Kim Ansell, Assistant Director Governance, said, “This is a timely report with a clear set of recommendations. I was particularly encouraged to see recommendations two and three, areas where Advance HE has been doing considerable work: ‘Review skills matrices to reflect experiences in general and widening roles’ and ‘Review processes for onboarding, engaging and retaining governors and others involved in governing body-level governance.”
“We know Boards really benefit from using a skills matrix across the whole team, including staff governors and student governors, to highlight the range of skills and, indeed, to identify gaps. In terms of what the report describes as ‘board ready’, it’s important to keep sight of diversity aspirations, particularly age, and to consider Board Apprentice schemes where appropriate.”
She added, “The report makes other pertinent points about ‘onboarding’. Boards need to be creative about student governor induction, and promoting the most effective ways for the Board to hear the student voice. The report also surfaces ‘some reluctance to insist on governors participating in initial induction and ongoing development’– in our view, it’s a priority to make these expectations absolute from the outset.
“The report identifies a range of opportunities for governance improvements and is a valuable contribution to higher education governance in England.”