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West Suffolk College is an award-winning further education (FE) college, based in Bury St Edmunds, and operating from numerous employer and satellite community learning locations in major towns across the East of England.

The college is financially outstanding and is self-assessing as Ofsted 'Outstanding'.

The headline figures are impressive. We support over 13,000 students from the age of 16 through to adult learners. The college currently educates 1,700 apprentices, and we are a WorldSkills Centre of Excellence.

On a stunning campus in the heart of historic Bury St Edmunds, we’re advancing ambitious plans to become a leading vocational and academic college, serving our students, and supporting the success of businesses and the regional economy.

We provide an outstanding education to every one of our students. Our ethos is to put our learners’ success at the heart of everything we do. That means we do everything we can to help our students succeed and be the best they can be. We have an impressive range of courses, high quality facilities, inspiring tutors and incredible opportunities to open up a career or succeed in higher education.

We also have strong links with business and industries in the region to make sure our students develop skills that will increase their employability. We are a large local employer with 786 staff and a turnover of £35 million.


We are seeking to appoint new Governors to the college corporation. We are looking for dedicated and passionate people, local to the East of England who will join our highly skilled board.

The term of office for Governors is for 4 years, renewable; and we would welcome initial 1-year appointments as Co-opted Governors, to support you to learn about the college and ensure the role is right for you.

Whilst we will provide training and support you with a thorough induction, it would be beneficial if you had skills or experience in:

  • financial management / accounting
  • audit / compliance / law
  • education / teaching / quality / data

Wider Context

West Suffolk College, Abbeygate Sixth Form in Bury St Edmunds and One Sixth Form College in Ipswich are collectively known as the Eastern Colleges Group. The Group is a collective of post-16 education providers, sharing the same strategic aims to provide outstanding vocational and academic excellence to over 15,000 students across the region. The shared mission of the Group is to be a catalyst of positive social change and prosperity for the community, leaving no-one behind, with a vision to put students at the heart of everything they do. The 'three pillars' of the shared strategic aims are to support students in making excellent connections with employers, to help students achieve qualifications to the best of their ability and to cultivate character strengths such as resilience and optimism.

The Colleges work collaboratively for the benefit of the individual student rather than in competition.  The Eastern Colleges Group (ECG) was established to foster greater unity and approach. The drivers were: 

  • Strategy:  All parties wanted to create a network of post-16 education, united by a vision, ethos and strategy.
  • Quality: By creating posts across all three organisations, there was the opportunity to attract a higher calibre of individual whose cost could be split across the Colleges. Again, this would allow each College to be able to invest savings made directly in their students.
  • Engagement: Discussions with employers in the region were held. It was clear that they saw benefit from working with a group of Colleges who covered the breadth of the County and offered a range of curricula and qualifications. ECG, as a collective of the three Colleges, was, therefore, an attractive partner. ECG is being used to drive employer engagement.
  • Career development/staff recruitment: There is greater opportunity to recruit and retain staff by branding ourselves as a broader family of Colleges. CPD opportunities can be enhanced, career paths better mapped, and recruitment initiatives shared.


As a Governor, you would be asked to attend and prepare for:

  • at least 3 Corporation meetings per year
  • at least 2 strategy and board development days per year
  • participate in at least one sub-committee
  • attend college events on an ad hoc basis
  • meet with external stakeholders as and when appropriate
  • participate in and undertake training and development as appropriate to your role

How to apply

To find out more information about the role, please contact Suzannah Gales (Governance Professional): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.