Association Between Board Composition And College Performance

Opening Statement

The Old Testament prophets did not say ‘Brothers, I want consensus. They said: ‘This is my faith, this is what I passionately believe in. If you believe it too, then come with me’

Reflexive Statement

I have worked in the Further Education (FE) sector as a lecturer within the School of Business and Economics for 20 years and I have held a position as a governor for the previous 12 years.

Following the completion of a Master’s Degree in Finance and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, I continued to develop my intellectual skills and a PhD in Business and Management seemed an ideal way to do this.

When I took up the role as a governor, I soon found out that there was not enough time to debate issues despite receiving volumes of policy papers usually a month preceding meetings. It became apparent that the entire governing board seemed blocked up with procedures. Senior management (specifically, the principal), was in charge of the governing body and the purpose of the governing board was to rubber stamp the proposals from the senior management of the college. Prior to taking up this role, I had read and researched extensively on leadership, management organisations and governance within the public sector, specifically within an FE setting including models of leadership which were collaborative and . This led me to formulate my research questions which focused on the association between board composition and college performance including the settings and contexts in which colleges work as organisations. My consistent study of the literature also has deepened my knowledge and understanding of the sector, however, little understanding of New Public Management has been achieved, because before undertaking this study, I had not completely realised the effects of new public management, even though I was experiencing the phenomenon at governing board meetings. This study has enabled me to take a step back and observe governance as though from an outsider’s perspective. This was useful as it caused me to undertake sefl-reflection and analyse my own practice and role on the governing board from a different viewpoint. Throughout this study, I have become increasingly reflexive about my self-practice and I believe that this has enabled me to make informed judgements and better decisions in my work as a governor.

At the commencement of the thesis my views on board composition, board characteristics and its association with organisational performance were fairly narrow and, I initially held, what I now see, as fairly conventional views. However, after four years and after a considerable amount of research and reflection, I feel I have come a full circle and now I am in a position to begin to answer the questions which I had set out in my application proposal, about how board composition associates with organisational performance.

Chapter 1

1. Background to the Thesis

1.1 Introduction and rationale for the study

The Further Education (FE) sector has undergone major reorganisations since the 1944 Act which brought legal meaning to its existence as successive governments attempted to address the issues of how to drive long term improvements in skills and employment. The 1980s heightened the search for improvements in the sector with numerous pieces of legislations resulting in a situation where providers had been required to cope with endless changes (Jephcote et al, 2008) and perpetually reinvent themselves in the light of the latest concurrent policies. This has been a situation which has been referred to by (Keep, 2006) as policy-makers ‘playing with the biggest train set in the world’.

This constant change in the sector means that leaders and governors face a daunting set of challenges. The Ofsted report on ‘How Colleges Improve’ (2012), sums up the appropriately informed relationships between governors and managers which Ofsted inspectors look for in colleges:

‘The governors of good and outstanding colleges were well-informed, received the accurate information and could thus challenge managers vigorously on the college’s performance.’

A survey of college leaders in 2016 found that creating an agile organisation that is able to anticipate change and react appropriately to it is considered an essential factor in a college’s future success (Feldman, 2016). To this extent, the Leadership Conversation Project undertaken by the Education and Training Foundation (2014) identified a clear sense of urgency about the need to future proof the sector in terms of developing its leaders for a challenging tomorrow. The focus on leaders was concentrated on Principals to the neglect of the governing body. This neglect led me to review the literature pertaining to the roles and responsibilities not only of Principals as in (Leithwood et al, 2004) but also of FE governors as in (Gleeson et al, 2010); and (Cornforth et al, 1999). For instance the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) enabled the Secretary of State to establish a ‘body corporate’ for the purpose of conducting an FE institution. This process, which is typically known as incorporation, created FE corporations. To enact the ‘corporation’, a governing body is formed whose responsibility it is for determining the educational character, mission(purpose) of the college(s), the strategic direction and oversight, the financial health and value for money.

In spite of this responsibility getting placed on the governing boards currently there is still relatively little research available on the association between board characteristics and college performance.

(Cornforth et al, 1999) maintain that the governing board is significant in:

Becoming the point of final accountability for the actions of the college

Becoming the employer of staff

Formulating policy

To understand the role of the governing board in Further Education and the apparent need to set the strategic direction of the college, it is necessary to consider the context and current situation within the sector in a greater detailed manner.

1.2 Contextual setting of the study

The FE sector consists of a diversified range of different providers including general FE colleges and specialist colleges. About four million people participate as students in the sector each year (NAO, 2015). Successive governments have always believed that the sector is crucial to their strategy of raising productivity growth, economic growth and being at par with their European counterparts, a process described as the competitive settlement (Avis, 2007a). It is this settlement that locates the English economy within globalised economic relations which sees its economic success dependent upon making full use of the skills of the labour force. In this settlement, value-added waged labour is seen as the route to a competitive and successful economy, one that is able to ‘hold its own’ on the world stage (Ibid, p:1). Tied to this thinking is the belief that talents of all need to be mobilised and that waste of human potential be avoided. What necessitated this thinking is the situation after the Second World War; a period which saw declining social mobility accompanied by increasing polarities in the distribution of income and wealth.

Therefore FEs focus have always been on providing a link between school and work- supporting people to gain the vocational skills and qualifications they need to secure and to progress in employment or learning (DBIS, 2014). However, this is not their only role as increasing number of FE colleges are now providing Higher Education (HE) courses. In 2012 alone, it was estimated that 250 colleges were providing HE courses to approximately 175,000 students (Parry et al, 2012). The sector however remains the ‘educational Other to schools and universities’ (Page, 2011b) and as the ‘Cinderella’ addition to the framework of the traditional tertiary system (Foster, 2005) in that it sits outside the perceived ‘normal’ progression and is constantly wrestling to maintain a distinct identity. (Foster, 2005), further referred to it as the ‘neglected middle child’ of the British education system located between schools(youngest) and Higher Education (oldest), pointing out that it is often undeservedly neglected in favour of the other two (Ibid). More recently, and perhaps in light of its history, there has been a shift away from the term ‘further education sector’ to the broader ‘learning and skills sector’ to encompass all types of post 16 education.

Successive government’s funding cuts have led to the sector facing its biggest challenge for over a decade as budgets are cut and governors are required to manage budgets strictly to according to lender’s specifications to the extent that insolvency is now a crime and governors would be penalised. While there had been a renewed emphasis on the vocational role that FEs face, for example, under New Labour, the entire English education system continues to experience financial problems. Crisis is an over-used word to describe this situation. There is a serious mismatch between expectations, costs and resources. The National Audit Office shows that during the early years of the 2000s, spending on education was 5% of GDP rising to a peak of 5.8% in 2015. It added that the financial health of the sector has been declining since 2010 and almost half of the colleges were in deficit in 2013-14. (NAO, 2015). The report also shows that public spending on education as a share of GDP declined from 4.4% in 2016-17 to 3.9% by 2021-22 (AoC, 2017). The picture overall has been persistent decline in budget based funds allocation from 2010-2015 alone by approximately 25% (Keep, 2014) and it keeps declining. Despite the current interest in high quality technical and professional education from across the political spectrum, the fact remains that the sector is under significant pressures with continuing uncertainties, for example, over the devolution of adult skills funding from 2017. The Skills Funding Agency, responsible for monitoring financial health, anticipates that the number of colleges it rates as financially inadequate will continue to grow. In response to this, the Department for Education working jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, have launched a programme of post-16 area based reviews to provide opportunities for institutions to restructure their provisions to meet the changing context and so as to achieve maximum impact. The aim is to ensure institutions are financially stable and able to deliver high quality service provisioning, stating ‘we will need to move towards fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers’ (DBIS, 2015b). The 2015-17 Area Based Reviews (ABRs) took place involving England’s further education and sixth form colleges. The ABRs were designed primarily to reduce costs in post-16 education which, under the Coalition and Conservative government, is unprotected in terms of public expenditure. In response to this initiative, colleges will need to review their structures, governance roles and responsibilities to ensure they have the right skills and expertise in place to meet current and future challenges faced by the sector (Justice, 2011). Thus the road to economic stability was identified with creating larger FE institutions or forms of federations which could reduce ‘backroom costs’ and the duplication of provisions. These larger institutional formations were also seen as having the potential to respond with greater effectiveness to needs of the employers on a sub-regional or regional basis and to create higher quality progression routes to employment for young people and adults.

Devolution policies were being developed alongside the ABRs. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, was designed to introduce directly elected mayors to combined local authorities in England and Wales and to devolve housing, transport, planning and policing powers to them- a process known as ‘devo-deals’. These include the devolution of the Adult Education Budget and discretionary support for 19+ learners. In essence, while the ABR and the devolution processes could be interpreted as a move towards a more collaborative approach to post- 16 education and training, it was a continued drive in support of the development of a thoroughly market oriented system through support for and promotion of a greater range of providers competing for learners in the post-16 arena. The moves saw the emergence of University Technical Colleges and Academies. These reforms post a completely new set of challenges.

These challenges are many and varied and include ‘significant’, ‘substantial’, ‘simultaneous’ and ‘synergistic’ (Hill et al, 2016,p.79) changes relating to the turbulent nature of the FE sector; the need to secure improvements in learner outcomes and more importantly the cost of resourcing provision. While innovation projects have to focus on the short term benefits, college funding constraints meant they have to seek growth in ways not always central to the needs of the employers. College governing bodies felt that employers do not understand the powerful policy levers that drive college behaviour (funding, inspection, performance), and that employers were only prepared to work with them on short-term initiatives or projects rather than to see them as long-term partners (UCL, 2018). These factors contributed to a lack of mutual understanding between college and local industry. Within the sector, there has been a reduction in standards as judged by Ofsted (Ofsted, 2016). With the number of good and outstanding colleges declining, the imperative was placed on the need to generate and sustain organisational improvement. These combined challenges required governors and principals to demonstrate effective and robust leadership and management skills. (Graystone, 2015, p.26), in a recent review of FE Governance, stated ‘tough times lie ahead for further education’. As a result of these reforms, questions have been raised about how FE colleges can be led, changed and improved within such an unstable environment (Elliot, 2015).

Having briefly considered the wider FE sector to provide background and context specific to the study, I will now present my rationale for the study and contribution to the literature.

1.3 Contribution to the Literature

Improving the effectiveness of colleges is increasingly recognised as a core concern for Governments, however as has been demonstrated above, it is still uncertain whether the reforms have led to improved colleges. This concern has resulted in the plethora of policy and ideological changes that I have recounted in the literature. Central to this concern are the characteristic features which governing boards must possess. While policy and ideological positions change, tensions have continued to manifest in board composition through the discourse of managerialism- a process through which commercial and business values permeate through public sector organisations, eliciting the compliance of new corporate models of managerial control over the work of the governing board. Tensions and mistrust remain unresolved. On the one hand, while managerialism represents the reassertion of ‘management’s right to manage’, (Ball, 1994), on the other, the process conveys the message that efficient management resides in the private, rather than, in the public sector and that outsider board members would infuse market-driven knowledge and discipline into the board and improve college performance.

Despite numerous researches into board composition, none has considered the association between board composition and college effectiveness.

1.4 Research Questions

This thesis investigates the association between governing board composition and college performance. It aims to investigate whether board composition may hinder or improve college performance. By composition, I consider specific board characteristics such as board size, non-executives on the board and executives such as the principal and senior management, the gender of board members and knowledge of the board (finance and education specific).

The study aims to identify whether non-executives (board outsiders) or executives (board insiders) have any significant association with college performance. For college performance, I identify this in terms of the wider sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits that may accrue to a community as a result of college performance. For example, a college’s performance is measured by the number of learners who pass an examination or the numbers who go on to secure employment or indeed the number that progress to higher education.

1.5 Research Questions

1 Is there an association between board characteristics and college (organisational) educational effectiveness?

2 Is there an association between board characteristics and college (organisational) financial health?

3 Do all stakeholders find proper representation (board insider/board outsider) and their knowledge on the governing board maximise college (organisational) effectiveness?

The three research questions are specific and designed to provide an insight into the association between board composition and organisational effectiveness. Effectiveness constructs are defined as goal attainment, constituency satisfaction and resource acquisition (Holland, 1988). It is intended that the research will contribute to the literature on board insider and board outsider theory within further education. It has been informed both by my own experiences and by my reading of the literature. This research is important as many authors believe that FE is a significantly under-researched sector (Gleeson et al, 2005); (James et al, 2007). This current lack of research, specifically within Ofsted observed General Further Education colleges in England, provides originality in this study.

1.6 Structure of the thesis

Chapter one sets the scene by discussing the historical, legal and governance foundations of further education in England. It discusses and assesses the differences between three key stages of development. It introduces government intervention and highlights tensions on governing boards. While the concept of governing boards is increasingly recognised in this chapter, much less is known about the concept and practice of corporate governance.

Chapter two examines corporate governance and the various differences in practice

Chapter three

Chapter four

Chapter five

Chapter six

Chapter seven

Chapter: 2. Literature Review

2.1: Introduction and Overview of Research Plan

The objective of this study is to examine the association between Governing Board composition structure and effectiveness of English Further Education (FE). The focus of the study is on board composition structure, the characteristics which the representativeness that governing bodies are required to have and how all these impact on outcomes which FE colleges must seek to achieve. While doing this, I will examine the history of FE, central government legislations and interventions into FE provision and, if necessary, then design a model that will fill the gap in the literature in respect of fulfilling the objectives of corporate governance in so far as FE outcomes of goal attainment and resource provisioning are concerned.

Given that the existing knowledge is at present limited and often scattered, the scope of this study is substantial and includes the following:

An informed assessment of the composition and role of the Corporate Board.

A review of existing FE corporate governance since 1944.

The role of actors ( Ofsted, FEFC,FE Commissioner Funding Agencies)

The potential for a new model to link board composition, senior management and interested partners in achieving board strategic role and outcomes.

Recommendations. The final goal of the study is to provide stakeholders with the essential knowledge base needed to develop a strategy for effective governance of Further Education provision.

These five components will be informed by a multi-disciplinary perspective and by drawing on observations, questionnaire and interviewing, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. In doing so, the study would be drawing attention to the complex interplay of stakeholder intervention which could underpin FE provision in English colleges.

2.2: A History of Further Education and Governance in the United Kingdom

In order to explore the practice of corporate governance in FE colleges, the analysis reviewed the origins and purpose of FE provision.

In doing this, I have drawn inspiration from McCulloch (2011:254) who suggested that:

'historical research has the capacity to illuminate the past, patterns of continuity and change over time and the origins of current structures and relationships'.

According to Sadler (1908)ⁱ, the view that the state should fix a minimum standard of school training and attainment and require it to be reached by every child was first adopted in England as a principle of public policy in 1876. Sadler claims that the decision to adopt this principle was reached after a conflict of opinion which had lasted for three generations. He opines that it was reached with reluctance. . For scholars like Sadler, voluntary effort has for generations played a great and stimulating part in the social history of English education. He claims that it was this voluntary spirit that gave birth to evening schools and adult school movements which have metamorphosed into further education.

Further Education (FE) is then defined as full-time and part-time education for persons over the statutory school age. It typically includes vocational training as well as academic qualifications. The term FE College is:

'Applied especially to those colleges offering courses at levels equivalent to those of a sixth form, but with emphasis on a wider range of vocational subjects, training programmes and leisure activities'. (Macfarlene, 1990).

Typically, the FE sector provides:

Apprenticeships, which are paid jobs incorporating training that lead to nationally recognised qualifications;

Education and training courses that are provided mainly in a classroom, workshop or via distance learning;

Courses leading to ‘skills for life’ qualifications which are intended to enhance everyday skills in reading, writing, mathematics and communication;

Informal community learning courses for a range of participants (Hill et al, 2015).

The earliest comprehensive picture that I have of governing bodies in England and Wales dates back to the late 1960s (Baron and Howell, 1974) . According to these authors, only half of Local Education Authorities saw governing bodies as significant components in the administration of colleges. They claim that there were three elements which denied governing bodies any significant role. These, according to them, were the emergence of full-time professional staff of education in the local authorities, the political elements of local government and the failure of central government to define a discrete area of responsibility for governors. Arguably, it can be said that as the bureaucratic army of education staff grew through the middle years of the century and as teaching itself attracted all the trappings of a profession, so, any scope for the meaningful participation of 'lay' governors disappeared. Policy-making and the day-to-day running of a college were shared between the Principal and managers.

Indeed, the Taylor Report (DES, 1977b) found:

'Little evidence that, in the standard provision in the 1944 (Act) that the

Governors shall have the general direction of the conduct and

Curriculum of the college' was taken seriously.’

However, the past fifty years have seen a rapid change in the way FE is governed in the United Kingdom. Many changes in various government legislations and rising social aspirations have made the demand for education and governance of further education colleges very challenging. For example, the 1992 Act required governing bodies to:

' ask probing questions, to support the principal, to keep a firm check on senior management, suggest new ways of approaching difficult problems and to draw on its members' own professional experience.' (Shattock, 2000).

With the neo-liberal 'market' philosophy which the 1992 Act brought, the power of LEAs was reduced; the governance character changed almost overnight enabling governors and principals of FE institutions to be accountable to a wide range of audiences, including parents, Local Education Authorities and to the central government. The key questions that emerge in the face of these changes are:

What is corporate governance and what does it seek to achieve in FE? Who are the actors (agents)? To what extent are the interventions in corporate governance defining and adding value to the specific aims of FE provision?

In considering these types of corporate arrangements, the research study examines aspects of corporate governance activities since 1944. In particular, the analysis will identify the effect of changes from activities which tend to define corporate governance as a mechanism for making and implementing collective goals for society, through to an era where they have to be accountable for resources spent and to operate as ‘private’ entities. The research then proposes a model of collaboration to associate non-executive board members as stakeholders in order to maximise board strategic role in the FE sector.

2.3: Historical Context

The latter half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century saw a period of great change in FE within UK. Particularly, the period between the 1944 Education Act and the Education Act of 1988 were periods of significant experimentation in terms of both the education governance and ideological approaches.

(Hall, 1944) and (Lucas et al, 1999) both claim that the 1944 Act gave birth and legal meaning to Further Education (FE) in the United Kingdom. It was the case that by this time, the United Kingdom was emerging from war time devastation and that the economy needed skilled labour to register growth. However, this critical pool of labour depended upon a sufficient number of trained workers for employers to draw from. As the supply of trained labour was drying up, there was a national concern over skills shortages. Consequently, the then government set up a national enquiry which decided that technical colleges should be the main vehicle to deal with skills shortages. This initiative multiplied the growth of FEs. The penetrating power was so intense that its development can best be summed up in a history of overlapping phases, resulting in a political and national spectrum which reinforced the concept of social democracy (providing education for all). It was this power which ushered in the 1944 Act. For purposes of clarity, I have categorised governance in FE as having gone through three phases: phase 1 (1944-1970s); phase 2 (1970-1980s) and phase 3 (1990s to present).

2.3.1 Phase 1: The Emergence of Governance in Social democracy 1944- 1970

(Gann, 1998) has maintained that the stranglehold that local political parties had over governing bodies, both by their monopoly on appointments and by their control of policy-making, was held on to by local authorities regardless of their political complexion. Governing or managing bodies, as they were called during this era, were squeezed out of their significant roles, sandwiched as they were between the overriding powers of the local education authority and the day to day handling of the college by the Principal.

The broad social and political consensus supported the role of education in enabling economic growth, equality of opportunity and social justice. This move was caused by rising birth rate, economic growth and most importantly the political will to reform. Education policy focused upon the fundamental change of introducing colleges for all young people in place of a tripartite school system practised elsewhere in Europe which selected and excluded the majority of young people. This system of inclusive education growth and governance constituted by the 1944 Education Act was seen by policymakers as providing an appropriate framework to support the growth of a sector committed to the expansion of opportunity. The 1944 Butler Act, which came to be known as the 1944Act, consolidated the stranglehold on the college governing body. By the Act, the Ministry of Education issued Model Instruments and Articles for colleges in 1945. In that instrument, representative governors were to be appointed by the local authority and co-opted. The Articles specified three areas for which the governing body was responsible: the inspection of college premises and keeping the local authority informed of their condition; determining the use of college facilities and appointing the Principal and core staff.

The birth of the 1944 Education Act, made it a legal duty for Local Education Authorities to provide Further Education. It required all LEAs to establish and maintain county colleges which were to provide school leavers with vocational, physical and practical training. The 1944 Act among others stipulated that:

‘It shall be the duty of every local education authority to secure the provision for their area of adequate facilities for further education; including full-time and part-time education for persons over compulsory school age and to serve upon every young person residing in their area who is exempt from compulsory attendance for FE a notice directing him to attend a college. The Act further made it clear that the Ministry of Education was responsible for the payment of any fees incurred in the education of that particular person to the local education authority.’(Act. 1944para. 41-47). Hall,( 1944) explained that prior to the 1944 Act, ‘throughout the United Kingdom, there has never been any legal compulsion on a young person to go to college.’ (ibid p19) He opined that this legal directive to LEAs from central government was necessary. Hall (1944) noted that earlier attempts from central government to enable LEAs to provide education facilities for their local areas had failed because neither any deadline was given to local authorities nor were sufficient funds provided. Although the 1944 Act did not set any specific timetable, as to how and by which date the provisions should be implemented, the LEAs were required to establish and maintain county colleges the purpose of which were to provide school leavers with vocational, physical and practical training. (Lucas et al, 1999) have noted that in the first year after the Act, no extra money was spent on colleges. This neglect, the authors claim, showed the then governments' laissez-faire attitude towards college education funding. In the words of Hall (1944), this laissez-faire attitude was only rectified in England & Wales many years later after the promulgation of the 1944 Education Act. The author admits though that the Act was a ‘great piece of social legislation’ which sought to create educational opportunities for all as it empowered LEAs to serve 'college attendance notices on under-eighteens' requiring them to attend colleges (44-47). Funding for colleges were made available through an amendment to the Act and was administered to colleges by LEAs in the form of grants. LEAs provided grants: for clothing (51), offered boarding accommodation where appropriate (50), provided milk', meals and other refreshment for pupils in attendance at colleges (49) and made grants in respect of medical expenses (100) charging no fees. To give meaning to the 1944 Act, central government further directed that industry does cooperate and associate with new colleges, in order to identify skills gap and for colleges to provide training tailored to meeting these skills. These forms of associations led to the growth of technical colleges which eventually became institutions for 'day release' vocational education of the employed and for those serving apprenticeships. The 1944 Act also created for the first time a Minister for Education, whose role was:

--'to promote the education of the people of England and Wales and to implement the progressive development of institutions devoted to that purpose and to secure the effective execution by local authorities under his control and direction of the national policy.' (Section 1, 1944 Act,) Nevertheless despite the manifest policy of strengthening the central authority, the 1944 Act only provided the Minister with limited and specific powers. For example, the Minister would not control the curriculum nor the teachers, but 'could require LEAs to establish and maintain teacher training colleges '(62).

The post 1944 governing body was in my view an interesting combination of employer and caretaker. The vague definition of duties left the power of managing colleges very much in the hands of the Principal and the LEA. Although the conduct and curriculum of the college was nominally in the hands of governors, any encroachment they might have made into it would be fiercely resisted by the professionals of the college and of those of the LEA. Governors were powerless. Indeed:

'In the London Borough of Haringey in 1979, three governors of Creighton Comprehensive School, including Harry Ree, Professor of Education at the University of York, were removed by the ruling Labour group after they refused to vote in support of a strike of school caretakers. Unfortunately, the party failed to observe such formalities as telling the governors of their dismissal or having the decision ratified by full council. The local government Commissioner said.

‘ It cannot be good administration let alone fair to the individuals concerned to appoint new governors before those they are to replace have been removed from office or even told that they are about to be removed' ( Commission for Local Government,1980)’.

2.3.2 Contradictions in Legitimacy

It would appear that wide powers were given to LEAs. The objective of provisioning such powers was that the LEAs should provide 'adequate facilities' for full-time and 'part-time' education and this practice continued well into the 1960s but some contradictions and conflicts in roles emerged. Under the Act, the LEAs were constituted with wide ranging responsibilities and powers to provide education in order to develop their local colleges and communities. However, just as the Minister of Education was not provided with direct control over the LEAs, the LEAs were deprived of absolute direction of their colleges. The functions and purpose of LEAs managers became too diverse. As a result, what emerged of colleges were a quasi-autonomous status under the general guidance of a governing or managing body which were required to carry on with the business of providing vocational education to cater for the youth. The role of governors was not specified in the Act, except to say that they were mainly co-ordinators of college activities. Hall, (1944)described governors as 'un-elected elites' who performed varying roles; however , as time went on, the concept of governance began to take meaning and purpose. During the latter part of the 1970s, however, there were various attempts to strengthen the position of governing bodies. The Campaign for the Advancement of State Education (CASE) agitated for greater numbers of representative governing bodies, for example in Richmond and in Harrow. The National Association of Governors and Managers (NAGM) emerged as a pressure group and to provide information and training: the first handbook for governors appeared (Burgess and Sofer, 1978); and the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE ) campaign for greater numbers of representative governing bodies emerged. Local campaigns were started for parental representation on school governing bodies. There was also a movement for teacher involvement in school governance based upon some notion of industrial democracy and the rights of teachers as employees to be fully consulted about the aims and organisation of the school (Taylor, 1977). The public inquiry into the events of the William Tyndale Junior and Infants Schools proved to be of major significance. By 1977, there had been some significant progress in the development of governing bodies. But the most powerful voice to emerge in support of governing bodies was the findings of the Taylor Report. This Report, in 1977, was the first review of the structure and operation of school governing bodies and its major recommendation was that governing bodies should be made up of equal numbers of local education authority representatives, school staff, parents and representatives of the local community. But the report also expressed the belief that schools should possess a distinctive character within an efficient system of local administration. The Taylor Committee (DES,1977b) identified five reasons for the increasing demands for involvement in college governance which were made forcefully:

Local government reorganisation in 1974 had increased the size of local education authorities, bringing about a demand for greater involvement in decision-making at the college level.

Reorganization brought together authorities interested in giving a meaningful role to governing bodies with those who were not;

The Advent of corporate management: taking some independence away from LEA Education Departments, raised the profile of governing bodies as a voice for education;

The growth of comprehensive schools awakened public interest in the structures of education.

Voluntary organisations such as CASE; NAGM; ACE brought pressure for change.

The Report recommended representation on governing bodies, in four equal parts, involving the LEA; teaching and non-teaching staff; parents and individuals from the community.

The purpose of governance of colleges at this time meant having a broad responsibility for an organisation, ensuring its survival and its well-being. In the spirit of the Report:

' the new governing bodies would be responsible for establishing the aims of the college, share in the formulation of the curriculum, participate in budgeting, take an equal share with the LEA in appointing the Principal and the primary responsibility for appointing other staff' (Taylor Committee DES, 1977b).

It is worthwhile to note that though the 1980 Act failed to implement the whole-scale changes recommended in the Taylor Report, the momentum for representative governance continued (1992 Cadbury Report; FEFC Guide for Governors 1994; Tricker, 1996) and interest in corporate governance began to gather attention with meaning and purpose.

Meanwhile, by the early 1970s, the numbers of young people seeking vocational education provision had grown exponentially. (see table below, student numbers from 1951-1965).

vocational education

Source: The FE Sector in Context: adapted from' FE and Life-Long Learning Andy Green and Norman Lucas 1999'

(Crowther, 1959) The Government White Paper, (1961) and (Bratchell, 1968), all show that there was greater emphasis on vocational education in the context of apprenticeships; spurred on by the 1944 Act. For example, The Government White Paper, (1961) commenting on Technical Education, announced a new urgency towards vocational education. The paper’s rationale for the adoption of this stand was to make a direct link between the sectors that had skills with those sectors that lacked skills and therefore could not rejuvenate growth. The paper called for increased work in higher technological and advanced technical education. In furtherance of the rationale of it, The White Paper proposed a new Diploma in Technology which led to postgraduate studies. The paper set targets to providers to double day -release students within five years from the existing numbers of 335,000 in 1954. However, these targets 'were not met as even (10) ten years later, those learners on day- release had only risen to 650,000'. (Bratchell, 1968; Lucas,N.& Green,A. 1999). Additionally, in 1959 the Crowther Report remarked that the FE sector’ is a crucial sector for generating economic growth but criticised it for its confusion and proliferation of courses’, and its high part-time attendance and low retention rates. He argued for more day release and sandwich courses. The 1961 Government White Paper, in its maiden release, ‘Better Opportunities in Technical Education', put greater emphasis on lower levels of academic study, but called for a concentration on technicians, craftsmen and operatives. By 1960, the numbers in these categories had risen to 283,000 on part-time or block release courses, 152,000 on evening-only courses, and 14,000 on full-time courses. (Lucas, N.& Green, A. 1999). Again, we observe that between 1960 and 1966, there was significant shift towards full-time, sandwich and day-release courses (Bratchell, 1968). Therefore, it can be argued through these observations that throughout the 1950s and the early 1960s, colleges were seen as responding to government initiatives, reaching a high point of work-relatedness in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Within the period under discussion, apprenticeships remained the main vehicle of vocational training and were usually completed without any parallel off-the job general or technical education.(Bratchell,: 1968).It would appear that, The Crowther Report (1959), which suggested, that, further education would be the next ‘battleground of English education’, had taken momentum with large numbers of young people who had left school at 15 with few or no qualifications signing for college apprenticeships.

There was a further development of interest to the debate here. Within the context of 'Skills for All', the 1964 Industrial Training Act helped to affirm the role of Further Education by providing the training required by apprentices. This Act, established the Industrial Training Boards (ITBs), whose purpose was to promote and coordinate training in the different sectors of the UK economy. The 1964 Act also empowered the ITBs to redistribute the costs of training between employers by means of a levy-grant system; however, as (Field 1996) argued this was found to be ‘too costly for employers’ (Field, 1996).

Meanwhile, as the rush into college apprenticeships were increasing, many school leavers were also opting for college provision in sixth form academic courses. The consequence of this was an expansion in the FE sector which began to expand; it soon earned its name as a sector providing ‘second chance’ education for all (Green 1986:100).

Many academics agree that the focus of FE in the 1960s was influenced by the statutory Industrial Training Boards (ITBs). As (ITBs) were set up to increase skills training in industry and commerce, this move gave meaning and purpose to FE as a skills training provider. (Hall, 1944) argued that many FE colleges were offering courses for unemployed adults and young people who were taking part in government training and employment schemes. This rush into colleges, he claims, necessitated the introduction of a wide range of government schemes including the Youth Training Programmes and Employment Training for adults. The introduction of Youth Training Programmes and Employment Training Programme for adults were given momentum in a 1972 government consultative document ‘Training for the Future’, because of some criticisms of the Industrial Training Act. One major criticism of the Industrial Training Act was the inability of the industrial training board to increase the quantity of industries and to improve the quality of training to meet growing demand. The government, through the document recommended the establishment of a National Training Agency to co-ordinate the work of the industrial training boards and to develop a national training advisory service. (Cantor and Roberts, 1979) argue that it was these recommendations that gave birth to the 1973 Employment and Training Act. The Employment and Training Act, it was observed, ushered in a Manpower Services Commission, which was introduced in 1974, and whose duty it was to promote more and better industrial training. Towards this goal, the Training Services Agency and the Employment Services Agency were established. In 1975, the Training Services Agency, which was renamed the Training Services Division (of the Manpower Services Commission), issued a document called ‘Vocational Preparation of Young People’. This document underlined the serious deficiencies in the existing provision of manpower and ‘suggested appropriate action’ (Cantor & Roberts, 1979: 7). As a consequence of this document, a joint initiative by the Training Services Agency and the Department of Education and Science was launched in order to create a separate vehicle that catered for youngsters in employment not receiving education and training. This special vehicle caused the numbers of trainees to grow by ‘4,500 by the year 1977’ (ibid, 1979:p7).

Another major initiative in Further Education which gave momentum to the rise of FE provision and populism in the 1960s was Technician Education. Technician Education was given priority in the Haslegrave Committee recommendations. The committee which issued its report on Technician Courses and Examinations in 1969, advocated for the introduction of a unified pattern of courses of technical education for technicians in industry and in the field of business and office studies. It was this report that also recommended the establishment of two new councils: - the Technician Education Council (TEC) and the Business Education Council (BEC) to devise and approve an entirely new pattern of courses to cut across advanced and non-advanced further education. According to Cantor & Roberts (1979), the introduction of these two Councils not only increased the number seeking Further Education provision but also increased the variety of courses to include business, art and design education, as industries were more willing to take on people with these qualifications.

However, for all its strengths in providing a legal framework and a focus for Further Education, not seen in the history of UK Further Education provision, the 1944 Act soon came under criticism in the early 1970s. First, the apprenticeship system was seen as deficient and not an adequate vehicle for meeting the skills required by the economy. According to Lucas & Green (1999), the crafts union saw the apprentice system as a means by which the union could protect the skill status of their members. They, therefore (the Crafts Union), restricted trained apprentices entry (from colleges) into their demarcated trades, because, they (the Union) thought that the skills acquired in colleges were not adequate or were too narrow. Employers too viewed the apprentice system as a way of gaining ‘cheap labour' because central government did not place any statutory obligations on them to assist with funding so that the skills acquired will match industry standards’ (Rainbird,1990).

As if these criticisms were not enough, The Carr Report, 1958 also highlighted deficiencies in the apprentice system. According to Carr (1958), the apprentice system involved unduly lengthy periods of time-serving and the system failed to train to any specific standards; provided 'narrow' skills and was 'impoverished' in terms of general education and theory (Carr Report, 1958; Perry,1976 ). (Gleeson & Mardle, 1980), too, were also highly critical of the role of technical colleges. To them the role of technical colleges was to prepare apprentices to fit in with the existing occupational structures and industry status quo so ‘college teachers and administrators did not tolerate questions from learners who genuinely would want to ask questions on industry dominant assumptions such as industry mission and vision, culture and management practices', in relation to the general outlook of the economy. (Gleeson & Mardle 1980) but there was a much more damning observation on governance practices. (Hillier, 2006) argued that the inability of FE governors and the LEAs to coordinate further education activities in the different sectors of the economy was a problem .He contended that as each local education authority was responsible for provision, there were wide variations in the type and amount of technical education available and that because the 1944 Act failed to create a national training system to coordinate the training and accreditation of courses nationally; such absence; of a significant central coordinating body, which would have enabled each LEA to provide education to meet the national needs, only enabled LEAs to focus on provision to meet the required local standards. The result of this failure in the words of (Lucas and Green, 1999), was a 'highly uneven provision' that varied substantially from one locality to another.

Yet there were more criticisms of the 1944Act. (Gleeson and Mardle, 1980) had earlier observed that legislation under the 1944 Act was permissive, allowing LEAs wide scope for interpretation. As an outcome, there were differences in the courses run by colleges; their grant funding criteria and financial positions at the local level too were different because their geographical circumstances and area populations were different; so too were their management and governance styles (Ibid: 1980:43). The authors remarked that a typical college governing body in the 1960s, would include members appointed by the local authority, representatives of local employers and local trade unions with little or no expertise. In their review of the governing practices of Western College, the authors remarked that the governing board was a 'bureaucratic hierarchy, consisting of conflicting dimensions of FE’: i.e. those with interest in industry and those with interest and skills in education (ibid, 1980:57).

The above criticisms and observations made it difficult for DfE officials at the central government level to monitor progress and to assess the overall impact that colleges and governors were making at the local, regional and national level so as to gauge the overall impact that the entire FE sector was making to the economic development of the nation.

Meanwhile, while the above considerations were being pondered over, attention came to be directed towards an Audit Commission Report on the 'non-performance of colleges and the inefficiencies in the administration of colleges by LEAs. The report was published by the Audit Commission in 1985. This report revealed that LEAs could save the nation fifty million pounds (£50m) a year through better management and organisation (Audit Commission, 1985).For example, in the case of Liverpool City Council, the report found among many others, that, there was a ‘lack of management information, particularly in respect of student hours and lecturing hours,’. The report concluded that without this information, it was difficult to audit the measure of the payments, the reason of such payments and the recipients of such remissions. The observations from the report triggered concerns that information provided to governors could have been improved so that governors are able to make correct assessments and judgements (Frain, 1993) As already observed in earlier pages, the 1944 Act did not specify the role of governors, but left the administration of colleges in the hands of local administrators. The only vague stipulation in the 1944 Act with reference to administration of colleges (and perhaps with misappropriation and conflict resolution), was enshrined in section (68): which said:

'the Minister could intervene to prevent LEAs or managers or governors from acting unreasonably(68). Jones (2003:20) saw this vagueness in the Act and the lack of directives on governor responsibility as sufficient reason to leave the Act for local interpretation, which indeed was the case. Thus, while, for example, in Liverpool, the practice where Liverpool City Council officials gathered four managers of its four colleges at this time, to co-operate with each other, together with a nominated LEA officer to administer policies and to consider issues common to the FE colleges they represented, was highlighted as good practice, this practice of local and regional coordination was not replicated across all LEAs nor County Councils in the UK(Frain, J. 1993).

In considering the deficiencies of the 1944 Act, so far discussed, Lucas and Green (1999) have made the point that the whole arrangements appeared to formulate two separate authorities; - LEAs and Central Government to be in charge of FE, and in not establishing the manner and form in which the governance and the administration of colleges should be performed, the 1944 Act was 'crafted to create confusion'. Specifically, Hill (2014) noted that miscellaneous provisions have been set out in sections: 61-69 including:

-the power of LEAs to conduct or sponsor educational research (82) ;

-the power of LEAs to provide financial assistance to a university to improve further education facilities (84);

-the right of LEAs to accept gifts for educational purposes (85) were too general and lack specificity, and when juxtaposed with sections: 100-107 which said that:

-the power of the Minister to make respect of initial expenditure, (105), created confusion in responsibility; seemed to create two separate operational authorities:-, 'dividing the responsibility for the governance of education between central government and LEAs.' (Hill, 2014) .

For these reasons, Hill saw power relations at play in FE provision right from the onset of the government policy: buttressed further in the observation of (Section 1) which said:

-'the Minister had the duty to secure the effective execution by the local authorities, under his control and direction, of the national policy for providing a varied and comprehensive education service in every area' (Section 1 (1)); yet ‘granting autonomy to LEAs to 'set local policies and allocate resources; (41) and to give voice to the corporate spirit and identity of a college'. (Bratchell,1968:65). This author was highly critical of the Acts' position and cautioned that ‘in all these actions LEAs should be wary of their role' because, as he put it:

-'the Minister could intervene to prevent LEAs or managers or governors from acting unreasonably' (68).

This power play, together with the contradictions and confusions in authority, may well have been fuelled in part by the political necessity to impose a succession of different employment training schemes in response to the growing youth unemployment from the 1970s and the plethora of awarding bodies that arose, offering separately developed and differently structured qualifications and courses. Hall (1987) argued that it was in order to overcome this fragmentation, which he described as a ‘jungle of qualifications’ (Hall, 1987), that the then government initiated the review of vocational qualifications in 1985. This review led to the development of the National Vocational Qualification Framework.

Therefore, as a result of the confusion and contradictions discussed which were created by the 1944 Act, responsibility between the key tasks of managing college assets and resources, of planning and of developing curriculum and teaching became blurred. Questions often arose as to who manages what and how. Encompassing the central government, LEAs, colleges, ministers, councillors and teachers. In the words of Weaver, (1976), the 1944 Act created a:

' Complex web of interdependent relationships among the manifold participants'. While the Minister was making 'grants' directly to aided and special agreement colleges for up to fifty (50) percent of the cost of new premises (103), the Minister also had the power to make loans' to aided and special agreement colleges in respect of initial expenditure(105).

Wider afield, the then government had urged the development of technical education at higher levels through the Robbins Report in 1963. The Report, which established polytechnics to work alongside colleges to ensure people gained the necessary high levels of knowledge required for vocational qualifications, was constituted to cause further fragmentation as each qualification had its own awarding body; so for example the advanced further education which was defined as being anything above A level, such as Higher National Diplomas had its own BTEC awarding body.

It is also argued that to a limited extent, the 1944 Act (Part 2) did set out the way in which the building of educational facilities would be carried out and managed by county borough councils, the largest of which was the London County Council (LCC) as one great benefit of the 1944 Act. However, the directive again gave the LCC no power of supervision, control and administration. Rather, these duties were left to the LEAs and the Education Minister to be performed. Another contention for the failure of the 1944 Act was cited: - that the body responsible for the management and administration of educational assets was not clearly laid out by the 1944Act. Hall (1984), also saw ambiguity in governance in the Act but holds the view that FE was constituted in a 'political order of social democracy' based upon the principles of justice and equality of opportunity and designed to ameliorate class disadvantage and class division, and for this reason alone the Act fulfilled a necessary requirement. This political order of social democracy was a result of the immediate experiences from war years of high unemployment and the lack of skilled labour for industry. He claims that it was a period in transition and that the Act provided the plight of the welfare and the lack of work for the citizens more than its legal legitimacy.

Therefore, in all these considerations, it may be right to suggest that the 1944 Act enabled a period of expansion in college education;- providing the needed artisans for industry. Yet in doing so, the FE sector might have failed to achieve anything comparable to the statutory status of schools or universities; nor did it in the words of Lucas & Green, (1999) have 'the benefit of a formalised contractual relationship with employment.' To them, ( Lucas and Green (1999: 23) the 'technical phase' of FE expansion was limited to the expansion of the economy and the development of apprenticeships. They contend that by so doing, the focus of education provision was narrowed down to meeting immediate industry needs; was relatively short -lived and was only confined to the period of the 1950s and into the 1960s. They held the view that vocational education in England was not institutionalized in the same way as it was in other systems in mainland Europe. They cited examples of Sweden and in Germany, where specialised vocational institutions were closely tied to vocational qualifications and the labour market. They support their claim by referring to England in the 1960s where, they claim only a small proportion of 16-19 year olds were involved in full-time or part-time education in relation to the large numbers of the youth population, while the majority of young people in work did not receive any meaningful form of education and training.( ibid: 24).

Considerations of this sort were taken to be evidence of the failure of The 1944 Act and the failure especially of the LEAs to manage FEs in the national interest. These were the considerations which had prompted the conservative government to enact the Education Reform Act (1988) within which the local management of colleges was given critical attention. Considerations of this magnitude led to the second phase of FE development.

2.3.3 Phase 2: -1970s-1980s

We have described some weaknesses in the 1944 Act, however, these weaknesses notwithstanding, interest in FE provisioning has been continuing to expand consistently. According to Hiller (2006), Devon LEA had taken on the challenge of expansion and was the first to establish a tertiary college (ibid:24) in the country. Sixth form colleges, too, were created nationwide , providing full-time education, mainly A level courses for young people moving on from comprehensive schools that did not possess a sixth form. During the 1970s, industry and colleges were to work together to fashion out curriculum and progression strategies. Cantor et al. (1995) argue that it was during the 1970s and onwards that government felt it necessary to intervene directly in education and training policy to grapple with the UK's relatively poor record on skills training. Specifically, during the 1970s, there was growing antipathy in England towards the ‘swollen state’ of the immediate post-war years, largely for economic reasons concerning the level of public expenditure. However, there were complications, misunderstandings and non -cooperation. Complexities of cooperation between industry and vocational skills acquisition notwithstanding, the urge to train the workforce continued well from the 1970s into the 1980s. Full participation in FE was rising steadily and colleges were required to respond with greater effectiveness to the requirements of new types of learners including adults who previously would have gone directly into the industry and also to meet the needs of those learners who wanted to take academic courses such as the Ordinary and Advanced Levels. Many LEAs attempted to establish cooperation between schools and sixth form consortia in order to offer reasonable range of academic courses. Other LEAs removed sixth forms from schools and merged them into sixth form colleges or combined sixth forms with FE colleges to form tertiary colleges which provided both academic and vocational courses. Some tertiary colleges included adult education, whereas other LEAs maintained separate adult provision.

In 1981, the government published a White Paper, 'A New Training Initiative: Programme for Action,' which set out a programme for improving training, including the creation of industry standards. The idea of the White Paper was to try and specify outcomes which would be obtained from vocational qualifications. A further White Paper, 'Working Together: Education and Training' (1986) reinforced the governments' aim to establish standards of competence. One of the recommendations was to set a National Council for Vocational Qualifications; hence it is only proper to identify the period 1970s to 1980s as a period of critical state interventions in FE college provision. While the government was focusing on the creation of industry standards and a system of vocational qualifications, the FE colleges were finding themselves experiencing the requirement to change fundamentally the way in which they taught vocational programmes; their focus was now on how to get their courses recognised by professional associations. FEs were also coming under the requirement to adapt their management styles to industry standards by adopting value for money standards through progression of learners into industry.

As if this change was not destabilising enough to complicate issues of governance, the Education Reform Act of 1988 introduced yet a new form of management and governance. Under this Act, LEAs were no longer in control of colleges in terms of managing their grants and day to day governance as administrators as was the case in the 1944 Act. The new Act of 1988 required that any college with more than two hundred (200) full-time equivalent enrolments could receive funding direct from central government through one of its quangos: - the Skills Funding Agency or the Further Education Funding Council.

The issue of stakeholder governance too continued to dominate the agenda of college administration. A radical response from the government came with the Green Paper ‘Parental Influence at School (1984). This Paper advanced a comparatively greater substantial representation on school governing bodies and some clarification of the governors’ role to enable their more effective functioning. Governing bodies were to exercise far stronger powers in the determination of the curriculum, principles of discipline and the appointment of staff. The report indicated that governors would meet at least four times a year to fulfil these responsibilities.

It was clear by this era that the policies affecting the FE sector were exerting effective control, on the one hand through regulating management and governance and on the other, by defining the type of training and qualifications that the sector provided.

This was the era sometimes referred to as the ‘new era of Vocationalism' because it emphasised the preparation of young people for work. This development was different from that of the 1944 Act period because it shifted away from the narrowly focused 'preparation for work’ towards a wider notion of preparation 'for life', for 'citizenship', 'for multi-skilled work' and for 'collaborative work relationships'. The growth is evidenced clearly as by November 1970, there were six hundred and sixty (660) institutions in the United Kingdom consisting of universities, polytechnics, colleges, day release colleges only; evening institutes, craft institutes and agricultural institutes. (Cantor & Roberts, 1972:p38),the 'purpose of which was to meet the rapidly mounting demand for higher education within further education without prejudicing opportunities for the very large numbers of students following non-advanced courses and to make more rational and effective use of resources available' (ibid: 32). Evening Institutes were expanded in 1970 to six thousand five hundred (6,500).((Ibid:p43)), to cater for large numbers seeking work and for apprenticeship programmes.

By this time, the importance of the further education sector has continued to be recognised through a range of reports and texts, however, one of the most seminal reports that influenced the direction of further education provision was provided by Sir Andrew Foster who led an investigation in the future of further education colleges during 2004-2005. In his report (Foster, 2005), identified a range of strengths within the further education sector, particularly the numbers of learners who accessed learning programmes through college provision. He recognised and acknowledged the wide diversity of provision, evidencing a strong commitment to social inclusion by providers who offered programmes that were both flexible and adaptable. There was also evidence of college provision supporting local businesses by providing programmes that included the skills needed for those businesses. Foster also acknowledged the commitment of further education colleges to develop a professional and committed workforce. However, Foster also identified key challenges: ‘above all, FE lacks a clearly recognised and shared core purpose’ (DfES, 2005).

The Foster Report was followed by another major review by Alison Wolf because although there was an increase in the uptake of education; the technical and practical skills which were imparted were unsatisfactory in meeting the needs of industry and manufacturing. The purpose of her review was to consider how the UK can improve vocational education for 14-19 year olds and thereby promote successful progression into the labour market and into higher level education and training routes. According to Professor Wolf, the UK college education needed a wholesale re-alignment of incentives. She argued that the existing performance tables, funding systems and regulatory compliance were all pushing education and governance in the wrong direction. For example, her view was that 16-19 year olds were discouraged from catching up with their English and Maths through the implementation of league tables. Her view was that current college education was churning 16-19 year olds who meander between education and vocational short-term employment, with a hope to making real chance for progress, or a permanent job, but are finding neither. She (Wolf, 2011), concluded that the framework of vocational qualifications required reform in order to ensure that all those participating in such programmes were given a fair chance of receiving a good education and also be well positioned to obtain a good job. As part of this reform, she identified that all vocational programmes for the future should require all participants to achieve at least a grade ‘C’ in English and Mathematics. In contradiction of the previously developed Diplomas, Wolf argued that young people aged 14-16 should continue to spend the majority of the time focusing their studies on a shared academic core of subjects, rather than any study that might be regarded as vocational.

According to the Wolf Report, another challenge that education providers face is funding. For example the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) was a means-tested grant that was offered to learners whose household income fell below a certain level. There were three levels of Education Maintenance Allowance, with students receiving £10; £20; or £30 per week to support them with their travel costs and living costs while attending college. However, there were requirements imposed on students who were in receipt of this benefit. Students were required to provide evidence of attendance at their learning programmes by registering at each class- should they fail to attend any of their lectures, punitive measures would result in terms of withdrawal of the allowance.

With the coming into power of the coalition government, the EMA was replaced with a smaller, new grant. This grant was administered by local providers to those learners considered to be most in need of financial assistance. This scheme was made up of two parts:

- The first part consisted of students who were identified as most vulnerable and received bursaries of (one thousand two hundred pounds) £1200 per academic year

- The second part was discretionary and only awarded to students who were facing genuine financial hardships and to be used on items such as transport cost.

Wolf observed that funding was driven by a government agenda and influenced by a grand market – driven mechanism. The funding architecture was relocated to the Skills Funding Agency, a government quango. This quango was directed by central government to fund particular curriculum areas which, according to policy-makers inform, the construction of an economically active and socially just society. The result is that the funding formula for FE provision follows several funding formulas that allocate money in quite different ways. In practice this means that there are very different sets of principles underpinning each of the funding systems. In keeping with the legal requirement that 16-18-year-olds are enrolled in education or training, the 16-19 Funding Formula functions in a similar way to the National Funding Formula for schools, where qualifications are delivered at no cost to the learner and institutions are reimbursed based on a central government estimate of how expensive such services ought to be to be provided to the students. The Adult Education Budget (AEB) is more closely aligned with the 16-19 years vocational education Funding Formula, but with the important difference that some learners-primarily those aged 24 or older who are in work or not seeking a job- are expected to co-fund their qualifications. These students pay 50% of the agreed rate for their course. However, the ‘agreed rate’ is still set by the government based on the number of learning hours in the course, which are in turn regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

With such a confused signal of provision in the sector, the Wolf review proposed a fundamental simplification of the educational system for 14-19year olds. It proposed major changes in FE organisation and funding, its regulatory structures and its quality assurance mechanisms. The proposals were intended to give institutions the flexibility to respond to local and changing labour markets; and engage employers more directly in delivery and the promotion of quality assurance; give colleges greater access to vocational professionals, and young people greater access to specialized instruction. But more importantly, the review brought more coherence in programme delivery and instruction, a simplified funding system a competitive labour force and high returns to apprenticeship and employment, based on its observation that the many vocational qualifications taken by young people were of little economic value and were generated by governments desire for young people to acquire extensive qualifications with a high chance of success. The legacy of the Wolf Review is that it instead proposed a greater focus on GCSEs-English and Maths in particular- and a move from funding individual qualifications to funding individual students. The government implemented many of these reforms by 2013, including the new 16-19 National Funding Formula and the English and Maths funding condition. Table two shows major reform to further education and skills since 2000.

Table 2: Major Reforms to FE since 2000

Major Reforms to FE since 2000 Major Reforms to FE since 2000-1

2.3.4 Further Education for students with 19 years and more of age

In addition to providing education for young people, the further education sector also provides education and training for adults, which has historically been the main focus of this sector. Extensive ranges of education and training options are available at this stage and are currently providing a comprehensive summary of them is beyond the scope of this study.

Thus, concerning the limitations of the1944 Act, including the inability of LEAs to manage FEs effectively and more importantly, regarding ability of FEs to bring the UK out of recession, the reforms highlighted by Foster and Wolf reports pave the way to a major shift in government policy. However, as the reader will observe, further renewed focus on employability and skills provision by the government led to charges by (Bryan, 2007) of ‘the McDonaldalization of further education’: with charges laid against further education that government messages were so confused that they (the government) did not know what it was that they should be producing. They claimed that further education should be an area that focused on the development of skills, confidence, self-esteem and social inclusion rather than ‘an education’.

There were also resentments which were echoed vociferously by Lord Callaghan. In his famous 1976 Ruskin College speech as the Prime Minister in office, he voiced fears about the quality and governance of education.

Callaghan identified the teaching profession as:

‘Complacent and failing to pay sufficient attention to skills and attitudes required to regain Britain’s declining prosperity’. (Callaghan, J.1976)

Thus, by the time Margaret Thatcher’s new right government had been elected, images of teachers and governors, as self-serving and monopolistic were already becoming subjected to reformation in common sense to justify greater state control and to further regulate the governance and education management.

2.3.5 Education Policy under the Conservatives (1979-1997)-Thatcher’s Legacy on Education

Conservative party conference speeches from 1975-1978 throw light on Margaret Thatcher as one Prime Minister who outlined an alternative course for the nation and for education policy: echoing the individual spirit as opposed to the social (welfare) state. The written transcript of her speeches reveals her as a dominant theme to be the necessity in leading the United Kingdom out of socialism and establishing a free market economy. She emerged victorious after an intense ideological struggle within her own party in which she gained the reputation as the only 'man enough' to stand against Edward Heath (Tricia, M.1978). From the time of her election in February 1975 until the defeat of her government in April, 1979, she led a shift in the ideological focus of the conservative party from the left to the right: instead of a party in sympathy with social democracy and the welfare state under Margaret Thatcher became proponents of free enterprise and de-nationalisation. (ibid: 1978:112). Her worldview was a British economy characterised by free capitalism which served the strong and able bodied and was bent on the shakeup of the welfare state.

'As regards the nationalized industries, the major problem is the defeatist conviction among the public and even among the Conservative politicians that they cannot be unscrambled. Well they can, and details are given in Goodbye to Nationalization (edited by Dr. Rhodes Boyson, Churchill Press.1971)).

Earlier as Minister for Education, Margaret Thatcher had abolished the Free School Meals and Milk initiative implemented by the 1944 Act.

Again, during the 1960s, degree granting polytechnics and colleges which were established by virtue of the 1944 Act and were under LEA (local) control ; and which were seen to be training skills for industry by providing industry with non-advanced and Advanced Vocational qualifications in Agriculture, Business, Art, Accounting and Science were removed. These qualifications were thought to be very necessary at the time. However, they were removed and the technical body charged with providing them was placed under the control of the Department of Education and Science (central control) when Margaret Thatcher assumed office.

As if these were not enough signals from central government, the low tuition fees in colleges and universities which have always remained low were raised.

It is important to drive home the point that since 1945, each student's LEA has paid these fees and awarded also a maintenance grant based upon the parent's ability to provide support; and in certain cases, 'there were no fees charged for admission to colleges, (Act 1944: :section 69) however, the proposals in the Education Reform Era suggested that colleges increase their fess, and not to be absorbed by their LEAs.

In order to demonstrate further how this period was different from the 1944 Era, it is instructive to highlight the role that Margaret Thatcher played in reshaping FE governance. Margaret Thatcher was responsible for signing off and not implementing or (implementing some) proposals in the Russell Committee Report on adult education. The Russell Committee was set up by Labour in 1969 to review non-vocational adult education in England and Wales and to recommend ways of obtaining 'the most effective and economical deployment of available resources to enable adult education to make its proper contribution to the national system. The Commission had three main terms of reference:

First, it was mandated to assess the need for and to review the provision of non-vocational adult education in England and Wales;

Second, to consider the appropriateness of existing educational, administrative and financial policies; and:

Third, to make recommendations with a view to obtaining the most effective and economical deployment of available resources to enable adult education to make its proper contribution to the national system of education conceived as a process continuing through life.

When the report was published in 1973, it emphasized the necessity of 'a great development of non-technical studies......vital to provide the fullest opportunities for personal development and for the realization of a true conception of citizenship'.(Russell Committee; 1969-1973).

The committee asserted that 'adult learning, in all its forms, should aim to meet the needs of adults in all the various roles they play in life, whether as parents, carers, employees and employers.....' (ibid). The report put particular stress on the need for more targeted provision for 'disadvantaged adults', those excluded from social and community life by virtue of personal capacity, social disadvantage or economic disadvantage'. (Stanistreet, 2013).

However, according to the above author, when the report was submitted to Margaret Thatcher in 1972, her reaction was unenthusiastic. Thatcher argued that there was to be no endorsement of the committee's broad vision for 'a comprehensive and flexible service of adult education, broad enough to meet the whole range of educational needs of the adult in our society'. (ibid, 2013:5).

As if the shift in government ideology was not enough, cracks in the administration and the governance of colleges began to appear. These cracks became evident when the recommendation by the Russell Committee for the government to take action to stimulate local authority learning with regards to their responsibility of managing and governing education was turned down. Thus, because elected LEA council members (who formed majority of governing boards ) and college managers were not adequately resourced in terms of management know how, and the finance to seek and to circulate information; the volunteering spirit of governors began to wane. What we see here is that, during this era, the centralised control of Further Education was itself being influenced by the ‘New Vocationalism’. The methods used were many and varied and included initiatives such as Technical and Vocational Initiatives (TVEI) introduced into the curriculum in the 1980’s and 1990’s and which sought to reconstruct the primary aims and purposes of college education in terms of the preparation of young people for working life. In a similar vein, the establishment of National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) following a review of vocational qualifications in 1986 led to the introduction of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) designed to harmonise the system and establish national standards of competence derived from the needs of business and industry.

Under the heading of ‘The Next Move Forward’ the Conservative Manifesto of 1987, Mrs Thatcher proposed four major reforms, which were set out as follows:

First we will establish a National Core Curriculum

Second, within five years, governing bodies and head teachers of all secondary schools and colleges will be accorded control over their own budgets

Third, we will increase parental choice.

Fourth, we will allow State Schools to opt out of LEA control

The Education Bill of November 1987 added a fifth, the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority and the redistribution of its educational services among thirteen different Local Authorities. The Education Bill gives regulatory control over these proposed major reforms. The National Core Curriculum requires compulsory testing of children at ages 7,11, and 14, whilst at 16 there will be Sir Keith Joseph’s General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). To ensure that the curriculum is being followed and thus to curb the discretionary powers of teachers; parents have the right and in fact were encouraged to complain, if they feared that their children are not following it. To restrict the powers of LEA’s, budget control for each individual secondary school was available to head teachers and boards of governors of such schools, extending to the payment of teachers from the lump sum disbursed by the LEA. There will be no ‘catchment area’ for schools; each school must take in pupils up to the maximum accommodation provided. There will be parental jockeying for places at the preferred schools, which, accordingly, will have bigger budgets. Poorer schools will decline.

Much of the responsibility for effecting the above radical changes devolved to the FE colleges- which, during this same period- were being encouraged as a result of central government directive to become responsive institutions, less-producer led and more sensitive to the needs of employers and other community bodies. This trend was reinforced by the 1988 Education Reform Era (ERA) which instituted the process of the local management of colleges by delegating greater powers to governing bodies. As (Pratt, 2000) observes, under ERA local authorities:

“Had to produce schemes of financial delegation and governing bodies had new powers and duties to manage their colleges to be more market-oriented, entrepreneurial and efficient”.

Thus, local authorities no longer had a majority on governing bodies. Indeed, under the fourth reform, the conservative manifesto permitted schools to ‘opt out’ of control by the LEA. With the consent of the head master, and the governing body of a school, a majority of the parents may opt to take the school out of the LEA control, and receive the full government grant direct from the Department of Education and Science. Thus LEA’s, whose central role in the allocation of school places was seen as stifling the need for schools to innovate or to respond efficiently, if at all, to parental concerns (Shleifer, 1998). To assist parents in selecting a school, LEAs were required to provide parents with information about their schools, including examination results. For those schools that chose to remain with their LEA, Local Management of Schools (LMS) meant that they would nevertheless take greater control over their own budgets and day- to-day management. Across all schools, it was the case that at least eighty – five percent (85%) of LEA’s school budget was now handed down to schools (Whitty, 2008). Equally significantly, eighty-percent (80%) of that devolved budget was determined directly by the number and ages of a school’s pupils. The 1980 Education Act also introduced the Assisted Places Scheme, which provided public funding to enable academically-able children from poor homes to attend the country’s elite and academically selective independent schools.

All of these changes paved the way for the full independence of FE institutions when they were granted corporate status through the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act. This is the application of market forces to education, which is now being treated as a commodity which can be ‘purchased’ for achievement of maximised utility at any later point of time.

2.3.6 Phase 3: The 1988 Education Reform Act and College Governance

In the words of (Ranson, 1985:103), education governance has been the most complex (besides housing and health) of services from the 1980s. He makes the point that as the keystone of public policy -making and social reform, governance of FE college has been saddled with many objectives including the fuelling of economic growth, facilitating equality of opportunity and affording social justice to the deprived. In order to accomplish this burdensome collective vision, education and the governance of it had encountered the requirement of managing the most complex network of relationships:

'…cutting across communities, authorities and levels of government'. (ibid, :103).

In order to manoeuvre this complex relationship, the 1988 Act as was discussed in earlier pages brought along different practices of policy formulation, regulation in structuring the distribution of education governance between tiers of government institutions and the public compared to the period 1944-1970s when under the LEAs. The history of political interference with the appointment of these new three hundred thousand representative governors in 1986 did not stop. For example, by 1988, Salford, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Wakefield, Dudley and Doncaster, all Labour authorities, had decided to appoint only those nominated by party members, while Barnet and Kent among Conservative authorities took similar action (Gann, N. 1998). Some LEAs which changed hands, removed existing nominee’s half-term.

'Two inner-London governors were removed from office for voting against LEA policies (they supported an application for the school to become a City Technology College). The case of Regina v ILEA, ex parte Brunyate, showed that ILEA had in fact exercised its powers for an unlawful purpose (Herbert,1989). The House of Lords found that despite the apparent legal entitlement to remove the governors, the dismissal was designed to enforce compliance with the wishes of the nominating body and therefore, was a usurpation of the governors' independent function' .( Managing Schools Today 1, 3, October 1991)

The 1988 Act also redefined the relationship between the central and local governments in terms of governance, as greater measure of power was accorded to central government regarding issues of accountability and financial reporting and control of the funding was rescinded from LEAs. Further the Act made FE colleges to be more answerable to public choice by empowering active consumer participation. For example FE colleges were made to provide parents with information including the right to choose and an opportunity to take part in the decisions that a college may take in the provision of courses. Thus, consumerism, and in particular, the notions of ‘parental choice’ and the ‘market’ were dominant themes in Conservative education related thoughts during the 1980s. The government appeared to be at this time attracted to a line of thinking set out by the ‘new right’. The term new right (Bosanquet, 1983), does not refer to any specific group but to a movement represented by a collection of lobby groups concerned, amongst other things, to bring about the ‘liberation’ of public services from ’excessive state control’ through ‘privatisation’. The political philosophy of the new right is that of ‘liberalism’, defined in F.A. Hayek’s (1960) sense of limiting the powers of government in the interests of the liberty of the individual and a ‘free society’. The new right argues that education must be regarded as a commodity; teachers regarded as producers and parents (rather than children) as the consumers. Accordingly, education provides an inadequate service when it suffers from the effects of ‘producer capture’. Producer capture becomes evident when education serves the interests of teachers and administrators rather than the interests of consumers (Refer to the Omega Report) (EducationPolicy, 1984). Thus the new right sees producer capture as a central characteristic of the ‘Welfare State Socialism’ and the post-war British comprehensive school system as a clear example.

Thus, the tradition of interested and committed volunteering governors has no place. The remedy is business-like governors and a system of self-managed schools and colleges. A typical reorganisation of the governing body is represented below, comparing a dynamic cultural change in terminology and in form: The diagram below represents a board influenced by the 1988 Education Reforms Act. The composition demonstrates a move away from a board dominated by representatives from LEA.

Education Reform Act Elected Academic Staff Form&Former permitted numbers

Graystone (1999) made an important contribution to the composition of FE governing body around this time. His study showed that the size of a governing body from 1944- 1980s ranged from twenty (20) to forty (40) with an average of twenty -eight (28). Out of this number, LEA nominations were made up 36.6% while employer memberships were 22.3% (Graystone, 1999: 135). However, under the Education Reforms Era Act (1988), employer memberships now form fifty percent (50%) of a governing body with LEA membership reduced to twenty per cent (20%); with an average LEA size of nineteen (19%). The reasons behind these reductions were not far-fetched. The 1980s through to the 1990s saw a gradual move towards increased autonomy for FEs and a gradual reduction in LEA powers.

independent members

The title ‘independent members' was changed to 'business members' to reflect the important role that the business community played in the running of colleges. Modifications which allowed for extensive consultation, interpreted 'business' to include anyone in the professions and in any field of employment 'relevant to the activities of the institution'. But it is still the case that the concept of business introduced into corporate governance lexicon; which implied that governors’ roles and responsibilities needed to be ‘market driven’. It was no secret that under ERA, governing bodies became business-led. A further important change was to bring the appointment of the business members under the sole authority of the governing body itself, instead of (as previously) the governing body being only able to approve the appointment of an 'independent member' if the appointment was approved by the existing 'independent members' acting as a group. This change removed the special membership status accorded to independent/business members. The number of LEA governors was reduced and following incorporation, the LEA disappeared completely as a separate category of governor. Men and women from business and commerce were encouraged to become governors. In colleges, the 'customer's voice became so important that it must be heard. In most further and higher education, businessmen and businesswomen fulfilled three key functions: First, they were the customers, who would employ the graduates of colleges, send their employees on college courses and buy customised full- cost courses. Second, they brought in experience of the world of work outside that of the college. Thirdly and most importantly, their experience and expertise in their various careers and businesses would assist colleges to be operated with greater efficiency and effectively and in a more business-like way. Indeed from 1993, many FE colleges became increasingly run like businesses with a new commercial language focusing on the 'chief executive', customers', 'human resources', rather than the 'principal', 'students' and 'staff'. New terms were borrowed from the private sector such as 'strategic and business plans', 'corporate strategy' and 'downsizing'. Governors from a non-educational background often found themselves very uncomfortable with academic terms such as 'curriculum development and innovation' in college boardrooms. Overall, these changes taken together, brought within the fold a new 'corporate and contract culture with a corporate identity'(Knight, 1993); especially when members of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) were still maintained on the governing board. This culture took the form of a privatisation strategy: - contracting out the provision of some goods or services to nominated authorities via contract strategies with profit making incentives in mind. This culture brought with it a new kind of lexicon and relationships between councillors and business members of the community with the sole purpose of making profits;( Gaster& O'Toole,1995). Infact, the two cultures- business and the public sector-existed uneasily within colleges as governors focused on areas such as finance, personnel and estates, leaving academic matters to the principal and senior managers. It was precisely because of the existence of this uneasiness that governors began to be criticised in the late 1990s by the Further Education Funding Council's (FEFC) chief inspector as not taking sufficient interest in the academic work of the college (FEFC, 1996a: 19; FEF, 1997a :18; FEFC, 1998a:42).

contract culture

Farnham and Horton (1993) provide a useful summary of some of the measures which were used by central the governments to implement their strategy of turning public Further Education provision into a market mechanism. A discussion of these measures is relevant and provides a background to some of the issues which are to be discussed in the study.

First, they observe that there were the activities linked with deregulating the economy to 'increase market competition, foster enterprise and create a business culture'. In the FE sector, it was by now evident, as by this time, all FEs had adopted a corporate college, now fully responsible for its own planning, resources and staffing and no longer requiring the LEAs to for the purpose of accountability and management: colleges became self-governing overnight.

The 1988 Act deregulated the local governance of FE colleges by delegating finance controls so that colleges could become self-governing institutions. For example, in an inspection report of West Cumbria College in 1998, the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) reported that:

'the governing body' 'members have not conducted a rigorous review of the college's mission and finances, nor played a full part in shaping its strategic objectives.' (Shattock, M. 2000).

Again, Newby's (1998) review of complaints against St Austel College states:

'The governing body of the college played a limited and reactive role as events including actions taken by the principal, unfurled.' (Newby, 1998).

A range of controls, directives and legislative changes were introduced which were aimed at strengthening the position of central government as has been observed in board composition above and in the enforcement of rigid inspection frameworks set by OfSTED. Hence, the educational reforms, while widely represented as giving power and choice to the 'consumer', actually transferred an unprecedented number of powers to the Secretary of State. The impact has been to weaken the power of the local authorities, leaving educational governance and administration largely in the hands of individual colleges. Governors were neither planning nor monitoring and were not even evaluating, because they were too busy doing staff jobs (Gann, 1998). Accountant governors found themselves monitoring expenditure on a weekly or monthly basis, instead of helping to develop long-term financial planning procedures.

(Ferlie et al, 1996) have made a significant contribution to the debate and understanding of some of the changes which took place during the 1980s. They provide a useful overview of these changes and note that a political impetus can be observed which not only challenged the underpinnings of the 1944 Act but also saw the beginnings of new models of governance. They note that there was a new 'broadly based organisational phenomena' which they refer to as 'New Public Management' phenomenon (NPM). The changes in and to the public sector are summarised in (Ibid: 1996) as the following :

-Large scale privatisation;

-Increased Managerialism and marketisation as well as introduction of quasi-markets;

-Emphasis on 'doing more for less', making sure of securing value for money; increasingly assessed and measured by a range of performance indicators.

-Emphasis on the management of change, especially managing in changing cultures.

These changes, the authors observed, were part of an overall political economy of the public sector, an economy characterised by:

-Decline in union power and collective or decentralised pay bargaining

-Erosion of the autonomy of professionals potentially leading to de-professionalism

-The rise of non- elected elite directing new style public services

-The potential changing role and relationship of the service provider with the user, the extent to which New Public Management (NPM) can empower the consumer and the debate around issues of public accountability.

Of particular significance to this study of FE is 'The rise of non-elected elite directing new style public services. This can be observed in FE governance, where there is a clear policy implemented through legislative change to reduce the number of elected representatives and replace them with appointees typically from the business community to sit on boards ( Shattock, M.2000). The authors point out that whilst many public sector boards were previously seen as 'rubber stamp' boards, increasingly, this is changing to a model where these boards are at the strategic apex of the organisation, leading and directing activities and determining overall policy and direction. They suggest that an inner circle may emerge; an inner circle of individuals who hold multiple board positions within the new style public sector, just as they do in the corporate sector. The role that these new style boards undertake in colleges and, the associated issues of both their involvement in strategy and the specific role of what might be termed 'new elites', will emerge in the study.

Against the backdrop of these observations and in line with the context of our study of corporate governance in FEs, it is now proper to consider central governments' legislative position on governance.

2.3.7 The ‘Third Way’ in Education and the domineering national education policy agenda

The issue of political interference in Further Education provision and the influence this had on leadership and governance runs through the thesis. Hence, it is significant that the reader stays continually informed on relevant policy impacts. The impact of government intervention and external change on the structure and governance of further education colleges: the restructuring of vocational education, alongside the tensions this brought with leadership and governance provide the underpinning backdrop to this chapter. May I remind the reader that the study is from 2010-2018, however, as early as 1993-1994, as part of the literature review, I note that the then government had spent £2billion in educational provision for three million students in 464colleges throughout England and Wales (DfE, 1990) . Clearly, given its size, its budget and the range of provision, it is perhaps not surprising that the FE sector has consistently been characterised as one of high diversity and complexity (Pratley, 1980) Responsibility for FE governance and leadership was shared between the government, Education and Employment Departments. Further the 1988 ERA also established a new quango, the Polytechnic and Colleges Funding Council, (PCFC), which took responsibility for the funding of non-university and college higher education institutions away from local authorities. Four years later, in 1992, the Further and Higher Education Act (FHE, 1992) had set up the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC, 1992). These funding bodies took the ‘free market’ view of educational institutions which required colleges to be run as ‘business entities’.

In the light of the literature review so far, I seem to concur with the school of thought which argues that the range of available FE provision in the 1970s was a ‘maze’ (Fowler, 1973), in the 1980’s as ‘one of fragmentation, confusion, complexity and competition’ (Twyman, 1985), and in the 1990s as a ‘complex and confused situation’ (Waitt, 1980) reinforced by conservative government involvement led by Margaret Thatcher. In this direction, the DfEE, the official mouthpiece of central government, launched a White Paper which was named as the' Learning Age'. In this paper, the government observed that:

'Since the incorporation of Further Education colleges there have been concerns about the 'style of working and remoteness of governing bodies' (DfEE, 1998a).; to commentators, this report was meant to highlight the significant role that governors must play in this market driven sector '.

So that proper analysis could be performed concerning this study, it is worthwhile to define FE and to identify the changes taking place in FE which have made FE governing bodies to seem to be engaged 'remotely'. This analysis will enable us to see the shift away in the focus on the role of governance: from the 'welfare' era to the 'market' era.

Further Education was originally defined in section 41 of The 1944 Education Act and has subsequently been amended and replaced by section 120 of the 1988 Education Reform Act and the definition now reads:

'Further education means full and part-time education and training for persons over compulsory school age, other than higher education and any related organised leisure-time occupation'.

According to Beverley, L (2000) this definition clarified the previous somewhat ambiguous nature of 'organised leisure-time occupation', in that it insists that to qualify as Further Education, it must be provided 'in connection with' Further Education and Training, thereby, limiting the range of provision that colleges may make. Beverley points out that the term 'college' is not used in the 1944 Act itself, however, Macfarlene (1989) clarifies the definition of a Further Education college and states that the term 'FE college' is applied:

'Particularly, to those colleges offering courses at levels equivalent to those of a sixth form, but with emphasis on a wider range of vocational subjects, training programmes and leisure activities’. Many of these colleges also offer courses leading to qualifications above GCE A level or its vocational equivalents and this work is typically entitled 'advanced further education' and, in some cases overlaps with the provision in some higher education institutions'. Having now clarified what is understood by the term we will now consider some influences, although some mention has been made earlier on with reference to the 1988 Reforms Act. This is now necessary as it will explain the impact legislation has played in the DFE observation that, 'since reforms, governors have become 'remote'.

First, it is instructive to note that the 1988 Education Reform Act determined the size, membership, operating procedures and selection of college governors. The Act empowered employers to form the majority on board composition, (as discussed in earlier pages) at the same time stipulating that no more than 20% of the governing body may be LEA appointments. This is a significant change ( as has been discussed earlier) and was intended to erode the influence of the LEA. From this period on, each college had to submit proposals for specific college provision of courses to LEA. LEAs only get involved upon receipt of college proposals and will now draw up an area provision plan of boundary or 'catchment area ' which indicated proposed numbers of learners (but allowed college flexibility to increase their market share.) Viewed in this manner, the role of LEA governors began to shift from being the voice of colleges and directing the management, administration, governance, and mission of the college to an administrative role. Emphasis of LEA focus was more directed towards strategy and co-ordination of growth rather than the development and setting the direction of a college (Beverley, 2000). In this way, LEAs were only directed to co-ordinate the knowledge base for the education service in their local area and there was no uniformity between LEAs. Thus, LEAs gathered various sources of information in terms of household occupancy, local demography and commerce as well as household income sources. These varied sources of information gave LEAs unique opportunity to represent the needs of local industry and commerce as well as local public sector organisations and all other interested sectors of the local economy. This move however, provided LEAs with opportunities for colleges to provide responsiveness to their local communities: colleges can reinvest income earned from privately run courses charged to local businesses. Given this emerging trend, the concept of ' corporate college' began to find true meaning. With the observation of the emerging trend in LEA governor remoteness, brought on by the business approaches towards college management and governance, the Further Education Funding Council, the funding agency for colleges, (FEFC Guide for Governors 1994), had come to provide governors with a guide to good governance:

In that guide, the council indicated that:

‘The overall aim of the governing body should be to agree policies and strategies and to ensure that it is able to monitor progress in implementing agreed policies and strategies. It should ensure that it has effective and objective means of measuring college activities and that the college is in good financial health’.

The key words of monitoring, implementing, and measuring were epitome of market forces and heightened awareness of the business approach required of college governance: highlighting the changing role of governors with the inception of reforms. Despite changes in the structure and funding of the FE sector, following incorporation, diversity remained a significant feature. Governing bodies were advised that the change in status of colleges to corporate institutions would bring about ‘ a new form of independence, a new maturity, which brings with it new rights, duties and responsibilities (Cuthbert, 1988) FE principals and particularly college governors were to transform ‘overnight’ as lay governors to astute financial governors and finding themselves in a highly competitive market-led business. Colleges were required to bid for funding for work-related FE courses to the Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) and governing boards were required to have substantial expertise in education management and financial management.

It was, therefore not surprising, to observe that the governance of Further Education reconstituted with the aim of taking control of education from the public to the corporate sector. The growth of a corporate sector reflects two dimensions of change from a public service which has traditionally been described as a national service locally governed and administered, to one which is performance and incentive driven: This was manifested in many ways:

First, the growing numbers of colleges were controlled by providers who bring in external interests to show how the college as a business is operated.

Further, the 1988 Act and subsequent legislation added new elements that were to have dramatic consequences on the role of the internal governance of FEs.

It is common knowledge that prior to the 1988 Act, the principal and the governing body only exercised control over a limited budget in the form of 'grants' by virtue of the 1944 Act which was to be used among other things to purchase learning resources. The 1988 Education 'Reform' Act on the other hand introduced greater financial, accounting and legal responsibility for bigger sums of 'loans'. As an outcome, the principal and governing body had to learn new skills in financial reporting and financial governance. The range of functions that the governing body and the Chief Executive Officer (Principal) had to learn expanded exponentially. All of these new responsibilities were introduced in the midst of a new regulatory body - Ofsted -being ushered in.

Alongside the various government –sponsored training schemes and the vast number of vocational qualifications and courses, colleges provided a number of non- vocational and pre-vocational full-time and part-time courses, a range of special needs programmes, and specialist provision for mature learners including Access to Higher Education, Foundation Year, Return to Learn and Learning for Work courses. In addition, an increasing amount of Higher Education work has been located within FE colleges.

2.3.8 Rising tensions and strains in FE governance

The above introductory comments provide the context for two complementary ideas. First, that the market orientation of the FE sector came about gradually, rather than suddenly and unexpectedly. The multiplicity of bodies with the potential to influence the FE curriculum- including government, LEAs FEFCE, TECs, NCVQ Awarding Bodies, students, parents, lecturers, college managers, governors, other educational sectors- each played a part in contributing to an enduring complexity. The influence of factors usually associated with the market in education, including performance indicators, accountability and vocationalism, have been key features of the FE sector since 1988. The 1992 FHE Act is often described by commentators as revolutionary, in that it is assumed, of itself, to have brought about a shift from a democratic to a market oriented model of governance in FE.

The second idea follows from the first. It is commonly assumed that the incorporation of FE colleges has brought about educated, market led -practitioner governing board characteristics and that these characteristics would influence stakeholder board and college outcomes. However, it appeared that what actually happened was fragmentation of practices across the FE sector and that each college was following its own model of governance which led to differing outcomes. These observations brought about Ofsted- a regulatory body charged with the maintenance of standards.

2.3.9 Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)- the Changing Policy Context:

The 1992 Further and Higher Education Act introduced a new, rigorous (and some would argue onerous) system of college inspections through the establishment of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). It was essentially a quango set up to privatise the system of college inspection which had previously been managed by a more established team with focus under Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMIs). The establishment of Ofsted and its regular inspections brought huge responsibilities to the governance of FE colleges. A poor Ofsted report could mean that a college would be put under special measures. All these changes to the provision of Further Education in Britain began to sow the seeds of an increasingly competitive environment; it encouraged colleges to respond to that environment through the continuous funding of successful colleges, (through FEFC), encouraging mergers and by putting unsuccessful colleges under 'special measures' and provided a hint about what was to come.

2.3.10 The Period 1990-2000 -Background to Incorporation

For purposes of emphasis and to sustain interest, it is important to emphasise that under the 1992 Act the FE colleges became corporate institutions completely independent of the control of local authorities with governing bodies dominated by representatives from businesses and industries. In addition to the political agenda which had led to this state of affairs, the mission of colleges was influenced by trends-emerging from the ‘new Vocationalism’ of the 1980s that blamed education for not meeting the needs of the industry- which ‘placed FE at the centre of a national strategy for raising levels of skills and qualifications’ (Green, 1999b) and also for raising participation and improving retention rates at all levels.

The central mechanism for controlling and directing this policy stance, it is argued was the funding regime introduced by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) which- under the 1992 Act- was charged with administering the funding for all institutions in the sector A degree of consistency of funding had been established under the local management arrangements of the 1988 ERA and this was intended to be reinforced through the FEFC regulations. As (McClure, 2000) argues, ‘retention and achievement were at the top of the agenda’ and this was realised through a system by which colleges were paid for three distinct stages of learning programmes: ‘entry, on-programme and achievement’ (p.41). The vast majority of FE funding ninety percent (90per cent) under this regime was ‘core’ with the other ten per cent (10 per cent) dependent upon individual colleges’ recruitment and growth figures. This system of funding was linked to the new FEFC audit and inspection regimes against the background of ‘value for money’ index in public sector funding and expenditure. Although initially commentators welcomed the national system of funding as an improvement on the piecemeal and inequitable LEA model, subsequent experience has brought about less positive appraisals of incorporation of such changes. For example, financial deficits, mismanagement and outright corruption have resulted in public humiliation and disrepute for a number of colleges such as Bilston, Wirral, Derby and Halton (Robinson, 2000). With regards to finance and funding, recent estimates from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA 2016) suggest that there is a falling income and falling funding trend. For example, the reports cite falling funding for Education of 16-18 year olds accounting for forty-one (41%) of FE college income. According to the report, total DfE expenditure has been declining every year in cash terms since it reached a peak of £7.7billion at the commencement of the decade (2010-2011). The National Audit Office reviewed college finances in 2015 and reported that the financial position of FE colleges was declining (NAO, 2015).This is indicated in table 2 below:

financial position colleges

First, it was alleged that student numbers were falling and as a result funding figures should fall because as it was reported that census figures had recorded, especially in 2017, a two point four percentage points (2.4%) fall in student numbers. The second reason for the fall in funding was that college numbers were dwindling as a result of structural change. One of the objectives of the government’s area review programme in 2015 was to put all colleges on a sustainable financial footing. The review programme has prompted forty-seven college-to-college mergers since January 2016 with further ones scheduled for the rest of 2018. Mergers have reduced the total number of colleges. The research shows that there have been greater numbers of mergers in early 2018 than in any other year. At the time of writing this theses in 2020, there are two hundred and seven colleges, (207) down from two hundred and eighty eight (288) in 2017. However, observers believe that the root problem in the fall in state-funded college education is public spending restraint towards a system where colleges should generate their own extra funding requirements.

Seen from this light, the notion of FEs emerging to be 'organisations and loose conglomerations' of different departments seeking their own funding streams with little overall cohesion gave credence to the discussions in the literature around this period. (Tipton, 1973). Tipton makes the claim that being loose organisations, colleges were identifiable not as single organisations but as competing departments to which staff and management and governing bodies had allegiance. Tipton asserted that the result of the development of this diverse character had implications for higher levels of resourcing as a result of priorities placed on them by their LEAs, central government and the local labour markets which they served.(ibid: 1973).

'Managing Colleges Efficiently',( DES, 1985). The report cited the inefficient utilisation of resources in many colleges and recommended a greater consistency in resourcing and efficiency in the use of resources. It was these observations which prepared the ground for incorporation; ushered in first by the FHE Act 1992.

2.3.11 The 1992 Further and Higher Education Act (FHE Act)

Given the flavour of legislative changes introduced in the earlier chapter, it came as little surprise to many that the government intended to go a step further to continue the introduction of the notion of corporate status for colleges. Under the FHE Act, the new responsibility for funding FE in England and Wales moved over to two new Funding Councils; one for England and the other for Wales. Each Funding council is a body corporate in its own right. The actual composition of the council is given as: 12 and not more than 15 members appointed by the Secretary of State for Education. In Wales, the composition is between eight and twelve members. In Scotland, the responsibility for funding the colleges rests with The Scottish Office Education Department. The Secretary of State determines the grants or loans through the councils.

The implications for Further Education were first made public in yet another government White Paper 'Education and Training into the 21st century'. This was published in 1991, whose theme was taken on board by the (FHE Act 1992) and it changed the status of colleges by according them full corporate body status, through a process of incorporation. As a prelude to incorporation, the colleges in England and Wales set up shadow Further Education corporations from September 1992, which ran in tandem with the former colleges for the sixth months up until March 1993 so as to enable smooth transition. The vast majority of FE colleges became independent bodies from April 1993 onwards. The Further and Higher Education Act (1992), according to Gleeson (1996), gave momentum to the framework of market competition in FE policy governance by:

Removing LEA control through transferring of funds to the (FEFC) Further Education Funding Council

Granting FE colleges autonomy

Introducing a competitive user provider system- linking colleges and student recruitment with Training and Enterprise Councils, industry, business and commerce.

Initiating governance and management systems which equated growth; units of resource and convergence, with lowering average levels of funding (ALF’s), and by:

Redistributing the subsidy from the supplier (colleges) to the consumer (student).

In the words of (Randle et al, 1997), the FHE Act 1992 was initiated by the government with the task of ensuring the ‘adequacy’ and ‘sufficiency’ of provision in the sector, however:

‘…in spite of an increase in autonomy, FE colleges were controlled principally through rigid funding mechanisms’ put in place by the Funding Council. (FEFC.) (ibid, 1997:89).They contended that governments' initiative to make colleges autonomous was similar to the contradiction of purposes (Ibid: 89). This was as the funding formula put in place by the funding council enabled funds to be clawed back, if colleges failed to meet targets, retain students or if students did not successfully complete courses.

(Lucas, 1999) has presented a detailed evaluation of the negative aspects of the FEFC’s model of incorporation in terms of a number of key themes and issues: These are as the following

Notwithstanding its national profile, there is no national funding system for 16-19year olds and a confusion of diversified (often inequitable) funding streams for the FE sector in general-the struggle to maximise unit funding by colleges has marginalised the search for a distinctive national or regional role and a planned local curriculum.

The scramble for growth has emphasised quantity as against quality, resulting in larger class sizes, fewer class contact hours, students on the wrong courses and increasing numbers of drop-outs.

The unitised funding, tracking and audit systems have proved bureaucratically cumbersome, labour-intensive and costly.

The funding of learning programmes has been overly rigid and fails to recognise and reward partial achievements by students.

The combination of an output-related funding mechanism and outcome-based programmes has served to distort objective judgements of quality (FEDA, 1998), occasionally- in the case of NVQs- resulting in outright corruption and assessment abuse (Hyland, 1998).

Franchising of courses to maximise funding units has sometimes resulted in low quality programmes of little value to either learners or employers (e.g. NVQ level 1 in ‘shelf-stacking’ (Smithers, 2000).

Funding between sixth-forms, FE colleges and HE (provided by FE) has not been harmonised and majority of FE college provision is under-funded compared with similar provision in sixth-form colleges and HE institutions.

Challenges thus remain for the sector and these are addressed under Blair’s New Labour government.

2.3.12 Incorporation and Corporate Governance

In line with the national framework under which FEs operated, every college has charitable status and so is subject to the requirements of the Charities Act.

However, FE corporations and sixth form college corporations are classified as exempt charities. This means that they are not regulated by the Charities Commission but by a separate regulator- the Department for Education (DfE).

2.3.13 A Note on Legislative Changes Specific to FE

As it is expected and to give FE colleges corporate identity, much of the regulations by which previous governments have sought to control the FE college sector has been repealed. According to a DfES publication 'College Governance- A Guide': (BIS/14/1012: Aug:2014: 17), colleges remain subject to a range of specific regulation:

First, as providers of education, they are subject to the laws that protect the interests of young people and ensure the quality of teaching via external inspection.

Second, as exempt charities they are subject to charity law as overseen by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as their Principal Regulator.

Third, they are covered by many other regulations; relating to freedom of information, equality and public procurement) because of their corporate status and because of their designation as public interest bodies in laws. Having given a flavour of the broad context of legislation under which FEs must operate, it is important here to mention the specific laws that impinge upon their operations. First, we mention:

2.3.14 Education Law

Under this law, colleges are classed as educational establishments in various Acts of Parliament, and in addition, have responsibility for the education of thousands of young people and vulnerable adults. There are specific provisions for the publication of performance data and external inspection by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills. Colleges have specific responsibilities for the education of young people in the Children and Families Act, 2014. It suffices to mention that the exact specifics are outside the realm of this study.

2.3.15 Charity Law

As expected, this law is significant to the debate in the study. All FE corporations are exempt charities and the members of the corporation are charity trustees. Exempt charities are institutions which are established as charities, but which are exempt from registration with and direct oversight with the Charity Commission. The trustees of an exempt charity have the same general duties and responsibilities as trustees of other charities and as such, are expected to comply with charity law. Most types of exempt charity (including FE corporations) are listed in Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011(section 51).

This publication further states that exempt charities are required to have a Principal Regulator and for FE Corporations in England and charitable companies wholly owned by FE Corporations, this is the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Principal Regulator has a 'compliance objective' to do all they reasonably can to promote compliance by trustees of the charities for which they are responsible with their legal obligations in exercising control, management and governance of the administration of their charity(section 52).

This Government publication also goes further to say that:

Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will apply its usual processes for monitoring FE corporations, as set out in other parts of this publication. Particularly, it states that (BIS) will work closely with DfE and the Skills Funding Agency, monitor FE corporations wherever possible using existing returns of information. If either the Charity Commissioner or the Secretary of State for BIS identifies potentially serious concerns about the administration of a relevant charity, it will notify the other in writing as soon as possible, setting out to resolve any charity law issue identified. Where the Principal Regulator identifies a concern about a charity, they may invite the Charity Commission to use its powers of investigation under the Charities Act 2011. Corporations are required to notify the Principal Regulator immediately if any serious breach of charity law is identified (section 53).

In addition to the regulations described above, the publication adds that FE colleges must meet the extensive non-FE specific regulatory requirements that apply to organisations in all sectors nationally. These requirements include the full range of employment, planning, health and safety, freedom of information, data protection, public interest disclosure and environmental rules and regulations (Section 55).

2.3.16 Financial Regulation and Audit

From section thirty-nine (39) of this document we see how FE corporations must operate their finances:

It says that the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Education Funding Agency (FEFC) must provide funding to FE corporations and sets out the terms and conditions under which that funding is provided. The document says that the funding agreements setting out conditions relating to financial regulation and audit and assurance require FE corporations to provide information on financial statements-set out in a specified format in an Accounts Direction- jointly issued by the SFA and the FEFC;

- A requirement for each corporation to appoint an audit committee and arrange for audits to be carried out in accordance with the Joint Audit Code of Practice (section 40).

- A requirement for each FE corporation to provide copies of its audited financial statements within Five months of the year end; and as a Charity, the FE corporation is expected to make its financial statements available to members of the public on request (section 40).

Section forty-one ensures compliance with the joint audit Code of Practice which makes it binding on FEs to carry out an audit on its financial statements to provide assurance to users of those financial statements that they have been properly prepared and show a 'true and fair' view of the financial position of the FE Corporation (41).

Clearly, these legal requirements, (Education, Finance and Charity Law ) have now come to entrench the frame work under which a modern FE college must operate with emphasis on a new mission embodied in the name: Business, Innovation and Skills, and the governing body is required to observe these.

What is now clear is that under English Law, Further Education corporations are not regulated by the Companies Act, such as the private and publicly quoted companies. There are no shareholders to provide the subscription capital and although they are subject to the control of the Charities Act, they are also 'exempt' charities, as has been explained in earlier pages. The purpose for this distinction will become clear in the study. However, for now it is important to note that the power of FE corporations to conduct education is limited by Parliament. A FE corporation can only exercise powers conferred on it by the Parliament under Sections 18 and 19 of the 1992 FHE Act, so that a member of its governing body who participates in an act which is beyond the power of the corporation to perform, will be personally liable for the consequences. It is imperative to clarify here that, the FE Corporation has a legal personality separate and distinct from the personality of the members of the governing body. Again, it is significant to note that the corporation may only borrow money from outside the funding body with the consent of the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC). The only method whereby a corporation can exercise this power is by resolution of a majority of members of its governing body, at a properly constituted quorate meeting of the membership.

Having clarified the position on matters of legality and having discussed the laws which governors and managers had to work under, it is now important to clarify specific roles and responsibilities to avoid ambiguities in the meaning.

I have already discussed that the Secretary of State, empowered by the FEFC Act 1992, established a ‘body corporate’ for the purpose of conducting an FE institution. This process which is typically known as incorporation, created FE corporations (, 2014a). To enact the ‘corporation’ a governing body was formed. In most cases, the corporation governing body had oversight of a single college.

We have clarified that Corporations were given legal backing and empowered by Section 11 of the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act to provide further and higher education.

We have discussed the powers, and roles of FE corporations are also set out in the FHE Act 1992. The principal powers are that a further education corporation may:

- Provide further and higher education;

-Provide secondary education to those aged fourteen years and above

- Participate in the provision of secondary education at a school;

- Supply goods or services in connection with their provision of education (College Governance: A Guide ( BIS/14/1012: 2014).

It is worth mentioning here that the Act requires every college to have an Instrument and Articles of Government setting out how it will conduct its business. Specifically, schedule ( 4) of the Act states what the Instrument and Articles must include: For example, the Act maintained governors as trustees and defined the type of governors and functions. A Government backed report published in the Association of Colleges (AoC), Foundation Code of Governance under ' AoC: Creating Excellence in college Governance;' (2013), makes it clear that ‘the governing body should determine the size and composition of its membership in accordance with its colleges’ Instrument and Articles of Government’ having the regard to achieving an appropriate balance of skills, experience and knowledge (earlier published in AoC, 2011: 2). Under this government - led regulatory framework, the governing body, also referred to as the ‘Board’ or the 'Corporation', has various statutory, contractual and common law based responsibilities. Statutory responsibilities include the employment of staff, the offer of various services including education and the ownership of assets.

Contractual obligations of governors exist with the college's staff, learners and suppliers,(including compliance with EU regulations).

The common law duties of governors include loyalty, good faith, care, diligence and skills, due to their fiduciary position on a college's governing body.

Enormous responsibility was placed on governors. First, governors are required to act in accordance with the charity's powers and its charitable objectives as an educational charity;

Second, governors are required to promote the interests of the charity and ensure that its assets are only used for charitable purposes of providing education;

Third, governors are required to safeguard the assets of the charities at all times (Charities Act, 2011).

The Foundation code of governance, which derives its mandate from the Education Act 2011 made each corporation governing body to have responsibility for the educational character and mission (purpose) of the college (s), the strategic direction and oversight, the quality of teaching and learning, the financial health and value for money, and the employment of staff. Furthermore, the code of governance specifies that ‘every college should be headed by an effective governing body, led by an elected chair (AoC, 2011:2).

Underlying all these legal requirements is the view that as all FE colleges became independent and autonomous by virtue of FHE Act 1992 currently categorised as operating within the private sector, they were bound to interpret these laws separately. Indeed, the granting of this flexibility to the colleges within the Education Act 2011, section: 1.12 enabled colleges to determine their own interpretation and set their own guidelines and plans of activity.(Ibid:1.12).

Recently, (Masunga, 2013), has broadened the debate on the actual rational for incorporation and the role of governors by arguing that:

‘The ambiguous and demanding tasks of governors in the FE sector can have a detrimental effect on governing practice’, their continuous focus on budget and cost issues goes contrary to the main aim of FE provision.

Following these observations, the then government introduced the Nolan Committee findings. The Nolan framework for governors included:

‘ Rigid adherence to strategic leadership, be accountable, must aim at building people, have roles and structures, be compliant and must continually evaluate itself as a body.’

Central government swiftly issued a statement to contend that:

'It had introduced incorporation in FEs because it (the government), was placing the sector at the centre of a national strategy for raising skills and qualifications and secondly, because of the inefficiency, wastage and poor completion rates for younger learners.' ( See Unfinished Business (Audit Commission/ OfSTED 1993).

In the light of all the legal duties placed on governors, it is now proper to ask whether incorporation has simplified functions of FE governors or, whether it had made the roles of governance clearer. Hence the purpose of this study will be to seek answers.

2.4 An Ambiguity in Incorporation

2.4.1 The Paradox of Conflicting Interests

Although DfE claimed support for the rationale for incorporation and hails the idea greatly, there continues the debate as to whether incorporation had benefited the sector. In the view of (Unwin, 1997), the five basic dimensions which necessitated the change and which were enumerated as:

Linking National Education and Training Targets to raise levels of participation for 16-25 year olds;

Expansion of a broad vocational track through the development of GNVQs;

The encouragement of institutional competition and market logic,

The use of national quangos to coordinate delivery

The attempt to raise the profile of FE linking it to the New Deal, have all left the FE sector to be 'shunted from one government department to the other' and have not tackled the real problem of youth unemployment.

Corporation status meant that FE colleges would for the first time assume independent legal identity, but under rigid controls from DfE (some controls already discussed and included OfSTED; SFA; FEFC); the essence of a corporate status is that the assumption of a legal identity and the ability to take autonomous legal action with the flexibility to operate in a market environment. These changes were seen as too rapid and quick for an educational system which has hitherto been described historically (and prior to 1988) as: 'a national system administered locally' (Hall, 1994).

As we have earlier recounted, an important aspect of the reforms reflecting the market approach to FE is the delegation of financial and other managerial powers to the governing bodies of FE colleges. The removal of LEA control places the governors, as the embodiment of the corporation, in a new position with new powers, duties and responsibilities, however the autonomy was not without national controls. In the words of (Graystone, 1994):

'Governors have now taken on responsibility for the educational character of the college, its solvency and the conditions of service for staff' (ibid, 1994:95)

From the literature so far recounted, it could be discerned that it was intended that governors would become the new force in determining organisational strategy and in holding the principal and other senior officers to account; however, this was not policed to the best intentions, neither were governors given the full autonomy. This was because following incorporation, colleges had much wider ranging powers and responsibilities, including:

Employing their own staff;

Entering into contracts on their own behalf

Managing their own assets and resources;

Engaging in paid consultancy work

While governors are required to:

• Apply the property and income of the college only for the purposes of the charity

• Act only within their legal powers- 'not ultra vires'

• Manage and protect the property of the college

• Exercise the same degree of care in dealing with the administration of the charity as a prudent business person would in managing their own affairs or those of someone else for whom they are responsible'.

Thus behind the 1992 Act lay a philosophy that suggests that a governing body dominated by members drawn from a business background would impose a proactive market orientation on college governance. However, 'there were cases of 'confrontation' in some colleges, and this market philosophy was not applicable in all colleges' (Shattock, 2000). An example in point is the practice in Stoke-on-Trent college. In his report, Shattock cites the practice at Stoke -on-Trent college where the House of Commons Education and Employment Committee (1998) quoted evidence of the 'unhealthy control exercised by the previous principal and chairmen of governors working together without informing the governing body of their actions' ( Shattock, M. 2000:90) caused the college to be put under special measures. The White Paper, The Learning Age, refers to these problems in the governance and management structures: It would be recalled that, since the incorporation of Further Education colleges, there have been concerns about the style of working and remoteness of governing bodies. Some have encouraged a confrontational management style which is unacceptable for publicly funded bodies' (DfEE, 1998a).

This study is about board composition and organisational effectiveness. It is such tensions and confrontations that gave rise to the research questions of the study.

The Emergence of Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’ in Education Policy

Tony Blair was elected as leader of the Labour Party in 1994. By the time he came to power in 1997, schools and colleges were deeply involved in their own management than had ever been the case when labour was in power. Self -management was heavily entrenched in the day to day administration of colleges and heavily reinforced by Conservative government through imposition of tight treasury controls over education expenditure. Colleges of further education, their administration and governance had been removed from local authority ownership and control.

Blair could not reverse this trend in totality. His promise for education published in Excellence in Schools (2002) had set out to raise the standards of performance higher, stating that ‘the focus will be on standards, not structures’. Commentators were of the opinion that Blair’s stand was in support of League tables introduced by the conservative government. The reservations which his government had about league tables whilst he was in opposition, do not seem to be urgent in terms of the responsibilities of his Government.

For purposes of emphasis, this section will recount the significant impact of The Third Way in English Education.

2.4.2 A working definition of the ‘Third Way’

The idea of finding a ‘third way’ in politics has been widely discussed over recent years, not only in United Kingdom, but in the United States. Anthony Giddens shows that developing a third way is not only a possibility but a necessity in politics.

The reason behind the third way is the necessity to move away from a sterile debate between left and right, between who supports either the state or the free market. In other words, the image of a Third Way was used to mark the absence of Labour’s leaving from the politics of the social democratic state, suggesting a configuration of relationships between economy and state, public and private, government and people.

Tony Blair’s victory represented a successful conclusion to a long development of changing the ideas, policies, organizational methods and image of the party, the change from Old Labour to New Labour. However, the victory also represented the beginning of a process of applying the ideas behind New Labour to the public sector, the forging of a Third Way and the making of a New Era in British Education and British politics. The Third Way means the possibility of combining social solidarity with a dynamic economy. To pursue this ideology, Blair claimed that ‘we would need fewer national governments and less central government, but greater governance over local processes’ (Giddens, 2000). He declared to a meeting of the European Socialist conference in Malmo, Sweden that ‘our task today is not to fight old battles but to show that there is a Third Way, a way of marrying together an open, competitive and successful economy, with a just, decent and humane society’ (Blair, 1997) . So the Third Way represents progress beyond these old politics but also put for moderateness, in contrast with the radicalism of the other two positions. Henceforth, we could observe that modernisation and moderation were going hand in hand with Labour’s vision of reform. Tony Blair’s ideological change of modernisation suggested certain priorities. First, it indirectly created the need for change, i.e. absolving of the traditional or conservative ideas and practices of the past in the context of globalisation. Secondly, the necessity for modernisation is situated in the rise of the cynical citizen consumer, such as the promotion of parental choice in education initially propagated by Thatcher and the conservative party. Thirdly, it places new Labour as moving ahead of what commentators claimed to be the ideological politics of the past. To the extent that Blair laid emphasis on the achievement of a balanced goal appeared to many as New Labour leading a form of politics and an administrative style of government, sharing management style based on the ideals of Thatcherism. For example, he was obsessed with achieving outcomes at the micro level on the principle of ‘what matters is what works’ where persistent delivery is the name of the game, in modernising parliament, devolution and governance (Newman, 2001). Thus under New Labour, business ideas, business people and private capital were much rooted in the management and governance of education. As (Mclaughlin, 2000) put it:

-‘a clear distinguishing feature of –New Labour, as opposed to Old Labour, is the nature of its posture toward the private sector. A political party which once held firmly to the view that the State should play a leading role in the workings of the nation’s economy now promotes the belief that very little can be achieved in government without the active support of business’.

By the entering of business into education, Blair saw the hope of new funding streams for his educational priorities. He saw this move as important because it meant more tax on income and profit. Accordingly, Blair’s government tried to guide private sector to academies and specialist schools. For instance academies had to raise around £2million from the private sector, and specialist schools initially had to raise £100,000(although this was later reduced to £50,000), with the business community contributing at least £250,000 to each Education Action Zone. Governing boards were composed largely of business minded people. By this move, the labour hoped companies will get involved in educational services to be known as ‘responsible citizens’. However, in the second round of the labour governments, the government faced a reduced interest in businesses joining such educational partnerships; there were growing signs of impatience at the level of financial support which was sought, leading to partnership fatigue for many businesses and business personnel who had occupied senior positions especially on governing boards (Davies, 2002). In 2007, the Chief Inspector for Ofsted stated that the academy and specialist schools initiatives had not improved standards overall (BBC, 2007). Of the nine LEAs that had been forced to hand over services to the private sector, a majority were rated as poor improvers (Slater, 2003). Several of the private companies that took over LEA functions subsequently faced heavy penalties for failing to make improvements as set out in their contracts. Cambridge Education Associates (CEA) faced annual fines between 2000 and 2004 for failing to meet its agreed targets in London Borough of Islington (Clement, 2004).

2.4.3 Impact of the ‘Third Way’ on FE Governance

It is significant, as a conclusive statement to note that as a consequence of the ideological shift described in detail in earlier chapters, education policy under the Labour government of 1997-2010 and its impact on college governance was summarised into two conflicting discourses. At the first instance, policies such as those relating to school performance indicator tables, the establishment of specialist schools and the foundation of academies, reinforced competition between educational institutions. At the same time and sometimes within the same policy documents (DfEE, 1997), a contradictory policy rhetoric emphasised the benefits of working in partnership as a means of improving delivery, building capacity at the local level, meeting local needs and raising educational standards.

In the field of education governance, Labour emphasised partnership and cooperation as a means of tackling social exclusion and raising educational achievement (Whitty, 2002), providing additional funding for a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging collaboration, including Education Action Zones, the Beacon Schools Programme, Excellence in Cities, the Increased Flexibility Programme for 14-16-year olds (IFP), the14-19 Pathfinder Programme and the Schools Federation Programme. Individual institutions were, however, largely free to decide whether to collaborate or not on the basis of calculations of self-interest (Lumby, 2006), but others, including (Hodgson, 2006) were of the view that the key policy levers at that time were weighted with greater propensity towards competition than collaboration.

It is also the observation that with the introduction of a new qualification for 14-19-year olds- the Diploma- came much greater governmental pressure towards partnership working. However, this observation was rebuffed sharply when the Blair administration announced that ‘schools, colleges and training providers will need to collaborate because no single institution will be able to provide all of the educational services on its own’ (DfES, 2005). Notwithstanding this policy stance, the introduction of the 14-19 Diploma in England in 2008 brought with it partnership working because it was imperative that in order to comply with national entitlement, every young person would have access to each of the 14 Diplomas by 2013 (DfES, 2005) through some form of partnership working.

The Blair government not only wielded sticks; carrots were proffered in the form of additional funding, because it was soon acknowledged that partnership working was expensive and a new qualification would bring along setting- up costs in terms of staff development and the training of governors. As a result of the introduction of Diplomas, more schools across England found themselves in an environment of ‘co-opetition’ (Adnett, 2003), competing in some markets and co-operating in others. Against this backdrop, school leaders and governors struggled to interpret and translate contradictory policies into some form of cohesive practice (Ball, 2011).

What this chapter sought to do is to tell a story of the tensions in the governance of education, a major theme which runs through the study. In the next chapter, I review some of the contributory factors to FE performance as it relates to governance of the entire sector.

2.5 A Review of the Literature: - contributory factors to FE transitions

2.5.1 Growing Demand for Skills Acquisition

The literature review has pointed out target groups for FE provision to be largely young people in the 16-24 age groups who are eligible for but not participating in education, employment and training. The literature refers to this group as the NEET group. The term NEET has been coined to refer to those groups of young people who find themselves outside the key mainstream societal institutions of employment and education. For example, according to Dixon et al. (2011:3), by mid-2011, the number of NEET learners had reached one million with 16% (186,000 people) aged between 16 and 18 years.

learners learners1

The rise in numbers has enabled colleges to open doors for 16-30 year olds. The initial cause of the rise has been attributed to unemployment in the United Kingdom from 2008. In Scotland, for example by 2011, 12.2% of 16-19 year olds of the total population in Scotland were not in education, training or employment. (Scottish Government Release 2012)

The study has also discussed how the then government, in furtherance of the objective of raising levels of participation, in 1992, introduced the General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) as distinct courses and qualifications and directed vocational courses to be taught and delivered through simulated work experiences either at the workplace or in a recognised college. This move to embed competency in vocational training brought mixed reactions from academics. For example, while (Misko, 2006) saw the move as a good one and claimed that competency - based training was a feature of vocational training, others disagree. Harris and Ranson (2005) contend that strengthening the professional quality of the education service stands in tension with the orientation to include parents as:

' Complementary educators and co-producers of knowledge ' (Harris and Ranson 2005:20).

They contend that by inculcating not only basic skills but also knowledge that can be utilized by a workforce, the purpose of FE colleges has been construed to be enhanced in order to respond to the needs of a recession prone economy and to act as ‘catalysts of the production process.’ (Friedman, 2002)

Friedman's view of the necessity for FE colleges to train a workforce clearly reflects the concerns of policymakers and national governments’ thinking in the United Kingdom throughout the period. Some authors say that the changing nature of FE systems is as a result of stakeholder intervention. One of such stakeholders is the Scottish Government. For example, Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Education Secretary was quoted as saying ‘As we enter recession, young people are at disproportionate risk of becoming disengaged from education, training or employment. As a result of the changing economic downturns in the United Kingdom, policy direction of governments must move towards Further Education, emphasizing the skills agenda with a focus on human capital development’. (Fiona Hyslop; Scottish News Release, 26/3/2009). Hence the purpose of FE colleges in the United Kingdom is now well established.

2.5.2 Issues of Accountability & Governance

Whereas the 1992 Act introduced the Further Education Funding Council,(FEFC) which took over the funding of education from the local education authorities in England and Wales, for the greater part of this period, in Northern Ireland, there was no Funding Council. Rather, FE was funded with money coming from Department of Education for Northern Ireland.

The FEFC, in order to embark on its mandate, established a formula-based approach to the allocation of capital funds to colleges. Capital funds cover three elements as the following:

1: Capital equipment to be applied to the purchase and installation of equipment.

2: Minor building works.

3: Major projects.

As with recurrent funds, the initial allocation system is a temporary one, with colleges invited to comment on ways in which the longer term capital funds might be allocated.

All of these developments within FE can also be seen within a broader context of sociological development within the 20th century with regard to the standing and conceptualisation of the governing board and college administrators. There was so much anxiety over the board and the technical knowledge that they must possess to bring about change, to the extent that OfSted and FEFC devoted pages of their publications to the prescription of roles for governors.

Parsons (1995) agrees with this analysis of the broad context, which he describes as the:

' Assault on professional power'. He claimed that such assault on professional power has not been confined to the field of Further Education.

'Other policy areas such as policing, local government and education have also been the subject of reforms designed to reduce the impact that professionals have at both the operational and policy making level and to subject them to greater managerial accountability'' ( Parsons,1995: 264). Perhaps the debate on full employment may have been a contributory factor to continuous state intervention in the FE sector as the focus of central government continues to be oriented towards the direction of skills acquisition.

2.5.3 Growing Youth Unemployment /Absence of a competitive workforce

Gleeson (1996) suggests that FE entered a period of transitions during the 1960s for two reasons, firstly, because of rising youth unemployment which caused the government to continue the drive towards the acquisition of skills and knowledge at the post 16 level, by setting up a national qualifications framework and secondly, because the FE was also structured to promote adult provision. He argued that the institutional structures of post-16 education and training were not rationalised and were a mixed system of provisions. He argued that though FE colleges were increasingly becoming the main providers of full-time 16-18 age group based student provisions for education, they failed to become the normative upper secondary institution. His claim was anchored on the common 6-3-3 pattern of primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, typical of the majority of advanced countries which could not evolve in England and Wales because of the 'prestige attached to the 11-18 secondary school' which was the preferred choice of parents. (Gleeson, 1996).

Gleeson was critical of the fact that the MacFarlane Report which, would have introduced a new national structure of 16-19 college provision, failed to see the light of day because it was clothed in secrecy under the conservative government of 1979. Authors, such as Gleeson, were of the opinion that these political interferences in the UK FE provision, has caused the country to acquire unclear direction and as a result, the UK has fallen behind in the competitive work sphere. They conclude that the focus of FE provision remain in skills provision as highlighted in various reports, including Leitch Report; (2005) MacFarlene Report; Foster Report; (2005) Tomlinson Report; (2004) DfEE(1988 & various) and FEFC reports but criticize the paradox of state intervention.

2.5.4 The Paradox of State Intervention

One characteristic feature of FE was the rigid national framework within which colleges operated. This framework made many demands on governors and required governors to learn many new duties overnight. According to the Association of Colleges, (AoC), every FE College was under the direction of a governing body which is required, in turn, set up an internal or a local governing framework. The local governing framework set out how each college intends to operate, adopts its vision and mission within the overall national framework. Throughout the 1980s, a series of educational initiatives were implemented by the then government through the local governing boards in an attempt to reinforce the bond between education and the immediate needs of industry. One of these initiatives was the introduction of a certificate of pre-vocational education which was established in 1984. This qualification was taught more with an emphasis on skills acquisition in a broad range of areas. Central government made it mandatory for all colleges to make this course available for learners who are desirous of participating in it. This is another example of central government initiative finding its way into further education college provision.

In line with national directives, in 1986, a government sponsored committee recommended the establishment of a National Council for Vocational Qualifications. This initiative brought all the vocational qualifications under one umbrella. Henceforth, all colleges were required to comply with this directive.

However, according to (Lumby and Foskett, 2005:162); in spite of the radical and dramatic changes initiated by the central governments and by other free -market protagonists such as Margaret Thatcher under the conservative party, there has been little discussion of the overarching values framework in which all these developments must be taking place: -that of providing skills for all; Lumby and Foskett (ibid: 162) were of the view that too much 'top down' directional influence from central government has resulted in a local FE governance system with little autonomy and sensitivity to local needs in which governors and managers are constrained in their efforts to execute their duties. The Foster review also criticised the sector and said 'it has an over-heavy regulatory and accountability structure, multiple objectives, problems with funding and capital resources. Accordingly, in the words of Foster, the FE system exhibited an 'absence of esteem and reputation' and a fragmented qualifications system. The sector has suffered from too many initiatives and interventions'. (cited in Hillier:98; Foster,2005:58). Foster underscored the point that 'reforms merely layered a new arrangement on top of old systems' (Foster, 2005: 17) and that 'the wider societal and economic needs were not being met' (Ibid:10). He objected to incorporation and said ' Even the freedom that FE college governors gained in deciding what to deliver after incorporation in 1993 resulted in 'ever greater interventionist roles in order to re-balance the market in post compulsory education between providers' as well as isolating colleges because, in his view, colleges became ‘competitive’ rather than ‘collaborative’, giving rise to a confused state within which college governors had to operate in.

In identifying the squeeze from central government dominance and control that the FE sector is experiencing in the changing landscape of the educational system of School, FE and HE provision, Foster recommends 'a policy shift that will steer FE away from DfES;: a shift that will enable college governors and learners experience a coherent framework' (Hillier,2006:107).

2.6 Observed Failures with Specific Reference to FE College Governance

The deep interventionist government policies described in the above chapter gave rise to certain failures. Considerable impetus has been accorded to the changes in the governance of colleges particularly in relating to the new knowledge and skills that governors need to grapple with as a result of changes driven by market forces. Shattock, (1994:94-95) provides useful analysis of a case of failure in governance by analysing a report commissioned in 1994 by the FEFC on behalf of the DfEE on Derby Tertiary College, Wilmorton . Now called the Wilmorton inquiry, the report noticed that:

'The Governing Body did not provide adequate oversight of the activities of the colleges (Articles of Government 3 (1) (a) or, observe the principles for the proper conduct of public business and the pursuit of value for money' laid down in:

'The Proper Conduct of Public Business (Public Accounts Committee. HMSO 1994)'. In particular, the governing body failed to:

-a: Observe the procedures for the management of governing body business including observing the legal requirements for maintaining a quorum;

-b: Make available minutes of governors meetings and other papers, including reports, to members of the college;

-c: Act in accordance with natural justice in respect to the removal of one of its members;

-d: Take appropriate steps to obtain the effective and efficient use of resources;

-e: Take a positive role in strategic planning and the development of quality in college programmes

-f: Approach the management restructuring of the college with due regard to the longer term requirements of the institution and to observe appropriate procedural safeguards in the selection of staff for the new structure.

-g: Establish an Academic Board until January 1994 (when it did so, it imposed the Vice-Chairman of the Governors onto its membership):

-h: Establish an effective audit machinery;

-i : Ensure that the Principal was fully accountable to the Governing Body.

In addition to the above, it was found that the Governing Body improperly paid remuneration to nine of its members, including differentiated remuneration to its Chairman and Vice- Chairman.

This FEFC report also observed that the Principal did not carry out appropriately his responsibilities 'for the operation, direction and management of the college including the management of the leadership staff in line with (Articles of Government: 3 (2) (b)). In particular:

-a: Appropriate steps were not taken to recruit an effective senior management team in personnel, the management of buildings and in general management, including the provision of a clerk to the Governing Body and to college committee who was able to provide independent advice to the Governing Body;

-b: The Principal did not give leadership in the strategic planning process required by the FEFC;

-c: The College's Financial Regulations were regularly breached in respect to procedures to assess expenditure on new projects, levels of authorization of expenditure and lack of tendering;

-d: There was inadequate financial control of capital projects;

-e: The Principal did not ensure that the Governing Body was adequately briefed on the content of circulars and directives from the FEFC.

In the light of all these findings the report recommended that:

-a: The Secretary of State use her powers within the FHE Act 1992 to remove all the members of the present Governing Body and appoint a new Governing Body with an entirely new membership. This membership should include representation from the major private sector employers in Derby.

-b: The new Governing Body should seek to establish a new post of Clerk to the Governing Body and Secretary to the Academic Board. The post should be combined with other central managerial responsibilities and be filled after public national advertisement

-c: The FEFC should take steps to disseminate the lessons of the failures of governance and management at Derby College, Wilmorton, to colleges in the FEFC sector.

In its final chapter, the report stated of the Governing Body that:

‘It failed the basic tests of acting in the public interest. It organised its own business in an unprofessional manner and unconstitutionally. It was inequitable in its treatment of individuals; it took no cognisance of circulars and requirements from FEFC and it took no interest in the colleges' strategic plan......the Governing Body failed to exercise proper oversight of the colleges' activities, failed to take appropriate steps to obtain the effective and efficient utilisation of resources and failed to curb the impetuosity of the Principal. It was no surprise that these wide reaching failures were accepted by the then government.’ The conclusions were adopted.

Considerations of this nature in particular the weaknesses that have arisen as a consequence of state intervention in FE through the market dominant approach provide the basis for the study.

2.7 Continuing Debate and the Interest in College Governance

The cases referred to above give reasons as to why there exists increased interest and concern in the governance of FE and the recognition of the need for governance to be appropriate and effective in enhancing college outcomes. With the introduction of reforms, the debate as to the rationale for incorporation and the specific roles of the governing board has heightened. One school of thought is that, since the introduction of market reforms and incorporation into the college educational governing systems, reports of badly managed or badly governed colleges have emerged. Further, the literature highlight ‘financial mismanagement, false claims over student numbers, misbehaviour by chairmen, principals and other senior management as distressing images of the sector'. (Shattock, 2000). In the words of (Harris and Ranson, 2005) state regulation of a national curriculum with the accompanying audit standards:

'Stands in tension with colleges seeking to respond to pupil-centred learning needs, to exercise local entrepreneurship and accountability to the community.' Thus:

This study is set within this debate, by seeking:

- To unearth the effectiveness or otherwise of FE governance practices, particularly, its association with college effectiveness and from this, draw conclusions to its performance and appropriateness.

The changing context in which governance has been expressed in this chapter sets the tone for the study. In the next chapter, (chapter two), I explore increasing interest in governance with reference to governance activity in the public sector.

2.8 Summary of Chapter and Context for the study

My literature review has unearthed a number of conflicting ideologies which have given rise to tensions in governing boards.

First, arguments supporting the existence of FE governing bodies have been developed in the years following the Education Act, 1944. Governing bodies could give colleges a degree of independence from direct local authority control. The governance of a college would be more efficient and progressive if its independence could be increased within the context of overall LEA authority. Cooperation with industry and commerce; the weight provided to representation (especially, teacher, parent and student) and participation were emphasized. The governing body, considered as the linchpin of the reforms of college governance, could provide some public accountability for the college. Governors were regarded largely as representatives of a wide range of bodies. The did not serve in any individual capacity and it was unclear whose interests came first- the body they were representing or the college. However, it must be emphasised that the importance of governors from industry and business has always been seen as reflecting the vocational character of colleges.

Secondly, though, this chapter has also established the legal basis for the rules within which a governing body operate as set out in a corporate body's (college's) instrument and articles of government. The reforms set out in the Education Act (1968), required LEAs to establish governing bodies for their colleges. It has been established that the governing body is charged by the colleges Instrument and Articles with the responsibility for oversight of the college's activities. I have also highlighted how the principal as the chief executive officer is responsible for the day to day management of all aspects of the college. However, it is instructive to note that the specific structures through which an individual college is managed are not determined in either the Education Acts or Instruments and Articles of the Government, but are left to individual colleges to experiment with. This point is worthy of note, as this may have contributed to the diverse and varying failed governance practices in this sector. The only stipulation in the Article is that the 'FEFC recommends that the principal should 'give advice to and obtain the support of, the governing body for the broad shape of the management structures. In effect, the FEFC expects the governing body to be particularly concerned with the interaction between its own committees and the principal and the senior management team. In reference to the FEFC guide for Governors published in 1994, it has been stated that:

'The overall aim of the governing body should be to agree policies and strategies and to ensure that it is able to monitor progress in implementing agreed policies and strategies. The governing board should ensure that it has objective and effective means of knowing whether the college is being properly managed to fulfil its mission and is in good financial health'.(FEFC Guide for Governors 1994.)

In the main, the FEFC expects the governing board to have a particular concern for the development of the college over the long term. 'This concern should be expressed through the governing body's involvement in the consideration of and in agreement of strategic plans, which will influence and guide all other decisions coming before it' (FEFC Guide for Governors,1994).

Of central importance to the study is that the issue of tensions remain unresolved. Tensions brought about by the ideologies of the central government include the contention between state vs market regarding representation of the governing boards and the manner in which these could facilitate the functioning of such governing boards. It is my perception that the contradictions being played out within the FE college environment are indicative of the crisis of reform of education and training in England.

The unceasing government - led drive towards a radical right-wing orientation within FE has brought with it a new orthodoxy which is legitimised and supported by a new vocabulary. The orthodoxy is one of transience and contingency. This is demonstrated in the power relations between LEAs and Governing bodies.

 Governing bodies

The FE sector is recognised as a quasi-market, since most who participate in it do not pay directly for it, but it is no less market-led. With the introduction of market forces, the sector has become a service industry whose product is conceptualised as a commodity. Choice, customer centric focus and charter marks are accessories of the marketplace and Further Education has become adorned with them. This market paradigm offers at one and the same time constraints and opportunity for governors. The opportunities involve the scope of learning and constrains restrict the ability to steer of line.

I have established how the crisis of incorporation has now become deep -seated. The resulting disorder has become a metaphor for the collisions between rationalistic ‘managerialism’ and negotiated ‘collegiality’. Pfeffer & Salancik characterise an organisation as 'a coalition of groups and interests, each attempting to obtain something by interacting with others, and each with its own preferences and objectives' (Pfeffer &Salancik,1978,p.36). To the extent that the tension in education conjures up a picture of competing rationalities and unintended consequences, it strikes many chords in relation to the clearly differing priorities of governors in the college context.

However, the interests, preferences and objectives of all participants in the incorporated FE sector need to be understood and interpreted within the political influence and control and an overall strategic vision determined. This is the collaborative governance style that this study seeks to develop. The next chapter seeks to address these tendencies in greater detail.

considerable number

There are at present two hundred and eighty eight (288) FE colleges made up of: one hundred and eighty -nine ( 189) FE colleges; seventy three ( 73) sixth form colleges; fourteen (14) land based colleges; ten (10) specialist designated colleges; two ( 2) Art, Design and Performing Colleges.

There are six thousand (6000) governors in England; 40% females 14% from ethnic minorities. (AoC:2011)

Chapter: 3

3. 1: The Increased Interest in Corporate Governance

3.1.1 Context

The literature review has had a significant impact on determining the direction of the study largely due to the original intention of using a Grounded Theory based approach. Eventually, several themes began to emerge and to be constructed as follows:

Managerialism and the drive towards college performance as a result of state intervention

A deepening divide and tensions in college governance: - ‘public sector’ benefits vs ‘private sector’ benefits?

The emergence of new College Board insiders (executives) as leaders and board outsiders (non-executives) as resource providers.

The purpose of this chapter is to situate the changes in the structure, funding and governance of the FE sector within debates of ‘Managerialism.’

In Chapter one, the study traced the historical underpinnings of governance, summarised the tensions and contradictions in governance style and impact of governance in some of the FE colleges. The various governance styles, impact, tensions and contradictions may have contributed to the decline and in some cases to mergers of FE colleges, or as a result of market style incorporation of FE colleges. In 1993, there were a total of four hundred and sixty four colleges, but, by 2017, there are now three hundred and two in England and Wales. These have reduced to two hundred and eighty-eight at 2018. We have also explored the reasons underlying these figures when we explored that all colleges in the sector have become competitors in a game in which the defeated participants are appropriated by the victorious ones. . The market demands that colleges compete with each other to win students and governors becoming creative and business-like, in order to demonstrate ever increasing efficiency gains may have had a toll on the vocation of a voluntary governor. The rapid pace at which governors had to learn and adapt to new ways of governance had become unimaginable. West (1996), writing about the school sector, argues for a locally accountable democratic model of educational policy:

.....’the problems of modern society can only be resolved by the fostering of new civic partnerships; the involvement of education's stakeholders, The political voice and skills of governing bodies and local communities are important elements in this......We have to begin again in building the democratic process and in unearthing civic awareness from traditional assumptions, paternalism and market silences.' (West, 1996: 92).

From these observations, there would appear to be only a single way forward and that is to find strategies which replace the dominant discourse with one which is predicated upon collaboration rather than competition. There appears to be an emerging swing away from conflict to consensus models in education governance (Lawton, 1992). Yet the consensus desired seemed so far away because, the reforms, brought about by the ERA era, had permeated deep into the governance of further education colleges.

Many writers recall that the privatisations set in train by the Education Reform Act were of two sorts, and representing what (Ball, 1990) in particular, calls ‘endogenous and exogenous’ privatisation. According to (Ball, 1990) the endogenous set denotes the creation of market-relations within and between public sector providers which require them to act like businesses and be business-like. In education, this was made possible by a combination of parental choice, devolved budgets, per-capita funding and the provision of market information through testing and examination performances, published from 1992 on in the form of league tables.

Specifically, the Act also began the removal of Further Education and its governance from the control of the Local Education Authorities (LEAs); major responsibilities for finance, management and college development were delegated to governing bodies. In regards to all of these changes, ERA established a form of ‘fragmented centralisation’ by taking away established autonomies from schools such as (in curriculum and assessment) and granting them new ones in the form of Local Management of Schools, centralising and devolving simultaneously and, through this process significantly reducing and undermining the roles and powers of LEAs. The education market created by ERA and other legislation gave an impetus to schools to act independently and competitively but at the same time subjected them to the disciplines of market relations. The key aspects of market theory enacted in ERA were that informed choosers (parents) would select the best performing schools for their children, which would respond by expanding their intakes, while poor performing schools would improve themselves in order to survive or face ‘bankruptcy’ (Ball, 1990). Indeed (Ball, 1990) indicated that successive governments found parental choice and school supply extremely difficult to manage, thus increasing the tensions inherent in the market ideology.

(Ball, 1990) has been of the opinion that the introduction of LMS (giving schools control over their devolved budgets) and the changes this brought to LEA budgets, together with other powers and responsibilities lost by LEAs, gave direct and indirect impetus to new forms of exogenous privatization in education. He notes that some LEA officers who, were made redundant as a result of ERA, saw the possibility of new challenges and career opportunities in setting themselves up as private providers of education services. These, then, went ahead to bid and win contracts to become major providers of education services. Indeed, the author cites notable beneficiaries like Cambridge Educational Associates; Nord-Anglia, Tribal and Prospects as major beneficiaries (Ball, 1990). Four companies dominate in the provision of these services- CSL covering (Sheffield, Southwark, Newham, North Somerset,), CAPITA, covering (Lambeth, Westminster), EDS, covering (Brent, Kingston, Wandsworth) and ITNET, covering (Islington, Hackney). In some cases, these contracts take the form of strategic partnerships within which private contractor’s take-over a wide range of different local services. For example, in June 2001, HBS (see below) was awarded a 12 year £267m Strategic Service Delivery Partnership (SSDP) by Bedfordshire County Council covering financial, information technology, human resources, schools support services and contracts/facilities management. In 2005, the County terminated the contract; ‘The County considers and is so advised that HBS was in breach of a number of its obligations under the services agreement’.

The cost of the termination to the council was £6.75m

The second Act to have a major effect on the management of colleges was the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) which provided for the setting up of non-elected Boards to manage incorporated colleges. Whilst incorporation has meant increased autonomy for FE colleges from LEA, since 1993, the responsibility for the availability and quality of further education management and governance has rested with the Further Education Funding Council for England (FEFCE), with the FEFCE providing approximately eighty percent (80%) of a college’s income (Ball, 1990). The Further Education Funding Council, in its early years, has sought to achieve the following through the mechanism of formula funding:

To encourage growth through enabling colleges to bid for additional funding for student numbers beyond a core level;

To encourage efficiency(or, more specifically, to encourage high cost colleges to reduce their unit costs) by seeking a convergence of the level of unit funding across the sector;

To reduce wastage and increase achievement by tying some funding to successful learning outcomes;

More recently, to widen the participation of under-represented groups in further education

As in the schools sector, these funding mechanisms have been complemented by other policy tools, which focus more explicitly on the internal management of colleges. These include inspection and requirements for a range of formal management services provisioning process such as strategic plans, college charters, disability statements and learner agreements for each individual student.

In reality, therefore, further education is largely controlled by central government through this agency. For purposes of emphasis, funding for educational provision is dependent on a college fulfilling each performance targets. For example, failure to retain students or failure of students to complete courses successfully will result in ‘claw-back’ of funds. In addition to these performance criteria, the FEFCE stipulates that colleges satisfy certain quality assurance measures such as the regular testing of college services and monitoring of course provision. Thus, the FEFCE became a crucial agency in influencing the management of a college at both the strategic and operational levels. It can therefore be argued that the FEFCE has driven the scale, shape and pace of change in the FE system in England since incorporation. Commentators, however, argue against the funding formula adopted by the FEFCE. They see the methodology as offering ‘perverse’ incentives. Unlike the funding of schools and universities, the funding of colleges is closely linked to success rates. This method, they argue has the perverse effect of encouraging colleges to offer courses which are easier to pass or discouraged colleges from taking on students who might be seen as risky. Indeed, they argue, that students with learning difficulties or disabilities were disadvantaged by such funding rules (Fletcher, 2011). This observation notwithstanding, the sector continued to witness the following :

Continued decentralization of major powers from local education authorities to institutional level and the empowerment to varying degrees of clients as ‘customers’;

Continued outcome-based management through the specification of performance criteria and the establishment of target-setting and associated planning processes directed at student achievement.

Greater detailed interventions concerning organizational processes and decisions, relating for example to curriculum provision, planning and management processes.

Ceaseless processes of surveillance through regimes of inspection.

Contributing to the debate, in a seminal paper, (Kouzes et al, 1979), argued that ‘human service organisations’ in the public sector operate simultaneously in a number of ‘domains’, each of which has a rather different set of legitimizing norms which generate particular kinds of governing principles, success measures, structural arrangements and work modes. These domains are the ‘policy domain’ of representative governments; the ‘management domain’ of hierarchical authority and the ‘service domain’ of professional support for clients. The authors argue that the natural condition of such organisations is a state of tension as each domain struggles to maintain its own integrity and reinforce its own standards within the organisation. This kind of analysis is particularly fruitful in analysing the underlying changes in power distribution sought by the educational reforms. In particular, these reforms have sought to introduce new forms of accountability which redistribute power in the policy domain from local representative governments towards the central government and its agencies and newly constituted governing bodies of institutions; disempower the service (professional) domain within institutions in favour of a reconstituted management domain and empower ‘consumers’ directly through marketization and, in the educational sector, enhanced ‘voice’ within governing bodies. Arguably, these developments are changing patterns of organisation and management within those institutions which are subject to them through the development of new forms of organisational control. These patterns of behaviour are what the literature characterises as ‘Managerialism’. Indeed, the observation is that the contradictory policy messages and tensions which continued to plague the NPM gave rise to management demonstrating the abuse of ‘power’ in the case of City Shire College. (Randle et al, 1997) had earlier observed that Senior Management Team (SMT) at City Shire College interpreted what they understood to mean New Managerialism, however, (Wallace et al, 2005) have offered us the understanding that managerialism is best understood the ideology which assumes that ‘all aspects of organisational life can and should be controlled’. In other words, that ambiguity can and should be radically reduced or eliminated, so, the example of Senior Management Team of City shire college ordering luxury lease cars for themselves and conducting themselves as ‘high profile’ representatives of the college in a post-incorporation official launch against a background of deep staff anxiety and uncertainty about the future, was one form of ‘power’ which should have been controlled. In this instance and for the academic staff of the college, those initiatives represented potent symbols of a ‘new order’ which did not sit well with ominous statements from the Principal about the seriousness of college budgetary position. Such tensions and ambiguities remain the hallmark of NPM. For example, with this college, while the position of the management was that the college required expansion of its provision in order to receive adequate funding and, therefore, remain financially viable, there appeared to be an unstated assumption that the conditions of service of academic staff were over-generous and untenable. My second source of tension can be seen from the angle of funding cuts.

The imposition of funding cuts and the management of college funding by FEFCE is viewed as another and more severe incidence of the continually changing policy agenda. For instance, in the academic year 2010-2011 alone, the major policy shift – expressed in changes to funding- was a move away from adult provision in favour of 16-19 provision. This shift originates from the achievement of ‘skills’ targets for adults. Unlike the schools sector, funding to colleges is provided on the basis of contracts which colleges make with the councils to deliver specified levels of services provision at specified unit costs, with colleges bidding for resources in relation to criteria established on an annual basis by the funding councils. This means that the councils can and do use their funding mechanisms explicitly to achieve particular policy goals that are derived in substantial part from government policy. The key feature, I wish to focus on, relates to the link between knowledge production and funding for colleges and the extent to which funding according to ‘success rates’ leads to ‘teaching to the test’, ‘spoon feeding’ and ‘fabrication’ (O'Leary et al, 2012). The data suggests that this knowledge production process can also be seen to disguise significant effects ‘on the ground’. Indeed studies from (Literacy Study Group, 2008) reveal that:

The policy shift within colleges as a consequence of the collective funding cuts has led to City Shire College selectively targeting particular business groups in order to secure short term support at the expense of retaining a long term overview.

Thus, the sense of local knowledge and localisation has become disengaged and devalued as policy makers and political ideology apply a layer of national policy that obscures local circumstances. So, in circumstances in which a college governing board has been focused on addressing the skills and employment needs with attention of governors directed towards local engagement and manpower provision for their locality, a changed policy priority-backed by funding adjustment has required a governance shift and a curricular change towards 16-19 provision and apprenticeships. In this case, it appears that the FE market mechanism has failed to produce uniformity or policy consistency between colleges and has encouraged tensions.

Thus, so strong has the force of resentment against NPM become that I would like to remind our reader of the forces that promoted new Managerialism as a major theme for the discussion.

3.1.2 The New Managerialism

I make a note of earlier chapters and I hereby emphasis that the new Managerialism is characterised by a style of management which emerged in the whole of the UK in the early 1980s and gradually spread throughout the Public Sector. It began with the Civil Service in the wake of the Rayner Scrutinies and the Financial Management Initiative (Metcalf et al, 1987) and has since been established in local authorities, the BBC, the NHS and the Education sector. The term ‘Managerialism’ has been widely used to describe the structural, organisational and managerial changes that have taken place not only in further education colleges, but throughout the public services.

….. a set of beliefs and practices, at the core of which burns the seldom tested assumption that better management will prove an effective solvent for a wide range of economic and social ills.

(Pollit, 1990) argues that new Managerialism be understood as a generic package of management techniques and include:

Strict financial management and devolved budgetary controls.

The efficient use of resources and the emphasis on productivity.

The extensive use of quantitative performance indicators.

The development of consumerism and the discipline of the market.

The manifestation of consumer charters as mechanisms for accountability.

The creation of a disciplined, flexible workforce using flexible/individualised contracts, staff appraisal systems and performance related pay.

The assertion of managerial control and the managers’ right to manage.

(Ferlie et al, 1996), (discussed in detail later) argue that public sector organisations in the 1980s and 1990s have been subject to the processes of privatisation and marketization with increased emphasis on securing value for money and managing change.

Underpinning the new Managerialism are the assumptions of first that ‘good management’ will deliver the ‘three ‘Es’ of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in public services and therefore, does ensure value for taxpayers’ money and eliminates waste (Metcalf et al, 1987).

A second assumption is that ‘good management’ did not exist in the public sector. Prior to John Major, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, speaking to the Audit Commission in 1989, said of the public sector prior to the election of the conservative government:

The effects of this system were pernicious. It made the public sector a preferential creditor on the economy as a whole…it undermined the value for money and deprived the public sector and its management of the main and most natural incentive to improve its efficiency and control its costs (Major, 1989).

Thus, ‘good management’ was therefore to be found in the private sector where management was superior to the tradition of ‘administration’ in the public sector. It was the belief that its essence could be distilled as a generic package of skills and techniques which could then be applied as a template for public sector institutions. It made sense, therefore, to assume that privatisation and the marketization of public sector institutions would improve the three ‘Es’.

This analysis of new Managerialism and its political and ideological origins explains the context in which FE governance changes have come about and particularly the motives behind FEFCE’s directives to the management of colleges. More specifically, the ideology locates the management style adopted at colleges in the context of a public sector policy designed simultaneously to expand Further Education and to shift the burden of funding down to the college itself through pressurisation of development of its own plans for income generation. At the college level, greater emphasis is being given to the development of sophisticated tracking systems to monitor the performance of students. The new emphasis sees effective management at the level of the college as the primary means by which policy goals are to be achieved and the place where the educational ‘buck’ stops. A major consequence is the reframing of the roles of senior managers. Thus it seems clear from all the literature on the consequences of reform that, despite de jure empowering of governing bodies, one of the major consequences of devolution has in fact been to reinforce the pivotal position of heads and principals as organisational leaders (Hall et al, 1997). This has been a natural consequence of two related facets of the new policy world: centrally-driven attachments and agenda which emphasise the overall performance of the institution above all other measures of success and the unprecedented degree to which individual leaders are now held responsible for their performance. This analysis also helps to explain why the conflict and tensions with outsider (external) governing board members and senior insider (management) governors intensified and was replicated in a variety of forms throughout the public sector (Pollitt, 1990). But more importantly, NPM saw the view that if efficiency gains are to be achieved in further education, then, it is to the new breed of academic managers that the responsibility for their delivery falls. The idea of strong and effective leadership seems to have attained a pre-eminent position in the discourse of school management in England. It is quintessentially embodied in the priority given by the Government to national leadership qualifications for head teachers at the National College for School Leadership. In part, no doubt, this emphasis reflects the current attention given to leadership within the wider management discourse. At the college level, the position of those who have survived seems to have been significantly enhanced by their typical designation as ‘chief executives’ of corporations. The nature of the work of senior managers has changed. It has certainly become more intense but its emphasis is also altered. Indeed this observation is in line with (Raab et al, 1997) assertion that ‘tensions between heads traditional role as educational leaders concerned with curriculum development, teaching and learning, and their new role as financial managers…that curriculum matters have generally not been amongst the main current concerns of principals and boards of governors’.

Thus not only have finance, business and enterprise been prioritized through devolved cost centring, but also governors and academic staffhave taken on newly acquitted entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviour. This process is associated first with a significant shift in the legitimacy of management and governance and, secondly, with the privatisation of public sector professional values as previously highlighted. Indeed continuous restructuring and retooling of the management and governance architecture of the FE sector has continued to find expression in conflict between principals and chief executives on the one hand and external governors on the other.

Crucial in the re-organisation of FE is the issue of governance. I have discussed that under the Act, the democratically accountable mechanisms of local education authorities (LEAs) were removed and the interests of local employers became an architectural feature of governance in which corporations were to have a two third membership of local employers (HMSO, 1992). This innovation of governance is designed to make governors learn quickly and to enable them to apply market principles to public sector governance. This theme of learning quickly sits at the heart of the entire education process and would seem to be one of knowledge transmission or transfer. In order to gauge a sense of how NPM impacted on the experience and performance of the governing board relates to the flux of policy, its impact on the working lives of governors as volunteer administrators and how it contributed to their sense of powerlessness. There is widespread acknowledgement that FE has been subjected to ‘almost continuous government reforms (Lucas et al, 2012), whether that be in the area of governance arrangements or, in a broader manner, in terms of funding arrangements. In November 2011, John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and life-long learning, gave a succinct overview in a speech to the Association of Colleges (AoC).

This perception of flux has been echoed by voices from within the sector. In the Forward to the report Adult Further Education- the unfinished revolution (Fletcher, 2011), Alison Wolf (author of The Wolf Report in 2011) comments:

Two years ago, in An Adult Approach to Further Education, I wrote that the FE system in England had become subject to unprecedented levels of central government regulation and control; and that such regulation was not just ineffective but positively harmful. In particular, it had forced colleges to neglect the needs of individual adults and local employers in favour of arbitrary targets set by officials and the latest directives from Whitehall.

In the next chapter, I seek to clarify a definition of corporate governance by contrasting dominant views held in the public sector with those of the private sector, through an analysis of theoretical foundations and how I can look at the association between the governing board and college outcomes. These are the issues which continue to deepen tensions in FE governance.

3.1.3Theoretical Foundations: Seeking meaning through Contrasting Issues Marketisation of Public Sector Governance-Issues of economy effectiveness and efficiency

The literature review demonstrates that my understanding of the role and impact of the governing body on colleges in a market orientation context is comparatively limited. The removal of colleges from the bureaucratic and at times politically motivated planning of the LEAs in 1992 to the target driven planning framework presented a series of challenges for colleges and their governors. The development of the private sector, the change in operational paradigm, combined with the use of performance indicators, to measure effectiveness, have required college governors to reconsider the way in which they work and critically to respond to funding constraints. Because of the above reasons, some researchers are of the view that the public sector has a number of significant contextual differences which invalidate some of the private sector management models (Alford, 2002). (Whorton and Worthley, 1981), suggest that governors and leaders in the public sector are faced with unique challenges not borne by their private sector counterparts. Specifically, these authors maintain that public sector managers are subjected to vast laws, norms and controls to monitor their behaviour, forcing them to trade-off between efficiency and accountability. (Moore, 1995), too concedes that there are substantial differences between the environments in which public and private sector organisations operate, making it difficult to transfer certain leadership concepts from the private sector to the public sector. I have discussed elsewhere that organisational governance is concerned with the system by which organisations are directed and controlled; relating to the authority structure of an organisation and hence, to the arrangements which determine what organisations can do, who controls them, how that control is exercised and how the risks and returns from the activities they undertake are allocated. As such, it addresses how to secure and motivate the efficient management of organisations.

I seek here to emphasise that good governance has to be understood in the context of the objectives of the organisation being governed. For example, governance, in the context of private companies, is strongly influenced by the contexts within which companies operate and are oriented heavily on enhancing the financial performance of companies. In contrast, in public and voluntary sectors, objectives differ. there is a greater focus on accountability and on effective service provision. In particular, organisations in the public sector are subject to an array of different legislative requirements and are significantly more diverse in terms of their structure, scope and objectives.

One reason put forward for the difference in benefits is that the issues and concerns are different. That is, issues of public outcomes (in FEs) vs. issues of private profit in (private corporations) are not the same and the overly regulation of the public sector by government did not allow for innovation (Cornforth, 2001). In the public sector the key characteristics are as the following:

Public service bodies have to satisfy an inherently complex set of political, economic and social objectives than a commercial organisation and are thus subject to a different set of external constraints and influences.

Public service organisations are subject to forms of accountability to their various stakeholders, including the community and the government.

However, in spite of these basic differences, instances of governance failures are not specific to the private sector. The point must be made that whilst these failures have not had the media attention like some of the large corporate failures such as Murdoch of the Sunday newspaper in the UK, all of these cases have been sufficiently serious to cause concern. Of particular significance to this study is the case of Halton College in Cheshire. In April 1999, Halton was ordered by the National Audit Office and the FEFC to pay back £7.3m of misappropriated public money. The investigations into the financial state of the college unearthed series of financial malfeasance. There were instances of false claims for funding of some courses, sole tendering and sourcing of contracts. Administrative expenditures were overestimated. More specifically, the FEFC investigation showed that nineteen percent of the colleges investigated in 1996/97 had members of audit committees who were neither qualified nor had accepted their roles in breach of the guidelines regarding the fundamental conflict of interest .

The above failures demonstrate that the work of colleges and their governance is complex and private sector organisational models alone are not directly transferable. (Kennedy, 1997). Furthermore, Kennedy determined that unfettered competition would not result in the delivery of social policy imperatives of the state, as they represent a complex combination of financial performance, social policy needs and public service ethos. Its outputs are not readily measurable against universally accepted performance measures. In addition, colleges are not generic organisations forming a homogenous group. Each college is a unique mix of types of work, operating different methodologies to deliver their work from different stand points in terms of baseline resources expressed in terms of physical and human resources. Colleges also work in different social and geographical environments and so are the governing boards. The differences between cities, urban, semi-rural and rural are acknowledged in the central government formulae when allocating resources to local authorities and those same social measurement factors are used by the FEFC for allocating resources for deprivation funding (Department of the Environment Indices, 2000). However, the operating environment is sufficiently different in most colleges to require governors to localise the resources for application in their immediate environment and customer group.

In conclusion, colleges are a common group when viewed in aggregate at the sectorial level, but analysis will need to account for their different orientation towards the customer groups.

Colleges also operate according to a code of governance, which means colleges may not deviate from their core objective of providing social benefit.

3.1.5 Code of Governance for English Colleges

The English college system is said to be amongst the best in the world (AoC; 2015). It has a central role in supporting the educational attainment of young people and adults, preparing them for employment and further study, engaging them in continued skills development, thereby, enabling national economic growth. The college system supports the aspirations of its students, both for their own sake and to serve the needs of society and the economy. It also plays a major role in shaping democratic, sustainable and inclusive communities. It is therefore of interest that these well-defined purposes create the need for governance structures and practices which involve engaging with staff, students, parents, other education partners and the business community so as to permit the governors and trustees to be able to demonstrate the public benefit which is the basis for their exempt charity status.

To this end, a Code of Good Governance has been drawn up after wide consultation with all stakeholders as a way of supporting college governance in developing and maintaining excellence. It has been written to support governance practice, which, in turn, will help colleges work successfully towards meeting their mission and strategy. According to the (AoC, 2015) , adoption of the Code is voluntary, however, when used, will go a long way to show that the college is conducting its business in the best interest of its students and funders.

The Code, which is usually read alongside a college’s Instrument and Articles of Government and the relevant legal and regulatory requirements, spells out the core values of College Governance as enshrined in the Nolan Principles of public life which I have earlier alluded to. It provides an ethical framework for the personal behaviour of governors) and include the adaptation of values and behaviours for the purpose of becoming:




Passionate about education and good governance

The Code is based on the following expectations of good governance which illustrate the values and beliefs of college governors and trustees:

Putting the students first through promotion of high expectations and ambitions for students and staff.

Creating a safe environment for students to learn and develop.

Providing strong leadership to both the senior team and the community the college serves.

Setting the strategy and acting as guardians of the college’s mission.

Demonstrating accountability to students, parents, staff, partners, employers, financiers, trustees and other stakeholders, including publishing accurate and timely information on performance.

Listening to students, parents, employers and staff.

Ensuring the achievement of equality of opportunity and diversity throughout the college.

Using the college’s autonomy and independence to meet local education and skill needs.

Information gathered from the AoC publication of 2015 ‘Code of Good Governance for English Colleges’ highlight ten principal responsibilities of Good Governance which are necessary in order to implement and embed the above values and expectations of college governors, trustees, and senior leaders. These leaders are expected to:

Formulate and agree the mission and strategy of the corporation including defining the ethos of the college

Be collectively accountable for the business of the college taking all decisions on all matters within their duties and responsibilities.

Ensure there are effective underpinning policies and systems which facilitate the student voice.

Foster exceptional teaching and learning.

Ensure that the college is responsive to workforce trends by adopting a range of strategies for engaging with employers and other stakeholders.

Adopt a financial strategy and funding plans which are compatible with the duty to ensure sustainability and solvency of the college.

Ensure that effective control and due diligence takes place in relation to all matters including acquisitions, subcontracting and partnership activity.

Meet and aim to exceed its statutory responsibilities for equality and diversity.

Ensure that there are organised and clear governance and management structures with well-understood delegations.

Regularly review governance performance and effectiveness.

Indeed, the Code emphasizes that in making appointments to the Board, it will be important for the corporation to take into account the seven principles set out in the Nolan Committee, especially, with regards to issues of equality and diversity. It envisages an appointment process which should be open and transparent. The gender and ethnicity balance of the corporation is commented upon on inspection. For example, the inspection report in relation to an inner city college inspected in February 2012 observed that ‘the proportions of female governors and of governors from a minority ethnic background are below those of the student body and the communities which the college serves (DEIS, 2013: Review of FE and 6th form college governance).

The Conservative Government elected in 1979 did not introduce reforms in FE governance until 1988.Perhaps, remarkably at a time of increasing change, the reforms set out in DES Circular 7/70 lasted twenty years. As has been noted in the chapter one, the role of governors from industry was to ensure that college courses were relevant to the needs of the industry and the control of democratically elected LEAs ensured that colleges and their governing bodies were accountable to the electorate and their community. As a result, interest in the membership and operation of FE governing bodies grew towards the end of the late 1980's encouraged by the reforms of the E.R.A durations which gave increased responsibilities to governing bodies. What this meant was that research needed to be conducted about the effectiveness and responsibilities of governing bodies.

A survey conducted by Her Majesty's Inspectorate into eight colleges and six LEAs in the period preceding the implementation of the ERA revealed the extent to which governing bodies had implemented patchy and limited policies(HMI, 1998). During the same period, The Fylde College and St Helens College were surveyed by the DES. Their report confirmed little research had been carried out into the operation and effectiveness of governing bodies. This research identified that Governors accepted that they required training if they were to meet their new and increased responsibilities. The broad conclusions of the studies conducted showed that governors received little if any training. The reports also confirmed that the demand for governors was growing (HMI, 1989b,:16)

'Governors will need training if they are to exercise the new responsibilities effectively' (DES,1988a, op.cit :7)

Since the 1990s, there has been a rapid growth in the number of non-profit organisations in the UK. In part, this growth has been attributed to changes in government policy, such as the contracting out of public services, the local management of colleges and the establishment of NHS trusts. In many areas, Government preferred to use voluntary organisations and private firms to provide public services rather than soliciting the assistance of local authorities. For example, in the area of college administration and infrastructure; housing and healthcare, business associations were utilised as the primary vehicle to provide social housing. Many social services were contracted out to private profit making organisations. There were increasing demands on the public sector. The recognition of its growing importance led to a concern to improve the standards of management and governance. The changes have been accompanied by growing public awareness of the significant role that non-profit making organisations, such as this sector, are playing in public life. Increasingly, deep concerns of, how they are managed and governed, became topical issues.

These concerns were heightened by a few well publicised problems and failures. For example, as an increasing number of public bodies were taken out of direct control by the government and local authorities, such as the Further Education Colleges and Hospital Trusts, there was increased concern about how accountable these new bodies would be to the local communities they served, particularly as many had unelected boards (Plummer, 1995; Skelcher and Davies, 1995) and members were not abreast with local issues nor did they reside in the communities they served.

In the voluntary sector, the Government responded to these concerns by introducing a Charities Act in 1992 and in 1993. These Acts were to reinforce the regulatory regime under which charitable organisations operated. In addition to the introduction of the 1993 Act, the Charity Commission; the main body overseeing charities, was reorganised in its supervisory role and in its outreach and network. These moves were to legitimise their mandate as watchdogs of good governance in the voluntary sector. As part of its work, the Charity Commission devoted efforts to improving standards of trusteeship by directing greater attention to the role and responsibilities of trustees. This was seen in 1991 when the Charity Commission and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) established a Working Party on Trustee Training. The aim was to improve the quality of governance among charities and other voluntary organisations. This move resulted in the establishment of a Trustees Services Unit at the NCVO in 1993, which, among other things, produced a handbook for trustees (see Kirkland, 1994 for more discussion).

As if these moves were not enough, in 1996, the Government further asked the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life to turn its attention to the conduct of standards in the sector, in what it called 'deteriorating standards among local public spending bodies'. This directive from central government was wide ranging and covered Further and Higher Education bodies, Grant maintained schools, Training and Enterprise Councils and Local Education Councils. The Nolan Committee Report made a variety of recommendations concerning their governance (see for example Nolan Committee Report, 1996 discussed extensively in chapter one).

At the same time, while reforms were being undertaken in the public sector, paralleling developments in the private sector emerged and the governance of these organisations also came under increased scrutiny. In both sectors, serious questions were becoming evident concerning the ability of boards to effectively supervise senior managers, oversee financial management and protect the interests of relevant stakeholders and the public. The cumulative effect of all these changes resulted in calls for reform; both in the public and in the private sector.

3.1.6 Corporate governance- developing meaning and perspective:

In making progress to this study, it is important to be clear about the meaning of Corporate Governance. Demb and Neubauer, in their seminal paper, (1992) define corporate governance 'as the process by which corporations are made responsive to the rights and wishes of stakeholders'. Viewed in this way, the authors argue that boards must reflect the special circumstances of their company and the national environment. Whiles an attempt would be made to seek meaning to this definition at a later stage, other authors such as Cornforth and Chambers (2010) explain that Corporate Governance has its roots in a Latin word: meaning to 'steer' or 'give direction'. The concept of steering is central to the discussion of corporate governance particularly in Further Education: the fundamental idea underscoring this is that there must be some mechanism for making and implementing collective goals for society. However, what remains unclear is what form this mechanism should take and from whom. In the public sector, as this study unfolds, one would observe central government as the most dominant actor in steering. However, as Kooiman (1999) notes in a useful review article, the term corporate governance is used in a number of different ways which leads to confusion. Kooiman suggests that one useful way of distinguishing between different usages is in terms of levels of analysis. It is important to emphasise that the focus of this study is on the organisational level and the term corporate governance will be used to refer to the structures, systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, control and accountability of an organisation.

The study also emphasises that the language used to refer to the governing body and those that act as governors varies widely across the public sector; for example: 'council', 'governing body' or 'board' are some of the names which are utilised. In this study, 'governing body' or 'board' refers to the body at the organisational level, with the overall responsibility for directing and controlling the organisation and 'governor' or 'board member' for those elected or appointed to the governing body. Throughout this study, the focus is particularly on the role these boards play in performance improvement.

Having now sought clarifications to the meaning of corporate governance and the attendant terminologies of ‘private benefit’ vs ‘public benefit’, the study is clear now to examine in some greater detail, the nature of governance in FE.

The nature and purpose of college governance is currently high on the agenda of the Further Education sector. This is because the FE sector is undoubtedly a significant destination for government resources. From 1993-94, it has been spending in excess of £2 billion throughout England and Wales. Given its size, its budget and the range of provision, it is perhaps not surprising that the sector has consistently been characterised in the education management literature as one of high diversity and complexity (e.g. Pratley, 1980; Baker; 1989; Gray, 1992). Responsibility for FE governance has, until recently, been shared between the Government Education Departments, described by Waitt (1980: 207) as a 'complex and confused situation'.

The point was made in earlier chapters that the changing operational context of FE has been prompted by the regulatory reforms in the sector. It was discussed extensively that these regulatory reforms changed the market and policy levers within which colleges operated and of particular relevance to the governing board was the discussion on new managerial aspects of governance popularly called 'New Public Management' (NPM).

Initially, 'new public management' (NPM) had two meanings: Managerialism and the new institutional economics².

Managerialism refers to introducing private sector management methods to the public sector. It stresses on the following:

1: Hands-on professional management.

2: Explicit standards and measures of performance.

3: Managing by results.

4: Value for money and more recently.

5: Closeness to the customer.

New institutional economics refers to introducing incentive structures such as market competition into public service provision. It stresses on greater competition through contracting -out and consumer choice.

In FE colleges, NPM brought alongside it outsourcing, the introduction of quasi-markets and a proliferation in the number of quangos for inspection and monitoring (e.g. Ofsted; FEFC; LSC; FHA).

Some academics are of the opinion that the introduction of New Public Management (NPM) did not come without costs. For example, Cornforth (2003) and Skelcher (1998) make the point that the introduction of NPM raised serious concerns about the shift away from governance of public sector bodies, to a model of private shareholder-led corporations where the principal objective of governors in the private sector was to protect shareholder profits. Some of the costs the authors alluded to bordered around inefficiency as in their view, FE boards, which were constituted as outcomes of the introduction of NPM were entirely unelected. They were not a representation of the local communities within which they were situated. The point is that in the everyday life of central and local government administration, these 'governors' are elected through public vote and this had been reason that they had been presumed to carry popular mandate.

The authors went on to explain that the new members lacked sufficient knowledge about how they must operate. Moreover, they did not know or consider the local needs of the communities within which they were cited. They contended that the local communities were also stakeholders in the FE governance architecture. Their point is that these newly appointed business governors did not have experience of public service and the ethos of working in FE colleges. As has been noted in the Hodge Report (1998:18):

'Essentially, inexperienced Governors, with no knowledge of public service traditions and ethos, were let loose on an important section of the economy: FE; overseen by a government remote from the needs of typical students in this sector'.

(Cornforth, 2003) and (Skelcher, 1998) contrast their findings to the wealth of information which exists about the operation of decision-making processes in elected local governments, across the U.K.; where governing board activities resonates with community interests and community involvement.' This process they argue should have been followed by central government ' Again, Cornforth and Edwards, (1999) opined that:

' These changes had helped to create a normative climate in which the idea of a college as a business and a more managerial view of Corporate Governance had gained increasing resonance at the expense of one that emphasised local political accountability' (:358).

Managing these developments opened the gap for the study: the issue of effectively managing tensions relating to multiple interests in FE. This is because tensions and strains within the FE sector have continued to remain unresolved. The multiplicity of bodies with the potential to influence the FE curriculum- including the government, LEAs FEFC, TECs, NCVO Awarding Bodies , students, parents, lecturers, college governors and managers, other educational sectors- each played a part in contributing to an enduring complexity. The influence of factors usually associated with the market in education, including performance indicators continue to be the key features of the FE sector. If these tensions were to be resolved, then it called for a new paradigm and a new model to be implemented.

For example a key influence upon governor’s role was the lecturer's practice and their orientation towards their students and their commitment to a student-centred style of teaching which took for granted:

Lectures and students working together as co-participants in the educational process;

The relevance of learning and vocational contexts to the students' needs;

The centrality within the curriculum of opportunities for the development of a questioning, critical, active intelligence in students

It is the tension between these demands and the ideological orientation which FE college governance must assume that provides the theme for this study.

3.1.7 Other Perspectives on Corporate Governance:

(Cornforth, 1996) has made the claim that corporate governance emerged to tackle the two main functions of stewardship and leadership. However, others consider this viewpoint to be too narrow and criticised his viewpoint. Foster (2006) and Leitch (2006 ) extended the debate by reinforcing the point that the focus on stewardship and leadership of FEs only became the subject of close scrutiny during the periods of transition due to the 'marketisation' context within which FEs operated.

(Gleeson et al, 2010) have added their voice to the debate on the emerging role of corporate governance in FEs. These authors make the claim that college governance does not operate in a vacuum and that it is best defined in the environments, contexts, cultures and situations within which colleges sit. Their point was that a typical FE college sits within many stakeholders; and that in particular, the influence that emerged from a particular stakeholder, i.e. the government was too powerful a context to ignore; ( See for example, LSIS (2009b,) who made the claim that governments' involvement was borne out of the apparent social and widespread recognition of the external influences of compliance and regulation on FEs ; i.e. the overly regulation of the FE sector was fuelled by the Conservative government's recognition of the sector's inability to provide vocational education. Therefore, government involvement was so needed to help propel the economy out of recession. On the overly involvement of central government in FE governance, Cornforth and Chambers (2010) suggested that one important difference between organisations in the public sector and those in the private sector is that, those organisations in the public sector are not fully independent, but are 'subject to a high degree of political direction and control from central government'.(ibid:1). Hence, the authors argue that the governing bodies of public sector organisations such as FE, are often constrained in their ability to steer the organisation. This point is of particular interest to the study, as in the FE sector, central government steering is heavily seen through quangos such as (FEFC; Ofsted FHA ).

Ranson (cited in Nuffield Review,2008) make a significant contribution to the debate on the emerging interest in college corporate governance. He explained that governance does constitute a system of rules in relation to the diverse interests (outcomes) within a community and in the performance of their functions and, in this sense alone, the governing body does emerge to mediate the relations of difference in the community (ibid:2). This explanation is in tandem with Carver's exposition, because it suggests that community interests are paramount. With these observations, the overwhelming evidence in the literature point to the community as a stakeholder, again opening up the debate on multiple stakeholder theory and the conundrum on the issue of tensions.

(Carver, 2001), in his ground breaking Policy Governance model, argues that the governing board must be in a position to understand the various views held in the community. (Carver, 2001). His central thesis is that governing boards are necessary for FEs and that these boards do concentrate on setting the overall goals of the organisation and the high level policies that guide how they are achieved.

Within his Policy framework, Carver explained that management is left alone so that they can decide how best goals and policies are implemented and achieved in the management of the college. Evaluated in this manner, Carver was emphasising the leadership function of FE boards as an important function of governors. In his words, this was equivalent to ‘looking after the assets of the organisation’.

Pound (1995) went further in contributing to the debate and distinguished between two models of corporate governance for FEs; lending meaning to the role of governors in colleges. He suggested that, there were primarily two bodies such as the managed corporation and the governed corporation. The managed corporation, in his view, was the case where governance focuses on accountability and the oversight and monitoring of management. The other function he referred to as the governed corporation where governance focuses on improving the quality of top level decisions.

In the main though, the two functions that Pound identified correspond quite closely to the leadership in that their application points to the same outcomes such as addressing issues of accountability and direction; so that, if there was any distinction at all, it would only be bordered on issues of semantics.

Nevertheless, Cornforth (1996: p5) made it clear that, in his view there was a difference in functions. This is because Cornforth is of the view that if FE boards are primarily concerned with monitoring management alone, then, it may be difficult to collaborate actively with management on improving decision-making, because, as he explained, 'the judge cannot at the same time be the jury.' (ibid:p5).

It is important to understand the foregoing perspectives of governance as they cement the central theme for this study; i.e. the issue of tensions in corporate governance and how these are resolved through the stakeholder model.

3.1.8 Models of Governance

For purposes of clarity, it is significant to remind the reader that FE sits in the public sector. The public sector is a generic term and includes public sector bodies such as the NHS, the Police Service and Higher Education. Ferlie et al (1996) made the observation that in the NHS, board control was established in order to emulate the private sector model and to infuse business operational orientation into the working processes of the NHS.

The International Federation of Accountants in their publication of June 2013, admits that there is no universally agreed upon definition for the term 'public sector governance'. However, they agree with the earlier meaning of corporate governance (discussed in this chapter) and succumbed to the definition that Corporate Governance comprises those rules or arrangements which are put in place to ensure that the intended outcomes for stakeholders are defined and achieved (IFAC,2013:6). In the view of IFAC, 'every public sector entity needs a group of one or more individuals which could be explicitly responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight.' Accordingly, IFAC, defines the governing body as the person (s) or group(s) with primary responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction and accountability of the entity.

The remainder of the discussion is now centred on the context within which college governance operates. This thesis is entitled ' An exploratory study of Corporate Governance in English Fes’. It can be claimed that the study of corporate governance in FE specifically commences with the statutory framework for the powers of Further Education corporations, because, this is the framework that constitutes the legal remit of college governing bodies. In other words, it is the set of rules mandatory to be utilised to for the purpose of guiding the governing body.

The Learning and Skills Act (2000), building upon the Further and Higher Education Act (1992), provides the powers of an FE corporation. These powers include the running of an educational institution for the provisioning of Further and Higher Education. In support of this primary legislation, there are instruments and Articles of Government which define the responsibilities and practices of college governing bodies. Specifically, the Articles of Government (DIUS, December 2007) for further education corporations in England state:

The Corporation shall be responsible for the following functions:

The determination and periodic review of the educational character and mission of the institution and oversight of its activities.

Approving the quality strategy of the institution.

The effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the institution and the Corporation and safeguarding their assets.

Approving annual estimates of income and expenditure.

Appoint, grade, supervise, dismiss and determine the pay and conditions of service of the holders of senior posts and the clerk....

Set a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.

As an outcome of the above framework, governing boards are mandated to have control for all aspects of college activity, including strategic leadership, resourcing decisions, the employment of professional staff and the development of key policies. With the new powers, there are also 'considerably greater expectations laid upon them', including accountability to parents and local education authorities (Tomlinson, 1993).

Having clarified the legal and operational context, within which the FE sits, it is also instructive to note that the real definition of corporate governance was nowhere defined in the Act. Functions of the board were enumerated rather than giving meaning. It was, therefore, interpreted differently by colleges with different results ( please refer to the earlier discussions of this Act). The meaning of governance was left to each college body to address themselves. The differences in corporate governance practices; the interpretation of functions and the differential outcomes in college corporate governance practices has given rise to this study.

Having now established sufficiently, that Corporate Governance in FE has not received the publicity and attention afforded to governance of large private sector corporations, we now discuss some of the structures and ways of working of governing bodies which have led to the development of various typologies. (Kogan et al, 1984) based their typology on models of authority and proposed ‘accountable’, ‘advisory’, ‘supportive’ and the ‘mediator’ role.

More recently, (Ranson et al, 2005a) developed a typology on the basis of the power relationship between the principal and the chair of governors and the extent of corporate-ness of the governing body in its deliberations and decision-making. They distinguish four types of governing body:

A deliberative forum-where discussions of the college are determined and led by the principal; (governors will not feel they can question the authority of principal)

A consultative sounding board- where the principal brings policies and strategies to the governing board for consent and authorisation. (governors authorise decisions but have little role in shaping them or responsibility for shaping them)

An executive board-where there is a partnership between the governors and college ( here, there may be a division of labour in which the governors have ‘overall responsibility for the business aspects and the principal assumes overall responsibility for the curricula - there is likely to be a strong structure of subcommittees with considerable delegation of authority).

A governing body,where principals maintain strong leadership, but are seen as ‘members rather than leaders of the governing body which act as a corporate entity’.

Different combinations of these types tend to determine whether the governing body is merely a space for disseminating information about the college to the different stakeholders and a way of keeping them informed.

Whiles (Carver, 1990) calls for an executive board; (Ranson et al, 2005) found that the deliberative forum and the consultative sounding board were predominant in English college boardrooms. My own experience is a testimony of this governance style.

Drawing from literature on the roles of the governing board in the private sector, Cornforth (2003) proposed parallel models of governance that help the reader to conceptualise the role of governing boards in English FEs. These models are as the following

1: The Compliance Model: - In which the role of the board is to control managers.

2: Partnership model: - In which the role of the governing board is to improve organisational performance.

3: Stakeholder model:- In which the role of the board is balancing stakeholder needs;

4: Democratic model:-in which the role of the board is to choose between the interests of different groups;

5: The co-option model: In which the role of the board is to maintain good relations with key external stakeholders

6: Rubber-Stamp model: In which the role of the board is to rubber-stamp managerial decisions.

These different and often contradictory ways in which college governing is defined can have problems for accountability (Dean et al, 2007). Accountability defines a relationship of formalised control between parties one of whichhas the authority to hold the other to account for certain perpetrated actions.

Currently, the governing board is required to improve organisational performance and academic success rates. The governing board is also required to add value to the college's outcomes by ensuring its financial viability. In the FE sector the accountability function falls under the domain of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), (LSIS, 2010). Under its remit, the onus is on college governors to implement agreed policy (which may not be their own), meeting defined performance targets which assume compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements.

The governing body influences policy discourse in line with Roberts et al (2009), who advise that strong and rigorous accountability in corporate governance is achieved through a variety of behaviours by the governing board with strong characteristics, such as ‘challenging’, ’questioning’, ‘probing’, ‘discussing’, ‘testing’, ‘informing’ ‘debating’ and ‘exploring’. Such variegated behaviours could be utilised to draw upon non-executive experience in support of executive performance.

A managerial rationale-which emphasises efficiency in the administration of resources.

A localising rationale which could emphasise upon the importance of adapting public services to the demands of local communities.

A democratising rationale-which highlights democratic participation through requiring governors to enhance accountability by linking their roles with the broader democratising agenda.

What all these rationales mean is that the lines of accountability have become blurred with the advent of market forces (which exerts a powerful accountability pressure on governors) in college governance.

Meanwhile regulation on FE college governance indicates that the size of an FE GB (Governing Board) varies from 14 to 24 members (Bennett, 2002). Precisely, (Cornforth et al, 1999) had earlier observed that a ‘corporation’ consisted of 16 members, of whom 8 were independent, 3 were co-opted, 1 was nominated by the local TEC, 2 were elected from the staff 1 from the student body and 1 was the principal. The clerk to the corporation was accountable to the board. My qualitative field interview with clerks of two colleges confirms that the clerk may not have to be an appointee of the college and may indeed be appointed from outside the college. However, the conclusive observation of the outcomes of the interview is that whoever appoints the clerk, it is important that the clerk stays independent and provides timely information to the board.

3.1.9 Issues of Governance from Private Sector perspective

The field of corporate governance originates mainly from the fundamental insight where potentially some issues are found with relation to the division of ownership and control board as they are in the making of the modern corporate shape of the organization. Therefore, the role of corporate governance is to hold the existing institutional mechanisms which support the managers who are the controllers and are interested in working on behalf of the shareholders owning the maximised value share of the organisation.

Systematic studies in this field only started twenty five years ago (Denis, 2001). Corporate governance practices have accordingly grown and evolved significantly in the previous two decades.

Within all the work which has been performed on corporate governance, there is a common trend that all the papers point out to a central or essential theoretical perception that dates back to the work of Adam Smith in 1776. In his writing about professional managers in his book Wealth of Nations, he stated that 'Being the managers of other people's money [rather than their own] cannot be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance....' The work of Berle and Means in 1932 went further and suggested that the corporation becomes an indefensible form of organisation due to this problem.

Following these observations, it was proper when corporate governance issues in the UK came to the fore in the 1980s.

It is widely claimed in the literature on corporate governance within the UK that in the private sector, interest in corporate governance emerged from reports of the Cadbury Committee. This claim is substantiated by the Cadbury Committee which was set up in 1992 following reports of major upheaval in the way corporations were governed in the UK. The claim was that The Cadbury Report was a response to the widespread view that UK corporate governance lagged behind that in other countries and that this lack of best practice had contributed to some of the spectacular collapses of listed corporations such as Asil Nadir's Polly Peck, BCCI, Coloroll and Maxwell Communications Corporation (Franks and Mayer, 1990). That report was followed by three more major reports: Greenbury (1995), Hampel (1998) and Turnbull (1999). The Greenbury Report responded to concerns about the level of executive pay rises, especially in the privatised utilities. The Hampel Report reviewed the progress of companies in responding to the Cadbury and Greenbury Reports and made suggestions for improvement. The Turnbull Report addressed the important issue of how to implement best practice systems of internal control. In 2001, the then Labour Government conducted a wide ranging review of Company Law that sought to address aspects of corporate governance within the wider aspects of the Companies Act (

The result of all these activities was that between 1996 and 2000, it was reported by Davis Global Incorporation ;( 2000), publishers of Good Corporate Governance in the world that the UK became the most open and transparent system of any 'economy in the leading industrialised countries'. (ibid:1). The report also ranked UK ahead of the US in terms of the quality of the environment facing investors on the basis of the governance practices of the firms they are most likely to invest in (Davis Global Advisors Inc; 2000: Leading Corporate Governance Indicators p.4 available: .

The significance of the Cadbury Committee has been widely publicised. It is important to note that, the weight attached to the committee was significant because Sir Adrian Cadbury chaired his own committee which examined a range of governance issues that focused primarily on financial regulation and audit requirements.

The fall of Robert Maxwell Corporation might have precipitated the introduction of the UK code of corporate governance in 1992. To a large extent, corporate failures were considered as governance failures where the board failed and did not perform effectively its duties and functions. Platt and Platt (2012) observe that maintaining a firm's survival is the most critical responsibility of boards. These authors also maintain that the importance of the board's mandate was clear especially in the post 2007-08 financial crisis. They were of the view that reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of boards and its committees were necessary.

Throughout the ensuing years, the UK has contributed to the debate and practice of governance since the launch of the Cadbury Code in 1992. The Cadbury Committee put forward the 'code of best practice' in corporate governance which then paved the way for reforms in the corporate board.

These reforms have had many influences. Firstly, as these were respected and applied nationally and internationally as 'the system by which companies should be directed and controlled' (Cadbury Report, para 2. 5 p.15). Secondly, as the committee findings were followed rigidly to the letter by successors. For example, Turnbull considered Sir Cadbury's definition too narrow and expanded the realm of the definition of corporate governance (Turnbull, 1997, p.181). According to Turnbull, corporate governance describes all the influences affecting the institutional processes, including those for appointing the controllers and / or regulators, involved in organising the production and sale of goods and services and therefore the code should be strictly adhered to. Described in this way, corporate governance includes all types of firms whether or not they are incorporated into law. These definitions put into perspective the organisation and functioning of the company board of directors.

Charkham (1994); Stock et al (1999) argue that in the UK, debate about corporate governance has consisted of a number of key elements, including:

The duties of a director with respect to the various stakeholders in a company.

The composition of the board with respect to the number of non-executive (outside) directors in comparison to executive directors who are also full time managers with the company. They made the clarification that these non- executive directors may be independent in the sense that they have no previous or other on-going connection with the company.

The presence and composition of various subcommittees of the main company board.

The separation of the roles of chairman of the board from that of chief executive.

The consideration of the appropriate degree of internal control within the company.

The degree of reporting on matters of board composition and policy in the annual report.

The Cadbury Committee had three key objectives

To improve governance and thus limit scope for a repetition of the BCCI (Bank for Credit and Commerce International; Maxwell), and similar cases of financial misconducts.

To preserve the unitary board and a board with 'one voice'.

To involve the owners of the UK companies, namely the shareholders, more in the governance of their companies.

The issue at the heart of development of corporate governance in the UK has been the encouragement of the appropriate exercise of power by executive directors. This is because while much of the focus has been directed at the limitation of the risk of potential abuses of executive power, the various reports have sought to encourage executives to see best practice governance as an aid to good performance. While this study does not seek to discuss the key ethical influences that shaped the debate for corporate governance in the UK in this study, however, it is significant to note that the key influences came from the corporate sector stakeholders (financial and non-financial), government and regulators, public opinion (NGO's and other exogenous events).

Consequent to the recommendations of the Cadbury Committee, a significant development in FE college governance emerged with the introduction of non-executive directors.

3.1.10 Summary of theoretical perspectives non-executive director roles:

The non-executive role comprises:

Contributing to strategy by bringing a range of perspectives to strategy, development and decision-making

Making sure that effective management arrangements and an effective team are in place at the top level of the entity; and

Holding the executive to account for performance in fulfilling the responsibilities delegated to it by the governing body, including thorough purposeful challenge and scrutiny (IFAC,2013:6).

The Cadbury Committee suggested four ways by which corporations can achieve these roles.

One of the suggestions concerned the appointment of strong and independent non-executive directors to boards. This suggestion prompted a wave of intense inclusion of non-executive directors on boards. As earlier outlined in the introductory stages of this study, non-executive directors are people who are 'outside' the business and seen as governors who have considerable wealth of business interests. Cadbury clearly saw the importance for the inclusion of such people on boards, however, the committee was mainly concerned with the impact these non - executive directors would have on large corporations. The opinion of the committee has been that non-executive directors would take a view on the way the corporation is managed on behalf of shareholders. (Cadbury Report); i.e. looking constantly to how shareholders benefit from management decisions.

It is important here to draw the distinction between the private corporation and their shareholder interest’s vis-a-vis college governance and member interests.

For Carver, the community as a whole is the legitimate owner. Viewed in this way, it becomes clear that for a college, the board must be in a position to understand the various views held in the community and must be in tune with the purpose of the organization. This author argued that College governance is concerned with the wider interests of stakeholders and in particular the whole community within which the FE College sits. It would therefore appear a plausible argument to suggest that one of the roles of the college governor is to ensure that the college is serving the community within which it is situated; where the community includes staff, pupils and local businesses ( please refer to Published Accounts of Blackpool College and the BCG Group; Appendix 1). Therefore, this study can claim that, in the case of FE college governance, private shareholder value, per se, is not the issue for governors to grapple with. However, there are fiduciary implications to their role in that according to their articles of incorporation, college governors must ensure that, the college for which they are responsible, remains financially viable. A detailed discussion of the roles and responsibilities of College Board members is contrasted with those on corporate boards and assessed in the light of data to be gathered by this study. Meanwhile, though, it is sufficient background knowledge to highlight that there may be similarities in the intended roles of non-executive directors of college boards and those of corporate boards.

Having discussed what the influence the Cadbury committee findings may have had on the FE sector, it is important to clarify the point that corporate governance, as a term, itself comprises a wide range of regulations and practices under which the managers of the firm are responsible to achieve success within their legal compliance framework. The term has emerged to encompass broader definitions that include accountability of companies to many other stakeholders.

For instance, (Salacuse, 2002) drives home the point that the definition of corporate governance has not been set in solitary or unified definition, implying that its definition and application:

‘Depends on the cultural, political, economic, and the legal system of the countries in which they are located and operating in’.

Notwithstanding this, some authors have worked to clarify this concept. The important point is that all the definitions address the main elements, such as systems of control inside the organisation, relationships between the organisational stakeholders and the transparency and accountability required to assist the users of such information.

The OECD (2004) defines it as: Corporate governance involves a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders.’ Corporate governance provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined. Good corporate governance should provide proper incentives for the board and management to pursue objectives that are in the interest of the company and its shareholders and should facilitate effective monitoring.’

Definitions of corporate governance on the broader side emphasize that stakeholders and shareholders should share a larger amount of responsibility. According to Solomon and Solomon (2004), corporate governance in the broadest sense is defined as ‘the systems of checks and balances, both internal and external to companies, which ensures that companies discharge their accountability to all their stakeholders and act in a socially responsible way in all areas of their businesses’.

Having clarified the debate about the lack of a universally accepted definition of corporate governance, there is no surprise that yet another debate is existent about what constitutes good corporate governance for firms (Plessis et al.; 2005).

Many studies have argued that good corporate governance needs to be developed internally by establishing voluntary practices depending on the context of firms and it is proven that the ‘one size fits all’ mechanism should not be implemented as it does not secure best practices for companies (Arcot and Bruno,2006).

There is overwhelming evidence that lend support to the idea that better governed organisations have higher value and their accountability is improved (Beiner et al, 2005). It is also believed that organisations apply internal corporate governance mechanisms as tools to reduce corporate risk and to enhance the value of the organisation (Beckley et al, 2008). The importance of good corporate governance has received considerable attention from large companies in the UK, as is reflected in the adoption of various governance reports. This has brought corporate governance issues under increasing scrutiny. The main concerns were about the composition and behaviour of the board of directors as guardians of the interests of stakeholders, the role of the CEO and the chairman of the company, the role of executive and non-executive directors, independency of non-executive directors and the accountability of statutory auditors, the transparency of company reports and accounts and the power and ability of external stakeholders to monitor the management team (Collier and Gregory, 1996).

The result was a promulgation of a Code of best practice. In theory, companies with higher compliance with the Code should constitute a good governance system with higher efficiency and better corporate performance. It also emphasised that the board should not be a focus of power in one or two individuals. The code states that other than smaller companies, half of the board at least, without the chairman, should comprise independent non-executive directors determined by the board.

The new Code was issued on 28 May 2010 and replaced the Combined Code (2008). Four main new principles have been introduced addressing the responsibility of the chairman in leading the board. These are the requirement for sufficient time devoted by the directors, the requirements for Non –executive directors (NED’s) to constructively challenge and the requirement for the board to have balance between experience and skills. Measures also include promotion of diversity and balance in connection with the boards’ composition, particularly in relation to gender.

Overall, the literature supports the stand that sound corporate governance aims to establish principles and practices for all organisations to comply with. Consequently, an organisation’s governance quality is linked to the degree of variation in extent and form of compliance with the Code which theoretically is supposed to be reflected on its performance as well.

(Giddens, 1938) has set the tone for the definition, the purpose and the function of boards in an influential paper entitled ‘Outline of the Constitution of Society’. In that study, he adopted an approach to social theory that seeks to highlight the intersections between knowledgeable and capable human agents and the wider social systems and structures in which they are implicated. He identified the central problem in modern social theory as a dualism between 'agency' and 'structure.' In that paper, Giddens situated the art of governance of boards in the domain of the Social Sciences. In particular, he was of the view that boards act as agents to the owners. His claim was that ‘agency' refers not to the intentions people have in doing things but to their capability of doing those things’. Indeed, the Oxford English Dictionary defines agency as ‘one who exerts power or produces an effect.’ By this definition, he was making the claim that agents have knowledge, power and are capable of doing things and that there is a logical connection between action and power. The central theme of Giddens' paper is that the agent has the ability to wield power to influence a specific purpose; a desired and intended outcome. He argued that a structure, which is a set of rules and resources; is implicated in every moment of human action and that structure can be 'constraining and enabling'; giving rise to what he calls the duality of structure; because, as he explains, the structure of society is formed on its ability to 'reflect and to move forward'; i.e. to (constrain and enable).

Giddens went on to explain that the term agency concerns events or activities of which an individual is the perpetrator; implying that , the individual or group of individuals could at any phase in a given sequence of conduct, have acted differently; and that action which happened could not have happened if that individual or group of individuals had not intervened. (This thread of debate would be resumed later with the Agency Theory based discussions).

Another dimension of Giddens' exposition was on the central theme of agent capability. This author was of the view that boards ought to be knowledgeable. He argued that it was important for board members to be highly 'learned' in respect of the knowledge which they possess. His position appears to stand in tandem with Carver's position, however, it also assumes a stand against other theories of governance e.g. the Stewardship, Democratic and Managerial Hegemony theories.

A governing board can also be seen to be playing an agency role under Carver’s model. Hitherto, (Carver, 1990) made the point that in the case of FEs, the Board is an agent of the owners; where the owners were the stakeholders (please refer to the appendix 1-audited accounts of Bradford College and the BCG). An agent therefore ceases to be such if he or she loses the capability to make a difference to the owners.

However, (Middleton, 1987) differs with Giddens’s exposition and offers an important contribution to the debate. Her explanation was that boards exist for the external environment. This explanation reveals an insight not only into the wider role that boards should play in the communities they serve but, also strengthens the argument of boards are there not only to serve community interests but also to facilitate relations with key external groups and organisations. She explained that boards play an important role in enabling organisations to manage important dependencies with organisational stakeholders and help raise funds and support for the FEs they serve on.

To this extent, it would appear that Middleton would be prone to accepting the stakeholder position as an essential sine qua non in the performance of board functions and board relations. Freeman concurred with this viewpoint, when he opined that:

'Stakeholders are any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation's objectives'.

Further, Donaldson & Preston (1995) defined stakeholders: 'Stakeholders are identified through the actual or potential harms and benefits that they experience or anticipate experiencing as a result of the firm's actions or inactions'. In particular, Donaldson and Preston point out that a firm was viewed by Adam Smith (1937) as an organization which obtained resources from its investors, employees and suppliers to produce goods and services for its customers. In 1997, Turnbull referred to these class of stakeholders as 'strategic stakeholders' because, as he suggested, ‘strategic issues concern the ability of a firm to subsist’.

Demb & Neubauer (1992a) also state that 'corporate governance is the process by which corporations are made responsive to the rights and wishes of stakeholders'. Monks & Minnow (1995:1) wrote that:

'It is the relationship among various participants in determining the direction and performance of corporations'.

While Tricker (1994:xi) states ' Corporate governance addresses the issues facing boards of directors, such as the interaction with top management and relationships with the owners and others interested in the affairs of the company'.

Clarke (1994), pointed out that, 'The firm is a system of stakeholders operating within the larger system of the host society which provides the necessary legal and market infrastructure for the firm's activities. The purpose of the firm is to create wealth or value for its stakeholders by converting their stakes into goods and services'. Indeed, this view is also supported by Blair (1995:322), who proposes:

.....the goal of directors and management should be maximizing total wealth creation by the firm. The key to achieving this is to enhance the voice of and provide ownership-like incentives to those participants in the firm who contribute or control critical specialized inputs (firm specific human capital) and to align the interests of these critical stakeholders with the interests of outside, passive shareholders'.

Consistent with this view by Blair to provide 'voice' and 'ownership-like incentives' to 'critical stakeholders', (Porter:1992:16-17) recommended to US policy makers that they should 'encourage long-term employee ownership' and 'encourage board representation by significant customers, suppliers, employees and community representatives'. Porter (1992:17) also recommended that corporations 'seek long-term owners and give them a direct voice in governance'. Clearly, all the above studies cement the relevance of non-executives as stakeholders in the governance of colleges.

In the UK FE sector from 1945-1955 non-executives involvement in college governance was seen as the keystone of public policy making. Education was regarded as an important public good in promoting economic growth, equality of opportunity, alleviating disadvantage, class division and social justice (Ranson, 2008). Emphasis during this period was much on 'inclusivity' and colleges, including their governance, were modelled to reflect this. Consequently, the system of governance in education was to support the growth of service committed to the growth of opportunity. Continuing within the changing legislative mix of governments from this era, FE governing board composition was widened to include greater numbers of stakeholders; including students, parents, LEA representatives and indeed, their 'voices' as these were became 'heard' as much as other board members voices.

Students have gained a bigger 'stake' and their presence is changing FE college governance towards fostering of greater accountability because of the introduction of college tuition fees. The recognition of students as stakeholders first appeared in the literature in 1975, ten years before tuition fees were charged in the UK (Douglas et al. 1993).

Consequently, as an outcome of the growing importance of stakeholders, colleges and universities are expected to engage in continual dialogue with these groups, while providing accountability, quality, effectiveness and efficiency (Jongbloed, Enders & Salerno, 2008).

Thus, it is possible that board composition may be significant in influencing performance; and while the study unfolds it will be clear that an association may exist between board composition and organisational efficiency.

Among governing boards, insiders include senior managers. The chief executive officer (CEO) is typically placed on the board to provide administrative information about the college. Besides, the expertise of senior managers is also vitally required to keep the board informed about service and delivery issues. Literature suggests that as professional educators, senior managers know best how to achieve educational outcomes. Thus, from a managerial perspective, board participation by both the CEO and senior members of the college team provide assistance to the governing board to accrue informational advantages which could enable the college to achieve outcomes. Indeed, managerialists perceive that:

‘Outsider board members are removed from the day-to-day operations of the firm and that they need the knowledge and information of top-level insiders to guide board members in decision-making and governance activities’. (Baysinger et al, 1990).

(Baysinger et al, 1990) also suggest that insiders’ knowledge and experience enable the board to monitor and govern the firm with greater efficacy. This view is also supported by (Raheja, 2005) who contends that insiders are an important source of firm-specific information for the board.

However, (Fama et al, 1983) were of a different view. They stressed that the governing board’s legal responsibility is to safeguard the interests of shareholders, yet, this responsibility can be impeded when insiders are active on the governing board. Therefore according to (Fama et al, 1983), for the purposes of monitoring, it is outsider directors who bring valuable expertise and important connections to the board. This standpoint is also supported by (Kosnik, 1987), who claim that, outsider directors facilitate objectivity because they are detached from day-to-day management. Therefore, compared to insiders, outsiders are more independent and do provide better monitoring.

In the case of the NHS, independent from the hospital, corporate outsiders are expected to keep their focus on the best interests of the hospital, thus, leading to effective board decision making. In the NHS, the argument for the inclusion of outsiders is that many outsiders are experienced managers or business people, with contacts to important sources of both government and private financial resources and so, for the long term sustainability of the organisation, outside board representation was deemed vital.

These alternative possibilities suggest the desirability of testing competing hypotheses that address whether board composition including non-executives (outsiders) enhance board effectiveness.

3.2.0 Revisiting Tensions in FE Governance through Paradoxes:

As stated earlier, the major theme of tensions in FE governance keeps recurring. Following on from the studies of (Middleton, 1987)(Hung, 1998), I concur that the governance of FE's is relatively under researched in comparison with the governance of business corporations and that corporate governance ‘aims’ in the private sector must be viewed separately from governance ‘aims’ in the FE public sector. This study has also advanced the debate from chapter one that the introduction of market mechanisms into FE did ignite a new kind of 'tension': with the introduction of a new breed of managers as ‘insiders’ and where multiple stakeholders hold the board regularly to issues of accountability.

In the light of the above, the study recounts a variety of competing theories in the literature which attempt to develop proper understanding regarding the role of boards in the private sector in their various perspectives. These theories include: Agency Theory; Stakeholder theory; Resource Dependency Theory and Managerial hegemony theory. These have been espoused in the following chapters.

However, the view held in the literature is that these theoretical perspectives are only helpful in illuminating a particular perspective of the board’s role. To enable all perspectives to be explored fully, there were calls that led to a new conceptual framework that would be seen to help integrate the insights of these different approaches. For example, both Hung, 1998 and Tricker,2000 argue that taken together, these theories, (described extensively below), offer multiple perspectives and are helpful in highlighting some of the important ambiguities, tensions and paradoxes that non-profit boards and the FE board in particular, experience.

Demb and Neubauer (1992) supported this contention and cite the work of Howard Slaatte, a clergyman and philosophy educator, who defined a paradox as 'an idea involving two opposing thoughts or propositions, which, however contradictory, are equally necessary to convey a more imposing, illuminating, pertinent or provocative insight into truth that either factor in its own right' (Slaatte,1968). In order to reinforce this definition, I turned to the New Collins Concise dictionary 1985, that defined a paradox as ' a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement that is, or may be, true'. Thus, both of these definitions suggest potential ambiguities and inconsistencies, a sense of puzzlement, potential confusion and contradictions.

With a degree of reflection and with the insider board executive and the outsider board non-executive in mind, it can be argued that there is a sense of tension, of pulling apart, yet, in another sense being necessary to pull theories, themes and ideas together. In the light of this discussion, from interviews with clerks, principals and governors and, in applying the definitions to the study the following conclusive has been developed:

The tension between board members acting as representatives for particular stakeholder groups and 'experts' charged with driving the performance of the organisation forward. These 'experts' may take the form of political ministers or Secretaries of State.

The tension between the board roles of driving organisational performance and ensuring conformance, i.e. that the organisation 'behaves' in an accountable and prudent manner.

The tension between the contrasting board roles of controlling and supporting management.

The ambiguities that stem from accountabilities to multiple stakeholders.

The study, then, examines the theories in some detail in order to justify the research questions.

3.2.1 Underpinning Theories on Corporate Governance

The relationship between the board and executive management is central to understanding corporate governance. Scholars have recognised this and several theories of board-management interaction have been proposed in the literature. The three main theories (Nicholson & Kiel, 2007) are Agency, Stewardship and Resource Dependency Theory. However, other conceptual and meta-theoretical models have also been proposed. The main theories, also called theories of corporate governance (Tricker, 2012b) are reviewed in the following sub-sections. Agency theory: The compliance model

The emergence of ideas regarding the effects of Agency Theory was due to the work of (Berle and Means, 1932), who explored the division of control and ownership in firms in the United States. They argued in their study that a dispersion of equity amongst an atomistic spread of investors reduces control and switches power to the management team. This enables, management and shareholders to have differing interests and enables agency problems to arise which in turn brings conflict to the firm. This work has been extended by (Jensen and Meckling, 1976) who defined such problem as a principal- agent problem that affect firm performance.

In many modern firms, principals (shareholders), delegate their decision-making authority to agents (CEO and top management), who oversee actual, day–to-day operations. This division of ownership away from management permits agency conflicts. It is argued that this division or separation also leads to imperfect alignment of interests: between the interests of the principal, who are the shareholders and the interests of managers who are the agents to manage the business on a daily basis. One of the main roles of governing boards as a result of this separation is to ensure that mismanagement does not take place. The board is important and observed as a monitor, who oversees top management on behalf of shareholders.

According to Agency Theory, the effectiveness or success of this monitoring function of directors depends in large part on the interests of managers. The theory assumes that managers’ interests in the effectiveness of an organisation depend on incentives, so when incentives are aligned with the interests or incentives of managers , directors will more effectively monitor the firms’ agents (CEO’s and managers) and the firm will perform better. (Fama, 1990), (Jensen and Meckling, 1976).

Some of the self-interest attitudes of managers that these authors cite include compensation that is not commensurate with performance, taking excessive risks that may put the future of the firm in ruins as a result of pay for performance compensation; and using the firms' resources to fend off takeovers that may be in the interest of the shareholders (Hiebl, 2015).

It is the possibility of self-seeking behaviour by agents (managers) that some researchers call for close monitoring of employees, especially the top management by the board of directors. Hence the prerogative of Agency Theory is that managers are monitored and controlled by the board contrary to the view shared in (Cornforth, 2001). The latter was of the view that the Agency Theory was mainly a theory of compliance because the theory is entrenched on a narrow view of contractual relationships, whose underlying philosophy is internally driven.

For this reason, it is thought, a board dominated by insiders (board members who are current or former managers/employees of the firm) is ineffective at monitoring, whereas boards consisting primarily of independent outside directors are impartial as monitors. To perform the monitoring role effectively, this school suggests that the majority of board directors be independent of management so as to ensure managerial compliance (Cornforth, 2001), (Carver, 1990). Cornforth, (2001) explains that the Agency Theory, which has been the dominant theory of the corporation and corporate governance arrangements, is mainly a theory of compliance.

The theory assumes that the owners of an enterprise i.e. the principal and those that manage it, i.e. the agent will have different interests. So the assumption under this theory is that the owners face a problem that managers are likely to act in their own interests rather than to the benefit of the owners. Agency theory therefore sees corporate governance arrangements as a means to ensure that management acts in the best interest of shareholders (Keasy et al: 1997:3-5). Hence, from this perspective, the main function of the board is to control managers. The suggestion here is that the majority of board directors be independent of management so as to ensure managerial compliance. (Cornforth 2001; Carver,1990). However, one difficulty with applying this theory to FE is that there is a much more potential ambiguity over who the principals or owners are. In the case of FE it would be difficult if not impossible as there are many owners or stakeholders.

Nevertheless, Cornforth explains that the principles and regulations concerning governance under charitable status affecting various charitable organisations could still apply. This he said is because under Charity law and Trust law, the trustees of a charity are appointed to look after the money and resources donated by those founding the organisation and to see that their wishes, as set out in the trust deed, are carried out(Cornforth, 2001). Accordingly, as enshrined in Charity and Trust Law, the trustees themselves cannot benefit financially from the trust and the key role of the trustees is to see to it that the staff or management of the organisation carries out the objectives of the trust and act in compliance with the law. Under this theory, there is complete separation of the board from management and may be argued that Carver was thinking along these lines when he propounded his philosophy. Stewardship Theory: A partnership model

A further theory that is commonly found in the corporate governance literature is the Stewardship Theory. The Stewardship Theory emphasizes that, the manager is committed to the long term goals of the organisation instead of the steward’s self-interests (El-Faitouri, 2014).

Stewardship Theory, (contrary to the agency theory), and according to Muth and Donaldson, (1998 ) is grounded in the human relations perspective. This theory assumes that managers want to do a good job and will act as effective stewards of an organisation's resources. As and outcome, senior management and shareholders (or the mandators) of the organisation are better seen as partners.

Accordingly, this school of thought claims that the main function of the board is not to ensure managerial compliance or conformance, but to improve organisational performance.

This perspective provides the argument that there are little mechanisms which are required to be put in place to ensure that corporate objectives are achieved (Hiebl, 2013). Therefore, the savings in agency costs when managers imbibe the philosophy of a steward instead of that of an agent should improve. Dah, (2016) contends that stewards will not only present truthful information to the decision-makers but work also in the overall interests of the organisation. However, the overall evaluative outcome of the literature points out that researchers are yet to be convinced that the Stewardship Theory is yet to be accepted as a basis for analysing organisational performance.

Stewardship Theory, (contrary to the Agency Theory), according to (Muth and Donaldson, 1998), is grounded in the human relations perspective. This theory assumes that managers want to do a good job and will act as effective stewards of an organisation's resources. As an outcome, senior management and shareholders (or the mandators) of the organisation are better seen as partners.

Accordingly, the primary function of the board is not to ensure managerial compliance or conformance, but to improve organisational performance. Hung (1998) argue that the role of the board is primarily strategic, to work with management to add value to top decisions. In this context, it is not surprising that management ideas and practices should be applied to governance. (Kirkland, 1994) has contributed to this perspective by stating that as per their advisory role, board members should be selected on the basis of their expertise and contacts so that they are in a position to add value to the organisation's decisions. (Pound, 1995) supported this viewpoint but went on further to add what he calls the 'governed corporation model' of governance which was simply the idea that the ‘board and shareholders are seen as partners of management’, and that the prime function of the board is to add value to the organisation by improving its top decision-making. It is further claimed that the thinking behind this board management perspective is in line with Carver's Philosophy. (Carver, 1990), within his policy governance model for non-profit organisations, advocates that the real business of governance is to make policy, articulate the mission and sustain the vision of the organisation. Resource Dependence Theory

As developed by (Pfeiffer and Salancik, 1978), this theory views a firm as an entity ‘dependent on external organisations and environmental contingencies’. In this theory, the board of director’s job is to manage these dependencies. From this perspective, the most important role of boards is not to monitor management and reduce agency costs, rather to provide ‘resources’ conceived of in a broad sense to include advisory and guidance. (Baysinger and Butler, 1985); (Westpal, 1999). In this sense, prominent board members can enhance the reputation and legitimacy of a firm (Daily and Schwenk, 1996) and director interlocks assist firms to be secured, preferential access to critical resources (Boeker and Goldstein, 1991).

According to Resource Dependency Theory, a board of directors will reflect the environment of the board’s firm (Boyd, 1990), (Pfeiffer, 1972) . Under such conditions, it is argued that if the main purpose of the board of directors is to minimize the firm’s external dependencies and environmental uncertainties, board members will be chosen based on their ability to furnish the firm with the resources required to reduce these (Hillman, 2000), (Hillman et al, 2003).

(Klijn, 1997) has highlighted the resource-dependency nature of this theory. According to these authors, Resource Dependency Theory is concerned with examining patterns of contest, power and domination in an environment characterised by the struggle over scarce resources. Their explanation is that an organisation operates in a competitive environment where resources such as funding are scarce. Because of the scare nature of resources, alliances between organisations arise in response to current or potential threats from competitors and or the perceived opportunity to expand domains. In the process, extend influence and secure new resources. (Alter and Hague, 1993), explain that:

'Organisational decision makers' primary focus is on finding and defending an adequate supply of resources'.

From this perspective, the board is seen as one means of reducing uncertainty by creating influential links between organisations. Here, the main functions of the board are to maintain good relations with key external stakeholders in order to ensure the flow of resources into and from the organisation as well as assist the ‘organisation respond to external change'. (Cornforth, 2001).

The theory stresses the role of the board as very much like a boundary-spanning one; in that board members are selected for the important external links and knowledge they can bring to the organisation and to try to co-opt external influences. In the UK, FEs depend on local authorities for central government support and subventions, through quangos. Therefore, it is not surprising that some college boards include local authority elected members and other stakeholders on their governing boards.

For the Resource Dependency theorist then, the simple insider/outsider and dependent/independent dichotomies so prevalent in the literature from the perspective of the Agency Theory are insufficient for explaining the association between board composition and organisational performance. The theory- a co-optation model, put forward by Pfeffer and Salacik, 1978, view organisations as interdependent with their environment. They explained that organisations depend on other organisations and actors for resources. As an outcome, they need to find ways of managing this dependence and ensure that they get the resources and information they require.

Klijn,(1997); (Alter and Hage, 1993) have emphasised on resource-dependency nature of this theory. According to these authors, Resource Dependency Theory is concerned with examining patterns of contest, power and domination in an environment characterised by the struggle over scarce resources. Their explanation is that the FE operates in a competitive environment where resources such as funding are scarce. Because of the scarce nature of resources, alliances between organisations arise in response to ether current or potential threats from competitors and, as the perceived opportunity to expand domains. In the process, such alliances extend influence and secure new resources. As Alter and Hage explain:

'Organisational decision makers' primary focus is on finding and defending an adequate supply of resources' (1993:109)

From this perspective, the board is seen as one means of reducing uncertainty by creating influential links between organisations. Here, the main functions of the board are to maintain good relations with key external stakeholders in order to ensure the flow of resources into and from the organisation, and help the ‘organisation respond to external change'. (Cornforth, 2001:4). The Democratic Perspective

Democratic ideas and practices have influenced thinking about the governance of many types of organisations especially in western economies such as the UK. For example, we have traced the history of FE in the UK to have begun from democratic ideals. In such community organisations, it is enshrined in the organisation's constitution that the governing board be elected and must represent the views of the organisation.

However, as Plummer, 1994; Skelcher,1998 suggest the governance of such voluntary organisations and quangos is often criticised for not living up to ideas of democratic accountability.

A democratic perspective of governance suggests that the job of the board is to represent the interests of members of the organisation. In this context, the role of the board is to resolve or select between the interests of different groups and set the overall policy of the organisation. Cornforth reveals that, in this setting, expertise is not a requirement as anyone can put himself/herself forward for election onto the board. Stakeholder theory: A stakeholder model

Stakeholder Theory, as applied to governing bodies is based on the premise that organisations should be responsible to a range of groups (or stakeholders) in society other than just an organisation's owners (Hung, 1998:106). By selecting different stakeholders on boards it is expected that organisations will be more likely to respond to broader social interests than the narrow interests of one group.

The theory focuses on how organisations and their governance systems manage the organisational relationships with key stakeholders (Freeman, 1984). The claim is that some stakeholders are outsiders (e.g. financiers, beneficiaries, government); while other stakeholders are insiders (e.g. managers and CEOs; employees, volunteers). Therefore, as an organisation, it is responsible to a range of groups in society. This theory emphasizes different interests of stakeholders; hence, the claim is that the role of the governing board here is that of a balancing one. The governing board balances different stakeholder requirements, controls individual needs and tailors such needs to meet organisational effectiveness. The theory has been used to examine board roles and behaviours and demonstrates how it relates to addressing the needs and interests of stakeholders (e.g. Abzug, and Webb 1999). Young, (2011) recently proposed a 'Stakeholder Governance Model' that explicitly links board membership to the contributions of specific stakeholders.

The primary remit of this model is that it extends the focus of managers beyond the traditional interest group of shareholders in order to understand the needs, expectations and values of groups previously perceived to be external to the company. In this sense, stakeholders of a firm are extended to mean ‘individuals and constituencies that contribute, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to its wealth-creating capacity and activities, and who are therefore its potential beneficiaries and/or risk bearers’ (Post et al., 2002:.58). By incorporating different stakeholders on the board, it is expected that organisations will be more likely to respond to broader social interests than the narrow interests of one group.

Stakeholder Theory has developed mainly in debates over corporate governance in the private sector, where there has been debates concerning its desirability and likely consequences (Hutton, 1997; Tricker, 2000: 295). However, it is less controversial in the public sector. In the UK though, successive governments have specified the broad composition of boards. For example, when FE colleges were taken out of local government control, the conservative government made it mandatory that at least half of the governors should be from business sectors. Due to concerns about lack of balance and accountability, the composition was broadened by the labour government in 1999 to include representatives of staff, students, the local authority and local community. Managerial Hegemony Theory: A 'rubber stamp' model

It is suggested that managerial hegemony theory relates back to the thesis of (Berle and Means, 1932); that although shareholders may legally own and control large corporations, they no longer effectively control them. The argument is that control has been ceded to a new managerial class. Since their publication, a variety of studies have lent support to this thesis. (Mace, 1971), found in his study of US directors that boards did not get involved in strategy except in crises and that control of the organisation was in the hands of the chief executive. In a more recent study, (Lorsch et al, 1989) concluded that although the functioning of boards has improved since Mace's study, their performance still leaves much room for improvement as there still exists evidence of ‘rubber stamp’ behaviour in boards.

Although the Managerial Hegemony Theory was developed in the study of large business corporations, it is suggested that many of the processes it describes are as relevant to the FE sector. An example, often cited, is the separation of 'owners' from those that 'control' it. However, Cornforth (2001) is of the view that due to the voluntary nature of board membership, the power of boards in the public sector may be limited compared to the power of boards in the private sector, because they are not rewarded for their services and there is no motivation for boards in the public sector to exceed expectations. Indeed the study by Murray et al (1992) confirmed the above contestation to the effect that, there can indeed be power relations among non-profit boards, in his study of the non-profit sector in Canada. In that study, the authors observed what they called the CEO -dominated board. In that instance, the chief executive and, sometimes, other senior managers exercised the main power and the board played a largely symbolic role, often rubber stamping decisions. Although an interesting area for future study, the study on the power relations between boards is outside the scope of this study.

From this perspective, the board is seen as a ‘rubber stamp’ body, put together to endorse managerial decisions. The function of the board is primarily symbolic i.e. to provide legitimacy to management decisions; its relevance is less to do with the debate on board composition and organisational effectiveness.

It is suggested that Managerial Hegemony Theory relates back to the thesis of Berle and Means (1932); that although shareholders may legally own and control large corporations they no longer effectively control them. This is because in this context, control has been ceded to a new managerial class. A variety of studies have lent support to this thesis. Mace (1971), found in his study of US directors that boards did not get involved in strategy except in crises, and that control was in the hands of the chief executive. Herman (1981) came to similar conclusions but differed in argument when he claimed that managerial power was always in the context of various constraints and the latent power of stakeholders such as external board members. In a more recent study, Lorsch and MacIver (1989) have concluded that although the functioning of boards has improved since Mace's study, their performance still leaves much room for improvement.

Although the Managerial Hegemony Theory was developed in context of the study of large business corporations, it is suggested that many of the processes it describes are as relevant to the FE sector. An example, often cited is the separation of 'owners' from those that 'control' it. In advancing this school of thought, Cornforth (2001) suggests that due to the voluntary nature of board membership, the power of boards in the public sector may be limited compared to the power of boards in the private sector, because, as they are not rewarded for their services, there is no motivation for volunteer governors to exceed expectations. However, study by Murray et al (1992) confirmed that there can be power relations among non-profit boards in his study of the non-profit sector in Canada. In that study, the authors observed what they called the CEO -dominated board. In that instance, the chief executive and sometimes other senior managers exercised the main power and the board played a largely symbolic role, often rubber stamping decisions.

Indeed, what I gather from the theories described above is that, corporate governance is a complex, socially dynamic phenomenon with performance and conformance dimensions. Consistent with this understanding, researchers believe that no single theory adequately accounts for all types of organisations (Starbuck, 2014).

The enduring challenge of the main theories is that they have been developed, in the main, in the context of and through the lens of large publicly-listed corporations and markets, to the extent that these theories are less well suited to educational organisations. That (Fama and Jensen, 1983) admitted as much (they explicitly excluded smaller entrepreneurial companies from their thesis) seems to have escaped the attention of many researchers since- although (Lynall, Golden and Hillman, 2003) did argue that different theories may be applicable at different stages of development of a company.

3.3.0 The FE Governance Paradox

The reader will observe that the multiple theories examined above only offer insights into the ambiguities and tensions that crept into the functioning of FE governing boards.

Indeed, (Giddens, 1938) had earlier observed the paradox and had offered some explanation for the failure to reconcile the role of management and governance. In the words of Giddens, this paradox of the dualism between 'agency' and 'structure' recurs across the entire discourse of the humanities and the social sciences. Indeed, his Structuration Theory proposes that human social activities, like some self-reproducing items in nature, are recursive. This is to say that human social activities 'are not brought into existence by social actors but are continually recreated by them via the very means whereby they express themselves as actors' (ibid:p1-3). He argued that through the discourses of their activities, agents reproduce the conditions which enable such activities to become realised in reality. His point was that continuity of practices presumes reflexivity, but reflexivity, in turn is possible only because of the continuity of practices which enables them possible in a continuum. Therefore, he was of the view that reflexivity should be understood not merely as self-consciousness but as the monitored character of the persistently continuous flow of social life. The implication of Giddens observation is that Board of governors of Fes, which he calls ‘actors’, are volunteers who are merely serving the interests of their stakeholders. These stakeholders are largely within the communities they serve; therefore, it is the 'structure' within the communities that shapes 'agency's actions and processes and vice-versa. In the words of Giddens, it is the reflexive monitoring of activity of everyday action that enables others to do the same which gives rise to the contexts in which they all move.(ibid:5). Governors are therefore necessary to keep the organisation running.

However, other authors did not view the debate on the lines of Giddens.

For example, (Morgan, 1986:339), argues that many theories and perceptions about organisations do not match the complexity and sophistication of the realities organisations face. In order to address this problem, the author argues that it is necessary to take a ‘multi-paradigm approach’ in order to 'understand and grasp the multiple meanings of situations and to confront and manage contradiction and paradox, rather than pretend they do not exist'. At the same time there has been a growing recognition that many management problems and issues require a move from linear thinking and simple either/ or choices to seeing them as paradoxes (Hampden-Turner, 1990) (Handy, 1995). These authors argue that managing paradox means embracing and exploring tensions and differences rather than becoming judgemental about them . (Lewis, 2000:772), agrees with the multi-paradigm approach in addressing and managing the paradoxes and goes on to explain that Contrasting Agency Theory with Stewardship Theory will suggest that boards will experience pressures to both control and partner senior management. According to him, boards would be able to see the problem in advance and this fore knowledge would enable them to deal with the problem when it arises. However, it was the influential work from the Stakeholder Theory that seemed to resolve the issue of tensions. The Stakeholder Theory argued that stakeholders are not interested in the personal gains per se from the organisation, rather, it is the overall sustainability of the organisation that matters. This theory forms the main theme for representativeness within the board.

3.3.1 FE Governance Policy Environment:

The policy environment which colleges have faced has exerted a number of pressures on deciding who governs them; who leads and manages them and what style their governance must take. These pressures include:

The need to ‘perform’ in the quasi-market and take a more ’customer-focused’ approach to those whom they serve;

The need to set and meet demanding targets in terms of measurable performance indicators which are set by central government or its agents;

The need to exhibit ‘appropriate’ market style forms of management and governance which can be inspected and for which governors can be held to account.

The view that such developments are leading to increasingly ‘Managerialist’ patterns of governance in the public sector sets the tone for the next chapter.

It is clear that board composition and the association this has on college performance can be traced to changes in the wider educational policy environment. It is also clear that management and governance of the college as an organisation is a complex and evolving one especially in relation to leadership style.

Earlier chapters have defined the Code of Corporate governance, however, what is important here is the tension between issues of private benefit vis a-vis- issues of public benefit and the attendant evils of conflict among governing boards. These levels of tension manifested themselves mainly among (outsider) stakeholder representatives on the one side, and professional (insider) board governors on the other: often referred to in the literature as insider outsider governing board phenomenon. Commentators argue that while outsider board governors were concerned primarily with issues of accountability, insider board governors were preoccupied with issues of performance and conformance. It has been observed that what might have reinforced this position are the various theoretical perspectives that had different implications for colleges; in terms of board composition; their membership and skills set. For example, it has been discussed that the Stewardship theory stresses that board members should have expertise and experience that can add value to the performance of the organisation. The implication is that board members should be selected for their professional expertise and skills. In contrast, the Democratic Theory stresses that board members are lay representatives and are there to serve the constituency (s) or stakeholder they represent. My most important contribution to the study will be the association board composition has on college performance

The literature suggests that the above cases do create tension. Theory notwithstanding, it is also held that conflicting government policies also helped to reinforce the tensions. For example, we have discussed how, from the early 1980's, successive Conservative governments in the UK introduced market reforms in FE's which introduced business interests in board representation.

Earlier chapters have also discussed at length education policy under the Labour government of 1997-2010 which was characterised by two conflicting discourses: the benefits of working in partnership and co-operation and the introduction of school performance indicator tables. I discussed how the latter reinforced competition between educational institutions (Whitty, 2002).

Partnerships on the other hand were not only encouraged in education, they were a key vehicle for policy implementation. For example providing additional funding for a series of initiatives including Education Action Zones, the Beacon Schools Programme, Excellence in Cities, the Increased Flexibility Programme for 14-16 year olds, the 14-19 Pathfinder Programme and the Schools Federation Programme were bold and laudable initiatives at expanding stakeholder representation. However, when key levers of partnerships were removed by the new UK Coalition government in 2010, and new policies restated the arguments for institutional autonomy and competition between institutions, the fragility of the ‘enacted’ partnerships became immediately apparent. Although members of Diploma consortia with a history of effective partnership working remained committed to the principle of co-operation other policy developments such as the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and the recommendations of the Wolf Review on vocational education contributed to uncertainty about whether partnership and cooperative working could or indeed should be sustained. Indeed as a result of the introduction of Diplomas, more colleges across England found themselves in an environment of ‘co-opetition’ (Adnett, 2003), competing in some markets and co-operating in others. Against this backdrop, college leaders and governors struggled to interpret and translate contradictory policies into some form of cohesive practice (Ball, 2011). I discussed at length the role of boards, and the tension between the conformance and performance theories.

The different theories of governance put different emphasis on what are the main roles of the board. This was expressed clearly between the agency and stewardship theories. Agency theory emphasises the conformance role of the board to ensure that the organisation acts in the interests of its 'owners' and to be a careful steward of its resources. This is in line with Carver's philosophy. In contrast Stewardship theory emphasises the role of the board in driving forward organisational performance by adding value to decisions and strategy. Boards face an obvious tension between how they balance these objectives. Further, the chapter highlighted tensions between controlling and partnering: The agency and democratic theories stress the importance of the board monitoring and controlling the work of managers. In contrast, stewardship theory stresses the role of the board as a partner to management, improving top management decision-making. In this scenario, the need to both control senior management and be their support and partner in decision-making can be a source of role conflict and tension for board members.

Finally, I discussed the existence of tensions concerning to whom board members are accountable. The agency theory suggests that board members are accountable to the 'owners' of the organisation. The democratic and Stakeholder theories suggest that there are other stakeholders who have a legitimate interest in what the organisation does, and should hold it to account. Equally, in the FE sector, the legal framework (discussed in chapter one) means that board members are legally required to act in the best interest of the organisation rather than in the interest of other stakeholders. In the FE sector, board members experience tension because they feel accountable to more than one group. To complicate issues of tension, changes in public policy which impact the boards are too often and rather too rapid. As Carver points out, boards are dominated by volunteer non paid persons who feel a service to their community, therefore frequent policy changes that impact on them complicates their call to serve.

Research so far on the association between board composition and organisational effectiveness is meagre and inconclusive. Stewardship and Stakeholder Theories posit that managers are essentially trustworthy individuals and so are good stewards of the resources entrusted to them (Donaldson, 1990).

Their argument is that since insider directors (executives) spend their working lives in the organisations they govern, they understand the businesses better than outsider directors and so can make superior decisions. As a result, proponents of this theory contend that superior corporate performance is linked to insider directors as they naturally work to maximize the profits of stakeholders. The author is of the view that outsider directors lack the knowledge, time and resources to monitor management effectively.

However, in a separate study, (Baysinger, 1985), found evidence that organisations that perform better have more outsider directors. In the next chapter, I develop the research into some more depth, while analysing the issues above.

3.3.2: Current Governance Practice relevant to the FE sector

3.3.3 Context

The purpose of this section is to take the reader gradually through how the methods of private provision have crept gradually into the governance of education. In my previous chapters, I discussed at length how new ideologies have been re-positioned to re-work the existing public sector delivery, to the extent that private providers have now been brought into education to deliver public services; a situation (Hatcher, 2000) refers to as exogenous and endogenous privatisation.

One of the catalysts to the managerial reform agenda was the Education Reform Act of 1988. This was significantly accelerated with the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 which saw the removal of colleges from local authority control, and governance arrangements altered. Overnight, these institutions became self-governing organisations run by independent non-executive boards of directors. The membership of the governing body was designed to encourage and instil the discipline of the market into colleges by requiring a minimum 50% representation from business and industry. The intention was to ensure that colleges became more realistic and disciplined in their activities. The changes handed over huge responsibilities to manage multi-million pound budgets, negotiating staff pay and performance, determining the strategic character of the college and resolving legal issues of ownership and maintenance. This move towards a greater economic and business competitiveness produced, in turn, what has been referred to as a ‘ ‘New Managerialism’. Despite the scale and importance of the tasks suddenly posited at the door of FE governors little was done to support them in preparing for these responsibilities. It was hardly surprising then how quickly tensions in board role followed and only goes in demonstrating how little research was there to support the association between board composition and organisational effectiveness.

Having laid down the context, I will now discuss the governance situation currently.

3.3.4 Governance in the FE College Environment: The present Situation

For purposes of emphasis, I would like to remind my reader that college governing bodies function within a regulatory framework. The intention of this chapter is to analyse aspects of that framework and to explore particular features of it, including governance role and composition.

The 1998 School Standards and Framework Act, sees the purpose of the governing board as helping to provide the best possible education for the pupils in their schools (Scanlon et al., 1999) This is a perspective that resonates strongly with James et al., (2010; LSIS 2010). The 1998 Standards and Framework Act subsequently confirmed governing bodies’ overarching responsibility for the conduct of schools and colleges’ with the specific duties of setting strategic directions; supporting or challenging schools and acting as ‘critical friends’, by monitoring and evaluating their progress. In 2002, Ofsted sought to clarify the central responsibilities as strategic direction, critical friendship and accountability (Ofsted, 2002). The Education Act (2002) also introduced a deregulated and flexible system for the constitution of governing bodies. However, it was the publication in 2003, of the School Governance Constitution (DfES, 2003), that enabled the composition to include parents, staff, LEA, community, foundation, partnership, sponsor and associate governors. The regulations replaced a series of options for the composition of the governing body with a more flexible series of principles to underpin the make-up of the governing body. For example, the new arrangements:

Reduced the proportion of local authority-nominated governors.

Increased the proportion of parent governors.

Renamed co-opted governors as community governors.

Merged the separate categories of head-teacher, elected teacher governor and elected (support) staff governor into a separate category of staff governor.

Parent Governors- parents or carers of a registered pupil at the school/college

From 2000, there are various categories of governors, which are summarised as follows:

Staff Governors-teaching and support staff paid to work at the school/college (Elected)

Community governors-to represent community interests (appointed by the governing body)

LA governors- any eligible person can be appointed (appointed by the LA)

Foundation governors-from the school’s founding body, church or other organisation named in the school’s instrument of government (appointed by the founding body)

Partnership governors-who replace foundation governors in a Foundation school if that school does not have a foundation (appointed by the governing body)

Sponsor governors- are individuals or representatives of businesses who give substantial assistance to the school (appointed by the governing body-they can substantiate a link between a particular business and a school)

Associate members- are widely defined and can include providers of other services (Not formally members of the governing body).

Their functions include establishing ‘a strategic framework for leadership development and excellence in the use of resources’. (DfES, 2004: para 12). This was supported by the AoC. According to the Association of Colleges (AoC, 2011), ‘Creating excellence in college governance); good governance is 'providing strategic leadership and direction to an organisation. Accordingly, good governance in the view of the AoC is aimed at:

• Maximizing performance and success

• Aimed at representativeness and democracy

• Accountability and compliance

Viewed in this way, the effectiveness of a governing body is judged on the basis of the achievement of key outcomes such as:

• Goal attainment

• Resource acquisition.

• Constituency satisfaction.

Ultimately, the composition of the FE Governing Board with regards to minimum and maximum numbers and the specific types of governors are prescribed by the government and drawn up in accordance with existing legislation. This composition is summarised as:

• Composition prescribed by an external agency (Government)

• Majority of the board are external members, while other stakeholders including college management are also represented although in fewer proportions (Table 1: Board Representation)

Size and composition of FE governing bodies are considered in line with (DES, 1987): comparison of model instruments in DES Consultation Document (DES 1987) WO, 1987) and in DES Circular 8/88

governing bodies governing bodies 1 governing bodies 2 governing bodies 3

There are two types of governance systems that are used in English FE colleges. The first is based upon the formation of typically, five committees, with a remit for scrutiny and detailed overviews of a corporate theme, for example, the finance, teaching and learner achievement and estates (Hill,2013). This approach is usually called 'traditional' model’. Literature on the 'traditional' approach to FE college governance shows that the composition does vary from ten to twenty -eight and is influenced by governments. A typical model of a 'traditional governing board structure is illustrated in Figure 2 below.

Traditional FE Governing Board

There is a second approach which places a great deal of emphasis on the governing board meeting as a whole, with minimal committee activity beyond the basic requirements of Search and Audit committees. This system is the ‘policy governance model ‘ (Carver, 1997).

Although both approaches do enable governing boards to perform their duties, the consensus is that more output is required from governing boards in order that colleges can be more effective. (McNulty et al, 1996), citing the work of (Goodstein et al, 1994), identified that in determining the roles of governors, the governance perspective; the resources perspective; and the strategic perspective are primarily significant; however (McNulty et al, 1996) noted firstly that an assumption behind the governance perspective is that there are conflicts of interest between the management and the owners of the firm, while the governance perspective treats the board as ‘a mechanism for ensuring organisation action accords with owners’ interests’ that is, that outside directors are there to keep a check on the self-interested behaviour of the managers; accordingly, the strategic perspective acknowledges those functions and activities but goes further to indicate that it is the strategic perspective that contributes to making important decisions that ultimately enable the organisation to change; hence the strategic perspective is now receiving more attention, having been neglected (Goodstein, 1994)

Commenting on the need for an ideal model of governance, the Chairman of the governing board of Brooklands College said:

“…the need for governors to focus on governing rather than micro-managing or merely rubber-stamping executive decisions was substantially clarified”. Governor participation in forming and setting the college's mission, values and strategic focus; ensuring buy-in from the senior leadership was much enhanced. The relationship between governors and senior leaders is now challenging, but with trust on both sides'

On the question of the need for an ideal model of governance, the Chairman of the governing board of City of Bath College said:

'....we reviewed our membership, and to improve our local accountability, appointed 'stakeholder' governors to work closely with the college'.

When questioned on the ideal size of a governing board, the Chairman of the governing board of Stockton Riverside College, said:

'We found the facilitated review of our governing structure and processes immensely valuable. We are now in a much stronger position to take our college forward- with a smaller board, with a much clearer board sub-structure and with fresh skills to carry out our crucial remit of setting the strategic direction of our college'.

Taken together, these statements reflect the need for a better understanding of the nature and functions of governing bodies.. This would require a model which would capture intervening relationships, build trust and accountability and which would enhance and add value to the organisation under consideration. The contribution of governors from local community and business representatives is well established and documented in (Jamieson and James, 1992). Their involvement was to bring non-educational leadership, management and functional expertise into the work of the governing body. Most parent governors and business governors will have worked in the ‘non-education’ sector. It was arguably the point that they will bring the skills they developed in those sectors to bear on their governing work. A number of companies, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, BP, HSBC and Unilever have schemes designed to facilitate involvement of their employees in school governing. Under section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996,

‘An employer shall permit an employee of his who is a member of……a relevant education body…to take time off during the employee’s working hours for the purposes (of) attendance at a meeting of the body or any of its committees.’

Following this move, (Scanlon et al, 1999), undertook a study to find out the characteristics of school governors. The study reported:

Nearly 40% of lay governors have had experience of an occupation related to the educational sector.

Most governors were employed, with 26% of chairs and 13% of governors being retired.

83% were in professional or managerial occupations.

Over one third have been graduates.

One in eight possessed a higher degree.

In spite of the voluntary nature of college governing, (Ellis, 2003) reports that it is only the lack of time or competing time commitments which poses the main recruitment barrier, however, benefits of being a college governor gives participants a greater sense of satisfaction ( (Ibid, 2003). Another barrier given in the literature is the structure and variation of work among governing boards which make the uniformity of function across colleges in England very difficult to generalize.

Tables below show board composition:

Board Composition Pre-1988 Education Reform Act Governing Body Composition:

Representation Representation1 Representation2

Analysing the Stakeholder Theory furthermore, there are those who argue that Stakeholder Theory has both normative (moral/ethical) and instrumental (profit/wealth- enhancement) implications. This school of thought claims that, in dealing with stakeholders, there is first of all the responsibility to meet the legitimate claims of all stakeholders and second,that the theory entails the responsibility to maximize organisational wealth (Donaldson and Preston, 1995: Jones, 1995; Jones and Wicks, 1999).

The view of the proponents of the Stakeholder Theory is that, similar to the notion of a democratic parliament, a governing board is viewed as an arena populated by different parties with vested interests, hence the challenge for a just corporate governance model is to reflect (and not to ignore) such interests. Donaldson and Preston (1995: op.cit :6) explain that the Stakeholder Theory is intended both to explain and to guide the structure and operation of the corporation.

Indeed, stakeholder analysts contend that all persons or groups with legitimate interests participating in an enterprise do so to obtain benefits and that there is no prima facie priority of one set of interests and benefits over another. Hence, the arrows between the firm and its shareholder constituents run in both directions ( Refer to the diagram below). All stakeholder relationships are depicted in the same size and shape and are equidistant from the 'black box' of the firm in the centre.

Indeed, (Kotter and Heskett, 1992) observed that such highly successful companies as Hewlett-Packard, and Wal-mart all share a stakeholder perspective:

‘Almost all of their managers care strongly about people, who, have a stake in the business-customers, employees, etc.' (Ibid, 1992:59).

stakeholder relationship

The Normative Stakeholder Theory has its origins in the social entity concept of the corporation. This theory, developed by (Letza et al, 2004) regards the corporation as a public association constituted through political and legal processes and as a social entity for pursuing collective goals with public obligations (Gamble and Kelly, 2001). With the fundamental value of human rights and morality as a reference framework, it is argued that ‘the standard of a corporation’s usefulness is not whether it creates individual wealth but whether it assists the society to obtain a greater sense of the meaning of community by honouring individual dignity and promoting overall welfare’ (Sullivan and Conlon, 1997:713). Recently, the view of the corporation as an entity that serves corporate and social interests has been acknowledged by the normative or moral standpoint of the Stakeholder Theory (Carroll, 1996).

Interestingly, there are features of the Stakeholder theory that are mutually reinforcing: namely: (descriptive: - i.e. describing what the corporation is; instrumental,: - that which provides a framework for examining the connections between managers and organisation goals; and the normative;- that:- stakeholders are persons or groups with legitimate interests in the corporation. Indeed in an earlier work on the normative feature of the theory, (Evan and Freeman, 1988:97), argued that the theory of the firm must be reconceptualised along Kantian lines: In their words:

'Each stakeholder group has a right to be treated as an end in itself, and not as means to some other end, and therefore must participate in determining the future direction of the firm in which it has a stake' (Ibid, :97).

Authors like (Letza et al, 2004), explain that like social entity theory, the instrumental stakeholder theory claims that a corporation should serve multiple interests of stakeholders rather than shareholders’ interests alone. Viewed in this way, it legitimizes stakeholder value not on the basis of its intrinsic worth but as an effective means to improve efficiency, profitability, competitiveness and economic success. In that sense the instrumentalists contend that stakeholders who make firm-specific investments and contributions and bear risks in the corporation should participate in corporate decision-making as a way of enhancing corporate efficiency (see for example Blair,1995; Kelly and Parkinson,1998). Therefore, according to this school, stake- holding is not regarded as an end in itself but as an effective means of achieving specific goals common to society. (Stoney and Wistansley, 2001).

Social responsibility in this sense refers to sustainability of the organisation; and organisational sustainability here is understood to be the continuous viability of the organisation with respect to its fulfilment of its responsibilities to its key stakeholders. (Aras and Crowther, 2008).

By extension, the claim of the stakeholder theory is that a firm draws resources from the ‘stakes’ or environment and ought to be responsible for the preservation of it for the present, incoming, and future generations.

3.3.5 Research Questions and Hypothesis Development

This chapter sets out the key constructs and hypothesis to be tested as part of the study. The chapter starts with the observed phenomena which are being investigated, namely that there is an association between board characteristics and college performance.

Based on the literature review, I have developed three research questions:

1. Is there an association between board composition and organisational educational performance?

2. Is there an association between board composition and the financial health of a college?

3. Are all representatives on the governing board necessary to maximize organisational outcomes?

Board Characteristics

H₁: H₁: We test the hypothesis that: There is an association between board characteristics and college educational attainment.

H₀:H₀: That: There is no association between board characteristics and college attainment.

H₂:H₂: That there is an association between board composition and the financial health of a college

H₀₂: H₀₂ that there is no association between board composition and the financial health of a college

A third feature of the study which, has not been researched as much in the literature, is board representativeness. There is a school of thought which is of the opinion that one advantage of larger boards is the greater collective information that the board subsequently possesses and hence larger boards lead to higher performance (Dalton et al, 1999). This argument is corroborated in the study by (Lehn et al, 2004) who have concurred and added, that the advantages of larger board representation and an increasing number of non-executive directors on the board are accrual of greater collective information enabled by the larger board which then becomes valuable for the monitoring function.

However, another study argues that a large representative board does not augur well for quick decisions to be made by the board. Their view is that, although, large representative bodies may initially facilitate key board functions, there comes a point when larger boards suffer from co-ordination and communication problems in arranging board meetings and reaching outcomes, hence, this school contends that board effectiveness of large boards, declines (Lipton et al, 1992). (Jensen, 1993) has outlined that this makes the monitoring process impeded. They were of the opinion that a small board of eight or nine directors is optimal, (Lipton and Lorsch, 1992) whilst Jensen (1993) contends that the optimum board size should be seven or eight directors. It is important to note that while these findings were made in light of studies drawn from the financial sector, they were instructive in formulating opinion within the non-financial sectors.

For example, in the FE sector, Ofsted, the government quango and inspector of colleges argue that a small board ensures efficient college outcomes. (AoC, 2011). Further, the DES Circular 8/88 para:14) states:

'10 or so members would be able to conduct business more effectively and be more attractive to potential governors......than a large body'.

Kenneth Baker, the then Education Secretary, gave a strong steer on board representation yet:

'Smaller [governing bodies]-10 to 15 members- are likely to be more efficient. They are more capable of taking decisions. In an increasingly competitive world, we need working teams, not talking shops'

Unfortunately, though as noted by (Ricart et al, 2005), sufficient research has not been conducted into this phenomenon especially in the FE sector; hence the need for this study.

Based on the paucity of knowledge in this area, the study then develops a qualitative exploration to add to the quantitative findings. This observation will take the form of finding out the board composition in each of the colleges under study and document board size in relation to college performance. This will inform our final hypothesis:

H₃:H₃ that all representation on the governing board maximizes organisational efficiency

H₀₃:H₀₃That all representation on the governing board do not maximize organisational efficiency.

3.3.6 Chapter Summary

I want to end this chapter by highlighting that theory has not assisted in to explain the characteristics that governing boards should have in order that they may promote organisational effectiveness. For example, should a board be insider – led or should it be outsider-led; should outsider-led members be knowledgeable in education or should they simply be business executives; should insider board members have the expertise to tap into resources and various other considerations as well. Rather, what theories and New Public Management have done is to promote tensions and role ambiguity (also known as a lack of role clarity). The state is a normal feature of markets, as a pre-condition for their existence. Markets depend on the state for regulation, protection and currency. (Gewirt et al, 1995) maintains that both markets, choice and equity in education recognise that the market is intended as temporary ‘policy solutions’ to structural problems of cost, control and performance and that New Public Management was an ‘unnecessary interference’ (Sayer, 1995 p87). Lack of clarity occurs where the role holder does not know what to do or whether he/she is in charge either through lack of information or lack of understanding and is unclear of the boundaries and parameters of the role. (Page, 2011b) ( At least this is how I felt as a board member). Research by (Thompson and Wolstencroft, 2015), highlighted leaders and governors’ concerns related to role ambiguity where they did not have a full understanding of their own roles. The authors found that there was a loss of purpose and identity. This was exacerbated by the context in which they worked: ‘The almost constant upheaval resulting from changes within the sector generated a role that was at best ambiguous and at worst impossible’.

School government could be simultaneously reformed along the lines recommended in the Taylor Report, with more power to parents (Halsey, 1981:347).

The same feeling is also reflected when (Avis, 2009) writes:

The current preoccupation with setting national standards as a basis for accountability obscures a tension that the process of adaptive reform must address; the specification of performance targets narrows the scope for organisational innovation. This is partly because it encourages risk aversion, but, more importantly, because it establishes rigid parameters of organisation and formal responsibility.

In common with findings from the secondary schools sector, the boundaries between roles are often highly porous (Davies, 2005), making it difficult to delineate them clearly.

It is evident from the literature that governing board characteristics have developed and evolved since incorporation, a move which has been influenced by new public management. As rightly observed by (Gleeson et al, 2011:5):

If colleges are left alone, they know what to do, but they have been blown around by different funding and audit streams.

Chapter 4: Methodology and Analysis of Survey Data

4.1 Introduction

There is lack of data which demonstrates that there is an association between the governing board and college effectiveness. (Scanlon et al, 1999) found a strong association between inspection assessments of a school’s effectiveness and the assessment of its governing body. Their report argues that where the governing board exercises functions of scrutiny, strategy and accountability, effectiveness prevails.

In chapter three, I made an attempt to synthesize the themes that formed the conceptual framework for the study. In particular, I discussed policy ideologies relating to marketization, exercised by both conservative and labour governments and resulting tensions that New Public Management had on board and management functions. Tensions were obvious in governor role and representation on governing boards in terms of governor skills, their developmental support and in their strategic operational functions with regards to the arrangements for college governing functions.

To develop these themes, this chapter outlines the research methodology and provides an account of the rationale for the choice of the methodology employed. The chapter begins with the paradigms which were applied as a lens to look at reality. These paradigms are positivism and Interpretivism. Guided by these paradigms, a research design has been selected to fit the guiding beliefs of the researcher. Mixed methodology has been used. The design calls for two phases of study, a quantitative phase, followed by a qualitative phase. In each phase, an explanation is presented on how data were collected and analysed. In addition, this chapter introduces a discussion of some findings.

4.1.1 Theoretical Framework

The framework for the study revolves round the Insider Outsider Theory; concepts of board insiders as Principals and Leaders, board outsiders as non-executive directors and critical stakeholders and as important partners.

I have demonstrated elsewhere that improving the effectiveness of English Further Education colleges is increasingly recognized as a core concern for stakeholders (Kerr and Gade, 1989).Central to this concern with effectiveness, is the role played by the governing board in exercising leadership and governance of such institutions. Although there exists some criteria of measurement which can be inferred from the literature, most of the available material is, more anecdotal than systematic, consistent with schools rather than with colleges and providing limited foundation on which to build knowledge about governing board composition and its influences in Further educational institutions. In addition, drawing inferences from the literature is further complicated by inconsistencies in assumptions about and uses of the notion of effectiveness (Cameron and Billimoria, 1985).

In this research, the Insider Outsider Theory in corporate governance literature is tested on inspected English Further Education colleges between 2010 and 2018 through a deductive approach. I start off with some hypothesis, seeking to test the statement that there is an association between board characteristics and organisational effectiveness. The research takes a positivist approach basing my investigation on acceptance as fact that I can find this association. Positivism is sometimes referred to as a ‘scientific method’ or a ‘scientific research’. It is based on the’ rationalistic, empiricist philosophy that originated with Aristotle, Francis Bacon, John Locke and Emmanuel Kant’, (Mertens, 2005). It reflects a deterministic philosophy to bring forth the outcomes which could be determined (Creswell, 2003). Positivists aim to test a theory or describe an experience ‘through observation and measurement in order to predict and control forces around us (O’Leary, 2004). The worldview of the positivist is interpreted thus:


Research has been described as a systematic investigation (Burns,1997) or inquiry by which data is collected, analysed and interpreted in order to understand, describe, predict or control an educational phenomenon (Mertens,2005). This theoretical framework has influenced the way knowledge in this study has been studied and interpreted to inform the reader.

This chapter undertakes to develop a mixed methods framework for the analysis of board influence on educational institutions that would be grounded both in previous research and in the actual experiences of the college governing board. Topics to be discussed include measurement of variables, the analysis of viability and reliability, organisations, effectiveness and leadership.

Following an exhaustive examination of the literature review, a two-phase sequential explanatory procedure was designed and developed. Colleges were examined as separate ‘organisations’ within which ‘leadership’ and ‘governance’ operated. The competencies identified as being important for effective leadership and governance are specified and informed by Insider and Outsider Theory.

Data for this study was compiled from various sources including: Gov.UK; Department for Education (FE); English FE Dataset, Association of Colleges website and two hundred and thirty colleges’ individual websites. A postal survey of two hundred and thirty colleges was carried out.

4.1.2 Population and Sample

The population chosen for the study was Ofsted inspected English Further Education Colleges. There were two hundred and eighty colleges in October 2017.At the beginning of the study, however, only 172 were Ofsted inspected. The study is based on these inspected colleges. All such colleges were incorporated as Further Education Colleges with governing boards. Basic data about each college including enrolment numbers, success rates, Ofsted inspection grades and date of inspection, board size, outsider board numbers, insider board numbers, gender, qualifications and experience of board members as well as committees served on is kept on each college website together with financial statements. Where all or some of such information were not available, a phone call was made to the secretary to the board.

Data from the exploratory qualitative review study was used to:

Identify specific competencies and characteristics of outstanding colleges influenced by effective leadership.

Evaluate associations among such Ofsted scores and indicators of institutional performance.

To draw inferences about the further development of knowledge regarding the enhancement of board effectiveness. Below, these data are presented and key conceptual and methodological issues are discussed.

4.1.3 Construction of Grounded Theory

In discussing association between governing boards and college effectiveness there are a few questions this chapter considered: These are:

What defines and describes an effective college?

Do effective colleges share any characteristics with effective boards?

Is there any association between board characteristics and organisational performance?

How should theory be developed to include stakeholders?

What concepts and principles should comprise the theory, and how might they be identified and organized into a systematic framework that could be useful both for understanding governance and for improving the performance of colleges?

My approach to measuring college effectiveness is identified by two indicators: An Ofsted inspection score and a college financial score. These were my two dependent variables. However, data on gender and knowledge in relation to its association with college effectiveness was also collected and analysed to inform the study. Ofsted score was obtained by a college after an Ofsted visit. Financial effectiveness indicators were identified by college financial scores. The methodology for the computation of a college financial health score was provided by the financial health guidance for organisations contracting with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA, 2017).To compute this score, the ESFA computed Financial Health elements using such measures as Profitability, Solvency and Gearing of each college at the end of each financial year. I also conducted field survey to gather views of experts such as principals, clerks and governors to validate my qualitative and quantitative results.

4.1.4 Research Methodology

The development of theory regarding effective governance and its association with effective institutions proceeded deductively, drawing upon general theories of human behaviour in the literature, and inductively, drawing directly from the experiences of governors themselves (Steers, 1975). There exist many theories of human behaviour in organisations (e.g. Steers, 1975; Savage, 1987); hence, drawing upon such documentary sources, it was possible to derive some concepts and propositions about what constitutes effectiveness for governors.

Goal attainment, stakeholder satisfaction and resource acquisition have been emphasized in various theories (Holland, 1988).

While such concepts suggest some important general functions that boards perform, the emphasis in this chapter is the association with the ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ theory; the requirement of specific skills and knowledge regarding the application of this theory in order for the board to discharge effectively its key responsibilities. To answer the research study, I used a mixed methods approach (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003). This has been a procedure for collecting, analysing and mixing or integrating both quantitative and qualitative data at some stage of the research process within a single study (Creswell, 2005). The rationale for mixing both types of data is that neither quantitative nor qualitative methods are sufficient by themselves to capture the trends and details of situations, such as the complex issue of the association between board characteristics and organisational effectiveness.

When used in combination, quantitative and qualitative methods complement each other and provide a more complete picture of the research questions (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998).Following on from these authors, the study used a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, consisting of two distinct phases. In this design, the quantitative, numeric, data is collected and analysed first, while the qualitative, text based data is collected and analysed second in sequence and assists to explain or elaborate on the quantitative results obtained in the first phase. In this study, the quantitative data helped identify a potential predictive power of selected external and internal influences on college Ofsted scores (college effectiveness) and purposefully selected board insiders (leadership) for the second phase. Then a qualitative multiple case study approach was used to explain why certain external and internal factors, tested in the first phase, were significant predictors of college effectiveness. Consistent with Salomon (1991), I argue that the issue in this research is not quantitative versus qualitative methods at all, but whether the researcher is taking an ‘analytic’ approach to understanding a few controlled variables, or a ‘systemic’ approach to understanding the interaction of variables and data in a complex environment such as in the field of education.

In deciding on this mixed methods approach, I am guided by Firestone’s (1987) suggestion that quantitative methods only persuade the reader through de-emphasising individual judgement and stressing the use of established procedures, leading to results which could be considered to be generalizable to populations; ‘while qualitative methods persuade the reader through rich description, thereby overcoming the ‘abstraction’ inherent in quantitative methods’ (Yin 2004). Yin’s approach is also considered inductive in that it seeks to discover theoretical dimensions by means of structured interviews with seasoned governors. It is argued that by means of analyses of the diverse experiences and views of such knowledgeable persons, it is possible to identify core characteristics and aspects of effective governance, which may then be compared with those derived more deductively from the literature thus exploring a theory that is grounded directly in experience (Glaser and Straus, 1974). Thus, the quantitative data and results provided only a general picture of the research problem, addressing ‘how often’ and ‘how many’, while the qualitative data and its analysis refined and explained those statistical results by exploring board insiders’ (leadership) views regarding their persistence in more depth; addressing ‘how’ and ‘why’ in providing a rich understanding of the phenomena.

The priority, (Creswell et al., 2003) in the study, was accorded to the qualitative approach, because this approach focused on in-depth explanations of the results obtained in the first, quantitative phase, which involved extensive data collection from multiple sources. (Bliss et al, 1983), tell us that a word or phrase does not contain its meaning as a bucket contains water, ‘but has the meaning, it does by being a choice made about its importance in a given context’. Hence, my stand, in this research, is that qualitative data analysis should bring meaning and understanding to the research questions.

The results of the quantitative and qualitative phases were integrated (Creswell et al., 2003) during the discussion of the outcomes of the entire study because, overall, ‘combined quantitative and qualitative methods create a stronger outcome and enable exploring greater complex aspects.’(Malina et al. 2011)

Below I represent a visual diagram of the mixed methods based sequential explanatory procedure in this study.

 explanatory procedure  explanatory procedure

I examined whether and, if so, which ‘simple’ statistical techniques could be appropriate and sufficient for the analyses, whether more complicated regression methods are necessary, given that simplicity may be helpful in disseminating information to the lay person at work and in educational research. I have previously used basic-statistical methods, such as Chi-square and ‘simple’ linear regression. Multiple regression techniques are new to me, however, I am keen to develop knowledge because this technique will give a detailed examination that may produce some useful business management information in the area of education governance. This was one of the main reasons for examining the appropriateness of the multiple regression approach.

The variables for the theoretical framework are explored, detailing the dependent variables (Ofsted score and SFA score) and the independent variables (board composition characteristics) and to perform a multiple regression. Correlations were computed to examine the degree of association between the independent variables and college measures of effectiveness.

I use data gathered to address the study’s propositions (hypothesis), which were:

(i) There is an association between board characteristics and college educational effectiveness.

(ii) There is an association between board characteristics and college financial situation.

(iii) Representation of all of the stakeholders as well as their knowledge on the governing board maximizes college effectiveness.

I developed the research further to estimate which of the board members; whether insider board executives or indeed outsider board non-executives had stronger association with college effectiveness. College’s data in the form of existing published performance data (quality and financial) together with board composition characteristics were investigated to expand the scope of the research analysis.

I followed the processes mentioned as the following:

Summary of existing college Ofsted scores and SFA scores – year; score; mean

Ofsted College governance and management reports in descriptive manner.

Governing board characteristics including board size, board outsider, board insider; board gender; knowledge of board members in education and finance, number of learners and success rates achieved.

Correlation matrix: I used GLS regression methods and diagnostic tests.

Variables of the study: My dependent variables were Ofstedsc and Sfascore representing educational outcome and financial outcome respectively. My independent variables were board size, board outsiders, board insiders, board gender, knowledge of board members regarding education, board knowledge in finance, number of learners and success rates. The study applied the Generalised Least Square (GLS) Fixed-Effects and Random-Effects models to test the various hypotheses; after toiling with the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model. The Preference for the GLS method over pooled OLS regression is due to the important assumptions of homoskedasticity and no serial correlation in pooled OLS (Wooldridge, 2002). Pooled OLS requires the errors in each time period to be uncorrelated with the explanatory variables in the same time period, for the estimator to be consistent and unbiased. A Generalised Least Square regression is more suitable in that it corrects for the omitted variable bias and presence of autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity in data.

The above method is complemented with qualitative study and questionnaire in order to evaluate the claims of association. Some researchers are of the view that a researcher must consider criteria that are external to particular characteristics, (Kleinbaum et al 1988), hence my statistical techniques are complemented with extensive qualitative study.

 regression models

The strategy used here for the content analysis with a view to developing reliable conclusions is mainly qualitative with minor systematic quantitative data investigation. Essentially, quantitative methods are used to seek empirical support for the hypotheses. Comparing qualitative content analysis with the quantitative counterpart would enhance my understanding of the phenomenon under study. I followed the school of thought which argues that the process of developing and testing a theory does not begin with an inductive enumeration of observational data, but rather with deductive reasoning.

In the qualitative paradigm, I viewed the college as a community within the stakeholder context. In this regard, the college is an organisation which maintains relationships with several groups which are influenced by the outcomes.

For my quantitative study, my panel data was unbalanced. I had 172 Further Education English colleges that were Ofsted inspected at random intervals in 2010; 2016 and 2018; giving a total of 516 observations. Using GLS regression I present results below:

I employed STATA software package 12 and I provide below Table1 to Table 17 generalized least square regression findings of the study in the form of significant results. P-values and degrees of significance are indicated by *,**,*** respectively. The effects of board composition variables on organisational performance are explained. P-values are reported to 2 decimal places. There are 172 ofsted inspected Further Education colleges observed in 2010, 2016 and 2018 giving a total of 516 observations. Correlational analyses were used to examine the association between organisational performance and board composition (characteristics) .Fixed and Random effects on colleges are performed, in which random effect is preferred. Implications for each result are provided. We provide a general conclusion at end of tables.

Table 8: Summary statistics

My summary statistics shows a significant relationship between independent variables. For example I find board outsiders, board insiders, and board gender to be significant at 1%, showing P =0.01.

significant relationship significant relationship

Correlations were computed among seven independent variables. The correlation between board size and board outsiders, board insiders were found to be significant at 1%. The results suggest that there is a statistically significant correlation between board size and our main variables of interest: board outsiders, r (0.86) p 0.01 and board insiders, r (0.78) p 0.01.The correlations between board size with the other independent variables except board gender (male) were not significant. In general the results also suggest that boards are dominated by male.

Table 9: Correlation matrix

Correlations were computed among seven independent variables. The correlations in the main variables of interest: board outsiders and board insiders were found to be significant at 1% with P=0.01.

Correlation matrix

Table 10: Ofsted regression1

We computed a Generalized Least Square Regression. The dependent variable was Ofstedsc and eight independent variables. We find one variable of interest, board insiders significant at 5%. The P value=0.05. We also find another independent variable success rate significant at 1%. The P value=0.01

Regression Regression 1

Table 11: Ofstedsc Robust

We compute a robustness check to examine how our regression coefficients behave and whether they perform effectively while we proceed to test the variables and assumptions. We find one variable of interest, board insiders significant at 10% with P=0.1.

Robust Robust 1

Table 12: Ovtest Ramsey Reset

We perform this test to find out whether non-linear combinations of the fitted values help explain the response variable. The result of our variable of interest, board insiders does not appear to have altered. Significant at 10% with P=0.1. Our model does not appear to be mis-specified


Table 13: Iv regress 2sls ofstedsc (to show no endogenous regressors)

We use the method of instrumental variables to estimate if there are causal relationships between our dependent variable and our independent variables. By doing this, we want to test if there is an endogeneity problem. i.e. Whether the dependent variable is correlated with the error term. Endogeneity bias may be caused by simultaneous causality, which occurs when one (or more) independent variable is jointly determined with the dependent variable, i.e. when independent variables and dependent variables simultaneously cause each other (Wooldridge, 2002). In our case, our variable of interest; board insiders remains significant at 10% P=0.1


Table 14: Testing for heterogeneity using GLS

I then perform a heterogeneity test. Researchers claim that having statistical heterogeneity is not a good or bad thing in and of itself, however, it is useful to know in order to interpret my analysis. In my test, I find many significant relationships denoted by P-values. Again I find board insiders; my variable of interest significant at 5% with P=0.05.


Table 15: Ofstedsc with success

I then computed my dependent variable with success rate. I find that success rate has a significant relationship with ofstedsc (dependent variable) at 1% with P=0.01

Standard errors

Table 16: Ofstedsc with ln_bins and ln_success

I now compute ofstedsc with ln_ bins and ln_success rate. I find significant association. I note that ln_bins is significant at 1% with P=0.01 and ln_success is significant at 1% with P=0.01.These results suggest that an outstanding ofstedsc is dependent on outstanding board insiders and an outstanding success rate .

Standard errors1

Table 17: Sfascore with success

I then compute my dependent variable (ln_fsascore) with ln_success. I note significant relationship. Here ln_success is significant at 1% with P=0.01. This suggests that the financial score of a college depends on its success rate. In other words more money will be drawn towards outstanding colleges.

Standard errors2

GLS log ofstedsc log success.

I compute the relationship between log ofstedsc and log success. I find a strong association between log ofstedsc and log success. This result indicates that an outstanding ofstedsc depends on an outstanding success rate.

Standard errors4 Standard errors3 Standard errors5 Standard errors6 Standard errors7 Standard errors8

Table v :Showing 2sls: ofstedsc vrs bins & success.

I use this method to check if the dependent variable’s error terms are correlated with the independent variables. This method is used to provide consistent estimates of a regression equation when controlled experiments are not possible.


I use the Hausman test to help me choose between fixed effects model and random effects. The null hypothesis is that the preferred model is random effects. Essentially, the Hausman test looks to see if there is a correlation between the unique errors and the regressors in my models. To decide, if the p value is small (less than 0.05,) I reject the null hypothesis. In my case logsuccess is significant at 1% with P=0.01 therefore I reject the null and accept the hypothesis that fsascore is dependent on success rate.

Generally, a researcher would want to be able to define a ‘perfectly’ random sample, the most appropriate test and a one definitive conclusion. However, this is not possible. The P-value, or the calculated probability calculated in all the tests, is the probability of finding the observed results when the null hypothesis (Hₒ) of a study is true. The P-value assumes the test hypothesis is true. The P value indicates the degree to which the data conform to the pattern predicted by the test hypothesis. We have therefore presented our P – values using the asterisk rating system as well as quoting the P value: P 0.05*; P 0.01**; P0.01***

I present a report on the various tables above and below as:

Table one provides the reader with summary statistics. I observe board outsiders, board insiders, and board gender (male) to be significant at 1%.It is ‘significant’ means it is probably true that there is an association between board outsiders, board insiders and all variables.

In Table two, board outsiders, board insiders and board gender are significant at 1% and have a positive correlation with Ofsted score.

Table three shows board insiders only as significant at 5%. Conventionally, the 5% means (less than 1 in 20 chance of being wrong that there is an association with ofstedsc).

In Table four, I observe that board insiders are significant at 10%. The positive association with ofstedsc is repeated here.

Table five shows the Ovtest to give the reader the information that my model has no omitted variables.

In Table six, I test to show that our model has no endogenous regressors.

Table seven tests for model heterogeneity using GLS.

Table eight shows success rate is positive and significant at 1% with college ofstedsc.

Table nine shows board insiders is significant at 1% with ofstedsc.

Conclusion: Although it is early to arrive at a conclusion, I note significant associations. By association, I mean the lack of statistical independence between variables. (i.e. a situation where the value of one variable cannot be reasonably anticipated from knowing the value of the other variable). The research seeks to examine whether board composition (characteristics) influence or hinder college effectiveness. I find that in almost all the tests board insiders and learner success rates are positively associated with ofstedsc. What the findings mean is that board insiders have a positive influence on success rates (the performance of a college.) in line with my model. These results support my contention that if board insiders are construed to mean leadership and management, then a positive and significant good leadership promotes good ofstedsc. As a consequence, and in practice, in all intervention strategies, the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) is deployed to make an assessment of the capacity and capability of leadership and management in bringing about improvements to ‘weak’ colleges. The study also finds that the financial health of a college has a positive influence on college success rate; in other words the higher success rate of a college attracts high financial health rating and financial resource .Funding is more drawn towards a successful college.

Finally, my results show that differences across colleges have some influence on my dependent variables: OFSTEDsc and SFAscore. I am as a result inclined to prefer the prevalence of random effects over fixed effects. I make this preference with the assertion of Green, (2008) in mind. Green pointed out that ‘the crucial distinction between fixed and random effects is whether the unobserved individual effect embodies elements that are correlated with the regressors’ (Ibid:,pp. 183).

I now build on this successful finding, by supplementing my quantitative finding with data from my qualitative research. I am interested in finding out the qualities and values of the board insider (leader/principal) that lead to this positive association. In doing this, I am aware that a researcher must be cautious about interpreting the results obtained from a regression analysis that seeks to quantify an association among two or more variables. As succinctly stated in Kleinbaum;

Validity of results: It is argued that:

‘The findings of a statistically “significant’’ association does not establish a causal relationship. To investigate causality the investigator must consider criteria that are external to the specific characteristics and results’ (Kleinbaum et al 1988). My reason for undertaking the qualitative study is a way to validate my claims found in the quantitative study, that is: are governing board insiders (leadership) highly associated with college effectiveness? I discuss these issues further through a qualitative approach

The DfEE in their report had remarked that ‘the quality of the leader ‘often makes the difference between the success or failure of a school. Accordingly, the report argued that ‘Good heads (leaders) can transform a school; poor heads can block progress and achievement (DfEE, 1997:46). It is clear from the college inspections carried out that strong and effective leadership makes a critical difference to the quality and standards within an organisation. Research commissioned by Ofsted had promoted ‘leadership’ together with ‘shared vision and goals’ as important in school effectiveness (Sammons et al, 1995). Further, my field survey questionnaire (appendix 5.4) notes several important observations:

There is generally a very high level of perceived effectiveness of governing bodies with roughly three out of four governors expressing the view that, overall, their governing body works effectively and has association with college activity (to be evidenced in study).

Review of governing body effectiveness takes place every year; new members of the governing board have training sessions. All governors belong to committees. (Study)

Governing Body meetings and all committee meetings have clearly structured agendas.

Over ninety-percent of governors feel that they have a strong grasp of their role and responsibilities. This is because all colleges have in place a job description on appointment (see appendix 5.4).



From the analysis of my data and with reference to my quantitative results which showed that there is an association between board insiders and college outcomes, I deduced that a college that scores an outstanding Ofsted result is one that is likely to be that college where leadership is strong, as corroborated from evidence in the study. This part of the research commenced with the hypothesis that board insiders are leaders. The objective is to unearth the characteristics of these leaders and find out how these may associate with college outcomes.

There were a total of twenty-six (26) colleges that were adjudged outstanding in the period 2010-2018. The gathering of this data has been described as a systematic investigation (Burns, 1997) and has been collected, analysed and interpreted in order to understand, describe, predict and or/ control an educational phenomenon. (Mertens, 2005).

4.1.7 Data Collection

Data were collected from instruments and articles of government, from college websites; from Gov. FE Data library and statistical releases; from individual college websites; from Ofsted college inspection releases and from AoC (Association of Colleges) various releases including questionnaire sent out to twenty-six outstanding Ofsted observed colleges. The colleges that engaged in the leadership study were selected based on their Ofsted observed scores. As there were no a ‘priori’ assumptions, the literature review was used to inform the interview format in order to explore emerging theories in more depth; shaping the study through a process of ‘de-contextualisation’ and ‘re-contextualisation’ (Ayres et al, 2003). During de-contextualisation the data was assigned codes to units of meaning in the texts and in re-contextualisation the codes similar utterances to be brought together forming patterns and then reintegrated, organising and reducing the data around central themes. This interpretive method described by (Starks and Brown-Trinidad, 2007), distils textual data to a set of categories or concepts from which the final product can be withdrawn.

Although the questionnaire is associated with positivism, a term that is now often used derogatively in research circles (Carr and Kemmis, 1986), it has to be recorded that positivists have contributed greatly toward the understanding of philosophical questions, having an approach that encouraged participation and rigour (Phillips, 2004). Positivist research methodology usually refers to procedures associated with inferential statistics, hypothesis testing mathematical analysis, and experimental design. Its demise was recorded in the journal Sociology, where it found in the late 1960s that 75% of its articles used statistics, this had turned round to 81% making no use of statistics by the late 1980s (Gartrell and Gartrell, 2002), changes that could be related to the economic and cultural milieu.

Thus using the Interpretivist approach is therefore appropriate to understand the process by which actors construct meaning out of inter-subjective experience and should be used in a way that is logically consistent with key assumptions about social reality and how that reality is known. This approach is relevant in the field of education where organisational effectiveness encompasses many constructs.

Using the competency values framework, I set out through questionnaire to analyse responses from Ofsted observation reports. (See appendix). Through qualitative questionnaire, I interviewed governing board members of one hundred and seventy two colleges. Altogether, there were a total of ten thousand and twenty seven governing members. I had responses from three hundred and twenty three governors. I then grouped the responses adapting (Leithwood and Levin, 2005). This framework provided me with an initial tool for thinking about the different variables or influences on successful college leadership and how they may be hypothesized to associate with college outcomes.


The intuition behind my groupings is that, successful leadership practices, i.e. the independent variables in my data (board knowledge; success) tend to develop and emerge through the influence of antecedent variables. Those leadership behaviours or practices, in turn, have direct and indirect effects on a wide range of other variables. Some of those variables moderate (enhance or mute) leadership effects, others ‘link’ or mediate leadership practices to college outcomes.

Another consideration for the discerning leader (principal) is the possession and management of knowledge,’ seen as the organisations capability to allow people who work as individuals, or in teams or other communities of practice, to create and share their collective knowledge to improve the organisations performance’ (Lakshman, 2007:55). This has become a key corporate resource and a critical role of leadership is the necessity to manage it. (Gardner, 2000), suggests that this is due to the complex technical nature of the job and the pace of change, but despite its importance to organisations, leadership theory and research has not addressed it (Lakshman, 2007). In the FE sector, one of the reforms that leaders were tasked with was the setting, monitoring and evaluating targets on student performance.

The ability and desire of the individual leader to work together as a team (Vandewaerde et al, 2011) and, ideally, a high-performing team (Gabris & Nelson, 2013) to make strategically important decisions also seems to be important antecedents. Group diversity purportedly enhances the quality of decision-making, particularly when complex, non-routine problems are being considered. The above observations are in line with (Day et al, 2001). (Day et al.'s, 2001) research in 12 ‘effective schools in England and Wales concludes that ‘good leaders are informed by and communicate clear sets of personal and educational values which represent their moral purposes for the school’ (p.53).

Having now demonstrated my reasoning behind this framework, and having discussed the skills and knowledge of leaders in FE, it is now necessary to consider how these skills influence and enhance college activities and in particular to explain the visionary characteristics of a leader and how these may associate with college outcomes.

The vision of a leader is translated into success rate (achievement).

Where, board insiders , (redorg) board knowledge,(devpeo) external stakeholders (ext)

Summary 1 Summary 2

Various studies adopt the Structural Equation Modelling approach. This approach provides an important means for investigating college processes that comprise important mediating variables in the formulation of any concept. For example, (Hallinger and Heck, 1990) quoted in (Leithwood et al, 1996), concur that when studying the interrelationships among principals (leaders) and college success, the structural feature of educational organizations takes on particular importance. This is the case in this study because principals (leaders) are likely to influence the efficacy at college level of the entire organisation. The approach is also illuminating because it permits the variability in dependent variables such as outcomes; leaders (board insiders) to be decomposed across different levels of the organisation.

I then proceed to construct the CFA/SEM to identify relationships between dimensions related to leadership processes. I identified three levels of relationships (the strength of the factor loadings indicate the strength of the relationships) such that:

Level 1= Comprises 3 dimensions: vision, redesign org, developing people Level 2= Comprises 2 dimensions: redesign org, developing people Level 3= Comprises 2 dimensions: developing people, external relationships

Comprises  2

In performing the above CFA/SEM structural modelling in line with (Leithwood and Levin, 2005), above, the study has considered vision of the leader as an increasingly essential component of effective leadership. In doing this I draw on (Beare et al, 1992) and (Bennis and Nanus, 1985) to articulate ten ‘emerging generalisations’ about leadership, four of which relate directly to vision:

Vision is communicated in a way which secures commitment among members of the organisation

Communication of vision requires communication of meaning

Attention is given to institutionalizing vision if leadership is to be successful

The above observations and considerations form the basis of my discussions in chapters five and six.

Table 4.4 Sample colleges

As noted in chapter 1, sample colleges were one hundred and seventy two colleges out of a total of two hundred and twenty-eight inspected colleges in England as at 2018.


There were twenty-six colleges that were judged to be outstanding by Ofsted in the study period.


Gender Demographic Analysis

Based on my study and data I collected of 172 English Ofsted Inspected Colleges with five hundred and sixteen (516) observations in 2010, 2016,and 2018, there were a total of two thousand two hundred and thirty five (2235) governors, the breakdown is as follows:

An interesting theme emerging from the data analysis is that while women were the lower represented on governing boards compared to their male counterparts, women as Principals were higher in the study compared to male Principals.

4.1.8 Ofsted Report: Emerging Themes: Board Insiders as Leaders

In this context, leadership is equated to board insiders. We then proceed to answer the hypothesis that: there is an association between leadership and college effectiveness?

To answer the above, the following specific questions were addressed:

What is the vision of the Principal and the senior management team? How does the Principal and the senior management team communicate this vision? How does the Principal relate to board outsiders and stakeholders? (Is the Principal being held accountable for college outcomes? (OECD:2006)

4.1.9 Leadership Characteristics and association with College Effectiveness

4.2.0 Setting the Context: The FE College as an Organisation

A leadership behaviour of an individual directing activities toward a shared goal. A prime function of a leader is to keep hope alive (John W. Gardner) Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another; it is the only means. (Albert Einstein) Collectively, these three short quotations capture some of the key characteristics of leadership.

The introductory literature review to this study revealed that, since the mid-1990, leadership has become the key concept in educational practice due to the substantially increased organisational autonomy brought about by college incorporation (see chapter 3). The developments described in that chapter presuppose that no meaningful discussion can be made of the role of a leader without first considering a meaning of the organisation within which a leader functions.

In this regard, Keeley, (1980) suggested two analogies for conceptualizing organisations such as the adaptive and the interpretive; (that the organisation must adapt and yet be interpretive). Drawing on the philosophical ideas of Plato, he opined that the organisation is an entity consisting of functionally differentiated roles through which the aims of the organisation are sought. His school of thought, in an organismic sense, was that ‘social arrangements (as in a college) are rational if the collective (as though with a single person) acts rationally with respect to collective ends’ [28:p.347]


Two major themes are discernible within the adaptive/interpretive tradition and which lay the foundation within which leaders operate. First is an important role for cooperation, coordination, collaboration and leadership. The second major theme is the importance of culture and symbols to the organisation. Having now conceptualised colleges as organisations, it is important to note that in the corporate governance literature, as I have indicated in earlier chapters, there is not a single model of organisational effectiveness which has been designed to fit all organisations. Whereas, I have limited my notion of effectiveness, in this study, to include Ofsted scores and financial scores of a college, it is instructive to note that college effectiveness can be a complicated and a multifaceted construct. For example, the factor of success rate, administrative functioning, leadership behaviours, morale, level of trust, culture and the commitment, loyalty and satisfaction of teachers are all equally important. According to Balduck and Buelens (2008), the issue of effectiveness in organisations revolves round four main approaches: the resource approach, the goal approach, the strategic constituency approach and the internal process approach. Therefore, an attempt to include all of these variables to measure college effectiveness would be complicated and difficult to administer (Ostroff & Schmitt, 1993). Cheng, (1996) suggested that to conceptualise college effectiveness is to understand college functions. This author, basing his argument on Conflict Theory in sociology, classified the potential college functions into five types to include: technical/economic functions, human/social functions, political functions, cultural functions and educational functions. From the conception of college functions, Cheng defined college effectiveness as the capacity of the college to maximise these functions or the degree to which the college can perform college functions. He therefore classified college effectiveness into five types: technical/economic effectiveness, human/social effectiveness, political effectiveness, cultural effectiveness, and educational effectiveness. Influenced by the literature on college effectiveness, Cheng (1996) studied the works of Cameron (1984) and Cameron and Whetten (1983), whose main concern was a comprehensive review of the literature on organisational effectiveness. Cameron (1984) suggested seven major models that can be used to study effectiveness of organisations in general. They include the goal model, strategic-constituencies model, competing – values model, legitimacy model and ineffectiveness model. Cheng (1996) integrated the work of Cameron (1984) and Cameron and Whetten (1983) with the concept of college functions and added the organizational learning model into the classification of college effectiveness models. Cheng (1996) suggested the following eight models: The goal model- This reflects the importance of priorities of goals some powerful constituencies to be satisfied in the dynamic process in a given time; The Resource-Input model- The limitation of resources available for a college restricts its ability to maximize its effectiveness on multiple goals. Acquisition of more resources can enhance a college’s potential to pursue multiple goals The Process model- The internal constituencies are also multiple, generating different pressures on the college’s process of achieving multiple goals. This model reflects the interactions among internal constituencies and also the importance of internal interaction process to college effectiveness The Satisfaction model-Pressures from different strategic constituencies influence the survival of a college and also the priorities of goals to be pursued. The model reflects the impact of powerful constituencies on the dynamic process of maximizing effectiveness on multiple criteria. The Legitimacy model- Environment constraints set limits to the college’s pro cess of struggling for survival. Whether a college can eliminate these limits reflects its effectiveness The Ineffectiveness model- The ineffectiveness model provides a baseline for a college to identify the ‘obvious’ unbalanced situation in the process of achieving multiple goals

The Organizational Learning model- In the dynamic process, the development of awareness of unbalanced pressures from environmental constraints and the dynamic adaptation to the unbalanced situation are both critical for long-term effectiveness. The Total Management model- This model is an integration of all the above models; emphasizing a holistic perspective of the dynamic process of struggling for college effectiveness.

Cheng (1996) concluded that the different models of college effectiveness are needed to understand how well a college performs in different aspects of its dynamic process. The model also provides congruence in pursuing effectiveness in the long term process. Nadler and Tushman (1983) further argued that effectiveness of education and the college process may be affected by congruence in process. Furthermore, based on Cheng and Chan (1987), a principle of congruence can be proposed to predict the relationship of internal college effectiveness to the college process, as follows: The greater the congruence in the college process, the higher the internal college effectiveness. Considering the importance of models in assessing and interpreting college effectiveness, the strategic constituency model was selected as a frame for discussion.

4.2.1 The Strategic Constituency Model (vision of the Principal) For the purposes of this study, the strategic constituency approach has been considered desirable. Dalton (1988) noted that in academic and research environments in which it is not easy to define the cost-benefit relations, it is sensible to make use of the strategic constituency approach. This approach deals with the effect of the organization on the stakeholders and their interests as corroborated in (Schermerhorn et al., 2004). The organisation’s stakeholders including learners, staff, Ofsted, Skills funding Agency, insider and outsider board members the government and host communities are considered to have interests which equally need to be protected and promoted. Stakeholder theory suggests that performance and effectiveness depend on how well an organization manages its relationships with these stakeholders (Freeman& Phillips, 2002). Indeed to succeed, the manager needs to harmonize the often-times conflicting interests of these stakeholders in a balancing act which calls for considerable tact. Where these interests are properly managed, the support of the stakeholders is maintained, while the organization is seen as a good platform upon which the stakeholders’ interests can be maximized to the benefit of the overall organization. The main argument of the stakeholder theory is that people, who freely come to associate themselves in an organization, are the ones who create economic value for it. The interests of these people must therefore be paramount. Accordingly, managers need to develop such a quality of relationships with these stakeholders that will encourage them to strive to contribute in a collaborative way towards achievement of the organizational goals. Effectiveness will then be the assured outcome of this association once value is created (Freeman,2004) Based on this approach, effectiveness refers to the minimal satisfaction of all of the strategic constituencies of the organisation, whiles strategic constituency involves all the people that are connected to the organisation. The study considers outstanding Ofsted scores as indicators of college effectiveness for purposes of this study. Having developed the concept of organisational effectiveness, we would now consider and conceptualise ‘leadership’.

4.2.2 Leadership and College Effectiveness: The Strategic Constituency Approach

We would now conceptualise leadership in the FE sector from 2010-2018. The reader has already been informed in earlier chapters that the 1992 Act of Incorporation evoked the moment when FE institutions (that were once part of a democratically elected LEA colleges) became incorporated as self-facilitating business enterprises. Earlier writers (Stacey, 1992) had argued that the pace of change, the degree to which policies are externally imposed or arises internally, and the complexity of leading larger organisations as colleges mean that the management of change was complex; and that there is no clear relationship between inputs and outcomes. Some researchers have succinctly explained that being business leaders, Principals and CEOs became managers of finance, strategy, personnel and marketing (Iszatt-White, 2010) yet others maintain that leaders had a minimal role in determining college strategy. These latter researchers argue that leadership strategy in the FE has continued to be an ongoing series of events; a perpetually unfinished project, requiring engagement with policies and procedures originating elsewhere, and merely requiring strategy to pass through the college gate as an obligatory passage point (Collinson, 2007a). Various authors agree there has been a changing role of the functions of the FE leader yet strategy remains the one most crucial function for a leader. For example, Collinson, (2007a) noted that leadership in FE has become increasingly complex, with multiple and at times competing demand: from that of chief academic officer to one that combines responsibility for academic matters with that of being the chief executive of a multimillion pound business; Greany et al (2014) commented that leaders in the FE sector operate in an environment characterised by changes in policy and funding while Lambert (2013) observes that: ‘This has required new skills and a different way of looking at the activities and functions that are carried out by the post-holder’. The reader may like to pause and consider some of the changing dimensions within the professional practice of a principal in the United Kingdom from the period of incorporation from 1992. Some of the changing dimensions and lexicon include: Competitive tendering for cleaning and canteen facilities The hiring, firing, promotion and dismissal of staff The selection, recruitment, retention, discipline and exiting of learners Bidding for resources from external funding agencies; The installation and operation of information systems to measure and report performance; Inspection of the college by OFSTED framework

These changing role dimensions were corroborated in the study by Dean et al (2007). The study by Dean et al, (2007) focused specifically on college governing in disadvantaged areas of England. One of the different rationales they found which explain the variety of demands placed on college governing bodies and that influence the roles that governing bodies take up was:

A managerial rationale- which emphasises efficiency in the administration as well as the importance of meeting standards of college achievement, and which requires governors with managerial skills.

As a consequence, market forces came to exert powerful accountability pressure on colleges. Indeed, Carnoy, Elmore and Siskin (2003) distinguish between internal and external accountability in colleges. Internal accountability, they argue embraces the sense of responsibility that individuals in a college feel, the collective expectations of college members and the formal and informal accountability systems while according to them external accountability was concerned with the constraints and demands placed on colleges. Internal accountability is related to external accountability in its effect on setting expectations and norms.

Throughout these phases of ‘Managerialism’, what matters for the leader is what has become constituted as ‘outstanding’, as in all cases the future viability of a college depended on an ’outstanding’ ofstedscore. Invariably and in all the colleges observed, in conceptualising the association between leadership and college effectiveness, ‘outstanding’ has become ‘complying’ with the detailed specification bestowed by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted); which criteria continues to change with policy changes depending on the government of the day. For example, the common inspection framework for the inspection of colleges under the period of study lists the questions inspectors must ask in every institution providing education.; and key terminology such as ‘Governing’ and ‘governance’ is referred to under leadership and management, while inspectors are required to evaluate the effectiveness with which governors discharge their responsibilities. The DES/Ofsted (circular 2005 p33) goes on to say that:

‘If everything is very good in a college, the chances are that the leadership and management at all levels are very good’.

The relevance of our study has become compelling as our findings would not only inform policy but would unearth the complex relationship between leadership and organisational effectiveness, thereby adding to the literature. In the next chapter, I examine the role of the principal and how this relates to college effectiveness

4.2.3 The Principal and College Effectiveness

There is insufficient research which demonstrates that good leadership has a direct effect on college performance although a number of studies have shown a close association between the quality of the leader and college performance. Scanlon et al (1999) found a strong association between inspection assessments of effectiveness of a school and the assessment of its leader; although this research was confined to the schools sector. Ranson et al,(2005a), albeit in a small case study, showed an association between performance and the type of governing body, with the executive board (board insiders) more closely associated with higher performance. It was found that these leaders exercised functions of scrutiny, strategy, and accountability. Ranson et al (2005a) argued that scrutiny is the main strategic function of the best primary school governing bodies which they consider to be:

Assuring quality and standards of education in the school by bringing high expectations Ensuring full deliberation and questioning of policies, budgets and practices Putting in place systems for monitoring and reviewing the standards of achievement, financial plans and the policy developments of the school

My analysis of the survey sample of twenty six Ofsted Outstanding colleges reveals that college effectiveness is characterised by a variety of factors. My findings corroborate to that of Wildy (1991), who found a strong relationship between a strong leader and an outstanding college. This study finds that strong leadership, high expectations of academic achievement, a shared sense of mission and clear goals, vision and performance monitoring are common characteristics of effective colleges.

Earlier literature by Reynolds, Sammons, Stoll, Barber and Hillman (1996) had identified nine key factors associated with effective colleges. These were articulated as professional leadership, shared vision and goals, a learning environment, high quality teaching and learning, high expectations, positive reinforcement, monitoring learner progress, learner rights and purposeful teaching; while Mortimore’s (1996) meta-analysis identified eleven characteristics of effective colleges including home-college partnership and the college as a learning organization. However, in this study we limit ourselves to principal leadership and the development of conditions conducive to creating effective organisations. We take cognisance of the view expressed elsewhere that it may not be entirely possible to develop a leadership style that fits all colleges and situations. To this regard, Verdugo et al. (1997) contended that it is not necessary to have any particular leadership style as long as the style of the leader matches the expectations of the followers, yet the web that connects all these researches is that leadership is a function within an organisational setting which may be performed by one individual but does not necessarily rest as much upon one individual. Indeed, Ogawa and Bossert (1997) suggest that leadership is exercised not through individual charisma or heroic action, but by creating an organisation that survives. Leadership, they suggest (1997,p.19) ‘flows through the networks of roles that comprise organisations…and is based on the deployment of resources that are distributed across the network of roles, with different roles having access to different levels and types of resources.

My own view of educational leadership is based upon close examination of Ofsted summary reports of twenty-six (26) ‘outstanding’ colleges and principals working in different kinds of colleges in England under study, each of which was judged by separate teams of the government’s Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) inspectors as providing an outstanding high quality education. In earlier chapters (chapter 3) of this study, I had reiterated what constituted Ofsted educational outcome measures; however for purposes of instruction, I now state what Holmes, (2000) thought these meant.

Holmes reminded us that in arriving at such judgements, about any college, inspectors looked out for four things in particular: the degree to which the college’s leadership and management is ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’ with emphasis on the ‘promotion of high standards of teaching and learning’; the ‘effectiveness of the college’s success rate’, the way the college uses its human and other resources and promotes ‘best value’, and how the college works with its governing body’ (Holmes,2000:49). In this regard, we subscribe to the view proposed in (Greenfield,1986) that college leaders are essentially ‘value-carriers’ .The intuition here is that, the kind of educational values principals seek to reproduce in their leadership and management practices articulate with and have consequences for the quality of education provided by the colleges within which they work. Some of these educational values as suggested by Bottery, (1992:86) include a leadership style that is:

Transformative; dispersed and democrative; Visionary and optimistic; Empowering and trusting; Consultative and respectful; Willingness to educate others; Inclusive and participatory; Critical and yet experimental.

However, the ultimate focus of college leadership practice as instituted by incorporation is defined by government as captured in its articles of incorporation ( see chapter 2 of study) . What this means in practice is that in setting a vision statement for a college; (which is an articulation of what a college should be doing in the long-term) a principal needs to include an analysis of the environment; and of its strengths and weaknesses. (Heymann, 1987) This is represented as: Adapted: Heymanns’s Public Sector Strategy Model (1987) The above model captures what Manasse (1986) calls visionary leadership. Writing in 1986, he categorised vision into four types: organisational, future-oriented, personal and strategic.

The above model captures what Manasse (1986) calls visionary leadership. Writing in 1986, he categorised vision into four types: organisational, future-oriented, personal and strategic. He defined organisational vision as a complete picture of a system’s components as well as an understanding of their interrelationships. He considered future vision as a comprehensive picture of how an organisation will look at some point in the future, including how it will be positioned in its environment and how it will function internally. Personal vision, according to Manasse includes the leader’s personal aspiration for the organisation and acts as the impetus for the leader’s actions that link organisational and future vision.

Lastly, strategic vision involves connecting the reality of the present (organisational vision) to the possibilities of the future (future vision) in a unique way (personal vision) that is appropriate for the organisation and its leader (Manasse, 1986). Manasse (1986) concluded that a leader’s vision needs to be shared by those who will be involved in the realisation of the vision.


Table 4.10 below shows the distribution of size of governing bodies. The maximum number of governors allowed under incorporation was 20.


4.2.4 Chapter Summary

This chapter provided an account of the rationale for the choice of methods employed and analyse data in this study. The chapter began with an explanation of the worldviews, which I adopted to look at the realities studied. I approached the study with two worldviews; Positivism and Interpretivism. Positivism was adopted in the first place because I wanted to grasp the meaning of the objects in a value-free way.

The research design and methods used to collect and analyse data were selected as appropriate to my worldview and mixed methods were adopted. Finally, analysis of survey data; results and discussion were considered. Issues emerging from survey data were highlighted to set the scene for the next chapter; chapter 5.

Chapter 5: Board Insiders as Leaders of English FE Colleges

This chapter continues an in depth study of the findings in relation to the subject of leadership and corporate governance in English FE colleges. In our introductory chapters, we established that FE colleges are corporations established under the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) for the purposes of conducting education and as such are exempt charities for the purposes by Part 3 of the Charities Act (2011). In pursuance of this Act, colleges usually conduct their business in accordance with:

The seven principles of Standards in Public Life including: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership; and in Full accordance with the guide to colleges from the Association of colleges in the English Colleges’ Foundation code of Governance (‘the Foundation Code’) and Having due regard to the UK corporate Governance Code (‘the code’) insofar as it is applicable to the further education sector

This study shows that all the colleges studied have adopted and complied with the Foundation Code, however, not all colleges have adopted and therefore do not comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code, because this is not obligatory. I find that this practice is common among the colleges under study. It is the norm and this study has confirmed this. Nevertheless, although they do not comply with the Code, colleges report on Corporate Governance arrangements by drawing upon best practice available, including those aspects of the UK Corporate Governance Code which are relevant to the further education sector. For example College corporations are independent, and the Further Education Commissioner is not in a position to dismiss Principals or Chairs of Governors (where reserve statutory powers rest with the Secretary of State).

The framing of this study was literature on the association of corporate governance with FE performance. Key authors in this area included (Gleeson, 1999). For example, the (Taylor, 1977) recommended that a college governing board must have the four principal stakeholder groups represented equally: the Local Education Authority, staff, parents and the local community; and added that such representation should: ‘Take due account of all the expectations of the local community and of all the various external pressures and demands made on the college (such as those of employers, examining bodies, funding bodies or institutions of higher education) in college governance’ (Taylor, 1977).

(Birnbaum, 2004), ascribes governance in FE college institutions to the structures, and processes designed to achieve effective balance between the claims of two different, but equally valid systems for organisational control and influence . These systems, Birnbaum referred to as consisting of professional authority which is assumed by the principal and senior leadership and with a legal authority which is assumed by trustees. According to (Ofsted) (Ofsted, 2006) one challenge facing college administration in English FE colleges today is poor governance. The report claims that good governance is essential for the performance of education systems. Ofsted goes on to say that to be effective, colleges require visionary and creative leadership as well as, in the words of Ofsted, ‘Good Governance promotes education quality’.

However whereas good governance alone may not be a sufficient condition for attaining the quality and character of colleges, it is certainly a necessary characteristic. A poorly governed college would neither flourish nor deliver quality educational outcomes. This assertion was confirmed with our interview with the clerk to the governing board of College A. In that interview the clerk said ‘poor leadership results in poor Ofsted outcomes’. (Interviewee A) This study focuses on the broad subject of governance in FE colleges, with specific emphasis on the association between board composition and college effectiveness.

5.1.2 Theoretical Framework

It has been discussed in earlier chapters that theoretical underpinnings have provided basis for the research in corporate governance including, ‘’The Modern Corporation and Private Property by (Berle, 1932); and the agency relationship by (Jensen) and (Jensen, 1976) which, have been espoused in chapter three of this study. So too has the Stewardship Theory by (Davis, 1991). In all these theories, the aim of the management is to maximize organizational performance. The resource dependence approach, as espoused in (Pfeffer, 1973) emphasize that non-executive directors do enhance the ability of a firm to protect itself against the external environment, reduce uncertainty and co-opt resources which could increase the of the firm to raise funds. According to them, organisations usually attempt to reduce the uncertainty of outside influences to ensure the availability of resources necessary to maintain their survival and development. In this regard non-executive directors are hence seen as one of a number of instruments that may facilitate access to resources critical to organizational performance and success. My study corroborates existing literature only to the extent that there are four primary types of broadly defined resources provided by boards of directors when taken as a whole. This comes from our observation of twenty six Ofsted observed colleges in England from 2010 to 2018. In the study, we have meticulously examined Ofsted statements of ‘outstanding’ colleges and have categorised these under:

Advice, counsel and know-how Legitimacy and reputation Channels for communicating information between external organizations and the college Preferential access to commitments or support from important actors outside the firm (Pfeffer, 1978).

Accordingly, these resource roles are provided by board of directors mainly through their social and professional networks (Johannisson, 2000). Interestingly, the stakeholder approach also considers the provision of resources as a central role for the board. However, the principal resource that stakeholder proponents refer to is consensus building. According to this view, the board comprises representatives of all of the parties who could be considered to be critical to a company’s success. This representation results in the organizations’ ability to build consensus among all critical stakeholders and help to mitigate the issue of tensions on the board. Hence in line with their reasoning the board of directors is seen as the place where conflicting interests are mediated and where the necessary cohesion is created (Preston, 1995). Further the theory argues the importance of an organization paying special attention to the various stakeholder groups. The representation of all stakeholder groups on boards is, therefore, necessary for effective corporate governance to the extent that where stakeholders participate in the corporate governance process, they do have access to relevant, sufficient and reliable information on a timely and regular basis ( (OECD, 2017) Principle: IV.D).

In spite of these arguments, there is a lack of in depth research in the FE sector of how governing boards are composed and how this composition may associate with college performance; this is because, the issue of whether board of directors should be employees of or affiliated with the organization (insider directors) or outsider directors with no affiliation or a combination of both remain contested and no clear conclusion has been reached as to which directorship enhances organisational efficiency.

Therefore, following on from our findings in the quantitative study, where insider directors appear to be more associated with college ‘outstanding’ outcomes, this chapter attempts to examine issues of leadership (board insiders –which we consider to be leadership), examines the characteristics of a good leader and how this leadership role enhances college performance into some more detail. To begin with, the college leader is a board insider with many informational advantages. They face increasing challenges to manage complex responsibilities because of the ambiguity of the educational enterprise (Lumby, 2000).They therefore must possess a wide variety of managerial and leadership skills to be successful in academic environments.

While we would consider the necessary leadership skills required by leaders later on in this chapter perhaps it is important to lay the foundations for what we may consider to be the necessary governing environment including the policy context.

In earlier chapters of this study, the point was made that for good governance to exist in FE colleges, it is important for colleges to uphold: shared governance; clear rights and responsibilities, financial stability and accountability. The principle of shared governance involves notions of collaboration and participation in decision-making by all those actors involved. It is this principle which forms the basis for the involvement of stakeholder theory as referred to in earlier chapters. We would interrogate the extent to which all stakeholders’ involvement in the governance process influences the performance of colleges; however for now it is important to consider this theory as an important theme in this study. Another governing environment which matters for the leader is financial stability

The principle of financial stability refers to the adequacy of funding that is directed to core college activities of teaching and learning; whiles accountability ensures that colleges and their managers justify their activities, accept responsibilities for them and disclose responsibilities and results for them in a transparent manner. A prevailing theme in governance is (good) or (bad) governance. While it is common knowledge that bad governance leads to bad outcomes, the concept of what constitutes good governance is not clear.

5.1.3 The Concept of (Good) Governance

In progressing with this study, it is important to reiterate that governance is a complex and highly contested concept. As previously outlined in chapters two and three of this study, because the concept means different things to different people, the process and practices that will apply will vary significantly given the environment in which it is applied. For instance, governance in the public sector needs to take into account legal and constitutional accountability and responsibilities whiles bearing in mind stakeholder interests as well.

Within the context of college education, the term governance has been used to refer to the means by which colleges are organised and managed. Specifically, and of particular reference to this study, the term governance is employed to refer to all those structures, processes and activities that are involved in planning and directing of colleges and the people working in them.

Since governance is about interest articulation and goal realization, it does raise the questions about who decides what and when. So for our purposes, the internal and external environment which imposes the rigidity yet the flexibility to adapt will be central concerns to the effective leader. These concerns and how the effective leader may manoeuvre them would be addressed as we introduce the integrated competing values framework in this chapter, however, to refresh our readers’ understanding we would discuss internal and external environment and mechanisms which an effective leader must uphold to be successful.

Internal governance refers to the organisational arrangements within institutions that contribute to the smooth running of these organisations; while external governance in our case refers to the macro system or state control of college education and entails the laws, funding arrangements and evaluations that colleges are subjected to (OECD, 2008). Consequently, in relation to this study, whiles the governing board is mainly a legislative issue, its implementation and composition has a lot of influence on organisational performance

Drawing from the broad concept of governance is the concept of ‘good governance’. The concept denotes the quality of the governance process, in particular the effectiveness of government (Santiso, 2001). Good governance represents the best possible process for making decisions. It is not about making ‘correct’ decisions but about the process for making and implementing decisions. For the World Bank (Bank, 1994), good governance is indicated by predictable, open and enlightened policy-making and a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos acting in furtherance of the public good. This view is in line with the sentiments expressed by (Robinson, 1994) who opined that ‘good governance’ implies a high level of organisational effectiveness in relation to policy-formulation and the policies that are actually pursued.

Drawing from the broad concept of governance is the concept of ‘good governance’. The concept denotes the quality of the governance process, in particular the effectiveness of government (Santiso, 2001). Good governance represents the best possible process for making decisions. It is not about making ‘correct’ decisions but about the process for making and implementing decisions. For the World Bank (Bank, 1994), good governance is indicated by predictable, open and enlightened policy-making and a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos acting in furtherance of the public good. This view is in line with the sentiments expressed by (Robinson, 1994) who opined that ‘good governance’ implies a high level of organisational effectiveness in relation to policy-formulation and the policies that are actually pursued.

There are a number of characteristics or practices of ‘good governance’ that set it apart from bad (or poor) governance. Poor governance tends to be associated with arbitrary policy-making, unenforced or unjust legal systems, the abuse of executive power and widespread unaccountable financial practices and corruption (Bank, 2000a); The first characteristic of good governance is participation. Good governance requires that all stakeholders have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their interests. The second characteristic of good governance is consensus orientation. Good governance (in line with stakeholder school of thought )mediates differing interests to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the group and where possible, on policies and procedures. The third fundamental requirement of good governance is accountability. Where good governance is the norm, decision-makers are accountable to the public/or to institutional stakeholders. Accountability means that administrators or managers have an obligation to report, explain and be answerable for the consequences of the decisions they make on behalf of the stakeholders they represent. Closely linked to accountability is transparency. Normally built on the free flow of information, transparency represents the extent to which stakeholders follow and understand the decision-making process. Transparency exists where stakeholders are able to clearly see how and why a decision was made; what information, advice and consultation decision makers considered, and which legislative requirements were followed. Where transparency exists, processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to those concerned with them, and enough information is provided to understand and monitor them.

In addition, good governance is responsive. It ensures that the needs of the entire stakeholders are served while balancing competing interests in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner In this scheme of things, institutions and processes are designed to serve all stakeholders. Furthermore, Good governance is effective and efficient. This means that processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources. The final characteristic of good governance is adherence to the rule of law. Good governance has to obtain legal frameworks which should be fair and enforced impartially. Having now considered what may determine good governance, the reader may enquire further about the future course of actions. We ask the reader to pause, reflect and consider whether indeed there is a relationship between governance and leadership? We concede that yes there is a relationship. In England, appointing the right Principal is one of the most important functions of the corporation. The DfE annual report (DfE, 2018) states that governors need to take great care in appointing a new Principal. The report tasks the governing board to put in place rigorous assessment procedures for shortlisted candidates. ‘It is important that college boards conduct due diligence on new appointments, including discussions with college associations, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as well as reviews of FE Commissioner Reports.

5.1.4 The Relationship between Leadership and Governance

To a great extent, the concept of governance is related to the concept of leadership. Although the literature often presents the two as distinctive items, in practice they often overlap. (Gordon, 1955), defines leadership as an influential relationship among leaders and followers who are bound together by a mutual goal that constitutes the basis for their quest for change. For this to function it must show an interaction between a person and the members of a group in which one person, the group leader, influences, whiles the other persons respond (Ibid, 1955). It is no surprise, therefore, that in England, strengthening Leadership and Governance has been a common theme across all Further Education Commissioner Interventions. The FE Commissioner recommendations on leadership and governance have focussed on:

Effective recruitment of governors with the necessary skills to oversee a complex organisation with a high turnover. Proposing a culture of challenge at Board level, where the executive team welcome and invite scrutiny from non-executive governors Clear reporting to the board, with transparent performance metrics, and use of benchmarking data to compare with sector performance Governors developing their expertise and understanding of the college’s management through shadowing curriculum areas, or the finance function Securing suitable mentoring and training programmes for senior leadership, to strengthen skills and capability (DfE Annual Report 2018).

(Kouzes, 1995), define leadership as’ the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations’. For (Davies, 2003), leadership implies movement, taking the organization or some part of in a new direction, solving problems, being creative, initiating new programmes, building organisational structures and improving performance. (Boiman, 1995), says that, ‘The essence of leadership is not giving things or even providing visions. It is offering oneself and one’s spirit’. We can glean from the definitions that leadership is a ‘collaborative endeavour’; that is, leadership is not the leader, but the relationship that exists between the leader and those following him/her. Hence, it is important for a leader to share power, empower and co-operate with others. Corroborating this, (Bennis, 2003) has concurred that a leader has a focus on the people and the interest of everyone. A leader motivates, earns trust of others through integrity and notably has a vision of what they want to achieve in the present and in the future. Some argue that leadership may be seen as an inborn ability that could exist only in a few people and not in others. However, in an earlier writing, (Kouzes, 1988) extended their definition by explaining that leadership is a set of learnt and observable skills. According to them people who have the aspiration and the persistence can acquire the much needed skills and abilities for this role. (Basham, 2000) has echoed similar sentiments and has argued that few leadership skills are naturally endowed but are learned through enthusiasm and training.

5.1.5 Leadership in the Further Education Sector:

5.1.6 Policy Context

A running theme in this study is policy and its impact on college governance. Policy is seen as central to understanding educational settings. (Coffield, 2008), suggest that, for the FE workforce: ‘policy creates the general atmosphere and sets the conditions under which they work. (Ozga, 2000), feels, “It is difficult to imagine an educational research project on governance that takes place ‘outside policy’”.

(Ozga, 2000) considers policy to be a process which permeates education settings, shaping the identities of those working there and producing ‘contestation’ and ‘mediation’ as it does so. (Newman, 1997), share this ‘dynamic’ view: ‘Leaders are not just the technical conduits through which policies are implemented. The process of institutional elaboration means that the outcomes of reforms are unpredictable’. Therefore whilst governments maintain a privileged position and can set powerful discourse contexts, policy can be (re)created at many different points.

The definitions of policy cited above can be theorized in a variety of ways. (Marx, 1844) , referred to the concept of alienation and suggests some working conditions do create oppression and antagonism since some inevitably lose control of context, and become the instruments of others’ desires (perhaps the drive to ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade). (Freire, 1996) cites Marx frequently and describes alienation as emerging, in part, from a lack of empathy. Principals from college A and college B attest to this assertion. A common condition to become an ‘outstanding’ college is the extent of collaboration (Ofsted reports of two ‘outstanding’ colleges). However, as (Sachs) observes collaboration stresses the development of mutuality of power relations. This mutuality can take time to unravel decisions before they are implemented.

In English FE colleges, the focus on collaborative working to improve the outcomes of learners (DfES, 2003) has been a central focus of government educational policy over the last decades as (Hopkins, 2009) observed: Even a dozen years ago, few would have predicted the amount of collaboration and mutual support in the educational system today. The shift from competition to collaboration, from top down control to organisational autonomy has been quite remarkable. (Masunga, 2013) also observed that people choose to engage in joint work to achieve joint goals. This author concurs that it is the amount of shared effort, pooling of resources and commitment that distinguishes collaboration from cooperation and co-ordination, both of which also involves working together but with less commitment to joint goals, however, there can be difficulties.

In a recent study looking at the leadership of college based collaborations,(Masunga, 2013) suggests a range of leadership styles and behaviours that are necessary for effective leadership in colleges. He argues that leadership demands in colleges today closely mirrors leadership styles and behaviours whose elements and behaviours reflect distributed, authentic, relational, political and constitutive leadership. He defined authentic leadership as the values based performance of leadership; relational as the connection between leader and follower; political, referring to someone who understands the macro-messo and micro political climate; constitutive as someone who is able to construct the contextual meaning for followers; and distributive leadership as someone who considers leadership as a pluralistic endeavour.


As illustrated, the effective practice of shared/distributive leadership involves the skilful combination of these elements, to suit the specific context within which they are to manifest.

Authentic leadership: This concerns self-awareness among leaders regarding identities and convictions. In this context, leaders are expected to pursue transparent practices and to link their values to actions. These leaders promote a range of positive emotions from their followers, including respect, empowerment, mutual identification and trust (Coleman). A leader cannot be a leader without followers, therefore leadership must be relational. Distributive leadership places leadership within professional capacity. It is therefore a special requirement in a collaborative setting, as authority is shared across professional groups and organisational boundaries (Coleman). Distributive leadership practices are normally underpinned by a willingness to trust others and a satisfaction that they are able to deliver the aspect they have been assigned with competence and expertise. Political leadership: This involves leaders using politics as a means to pursue their aims. It is the ability to be aware of a broad range of policy agenda at national, local and regional levels and to be able to manipulate that knowledge in order to achieve the aims of the collaborative.

Constitutive leadership: It concerns the ways in which the context for collaborative working is defined (Coleman). It can be described as the manner through which the professionalism of the group is articulated. It involves giving a clear message to staff and all stakeholders as to what is expected of them. It involves explicitly saying in detail the values which apply in a particular college context. (Coleman, 2011) has observed that among all the definitions proposed, the notion of ‘distributed leadership’ has become increasingly influential since the mid 1990’s. He observed, however, that the term has become a contested concept, and remains a matter of persistent debate. ‘It overlaps and is sometimes used interchangeably with other leadership concepts, such as ‘shared leadership’, ‘collective leadership’, collaborative leadership and co-leadership’. Whiles this is the case, many policy-makers, practitioners and academic researchers have identified ‘distributed’ shared and ‘collaborative’ leadership as important means for enhancing quality and ensuring continuous improvement in UK college education ( (Collinson 2. )

The running thread across leadership and governance is the way issues affecting the entire institution, or one or two components thereof, are decided. Consequently, governance is intertwined with leadership. At the heart is a two-way link between leadership and governance. Leadership represents the organisation of people into manageable groups and influencing them into a specific direction for the purpose of harnessing available resources for the good of all. It can thus be argued that it is a significant component of any governance arrangement, because it provides an opportunity for members of the organisation to participate in running their organisation. In a college setting, the governance structure in place in terms of policies, goals and procedures as well as the organisational structure do articulate the rights and responsibilities of various actors in the college in addition to legitimizing the kind of groups and power relations that an institution will have. The governance structure and especially a policy on stakeholder involvement and participation in governance, therefore must be accommodative of all members of the institution. Leaders therefore play an important role in (effective) governance (DfES, 2006) . For good governance to thrive it requires quality leadership that is capable of giving it direction by fostering interagency collaboration and shared understanding (Brookes, 2006); promoting clarity of roles and responsibilities between actors (NCSL) (National College for School Leadership 2008b). Strong leadership also contributes to effective governance by ensuring that people’s and institutional needs remain at the forefront of the agenda, focusing on the clear issues and outcomes and, by encouraging commitment at all levels (DfES, 2006).

In turn, governance supports leadership through arrangements and frameworks. Particularly and in addition to setting the right goals and procedures for ensuring institutional are met, the governing body does appoint personnel and give them power to make decisions on behalf of the organisation. Also, the existence of good governance arrangements (frameworks) supports effective leadership by providing strategic direction for leaders. We have thus laid the foundation which then enables the reader to follow through to the next discussion.

5.1.7 Leadership: Theoretical and Empirical considerations

In this section, we seek to consider both theoretical and empirical aspects of the art of educational leadership (Hodgkinson, 1991), which is based partly upon my findings and with close observation of two ‘outstanding’ principals working in different kinds of ‘outstanding’ colleges in England: each of which was judged by separate teams of the government’s Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) as providing a high quality education. In arriving at such a judgement about any college, inspectors look out for four things in particular: -the degree to which the college’s leadership and management is ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’, with emphasis on the ‘promotion of high standards of teaching and learning’; the ’effectiveness of the college’s performance evaluation’; the way the college uses its human and other resources and promotes ‘best value’, and how the college works with its governing body (Holmes),2000:49).

Recent research by (Forde, 2000) for the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) reports that, at the heart of their ‘Model of Excellence’, ‘is a core of strongly-held and enacted ‘values’. The college’s view of the essential qualities of college leadership reinforces this view in a series of propositions which focus on values, creating an active learning community, and on the importance of distributed leadership. (NCSL, 2001). In this part of the study, the aim is to examine how ‘outstanding’ principals translate their educational values into management and leadership practices. In seeking to achieve this aim, I take for granted that college leaders are essentially ‘value-carriers’ (Greenfield, 1986) and that the kind of educational values they seek to reproduce in their leadership and management practices articulate with, and have consequences for, the quality of education provided by the colleges within which they work.

5.1.8 Educational Values and Models of Leadership

I reflect on the two prescriptive models of college leadership exhibited by the two observed principals: these were: Transformational leadership also called (‘distributed’ or ‘shared’ models and instructional or pedagogical model; and as always it is important to understand the terminology.

Transformational leadership models conceptualize college leadership along a number of dimensions, including building college vision, establishing commitment to agreed goals, providing intellectual stimulation, offering individualized support and explicating and encouraging high expectations for staff (Bass, 1999). As this list indicates, this model of college leadership focuses on the intra-people relationships between them and requires an approach that seeks to transform staff feelings, attitudes and beliefs. The implication too is that this model entails building a consensus among the staff group, grounded in a common commitment to seek improvement. This model resonates with the thinking of (Schofield, 2009) who calls it the ‘Partnership model’. The operating premise and characteristic of ‘outstanding’ colleges we observed is that the interests of all are ‘shared’ and that managers want to do a good job and do act as effective stewards of an organisation’s resources. (Common commitment of this kind requires a conception of leadership that is neither linked to status nor embodied in the actions of any single individual, but rather shared or dispersed throughout the college and, as such, is available to everyone. Leaders, managers and owners are seen as partners. Typically corporations with this approach operate through a committee system such as the sub-committees of governing boards where leaders participate in meetings as active observers. These features were observed under college A and college B outstanding colleges. The literature is full of examples of transformational models that underpin models of college leadership that stress the important psychological function that communicating positive invitational messages has for enabling individuals and groups to build and act on a shared vision of enhanced learning for pupils (Stoll, 1996). More recently, FE Governing Boards have been urged to change emphasis from governors who are often more experienced at handling business matters to governors with a greater background in educational leadership (Masunga, 2013)

In addition, transformational models are informed by the suggestion that leadership status in colleges cannot be assumed, rather, is often conferred by followers when they perceive their values being fulfilled in the outlooks and actions of those occupying positions of leadership responsibility (Groom, 1999) (OECD, 2017). Typical leadership actions associated with transformational models include the following:

Mobilizing commitment to an explicit educational vision that is corporately agreed; 2: Coaching and mentoring designed to support individuals and increase leadership capacity, 3: Group decision-making that is highly participatory, open and democratic.

Its complementary model is the instructional or pedagogical leadership model. This model typically assumes that the critical focus for attention by college leaders should be the behaviours of staff as they engage in activities directly affecting the quality of teaching and learning in the pursuit of enhanced college or student outcomes. Within the confines of these two models it is appropriate to examine FE leadership under the competing values framework

5.1.9 Framework for Analysis - Integrated Competing Values Framework (ICVF)

In earlier chapters, I have argued that Governance is essential whenever a group of people come together to accomplish an end. Therefore Good governance and leadership are attributes that have been shown to have a major bearing on the capacity for colleges to be effective. In ensuring the basis for an effective corporate governance framework, an overarching principle of the (OECD) methodology (2017), states that, any corporate governance framework must be developed with a view to impacting the overall economic performance. The methodology adds that the division of responsibilities among different authorities should be clearly articulated and designed to serve the public interest (OECD, 2017) Principle 1.C). Further, the chapeau principle (Principle IV.A pp83 ), states that : ‘any corporate governance framework should recognise the rights of stakeholders established by law and encourage active co-operation and collaboration in creating wealth, and the sustainability of financially sound enterprises’ (OECD, 2017). It is the case that corporate governance is the process and structure used to direct and manage the affairs of an organisation towards enhancing prosperity and corporate accountability with the ultimate objective of realizing long-term stakeholder value (Keaseley, 1997). As already discussed the concept of stakeholder refers to resource providers to the corporation including employees, creditors, customers and suppliers. The governing board of an FE is composed of multiple stakeholders with varying degrees of college operational involvement. (Herman, 1991), observe that the prescriptive responsibilities that boards are expected to meet are based both on legal requirement and on a moral assumption. In English colleges, FE boards are composed in line with statutory requirements. Their functions are equally spelt out. The moral assumption is that a board will conduct the affairs of the college as a public steward and will ensure that the organization serves the interest of the larger community.

Many writers (e.g., (Carver, 1990) argue that the boards that more effectively perform their duties will contribute to increased organisational effectiveness; however, research suggest that many boards fail to meet fully their prescribed responsibilities, (Hall, 1990). In the case of England, during the initial phases of marketization in the 1980s we observed that there were tensions on the governing boards of several colleges because competing interests did not have their needs served. Of particular mention was the reference to the tensions that existed between the outsider governing board members and the insider governor’s roles and responsibilities. (See chapter two for an exposition).These tensions were exacerbated by the introduction of ‘market forces’ into the governance and management of colleges; with outsider participation in college management being relegated. This being the case, outsider governors felt that their role was not important and significant enough because they were directed to retrain in order to acquire the skills set and the knowledge base that was essential to the management of a ‘profit –making ‘college. At the time, the tensions reflected the deficiencies inherent in the multiple constituency framework (Kanter, 1981) in the absence of collaboration. These tensions demonstrated that some constituencies or stakeholders are likely to differ in their criteria for organisational effectiveness. Therefore to help address the difficulty of achieving board effectiveness, a substantial normative recent literature holds that certain board practices and processes will help boards become more effective (Axelrod, 1994). Axelrod’s findings corroborated that of (Bradshaw, 1992). Bradshaw agreed but went on further to opine that board involvement in strategic planning, use of good meeting management techniques, low conflict within the board and having a common vision correlated with organizational effectiveness. The competing values framework which forms the framework of the rest of this chapter, recognises that an organization comprises multiple stakeholders or constituents who are likely to use different criteria to evaluate a college’s effectiveness. To be effective a leader must address the competing needs of the stakeholders. In the FE college set up this model conceives of differing groups of stakeholders, such as clients or customers, board members, staff, volunteers and funders, as having different goals and requires that the college recognises their potential differences in interests. In a later study, (Sala, 2003) tested whether relationships exist among academic leadership styles, the organisational climate that leaders create and measures of college performance. In their study, principals were selected from various regions in the United Kingdom. All principals participated in leadership training prior to which various measures of managerial behaviour were collected. In their job description, Principals were responsible for the direction and management of all aspects of the college’s business and to implement the mission, strategies and policies of the college. Their study found that Principals’ managerial styles had the largest impact on student retention rates and overall ratings of college performance.

The principal and senior managers provide highly effective leadership which is linked to the ambitious strategic vision of the college. The report goes on to say ‘ the strategic planning process is excellent and has helped move the college from inadequacy in 2003 to a position where it now has a clear sense of purpose and is achieving its mission. (Ofsted Report 2010: College A). To be ‘outstanding’, the corporation has a self-assessment report which it has followed doggedly. Upon further scrutiny, we found that the motto of this self-assessment report (SAR) is titled: ‘Adding value through good governance’. In the report, the college demonstrates a statement of intent based upon The UK Corporate Code of Governance which states:

The board should undertake a formal and rigorous annual evaluation of its own performance and that of its committees and individual directors’. This demonstrates the extent of work that goes into attaining an ‘outstanding’ grade and lends support to Marx’s earlier contention of ‘oppressive working conditions in colleges. Further, in its supporting principles, the SAR confirms that the Chair should act on the results of the performance evaluation by recognising the strengths and addressing the weaknesses of the board. It also confirms that individual evaluation should show whether each member ‘contributes effectively and demonstrates commitment to the role’. An outstanding college governing board adopts the following framework to assess its effectiveness, including whether the board:

Governance- is there adequate and effective governance processes in place? Risk Management- is there adequate and effective governance processes in place? Control-are there adequate and effective control procedures in place? Having scored an ‘outstanding’ grade college A and college B satisfy all these conditions. The Principal’s role is very crucial in making sure that all the above values are met. In both colleges the principal is the leader and the accounting officer. In both these capacities, they wield a process of influence and shape direction (Yukl, 2002), which lead to the achievement of desired purposes. Successful leaders develop a vision for their colleges based on their professional and personal values. They articulate the vision at every opportunity and influence their staff and other stakeholders to share the vision. The philosophy, structures and activities of the college are geared towards the achievement of this shared vision. This is confirmed in our observation of Ofsted reports of these two colleges.

5.2.0 The Perceived Skills and Knowledge of Leaders

From the preceding paragraph it was the intention to draw a general picture of what characteristics a leader may possess. From the perspective of the reader, they may then begin to situate themselves in the middle of the discussion and assess synergies between the perceived skills and knowledge required by leaders and their own current skills and knowledge. If the reader is able to do this robustly, then this information can be used to form the foundations of a continuous professional development plan that can enable them seek promotional opportunities. It is important for people seeking promotion opportunities to concentrate on the skills and knowledge that may be required for the post that they are applying for, as (Handy, 1993) points out ‘‘people get promoted to the level of their incompetence, since they are promoted on the basis of performance in the job below rather than on their potential for the job above’’ An embarrassment can ensue for the two parties if indeed a promotion has been given as a reward for performance and the applicant is not capable of meeting the demands of the job. Interestingly, (Loots, 2004) state that ‘FE principals and senior managers ‘have few or no formal management qualifications and rely on experiential learning that draws heavily on their previous posts within further education’. Some therefore are of the view that the way to seek promotional aspirations in FE is from experiential learning in the sector as leaders share vignettes of their encounters (Kelly, 2004). Perhaps these were the reasons why Ofsted Reports (2008) stated that there are not enough leaders that are capable of getting the best from their staff and managing highly complex educational businesses. Increasingly, this role is becoming those who have entrepreneurial skills together with private sector experience (Rayner, 2007)). However, the difficulty in education is that FE colleges as a whole fail to attract new managers from other industries and that currently 95% of college principals come from a FE college background ( (Foster, 2005) .Perhaps it is necessary to question the key leadership skills described by (Bagilhole, 2008) as having ‘vision of leadership, integrity, and resilience and to ask where these leaders will come from. In 2012,Her Majesty Chief Inspectors (HMI,) through the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) for further education and skills (2012) stated that it wanted to measure the impact of leadership in being able to show an ambitious vision, having high expectations for what all learners can achieve and in attaining high standards of quality and performance in improving teaching and learning. In addition to these, the (CIF) stated that leaders should be able to successfully plan, establish and manage the curriculum and learning programmes to meet the needs and interests of learners. This is the ‘messiness’ which the sheer amount of change in policy regarding the FE sector has been subjected to. (Hodgson, 2006).

When considering the skills needed to be a good leader it is necessary to conceptualise these skills into the doing of the actual tasks that leaders face every day. (Rubin, 2009), say that when considering the performance of a job, these requirements are often described as competencies and they cover the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities. The following table shows the six distinct behavioural competencies that cover the leader’s main roles as described by the authors.

I use the integrated competing values framework to gauge how leaders may lead - the criteria that Ofsted used to judge ‘outstanding’ colleges; embedding the above competencies. The framework identifies the criteria for effectiveness that must be pursued in the college sector, and indeed in other organisations. It reveals consequent leadership competencies. Although the framework has recently received attention from the literature it has not been applied to FE colleges as far as I know. Originated by (Quinn, 1983), the framework highlights the contradictory nature inherent in organisational environments and the complexity of choices faced by leaders of FE when responding to competing tensions. There are four core values which represent opposite or competing assumptions. Each dimension highlights a core value that is opposite from the value on the other end of the continuum-i.e, flexibility versus stability, internal versus external. The dimensions produce quadrants that are contradictory or competing on the diagonal. The upper left quadrant identifies values that emphasize external, control focus. The upper right quadrant identifies values that emphasize external, organic focus, whereas the lower left quadrant emphasises internal, control values. These competing or opposite values in each quadrant gives rise to the name for the model:

(Core dimensions of the competing values framework (from (Cameron, 2007). What the diagram illustrates is that leadership effectiveness is not achieved simply by attempting to approach both sides of an opposing force with equal skill. Rather, leadership skill seems to best be evidenced by more movement through the framework, indicating a complex adaptation to changing circumstances ( (Dennison, 1995). Organisations and their leaders want to be adaptable and flexible but also stable and controlled. They want innovation and change but also efficient internal processes.


5.2.1 Boundaries of the Effectiveness Construct

(Cameron, 1983), suggests that in every assessment of effectiveness, but particularly in assessments in settings that have some degree of ambiguity regarding appropriate criteria e.g. (FE colleges), the construct of effectiveness must be bounded. That is, not all possible criteria or perspectives can be taken into account, therefore researchers must be explicit about what they are and are not measuring. In this research, we adapt some guidelines to include: Ofsted measures of ‘outstanding’ educational achievement and the Skills Funding Agency interpretation of financial health as desirable constructs as shown in the table below:

This chapter is about how board insider element (leadership) improves the effectiveness of their colleges using the Competing Values Framework. The CVF provides one structure to evaluate an organisational setting from various perspectives at the same time. It is of the view that the CVF with its distinctive characteristic satisfies all stakeholders who have different interests in the organisation. There are several reasons why this study employs the competing values approach as an appropriate framework to analyse the effectiveness of colleges. First, in light of history and vision, colleges are the prototype of multi-purpose educational organisations ( (Hall, 1999). This is because colleges meet the multi-purpose educational and vocational outcomes including teaching and training. Hence, it follows that colleges do consider their own performance relations with their environment, their internal processes and human relations at the same time. Second, colleges get their funds from governments, hence, their activities are affected by the policies and financial strategies of the day. Moreover, these environmental situations and policies make the organisational context of teaching and learning more complicated (Alpert, 1985).

The above two characteristics epitomize the domains of college activity that an effective manager operates in: The research identifies first an academic domain which emphasizes teaching and professional development for teachers and students; an external adaptation domain, which emphasises community service and adaptation to external pressures, an extra-curricular domain which emphasizes the personal, social, cultural and physical development of institution members , and finally, the moral domain which emphasizes the satisfaction and morale of students, and administrators, smooth internal processes and an absence of internal conflict. In the light of the above reasons, this study assumes that the competing values framework providing a useful framework for evaluating the effectiveness of colleges, by success rates, life cycles and size. The framework is organised in dimensions. One dimension differentiates an emphasis on stability, order and control, from flexibility, discretion and dynamism. The second dimension differentiates an internal orientation with a focus on integration, collaboration and unity from an external orientation with a focus on differentiation, competition and rivalry. Together, these dimensions form four quadrants, each representing a distinct set of organisational and individual factors.

Together, the quadrants identify the criteria of effectiveness that must be pursued by organisations, the leadership and managerial competencies that are most effective and the underlying culture of the organisation. What is notable about the quadrants is that they represent opposite or competing assumptions. Each dimension highlights a core value that is opposite from the value on the other end. The dimensions therefore produce quadrants that are also contradictory or competing on the diagonal. Mintzberg cited by Handy has simplified the above constructs and competencies into three categories that has ten roles for a leader:

The above examination of the frameworks provides excellent insight into the behavioural competencies of a leader. However, one must take into cognisance the observation by (Schein, 1998). Schein observed that as the hierarchy of leadership role grows taller, and the leader rises through the ranks, it becomes a matter of balance to focus and be oriented toward people and to be interpersonally competent. This resonates with distributional leadership where vision is shared. However, the author cautions that ‘the ability to be both task and people oriented cannot be easily acquired (supporting the position of Mintzberg) and that ‘it exists only in a limited number of people’. It is in this direction that authors like (Oplatka, 2009) advocate that ‘educational leaders in our time need general education in philosophy, sociology and anthropology of education that provides them with a holistic standpoint of schooling and education. It is simply because, leaders will not have fully have developed their ‘analytical competence’ – the know how to identify, analyse and solve problems (task competence), and interpersonal competence- the ability to work through other people and in groups until they are well into their leadership positions. (Schein, 1998), is of the opinion that it is paramount that the three abilities are visible in those who aspire to

be leaders. Whiles it is impossible or difficult to establish what good leadership is and what is relevant to the role it is ‘those who generate what is regarded as relevant knowledge about leaders, leading and leadership are primarily those who actually do it.’ (Gunter, 2003). These leaders are likely to have their own epistemologies based on the phenomenological experiences and perceptions of the environment that they work in. In the colleges we visited, principals told us that meetings are a regular occurrence. (Kelly, 2006), concurs that ‘it is difficult for anyone who has spent time in any kind of organisation to argue that meetings are not an important part of the work of leaders, particular in the FE sector. Within education, the development of the self- managing institution post-incorporation has led leaders and managers to develop training courses in a hasty manner in order to ensure survival in this new marketplace. We were reminded in chapter two of this study that the business culture came into further education with a vengeance; with entrepreneurial processes and new language promoted as the solution to open-ended change. Meetings enhanced the learning process and enabled information dissemination. Indeed (Oplatka, 2009) warn us that new leaders need to gain varied tools and knowledge to face effectively and successfully the difficulties, challenges and complexities that characterise the role. Hence, knowledge and its management has become a key corporate resource for the leader due to the complex nature of educational institutions.

So far our discussion has focused on leadership in the form of skills and knowledge required by individuals to lead. We discussed less on the need for the leader to be part of a wider team. We have also briefly touched on distributed leadership as the type of leadership that places leadership within professional capacity. We noted that it is a special requirement in a collaborative setting, as authority is shared across professional groups and organisational boundaries (Coleman). Of significant importance, though we briefly shared that distributed leadership practices are normally underpinned by a willingness to trust others and a satisfaction that they are able to deliver the aspect they have been assigned with competence and expertise. In this chapter, because it formed the key theme of our observation in college A and in college B we will discuss how management teams are formed in the context of distributed leadership. We are aware that in the days where the heroic leader was expected to know all, do all and solve every problem, it is now the accepted norm in colleges that everyone is capable of joining in the decision making process. But (Handy, 1991) goes on further to want to know how every problem can be solved in a way that develops others in the team. In agreement with this (Papadakis, 2002) opine that while the characteristics of both the management team and the leader influenced the strategic decision-making process, the management team had the greater influence. He implied this concerning the idea that the modern organisation comprise knowledge specialists where no single knowledge dominates the other in the management of the organisation. The modern organisation is one of teams and a leaders’ role in ‘the modern organisation is not to command, it is to inspire’. (Drucker, 1995). This means that the appointment of a new leader, or the appointment of senior leaders by the leader, needs to cogitate the balance of agreement required by the group. The issue however for organisations is that individuals need to be organised into teams to make effective use of the mix of their skills and knowledge. We are however cautioned that too much emphasis on the team can overshadow each participant’s contribution; whilst too much emphasis on the individual may hinder or blur the development of the team’s vision and identity. To this regard, (Watkins, 1997) recommend the use of Belbin’s team role theory in formulating team roles while (Vilkinas, 2006) take this further and explain a range of academic behaviours through their Integrated Competing Values Framework.

(Drucker, 2001), makes the observation that it is important that any organisation builds a team where each member not only makes their own contribution, but where they all contribute towards a common goal. So that it is important that all their combined efforts pull in the same direction to form a strategy. (Bush, 1998), reminds us that strategy is: The term used to describe the overall, synoptic, management of organisations. It generally operates over an extended timescale and guides decision making through that period. Strategy provides the link between the vision and its operational management and helps to ensure integration between different parts of the college. Therefore, the overwhelming evidence from the stakeholder theory in a team based setting is that it is the homogeneity of purpose and values which are the overriding concerns. (Gleeson, 2001), in FE and (Peters, 1982) identify as a part of the emerging culture the need to speak with ‘one voice’ (Carver, 1990) to create a homogeneity in diversity although (Peters, 1982) warns of the dangers of developing a ‘yes man’ syndrome. In college A and college B governors were observed to be challenging and debating issues before these were voted on. However, the ability to engage in an appropriate debate, that could lead to change, needs to be facilitated by appropriate structures for communication. In both colleges, the chair required from the entire governing body a vote on each issue. (Handy, 1991), suggests that to this end, ‘wise organisations realise that intelligent individuals can only be governed by consent and not by command, that obedience cannot be demanded and that a collegiate culture of colleagues and a shared understanding is the only way to make things happen’ . Certainly the point goes without saying that the contemporary ways of business planning and target setting in the FE business climate actively encourages staff to partake in decision-making in the hope of them taking ownership. It is the view that education reforms that followed this path have resulted in enhanced responsibilities and accountabilities (Leithwood, 2006) which have then the importance of distributed leadership to college success.

5.2.2 Questionnaire: Qualitative Research & Findings

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with two (2) outstanding clerks of two separate ‘outstanding’ colleges and two (2) Principals of same ‘outstanding’ colleges. These colleges were judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in our study and using a purposeful sampling study to select participants. Such a sampling strategy is used in situations where certain important information cannot be obtained from other choices (Masunga, 2013). The actual interviews lasted for about an hour. All interviews were conducted at respective colleges and we asked the following questions:

Comparison- purpose of FE governance from Clerks; Governors & Principals Perspective As shown on Table 1: this finding shows that there is general agreement between clerks, governors and principals interviewed that the purposes of FE governance are varied; and that specifically, the role of the principal is to serve the needs of multiple stakeholders. We map our findings with those from Ofsted observations of ‘outstanding’ colleges. The findings show that, although the purpose of FE college governance is to ensure institutional legitimacy and effectiveness (James et al., 2010) governance also serves many other purposes. We have developed the study using the integrated competing values framework to critically evaluate the role of the principal as a board insider

5.2.3 Chapter Summary

This chapter has been designed to take the study into some greater depth. Various issues have been discussed pertaining to Board insiders as leaders in English Further Education colleges. Our starting point was the policy context within which Board insiders (Principals) work as leaders. The emergent thesis is that any leader should start his role with the assumption that change is a continuous, open-ended and unpredictable process of aligning and realigning the college to its changing environment. The increasing view based on consensus is that change in the FE sector would be required to be implemented with an effect of immediacy and collaboratively. Much of this change will result from vocational education being seen by central government as key to achieving national policy goals such as economic competitiveness ( (Billet, 1995). The discussion also addressed the issue of knowledge and skills that principals must possess. Particularly, it was observed that principals and senior leaders who progress into FE leadership from teaching do not necessarily have the expertise to lead a large organisation, whilst those recruited from outside the sector require support to understand curriculum issues. In addition, the chapter addressed leadership models in FE colleges. The observation was made that it was important that FE leaders move away from seeing themselves as the heroic fountains of knowledge to teams or distributed leadership, with the appropriate mix of skills between education and non-educational expertise.

To this end, leaders are encouraged to adopt the integrated competing values framework in their leadership roles. This leadership ideology lends itself to collaborative leadership. The primary orientation of this leadership style is one of using ‘human resources’ effectively to achieve the desired economic and social outcomes that colleges seek to achieve post incorporation.

6.1Mediating Tensions on the Governing Board- The Carver Governance Model

The Thesis is an exploratory study of corporate governance in English Further Education colleges. It aims to specifically examine the association between board composition and college effectiveness. Earlier chapters have established that the Principal carries the leadership of the college. Maintaining the vision of the college together with virtues such as developing the people he/she works with, and redesigning the whole college organisation to achieve intended outcomes are virtues and behaviours that he/she must exhibit. However, in exercising these behaviours, the Principal must remain accountable to the governing board or the stakeholders. This chapter examines how this performance-conformance role becomes possible, using the Carver Governance Model.

6.1.2 Context FE colleges are the only non-profit organisations which require an association between its governing board and its outcomes. Every organisation that longs to produce a social good will gathers a group of people (a board) to discern its mission and to ensure its intentions are realized. For sizable organisations, it quickly becomes practical, if not essential, to hire any paid staff executive, who can devote the necessary time and energy to implement the organization’s vision and values. Governance based tensions almost inevitably arise at this juncture which can enhance or destabilise its intended outcomes. As governance expert John Carver observes, ‘Many non-profit and public organisations have chronic problems with the CEO (Principal or insider) function, either because stakeholders see it as overpowered or because it is underpowered’.

Organisations have either an autonomous executive or rubber-stamping board on the one hand or they swing like a pendulum between the two. Therefore, not just colleges, but approximately all large non-profits must wrestle with the question: ‘How do you enable the executive to exercise empowered, effective leadership while also ensuring that the executive is accountable to the leadership and vision of the board So far the study has provided useful evidence to suggest that a board comprised of competent, experienced, cognitively heterogeneous and trustworthy governors who are committed to working together towards the achievement of an agreed purpose is more likely to generate a greater number and broader range of decision alternatives (Ruigrok, Peck,& Keller, 2006). In contrast, if governors are unwilling (consciously or otherwise) to work together, or if trust between governors is low (Shariff, Kalafatis,& Samouel, 2005), then the effectiveness of the board’s decision-making process is likely to be compromised (Huse & Zattoni, 2008). That the ‘effective oversight of an organisation exceeds the capabilities of any individual and that collective knowledge and deliberation are better suited to this task’ highlight the value boards can deliver if governors work together.

No one has written more extensively about how best to manage this tension and to create effective board dynamics than John Carver. Carver can honestly assert that his Policy Governance model (informally known as the ‘Carver model’) is ‘the most well-known modern theory of governance worldwide.’ For that reason, nearly everyone who writes about effective governance interacts with and relies upon Carver’s model to some degree. Its application to college governance, at least in reducing tensions on the governing board is a reasonable starting point from which to gather insights into how best to structure the relationship between insiders and outsiders (leaders and stakeholders) in order to achieve optimal outcomes for an organisation.

6.1.3 The influence of Stakeholders in college outcomes: The Carver Governance Model The example of college X (Buckinghamshire FE College Group) :

While I develop the study, it is important to discuss the practice in a college group as a relevant practical case-study. It is without doubt that information gleaned from this chapter will impact the conclusion of this study and will help direct further study to the solution of tensions on boards and how the association of boards to non-profit organisations may enhance organisational effectiveness. The Carver model of Policy Governance is widely rehearsed in college governance with a majority of colleges in the study adopting this practice. One of such colleges is the Buckinghamshire college group. Buckinghamshire College Group is a trading name of Aylesbury College Corporation, England. The Group is a merger of Amersham College, Wycombe College and Aylesbury College.

In practice, Policy Governance is an all-embracing approach to governance, first developed by John Carver for use in not –for-profit organisations. The policy was adopted by many community colleges in the U.S as well. Carver has spent two decades working with American and Canadian boards of community colleges and has published and contributed to a number of key texts, most notably, ‘Boards that make a difference’ (1990). Policy Governance ‘provides an advanced framework for strategic and visionary board leadership’ (Carver, 1997). Carver argues that governance is a generic concept capable implementation by boards in profit, and non-profit organisations. Carver admits that the model does not set out to make boards better at what they do; rather it reinvents that work and its fundamental precepts. This is a significant admission by Carver, because it signifies that the model is not an all-embracing concluding panacea to the shortfalls of Governance. As the name implies, Policy Governance is about governing by policy, where policy is defined as being a statement of the values and perspectives that govern an organisation.

6.1.4 The principles and philosophy of the Carver Policy Governance Model:

Unlike the legal framework for FE Governance which failed to define governance, Carver actually provides a definition for governance. According to Carver, Policy Governance consists specific set of concepts and principles and their application to boards; a registered service mark of John Carver and requires the use of capital letters whenever used.

According to this author, these people often sacrifice their personal and professional lives to make a contribution. However, he maintains that these people are often embroiled in volumes of paperwork to read and comprehend documents that often require approval. In the end, the actual work of debating and agreeing to governance issues never gets done. Carver claims that his model enables board members to do what is intended of them. Buckinghamshire College Group (BCG) is one college that has adopted the Carver model in the hope that their board will become more effective at governing the management of the college rather than trying to get involved in the paperwork and in management itself. According to the author, the Carver model, proposes to improve the functioning and output of the board. It redesigns the job of the board in such a way as to ensure that the board can lead powerfully on behalf of the groups of people that it represents and that in addition to this, management are enabled to act with as much authority as possible, though within specified limits set by the board.

Within the college (BCG) and working under the Carver Policy Governance model, the board of the corporation concentrates on shaping the 'ends' of the college; which means translating the benefits that the college wishes to develop for the different communities they represent. Policy Governance demands that boards' primary relationships be outside the organisation- that is with the owners. This practice parallels the concept of servant leadership developed by (Greenleaf, 1977) in that the board is first servant, before it is leader. The board must lead the organisation subject to its discoveries about and judgements of the values of the ownership.

The Corporation then sets the parameters or limitations on the 'means' managers and staff can use in delivering those 'ends'. Finally, the Corporation puts high emphasis on codes of conduct, rules for the selection of Corporation members and their training, induction and development. The Corporation finally sets challenging and ambitious targets for standards and quality. Citing the Chair of Governors, it could be stated that “ It is this philosophy which has enabled the Corporation to concentrate on and has enabled it to achieve strategic developments’ such as the Learning Campus, the University Technical College and the colleges Federation with Buckinghamshire New University, all to the benefit of the community” (www.aylesbury The Carver Model). One significant observation here is that it is the board as a body that speaks for the ownership, not each board member; except as he or she contributes to the final board product. This observation is a significant innovation in usurping the power and authority of board chairs and in imposing decisions on board members (i.e. limiting the power of autocratic board chairpersons and preventing collusion between chairpersons and CEOs). During board meetings at the college, governing body members try to be meticulous in monitoring outcomes; in asking probing questions and focusing on measurable impacts on student learning and the impact of policy on the community. Practised in this manner, the flavour and spirit of the model separates issues of organizational purpose (ENDS) from all other organizational issues (MEANS), placing primary importance on those Ends.

The college governing boards’ own 'means' are defined in accordance with the roles of the board, its members, the chair and other officers and any committee the board might require for assisting itself to accomplish its job. This includes the necessity to 'speak with one voice'. Carver argues that it is the boards' responsibility to govern as a whole board, it is not the responsibility of the individual board members, hence the necessity to speak with one voice. He explains that 'there is no role for board committees' and this is a shift from the more traditional approaches to governance which often rely very heavily on committees and sub-committees to get their work done. He opines that there can be dissent at board meetings but cases of dissent are expressed during discussions preceding a vote. ”Once taken, the board's decisions may subsequently be changed, but are never to be undermined'. (ibid:p3). Carver is of the view that while roles and responsibilities may be derived for individual board members, 'We must derive them from the roles and responsibilities of the board as a group, not the other way round'.( ibid:3). Hence in this model, board processes and practices do recognize that it is the board, not board members, who have authority. Under this model, the board speaks authoritatively when it passes an official motion at a properly constituted meeting; therefore statements by board members have no authority. In other words, the board speaks with one voice or not at all. The 'one voice' principle makes it possible to know what the board has said, and what it has not said. This principle becomes important when the board gives instructions to one or more subordinates. Carver argues that 'one voice' does not require unanimous votes; however 'one voice' does require all board members even those who lost the vote, to respect the decision that was made. Board decisions according to the model, can be changed only by the board but never by board members (Carver, 1990).

6.1.5 The Board Recognizes Delegation

The board has expectations too; so for example the board's expectations for it sets out self-imposed rules regarding the delegation of authority to the staff and the method by which board -stated criteria are used for evaluation. Under the model, there is no confusion about who is responsible to the board or the expectations of the board to which they could be responsible to.

Double delegation: For example, to a board committee as well as to the CEO or Chair alone in their categories is eliminated. In cases where the board decides to utilize a CEO function, the board is able to hold this one position exclusively accountable; in this case management of the college in all its purposes is delegated to the CEO. i.e. (Principal). This avoids what Murray et al (1992) call the power dominated board. Murray et al; in their study of types of boards identified five types; including: the CEO dominated; the Chair dominated; fragmented power, power sharing, and powerless boards. They explain that the CEO dominated board has more of a figurehead role; in this case the board becomes a ratifying board. (Wood, 1992). The Chair dominated board is similar except that this time it is the Chair who is of major influence. The fragmented power board consists of a number of different individuals and groups representing different external interest groups, who have different beliefs and ideologies about what the organisation should be doing. As a result the board is characterised by conflict. Members of a power - sharing board share a strong commitment to the values of democracy and equality. Wood explains that this type of board rejects any dominant leadership by one person or group and insists on participation and consultation. The norm in this type of board is for consensus decision-making. In the words of Wood, this resembles the collective board.

The powerless board, in contrast is characterised by lack of clarity over the role and responsibilities of board members and have a degree of apathy. For further revelation on powerless boards, (Harris, 1991) describes how these type of boards can get locked into a powerless and minimal role. They exist to rubber stamp CEO decisions.

Under Carver's philosophy, since the board is accountable to the organisational workers and, since the actual running of the organisation is substantially in the hands of management, then it is important to the board that management is successful. In the circumstances, what the board does is to increase the likelihood that management will be successful, while making it possible to recognize whether or not management really is successful. This calls upon the board to be very clear about its expectations, to personalize the assignment of those expectations, and then to check whether those expectations have been met. Carver claims that it is only in this way that everyone becomes clear about what constitutes success and who has what role in achieving it.

6.1.6 The Role of the CEO under Carver

Policy Governance recommends that the board uses a single point of delegation and hold this position accountable for meeting all the boards’ expectations for organisational performance. Using a CEO, the board then expresses its expectations for the entire organization without having to work out any of the internal, often complex divisions of labour. Carver opines that in this way, all the authority granted by the board to the organization is actually granted personally to the CEO. All the accountability of the organization to meet board expectations is charged personally to the CEO: the board, in effect, has one employee. It is the board that creates the CEO: the CEO does not create the board. As the board contemplates its accountability to the ownership; the CEO role in such cases are created and governed by the board' (Carver, 1992).

6.1.7 An Explanation of ENDS/MEANS Principle of Carver Methodology

The point was made earlier in the last chapter, that the board is accountable that the organization 'works'. Clearly, the word 'works' must be defined; defining it establishes the board's expectations for the organisation, the performance that will constitute success. Carver claims that the board need not control everything, but must control the definition of success. It is possible to control too much, just as it is possible to control too little. It is possible to think that one is in control when the reverse is the case. It is often the case that the zeal of a conscientious board can lead to micromanagement, and the confidence of a trusting board can lead to rubber stamping. Therefore defining success becomes difficult and is often a matter of controlling for success, not for everything. The dilemma is: How can a board control all it must, rather than all it can?

In furthering his explanation, Carver opines that in every organisation, there are uncountable numbers of issues, practices, and circumstances being decided daily by someone. He contends that the Policy Governance model explains that all of these decisions can be classified as those that define organizational 'purpose', and those that do not. Again, Carver's model simplifies the meaning of 'purpose' and asks: 'results' for which 'recipients' and at what 'worth'. He explains that in the FE sector some decisions directly describe the intended consumer results of the organisation. For example, reading and numeracy skills; while some describe the intended recipients of such results; for example:, adult learners while yet some describe the worth of the intended results: for example the ( £ ) pound cost.

This author claims that, in Policy Governance, this triad of decisions is called 'ENDS'. His explanation is that, 'ENDS' are always about the changes for persons to be made outside the organisation, along with their cost or priority. His position was that 'ENDS' never describes the organisation itself; but postulates that 'ENDS' are about the organisation's impact on the world that justify its existence. So that in the college setting: which learners should acquire what knowledge and at what cost are 'ENDS' issues. Carver argues that any decision that is not an 'ENDS' decision is a 'MEANS' decision. He explains that, in the same college; the choice of reading programme or course; a teacher's qualifications and the college lecture room arrangements are 'MEANS' issues. Hence, 'MEANS' includes such matters as personnel; financial, purchasing, and curricular issues.

ynonymous with mission statements. This exposition is of scholarly interest because Carver, makes the reader to understand that, the board simply makes decisions about 'ends' and 'means'; that is: it controls the organisation's 'ends' and 'means'-in different ways as follows: Using input from the owners, staff, experts and anyone in a position to increase the board's wisdom, the board makes ends decisions in a proactive, positive way. Board documents that are produced are thus: 'Ends policies'. Using input from whoever can increase board wisdom about governance:- Board documents that are produced are 'Governance Process policies' Using input from whoever can increase its sense of what can jeopardize the prudent and ethical conduct of the organization, the board makes decisions about the staff's means in a pro-active and boundary -setting way. Because these policies set forth the limits of acceptable staff behaviour, i.e. the unacceptable means:- Board documents that are produced are: 'Executive Limitations policies'. The significant point to note is that:

The research would seek further how the college applies the Carver model of Policy Governance in practical terms, and will unearth whether this model is effective and may be recommended to UK FE colleges nationwide. The critical contribution of the Policy Governance model is not that individual boards should focus more on what is perceived to be the ideal of board behaviour, because that ideal itself is flawed; as the model does not boast of being the best model. (Carver 2001: p3). The model reinvents the work of board behaviour and notes that the 'traditional problems and inadequacies of governance are a fault of the process and not the people'. Policy Governance, is concerned with governing by policy, where, policy is defined as being a statement of the values and perspectives that crystallize the governing of an institution. However, in Carver's model of Policy Governance the board addresses the largest and broadest values such as:

Chapter 7 Further Research, Policy recommendations and Conclusions

I began this study with several hypotheses. Several important quantitative and qualitative works have been conducted with extensive review of the literature which has also reinforced the meaning and my understanding of corporate governance of colleges in a ‘market’ environment. I have conducted tests using the Generalised Least Squares regression model to test association between board characteristics and college outcomes. However, further tests need to be conducted in this area so that the model may capture the association of Board Insiders (leaders) in colleges that have been judged by Ofsted as ‘weak’ or failing. One can then convincingly advance the debate that leadership behaviours associate with successful colleges. The structural relationships tested indicate that behavioural practices instruct organisational leadership at three levels. However, there could be more levels for analysis. For example, factors outside the immediate control of the leader, for example, the wider governmental policies, socio-economic status of the leader, the climate and the immediate environment of the college, leadership style in terms of monitoring and instructional all remain to be tested for effective policy analysis and policy recommendations.


James, C. et al. (no date) ‘The role of the clerk to the corporation of further education colleges in England in ensuring high quality college governance colleges in England in ensuring high quality college governance’, pp. 1–17.

Masunga, R. (2013) ‘Governance practice in English Further Education colleges: The purpose of further education governance and the changing role of standards committee governors’, Management in Education, 27(4), pp. 176–181. doi: 10.1177/0892020613494217.

Kleinbaum, D.G. Kupper, L. L; Muller, K. E; Nizam A. Applied Regression Analysis and other multivariate methods; Duxbury Press, USA

Lambert, S. (2013) Defining a tri-dimensional role for leadership in further education colleges. Management in Education, 27 (1):pp.39-42

Malina., M.A.,Norreklit.,H.S.O & Selto.,H.F.(2011) Lessons learned: advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management vol.8 No.1 pp59-71 (

Manesse, A.L. (1986) Vision and leadership: Paying attention to intention. Peabody Journal of Education, 12 (4),26-28

Nadler, D. A. & Tushman, M.L.(1990) Beyond the charismatic leaders: Leadership and organizational change. California Management Review, 32(2), 77

Ostroff, C, & Schmitt ,N.(1993) Configurations of organizational effectiveness and efficiency. The Academy of Management Journal, 36(6), 1345-1362

Reynolds, D., Sammons, P., Stoll, L., Barber, M.& Hillman, J. (1996)School Effectiveness and School improvement in the UK, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 7, pp.133-158

Salomon, G. (1991),’Transcending the qualitative-quantitative debate: the analytic and systemic approaches to educational research’ Educational Researcher, vol.20 No.6, pp.10-18

Tashakkori, A. and Teddlie, C. (Eds) (2003), The Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioural Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks,CA.

Google Review

What Makes Us Unique

  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 100% Customer Satisfaction
  • No Privacy Violation
  • Quick Services
  • Subject Experts

Research Proposal Samples

It is observed that students are stressed when completing their literature review. Now, they feel they are on the safe side as they have the Literature Review, which provides the best and highest-quality Dissertation Writing Services along with the service of Essay Help to the students. All the Literature Review Samples will guide you in this direction. You can place your order and experience amazing services.

DISCLAIMER : The literature review samples published on our website are available for your perusal, providing insight into the excellent work delivered by our adept writers. These samples emphasise the remarkable proficiency and expertise demonstrated by our team in crafting top-notch literature review dissertations. Make use of these literature review examples as valuable resources to deepen your understanding and elevate your learning experience.

Live Chat with Humans
Dissertation Help Writing Service