Forrest C, Goodall J, Hill R & James C (2018) The role of the clerk to the corporation in promoting the legitimate governance of further education and sixth form colleges in England: A role in the governance of all educational institutions?. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 46 (1), pp. 158-174. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143216670647
In England, further education college and sixth form college governing bodies are required to appoint a clerk to administer and advise on governing procedure and practice. In this article we report research which aimed to understand and theorise about the role and the associated responsibilities. We analysed the relevant literatures, carried out a national survey of clerks and held seven regional focus group meetings. The role in relation to board matters is significant in institutionalising the governing body and thereby promoting legitimate governance. The clerk’s practices entail communicating the requirements of second-order governance which frame the everyday actions of first-order governance. The context for the role is potentially highly dynamic and clerks’ accountabilities to their boards can be complex. Clerks may have within-college governance responsibilities where their work may be similar to that of a company secretary. These responsibilities can expose clerks to role conflict and complicate accountability relationships, but can also bring benefits to their work with the board. The role, as experienced by clerks, is accorded insufficient status and under-valued, which can affect their authority. We conclude that a role promoting legitimate governance in the English further education sector and in other educational settings is crucial.
Further education; sixth form colleges; clerk; company secretary; governing; governance
Educational Management Administration and Leadership: Volume 46, Issue 1
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