Governance of Colchester InstituteHigher Education StrategyOur GovernorsAccess to InformationFurther Governance InformationMinutes – Board and Committee Meetings

Governance of Colchester Institute

This governance 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
  • Safeguarding

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.

Higher Education Strategy

For more information, please see the following documents:QAA checks how UK universities and colleges maintain the standard of their higher education provision. Click here to read this institution's latest review report.

Higher Education QAA Action Plan

Higher Education Strategy 2017-2020

The Principal

Alison Andreas

About Us - Principals Welcome | Alison Andreas

Alison Andreas

The Principal serves on all the Board Committees except the Audit and Compliance Committee. Alison joined Colchester Institute in 1997 and has held a range of management roles including in Human Resource Development and Quality. She has been a Senior Postholder at the College since 2008, most recently Vice Principal: Quality and Support. Previously to working at the College, Alison studied French at the University of Oxford and held a range of management posts in large industrial organisations.

The Board

Brenda Baker


Following a wide ranging background in accounts and then marketing posts, Brenda moved to Essex where she joined the George Yard Shopping Centre Management Team. She has been Centre Manager since 2001.

Brenda is currently Chair of Braintree Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Chair of BARC Braintree Against Retail & Business Crime, and Vice Chair of Braintree District Arts. She also participates in the Braintree Town Team, supporting their activities, and recently become a member of the Braintree Witham & Halstead Citizens Advice Bureau Trustee Board with a specific remit to raise funds. She is hoping to start a Friends of Braintree Witham and Halstead CAB this year.

Brenda is very interested in crafts generally and has a specific interest in flower arranging and art dolls.

Brenda was appointed to the Colchester Institute Board in December 2011 and is a member of the Resources Committee.

Christopher Bridge



Until his early retirement Christopher Bridge was the Chief Executive North East Essex Mental Health NHS Trust for 10 years. He is also a consultant for the World Health Organisation.

He has previously held senior National Health Service posts in London. Before joining the NHS, he worked for the BBC, and Rolls Royce Ltd.

Member of the Colchester Institute Governing Body since January 1990, Christopher was appointed Chairman of the Board with effect from 1 January 2012. He is a member of all the Board Committees except Audit and Compliance and Chairs the Remuneration and Search Committee.

Mark Davies


Mark Davies, 52 holds a Degree in Geography from Durham University and is a Chartered Accountant by profession and has worked in Retail Financial Services and the Lending Industry specifically since leaving KPMG in 1994. A seasoned professional in the sector, Mark has held a number of senior roles most recently completing long term assignments as Head of Finance for Hermes Fund Managers Limited and The UK Debt Management Office, where he was actively engaged on supporting the Debt Guarantee programmes launched by the UK Government at the height of the credit crisis. He is currently Managing Director of Capita Mortgage Services Limited a subsidiary of Capita PLC, based in Ipswich.

Married to Helen and having lived in Suffolk since 1994, Mark has 2 children at University and a third still at school. A keen hockey player all his life he was a member of the Ipswich HC over 50 Masters Team that finished as runners up in the National Trophy final in 2016.

Mark was appointed to the Board in January 2017 and is a member of the Resources Committee.

David Gask


Following a BSc in Physics and a MSc in Management Studies, David joined Ford Motor Company and worked in various areas of Product Development in England, Europe and the USA including Business Planning, Project Management and Engineering. Last position, and before taking early retirement, was Manager of Powertrain Engineering for small cars in Europe.

David is Chairman of North Essex Multi Academy Trust which comprises Notley High School, Braintree 6th Form and Ramsey Academy Halstead, and which are partner schools of the College at Braintree. David was a governor at Braintree College until the merger. David chairs the Curriculum and Quality Committee and is a member of the Remuneration and Search Committee.

David Gronland


After serving a five year apprenticeship at Fuller Electric David held various engineering posts before setting up in partnership in 1982 as a motion control specialist distributor Micromech Ltd, later adding Micromech Systems ltd to build motion control cabinets and equipment. The company, based in Braintree, is still going strong due to its specialist expertise, which is particularly required for defence and research projects.

David has previously been active in the local Braintree Chamber of Commerce as a committee member and Chairman. He has also sat on various Braintree District business committees and is currently on the Highways Panel for the Braintree Association of Local Councils. David is a Halstead Town Councillor and an NHS (CHUFT) Governor. He was appointed as a governor of Braintree College in March 2008, having previously served as a co-opted member of the College’s Audit Committee, and joined the Colchester Institute Board following the merger with Braintree College. He is a member of the Audit and Compliance and Curriculum and Quality Committees.

Kevin Prince


Kevin was Head Teacher of St Helena School, Colchester until his recent early retirement, a post he had held since September 2007. Prior to this Kevin has taught in South Essex and London. Kevin was appointed to the Board in January 2008 and became Vice Chairman in January 2012. He is Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee and a member of the Remuneration and Search Committee.

Karen Tarling


Karen is a qualified lawyer and has specialised in Employment Law for 15 years. She has worked in the public, private and charitable sectors and is currently employed by a Trade Union.

Karen was appointed to the Board on 1st March 2014 and is a member of the Resources Committee.

Sue Thompson-Arnold


Currently Head of Central Accounting and Performance Analysis at the European Shared Service Centre of Informa, an internal business in the media sector and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Sue is responsible for the finance of the Shared Service Centre and reporting on its associated operating performance trends. Prior to taking on this role, Sue was Head of the Finance Operations function within the SSC, joining in 2009. Before entering industry, Sue spent eight years in audit, qualifying as an ACCA accountant in 2005, and spending four years at KPMG Ipswich, two of which as Audit Manager with a portfolio covering health and private sector clients.

Sue was appointed to the Board on 29th July 2014 and is a member of the Audit and Compliance and Remuneration and Search Committees.

Ian Thurgood


Ian Thurgood, 61, has a Masters Degree in Marketing (USW) and recently retired as joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons of Tiptree. Ian held board positions with other premium food businesses and was more latterly involved in change leadership, including diversification and acquisitions. In 2016 he was a runner-up in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s ‘Excellence’ awards. Currently chairman of Thera East, a charity providing support for those with learning difficulties, Ian also provides consultancy services for marketing and change leadership.

Married to Philippa and living in Tiptree for over forty years, Ian has three children. His interests include cricket (he is a committee member of Essex Lord’s Taverners and part-time steward for Essex Cricket Club) and long distance walking.

Richard Wainwright


Richard joined Midland Bank in 1979 and has been with the bank since that time (during which it was acquired by HSBC). During his career, Richard has covered most of the traditional banking roles – including branch manager – but following a house move in 2003 has worked in East Anglia with SME’s as a Relationship Manager with responsibility for meeting their operational banking and financial needs.

Richard chairs the Resources Committee and is a member of the Remuneration and Search Committee.

Staff Members

Martin Fordham


After graduating from Thanet Technical College with an Advanced Culinary Diploma Martin worked at the Ritz Hotel (London) Berkeley Hotel (Knightsbridge) and the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane.
Martin then took his knowledge and expertise to Switzerland, working in an award winning restaurant in the heart of Zurich before returning to London to continue his career amongst the emerging Michelin starred restaurants of London’s west end.

In the early 80’s Martin was approached whilst working in London regarding a position at Le Talbooth in Dedham, Essex and subsequently left London to support the Michelin starred restaurant in Dedham through to the mid 80’s. Martin was again approached in 1986 by Colchester Institute regarding a vacancy for a F/T lecturer in the then School of Catering which he duly accepted.

Martin has been with Colchester Institute and the Centre for Hospitality and Food Studies (CH&FS) since Sept 1986, holding the post of Lecturer band 1, Lecturer band 2, Team Manager, Curriculum Manager and more recently Head of Hospitality and Food Studies.

David Kerridge


David had a 25 year background in industrial Hospitality Management focusing on craft & site management training. David then joined a national Training Provider as a Vocational Assessor & Group Verifier, eventually taking a lead group role; responsible for opening & managing all learndirect centres in the group across England.

This led to a role with Colchester Institute as the Quality Manager for Suffolk & Essex Learning Hub, a subsidiary company of Colchester Institute, which started in 2004. In 2010 David started to directly manage the Employability & Skills operation for the college. This includes managing the 5 Learning Shops across Mid and North Essex in addition to the Adult National Careers contract.

In the past, David has served as Chairman of his local Parish Council, District Councillor and Treasurer for his local Parish Church.

Student Members

Christopher-Alan Churley


Chris is President of the Students’ Union and was appointed to the Board in July 2017. He is a member of the Curriculum and Quality Committee.


Staff Members are elected by the staff of the College. There is one academic staff member and one support staff members elected by the academic staff and support staff respectively.

Student Members are the President and Vice President of the Students’ Union.

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

Data Protection Policy

Fee 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.

Record keeping

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.

Further Governance Information

Our Policies and Procedures
Code of Conduct
Publication of Papers Policy
Public Access to Meetings Policy
Standing Orders
Complaints against the Corporation
Reports and Financial Statements

The Report and Financial Statements 31 July 2017 describes the 2016-2017 full year financial performance of the College.

The Report and Financial Statements 31 July 2016 describes the 2015-2016 full year financial performance of the College.

Becoming a Governor

Have you thought about becoming a College Governor?

All governors get a great deal of satisfaction from being on the Governing Body. This was confirmed by the results of a questionnaire, which also showed that they enjoy being able to contribute, at a strategic and policy level, to the education and skill training of young people as well as providing opportunities for older students to fulfill long held ambitions or to be trained for a career change.

Board members at Colchester Institute give a time commitment of at least six board meetings a year, and serve on at least one committee (which demands another four to six meetings, or 10 to 15 hours a year).

The Board is always keen to hear from members of the local community who are interested in being a governor and can be waiting in the wings to fill vacancies as they arise. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of existing Board members against the following questions. Does the applicant:

  • Currently work in a responsible position in the public/private/voluntary sector?
  • Have any knowledge of Colchester Institute and support for its work?
  • Have any involvement and interest in educational developments, particularly post-school?
  • Have skills and experience that compliment those of existing Board members, or potential gaps or that will replace and extend the skills and experience of a retiring member?
  • Have any involvement in the wider North Essex community?
  • Have any previous participation in Colchester Institute activities?
  • Bring opportunities to project the Board and Colchester Institute to a wider constituency?
  • Have the potential and present wish to consider two four-year terms on the Board?
  • Help maintain a gender balance on the Board.

If you would like to be considered for appointment to the Board, please send your CV and covering letter to Hazel Paton, Clerk to the Governors, Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3LL or email Alternatively phone Hazel on 01206 712606 for more information.

Equal opportunities is inherent in all our recruitment, therefore we actively welcome nominations from under represented groups.

Governor Development Opportunities

When new governors are appointed, there is a programme of induction to support them in their new role and to help them get to know the College and the strategic responsibilities that governors have. The programme includes meetings with the Chairman, the Principal, the Clerk and the Vice Principal: Finance and Operations. The programme is tailored to meet individual interests so that new members can quickly contribute their previous experience and skills to the advantage of the Governing Body.

Current Vacancies

There is currently a vacancy on the Board for a member with recent middle/senior management experience in the further education sector. The successful candidate will be also be a member of the Curriculum and Quality Committee. Interested candidates should email their CV, together with a brief statement setting out why they would like to join the Colchester Institute Corporation Board, to the Clerk to the Governor, Hazel Paton. Please email:

Equal opportunities is inherent in all our recruitment, therefore we actively welcome nominations from under-represented groups.

Corporation Member Role Description

Becoming a Governor

Guide for Potential Governors on the Appointment Process

Governor Link Scheme
The purpose of the scheme is to provide a framework in which communication between staff, students and board members can be facilitated by ‘linking’ members to Curriculum Areas and Departments of Colchester Institute. The meetings through the scheme provide an opportunity for board members to gain a better understanding of the work of the College and the key issues and developments for the staff and students. This gives members additional background to inform their strategic planning and determination of the educational character and mission of Colchester Institute.

It is very important that the link scheme is not seen by staff and students as an opening to lobby members. Individual governors should try as far as possible not to be drawn into debates which are the concern of management. The scheme is not a substitute to established and recognised management lines of communication.

An important aspect of the scheme is the feedback from visits by other board members. This is achieved by members, either individually or collectively where more than one member has been involved in a visit or series of visits, writing a report to the Principal, covering the main issues raised and the member’s own thoughts on the visit. The member receives a written response and the report, together with the response, is considered by the Curriculum and Quality Committee.

Links to other Organisations
Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Act

Please click on a link below to view Colchester Institute policies:

Publication Scheme

Board Meetings and Minutes

The Board of Governors meet as a full Board on five occasions during the academic year. In 2017-18 the dates of scheduled meetings are:

    • Wednesday, 25 April 2018
    • Wednesday, 13 June 2018
    • Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Committee Meetings and Minutes

On some matters the Board has delegated specific responsibility to a committee to take action.  Each committee makes an annual report to the Board.

The Board has established four committees whose functions are to:

  • develop the policies and strategies of the main Board
  • advise the Board on areas of the College’s work within its remit
  • carry out detailed monitoring on the Board’s behalf.

For further information on a Committee, including Membership, summary of their main responsibilities, schedule of meetings, and most recent annual report to the Board, please click on the appropriate link below. To view the latest structure and membership information of the committees, please click here.

Audit and Compliance Committee


Kevin Prince, Chair
Pam Donnelly (co-opted)
David Gronland
Sue Thompson-Arnold

Main Responsibilities

To ensure that the College’s internal control, risk management control and corporate governance processes are adequate and are effectively and independently monitored.

Schedule of Meetings 2017-18

Curriculum and Quality Committee


David Gask, Chair
Alison Andreas
Christopher Bridge
Christopher-Alan Churley
Martin Fordham
David Gronland
Summer Mace

Main Responsibilities

To monitor and review the academic standards of the College, to analyse and report to the Board on student performance and the effectiveness of learning and teaching, and to monitor the complaints and grievance procedures and the Governor Link Scheme.

Schedule of Meetings 2017-18

Tuesday 20th March 2018
Tuesday 26th June 2018

Remuneration and Search Committee


Christopher Bridge, Chair
Alison Andreas
David Gask
Kevin Prince
Richard Wainwright
Sue Thompson-Arnold

Main Responsibilities

To consider and make recommendations to the Board on staffing matters and all aspects of Board membership and the appointment of new members, and to monitor and review the induction and continuing development of members.

Schedule of Meetings 2017-18

Tuesday 28th November 2017
Thursday 12th July 2018

Resources Committee

Richard Wainwright, Chair
Alison Andreas
Brenda Baker
Christopher Bridge
Mark Davies
Ian Thurgood

Main Responsibilities
To advise the Board on all aspects of the Corporation’s financial policies including detailed consideration of the annual income and expenditure estimates and regular monitoring of the corporation’s financial position. The Committee also considers property, land and general purpose matters.

Schedule of Meetings 2017-18

Tuesday 17th April 2018
Thursday 12th July 2018