This afternoon the Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews announced his intention to continue to have two reserved spaces for learners on governing bodies of further education institutions, as part of the Welsh Government’s recent consultation on further education governance. This is a break with the Humphreys Review recommendation that would have seen student governors scrapped. We welcome this announcement, as students are a key stakeholder in any educational institution, and therefore have a unique and important contribution to make to its governance. We particularly value the commitment that these reserved spaces should be gendered balanced, thus ensuring equal representation of both male and female students.
However, we were disappointed to learn that there will be no specific reserved places for staff members on these new governing boards. We believe staff are also a key stakeholder for further education institutions and should therefore have a seat at the table too. We look forward to the opportunity to discussing this issue with the Minister at a future point.
NUS Wales Deputy President Raechel Mattey said:
“We are delighted that students will remain on the governing bodies of further education institutions. NUS Wales has consistently argued that the place of learners is at the heart of decision making and we welcome the Minister’s commitment to ensuring that this happens in the new structure. It is now important that colleges seize the initiative and look for ways to further improve student engagement.
We believe that governing bodies should reflect the academic communities that they serve, which is why we firmly support moves to ensure that women are not underrepresented on decision making bodies. ”