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External Governance Review

JLC is pleased to report the outcome of an independent review of the College’s Corporation (Governing Body) carried out during 2023/24. This external review was carried out by Joy Allen, Leading Governance Ltd. It predominantly focussed on the principles of the Association of Colleges Code of Good Governance for English Colleges and the current guidance on external board reviews.


The methodology for this review was:

• Desk review of key governance related documents, including Instrument & Articles of Government, Strategic Plan, Risk Policy, Governors’ Pen Portraits, Corporation Minutes and other Corporation Board papers

• Observation of Corporation Board meeting (by Zoom) on 18 March

• 11 individual interviews (by Zoom) with Corporation Board members, and the Clerk

• Development of draft report and governance action plan


The key strengths identified during this review include:

• Shared commitment to the college, and to ongoing governance development

• Skills and experience of the Corporation Board, and strong leadership from the Chair

• Capability and commitment of the Principal and Clerk, and their positive relationships with Corporation Board

• Detailed policies and procedures in all appropriate areas, with a clear schedule for review


The main areas for further development are:

• Succession planning to enable long serving governors to step down, including the Chair, and open recruitment to enhance diversity

• The annual Review of Contribution for each governor, including the Chair

• Bringing together the college’s Key Performance Indicators in one plan (perhaps using the Balanced Scorecard format) to support integrated reporting to the Corporation Board


Governors will utilise the action plan as part of their annual governance self-assessment for the coming year.

We're delighted to share the following quotes from the report;

  • “John Leggott Sixth Form College is a unique provision with over 52 years of supporting students to ‘achieve their dreams”.


  • “…its team is proud of being ‘passionate about ensuring that its students achieve their potential academically, personally and professionally”


  • “John Leggott Sixth Form College is clearly committed to continual improvement of its governance structures, processes and behaviours, in recognition that effective boardroom leadership is a fundamental element in a well-run college that provides great outcomes for learners.”


  • “Through Corporation Board and Committees preparation and attendance, governors have developed a high level of understanding of the needs of learners. Learning walks and other links to college activities are used to develop further understanding …”


  • “There is clarity about the financial strategy and plan, and key performance indicators enable the Corporation Board to oversee performance at each of its meetings.”


  • “Board and committees skills – Governors’ pen portraits on the college’s website show a strong breadth and depth of skills and experience in key areas, including accountancy, education leadership, audit, risk management, governance, strategic planning, law and quality assurance.”

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