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College governance

Clear and practical governance advice for college clerks and governors

31 October 2015 to 1 November 2016

It is three years since colleges were given freedom under the Education Act 2011 to change governance arrangements. With additional freedom corporations have also had to shoulder greater responsibility. The role of governors has become increasingly complex so the need for clear and practical legal advice on governance is greater than ever. Eversheds Sutherland's unique service meets the needs of Clerks to General FE and Sixth Form Colleges in England. This service is headed by Diane Gilhooley, Head of the Eversheds Sutherland Education Sector Group. Diane is supported by a panel of governance experts who are on hand to deal with queries 24 hours a day.

Recognising that many colleges now sponsor academies, this year we are able to offer Plus level subscribers to College Govern@nce discounted access to Academy Govern@nce — a brand new and comprehensive service dedicated to academy governance.

Sample extranet site

Our sample governance extranet site will give you a feel for what both Plus and Standard subscribers receive as part of the service. Please contact Carolyne Bevis at to be given access.

Plus membership

Governance guide

Eversheds Sutherland has produced the definitive guide to college governance incorporating an annotated copy of the Instrument and Articles. Plus members receive an electronic copy of the Guide together with up to three bound hard copies.


The helpline gives 24 hour access via phone or e-mail to our team of governance experts. It covers any query in relation to the Instrument and Articles of Government, as well as statutory powers. The helpline service also includes an initial telephone consultation on:

  • academy sponsorship
  • charity law
  • collaboration and mergers
  • equality and diversity
  • fraud
  • health and safety
  • information law
  • managing of disputes with funding bodies
  • regulatory issues
  • safeguarding
  • shared services and HR issues
  • TUPE issues arising from reorganisations

Each month we provide a summary of the most interesting or popular helpline question asked with a detailed response.

Code of conduct

The code provides guidance on how governors need to conduct themselves. An updated version of the Code of Conduct will be available during the subscription period.


Subscribers will receive a variety of briefings and updates throughout the subscription period.

List of policies and procedures

This list provides guidance to institutions as to the most important policies and codes which they should have in place. The list refers to several documents for which Eversheds Sutherland provides templates which are accessible via our extranet site. This includes an Anti-Bribery policy.


All documents and updates are available on a dedicated extranet site for subscribers to view and download. The site also enables you to e-mail helpline queries direct.

Standard membership

Standard membership entitles subscribers to access to an electronic copy of our Governance Guide, the Code of Conduct and limited access to the College Govern@nce website. Standard subscribers may make one call to the helpline at a cost of £50.00 plus VAT or may upgrade at the time of calling.

Academy govern@nce

This new service offers college sponsors of academies discounted access to a dedicated academy governance helpline, an annotated copy of the DfE model memorandum and articles, template policies for academies including a code of conduct for trustees and more. Plus members are entitled to access this service at a discounted rate of £250 plus VAT per year.

The education act 2015 toolkit

Eversheds Sutherland has produced a Toolkit which is designed to assist colleges in making the complex choices that are now available following the implementation of the Education Act 2011.

Your governance experts

Eversheds Sutherland's FE governance experts provide support and guidance to subscribers on a daily basis by phone and e-mail.

Members of our governance panel include:

Diane Gilhooley heads a market leading education group which provides a full range of legal services to further education institutions. The team can be contacted via our helpline 0161 831 8293 or via e-mail to

Further information

For further information please contact Carolyne Bevis, by phone 0161 831 8396, by e-mail

What our subscribers say about the service

“I use the helpline quite a bit even when I think I am on track….”

Lynn Payne, Brockenhurst College
I find the helpline useful. Whether the need is to check my understanding or to ask more difficult questions about governance, the helpline provides easy access to reliable advice and the service is prompt and professional. I am happy to recommend the Eversheds governance service to Clerks.”

Ra Hamilton-Burns, Sussex Downs College
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