More than 100 representatives from Scotland’s college boards met today in Edinburgh to launch a new guide to support them in meeting their responsibilities.

Download Cabinet Secretary launches new guidance for college Board members press release

Education Secretary Angela Constance has unveiled the new Guide for Board Members in the College Sector which has been created by the cross-sectoral Good Governance Group and produced by College Development Network.

With responsibility for the planning and delivery of learning and for value for money sitting with board members, this guidance will help them ensure that colleges are well led and managed.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said: “Colleges are vital to Scotland’s success in education and underpinning a skilled productive workforce to drive our economy. To continue to improve, we need strong, ambitious leadership and good governance.

“We ask a lot of our college board members, which is why this guidance is so important in supporting board members to govern effectively. I am particularly happy to join so many members of our college boards today to personally thank them for their commitment and the invaluable and varied expertise they have brought to the sector.”

The new guide describes the role of a board member and their key duties. It is designed to complement the Code of Good Governance for Scotland’s Colleges, published last year, and the advice framework on the role of Student Associations launched by NUS Scotland earlier this month to give students a stronger voice in the running of colleges.

Ms Constance added:

“Thanks to the talent, commitment and energy of college leaders and their staff, we have seen huge progress on college reform.

“In each of the last three years, we have exceeded our target to maintain the number of full time equivalent students and saw improvements that are giving students better opportunities while studying. Last year saw record levels of student retention, successful completion of courses and a 34 per cent increase in students progressing from college to university with advanced standing since 2009-10.

“Since 2008/09 a third more students have completed full time courses leading to qualifications; there has been an increase in both younger and older students – 15.3 per cent under 25s and 25.5 per cent over 25 – and 15 per cent more women are now studying in college.

“These successes are the result of hard work from college staff and board members and I want to thank everyone for that ongoing commitment.”

Joe Wilson, CEO of College Development Network (CDN), says:

“We are delighted to host this special College Board Members’ Day as part of our ongoing development of college Boards and their Members across Scotland. Boards and Board Members are encouraged to let us know about their development needs so that we can provide tailored approaches to ensure the right support.