This page helps to communicate information and background about the way in which the College is governed and about how the Board of Governors support the everyday activities of Colchester Institute. We are a mixed economy college of Further and Higher Education, established by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The statutory Instrument and Articles of Government sets down the membership, the powers and the responsibilities of the Board of Governors.
Much of the further education work of the College is funded through the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the College is required to abide by the Financial Memorandum and the Audit Code of Practice. The Governing Body has responsibility for key areas of the College and for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of College policies in a number of areas including:
- Health and Safety
- Equal Opportunities
- The Disability Discrimination Act
- Freedom of Information Act
The Colchester Institute Board of Governors is made up of members from a wide range of backgrounds, reflecting the communities the College serves and members elected by the staff and by students. The Principal is the only member who is both a Board member and a member of the executive. The Board has overall responsibility for the educational character and mission of the College, for the general oversight of its activities and is accountable for the proper use of public funds and for exercising a duty of care for the assets of the College.
The Board of Governors and Colchester Institute are committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination within the College on the grounds of age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, trade union activity, and any other irrelevant criteria.
Our Strategic Ambitions
The staff and board here at Colchester Institute have a five-step strategic plan that they believe will improve every area of the college and create a positive learning and working environment for everyone involved:
- To provide motivating, rewarding and aspirational learning opportunities which equip our students with the skills which enable them to lead productive and fulfilling lives and to build successful careers.
- To deliver excellence in teaching, learning and assessment and in all aspects of the student experience.
- To become a community nucleus responding to local need and establishing productive partnerships with employers, key community leaders, and local providers of other educational and non-educational services to help drive economic development.
- To create an organisational culture which recognises and develops the skills, expertise and commitment of College staff, as reflected in today’s most effective workplaces.
- To ensure a long-term future for Colchester Institute, by maintaining and growing financial health and enabling the College to respond to new and emerging challenges and opportunities.
Code of Conduct
The Vision and Mission Statements seek to encapsulate the core purposes and aims of the College. The Board recognises it’s obligations to all those with whom it has dealings: students, employees, local and national employers and industries, suppliers, other educational institutions and the local community. It also recognises that it has accountability to tax payers. Board members are committed to ensuring that they conduct their business in accordance with the highest ethical standards, to this end, every Board member signs a Code of Conduct. This is based upon the seven Principles of Public Service set out in the Nolan Report, these are:
The Code sets out the ways in which members are expected to deal with their statutory accountability, how they exercise skill, care and due diligence, and the Board’s powers, conflicts of interests, collective responsibility, openness and confidentiality, complaints, attendance and good governance.
Higher Education Strategy
Policy on access to information not contained in the Publication Scheme
From 1 January 2005, in addition to accessing standard information via the Publication Scheme, a person may make a request for specific information which has not already been made available in the Publication Scheme. This must be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Requests for information
Requests for information :-
- Must be made in writing (including e-mail)
- Must include the name and address of the applicant
- Must attempt to describe the information requested
- Can state a preference for the form in which the information is to be received, such as, in written form, by inspection on the premises, in the form of a digest or summary.
Dealing with requests
All requests received should be sent to the Director of Human Resources who will ensure that the information is provided in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act as follows:-
- Respond to the request within 20 working days
- Provide the information in the form requested, where reasonably practicable
- Advise the applicant if we do not have the information requested or if the information falls within the exempt categories.
- Ask for further information, if necessary in order to identify the information asked for.
- Assist the requester and provide advice as necessary.
Data Protection Policy
Requesters will be charged a fee, to cover the costs associated with supplying the information.
On receipt of the application for information, a fees notice will be issued detailing the amount payable. Information will not be supplied until the fee is received.
Good record management procedures are necessary to respond to requests for information in compliance with the FOI Act. The college procedures will therefore be reviewed and revised and managers will be expected to adhere to these.
These will include separate procedures on Electronic Records management including E-mail.
The following is a general guide to good record management:-
- Bear in mind the possibility of future public access to all files. Avoid comments which could be misunderstood or cause embarrassment on general release.
- Documents should be drafted in such a way that exempt information eg. personal data can be edited out before release.
Only keep the information that is really needed. Review files and eliminate superseded drafts.
- Adhere to legally defined retention periods.
- Ensure confidential information is disposed of appropriately (shredded in the case of paper)
Applicants dissatisfied with the college’s response to a request for information may raise the complaint through the college Compliments and Complaints procedure. If he/she is still dissatisfied with the college’s response having exhausted the internal procedure, he/she has the right to complain to the Information Commissioner.