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The role of governor
This is a voluntary role requiring energy, motivation and a commitment to attend around ten meetings each year. Our governors have a variety of backgrounds and use their combined experience and strategic thinking collectively to make a crucial contribution to the future of the College. Independent members are drawn from a range of backgrounds including business, education, the law, finance and property management.

Whilst governors do not receive remuneration, reasonable expenses incurred in attending meetings will be reimbursed.
The Board of Governors of RNC has ultimate responsibility for overseeing the work of the College. It is primarily concerned with:

  • articulating the vision, mission and values of the organisation

  • developing strategy and setting corporate objectives

  • agreeing/ratifying policies and taking decisions on key matters/developments

  • reviewing progress and impact against plans and targets

  • monitoring the proper management of the College by the executive

  • ensuring solvency, probity, effective financial management, and the safeguarding of assets
  • discharging governors’ legal responsibilities as an employer; ensuring good employment practice; and

  • ensuring continuous quality improvement within the organisation, including the Board’s own performance.
The main Board meets six times per year and meetings run from 09.30 to approximately 12.30. There is at least one strategy meeting per year, which usually follows a shortened Board meeting. Depending on their interests and expertise, individual Board members (governors) will be appointed to one of a number of sub-committees which support the main Board. There are currently 15 Governors, including the Executive Principal and staff and student governors
Personal qualities required to be a governor

Governors should be able to:

  • think strategically

  • apply their specialist knowledge creatively in debate and decision-making 

  • be constructively critical and evaluative
  • respect the distinction between governance and management
  • be a good team player
  • show empathy for other governors, the Executive Principal, staff and students.
  • Training and development
    RNC is committed to providing new and existing Board members with the training and development they need to discharge their responsibilities effectively and confidently.
    A full induction programme is tailored for each new governor, whilst regular training and briefings are available for governors throughout the year.
    Responsibilities of the Board


    • As a part of their shared corporate responsibility, governors are expected to play their part in ensuring that the role of the Board is fully and properly charged.

    • All governors are expected to show the highest loyalty to the College and act in good faith in its best interests. Thus, each member of the Board strives to act diligently and independently whilst, at the same time, paying due attention to the imperative of collective responsibility. Governors must ensure that they operate within the legal framework which has been established for the College and observe the duties set out for them in the Memorandum of Articles and the Standing Orders.

    Principles of service

    • The Board expects governors to conform to the principles laid down by the Nolan Committee for people holding public office, namely: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

    • Governors must also commit themselves unreservedly to, and sign, the Code of Conduct for Governors.

    • Governors are expected to complete annually a declaration registering any beneficial or pecuniary interests, commercial or charitable, that they or any person closely associated with them may have or acquire.

    • In line with the RNC's Safeguarding Policy, prior to their appointment and periodically as necessary, governors are required to agree to, and supply information for, an enhanced check to be made of records held by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

    Other expectations

    Governors are expected to attend:

    • attend regularly (at Board and Committee meetings)

    • contribute actively to discussion

    • be a member of at least one, but not more than two, committees in area(s) which make the best use of their interests and skills

    • become involved in ad hoc groups where their experience will be of particular value

    • take part in governor training and development events to support and develop understanding of RNC and the context in which it operates

    • develop an understanding of visual impairment and related issues

    • participate in the annual review of Board performance

    • respond to the annual audit of governor expertise

    • reply promptly to requests for information and to consultations

    • attend events (such as award presentations, etc.) so as to gain an appreciation of the work of the College and to meet students, staff and stakeholders

    • participate in any Governor Link scheme with staff or aspects of provision

    • aim to keep abreast of relevant external developments and emerging needs

    • champion the cause of the College and its important position as a national specialist institution whenever and wherever possible

    • give any additional assistance as may be reasonably requested by the Chair.
    How to apply
    We look for governors from a range of backgrounds, including people with experience of further, higher or special education, property development / management and fundraising. We aim to strengthen the diversity of our Board and welcome applications from women, persons with a disability and people from BAME communities.
    Governors attend six Board meetings annually and join at least one committee. In this voluntary role, you will gain valuable experience of collective responsibility and how to challenge effectively. Induction and training are provided and participation in College events and activities is encouraged.

    The College is an equal opportunities organisation and is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. Governor appointments are subject to eligibility checks and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

    RNC is a Disability Confident employer. 
    To apply, please send your CV with a covering letter explaining why you would like to become a governor of RNC to:

    Jill Shechter
    Clerk to the Governors
    The Royal National College for the Blind
    Venns Lane
    HR1 1DT


    email: jill.shechter@rnc.ac.uk

    Alternatively, phone Jill for an informal discussion on 07803 606 631

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