Reimagining academic staff governors’ role in further education college governance (English)

In: Research in Post-Compulsory Education   ;  23 ,  1  ;  138-157  ;  2018

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This paper aims to explore Academic Staff Governor (ASG) roles at three further education colleges in England. Uniquely, the research focuses on ASG activities, the understanding of ASG roles, and aspects of the role that can be reimagined, which may be of benefit to practising governors, particularly ASGs such as further education (FE) teacher governors. The study draws upon relevant literature to identify concepts related to governors’ roles and activities. An interpretivist stance is used to collect predominantly qualitative data through a combined methods approach, and to engage with ASGs and external governors. During fieldwork, qualitative and quantitative evidence was analysed from semi-structured interviews, questionnaire responses, observations of governance meetings and governance documents. Findings suggest that ASGs’ insiderness, their affiliation with other groups and decision-making circumstances may influence their governing activities. Activities rooted in operational settings such as professional-information giving were highly valued by other governors, while there were uncertainties about the benefit of having managerial staff as ASGs. There was evidence indicating uncertainty among the college staff regarding the role of an ASG in the colleges’ boards. As a result of the study, to conceptualise an ASG’s role in FE colleges, ‘The 3 RaPs (Roles as Position/Perceived/Practice) Framework’ for an ASG’s role has been developed. The research recommends clear and specific role descriptions for ASG posts; action to allow more opportunities for ASGs to act as governors in order to transform the scope of the role. Finally, several recommendations are set out in order to address ASGs’ insiderness, to promote ASGs’ professional profiles in the FE sector and to improve the methodological approach for use in similar future research.

Table of contents – Volume 23, Issue 1

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1
Editorial
O’Leary, Matt / Smith, Rob | 2018
4
Exploring transitions in notions of identity as perceived by beginning post-compulsory teachers
Wright, Victoria / Loughlin, Theresa / Hall, Val | 2018
23
‘Mapping backward’ and ‘looking forward’ by the ‘invisible educators’ – reimagining research seeking ‘common features of effective teacher preparation’
Crawley, Jim | 2018
35
Opening the arms: the FAB projects and digital resilience
Longden, Alison / Monaghan, Tom / Mycroft, Lou / Kelly, Claire | 2018
41
‘How will i know when i’m ready?’ re-imagining FE/HE ‘transitions’ as collaborative identity work
Kendall, Alex / Kempson, Michelle / French, Amanda | 2018
57
‘Practice architectures’, ‘scholarship’ and ‘middle leaders’ within an established community of HE practitioners in FE
Hobley, Janet | 2018
75
Researching the sector from within: the experience of establishing a research group within an FE college
Lloyd, Catherine / Jones, Samantha | 2018
94
Unwritten: (re)imagining FE as social purpose education
Mycroft, Lou | 2018
100
‘Keep them students busy’: ‘warehoused’ or taught skills to achieve?
Cornish, Carlene | 2018
118
Developing a mission for further education: changing culture using non-financial and intangible value
Hadawi, Ali / Crabbe, M. James C. | 2018
138
Reimagining academic staff governors’ role in further education college governance
Sodiq, Abdulla / Abbott, Ian | 2018
158
3rd International Research Conference organised by the Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education (ARPCE) in Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, UK, Friday 13 July – Sunday 15 July 2018
| 2018