College

Front Street


County Durham

DH8 5EE.

Tel 01207 585900