Prof Ron Hill

Honorary Professor in Education


Research Interests

My primary research interest is the governing of schools and colleges and, in particular, the contribution of the governing body to education, learning, personal development, community cohesion, employment and employability, political and social education.

I have three main research activities currently:-

(i) The processes of governing and strategic planning in colleges of further education

(ii) The role of the clerk to the governing body in further education colleges and the use of a professional diary for personal improvement and governing body benefit

(iii) The application of educational values to the governing of schools and colleges 


I have previously held visiting research fellow/visiting academic positions at

  • University of Leeds
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Warwick
  • Queen’s University, Belfast

I am a qualified teacher and have taught in two primary schools and a further education college. I have held education officer posts for a local authority in England re (a) secondary schools and (b) further education, adult education, youth and community, careers. I have been a third tier (Assistant Principal) and second tier (Vice Principal level) senior manager of a further education college.

Governing and Governance

Specifically in relation to governing and governance of educational institutions, I have worked with over 80 colleges in England since 2002. I have also worked with the boards of schools and charities.

I was Co-Leader of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators' Certificate in F.E. Governance (Level 5) – the ‘Clerk’s qualification’ - from 2009 to 2011.

Published papers

Hill, R.  (2000) A study of the views of full-time further education lecturers regarding their college corporations and agencies of the further education sector. Journal of Further and Higher Education Vol 24, No 1, 2000      

Hill, R. (2001) Don’t Join the Club. (in ‘Governance Issues : Raising Student Achievement’, ed. Chris Horsfall) - Learning and Skills Development Agency (London)  

Hill, R. (2006) The role and performance of college governing bodies in relation to the employment of principals of further education colleges. (In ‘Researching Leadership in the Learning and Skills Sector ; By the Sector, On the Sector, For the Sector’ – Vol 1 ed David Collinson, CEL / University of Lancaster).    

Hill, R. & James, I. (2007) Developing and implementing quality improvement practices for college governance. CEL Practitioner Research Project (Coventry CEL)   

Hill, R. & James, I. (2007) It’s time to rethink College Governance. TES FE Focus

Hill, R.  (2009) Reaching a clearer, simpler college governance agenda. LSIS Governance Newsletter : Issue 9, spring term 2009

Hill, R. & James, I. (2009) The purpose of college governance. LSIS Governance Newsletter : Issue 10, summer term 2009

Hill, R. (2009) The role of the staff governor as a member of a college governing body.  Learning and Skills Improvement Service, Coventry [Revised 2012]

Hill, R. & James, I. (2009) Making the best of the clerk. LSIS Governance Newsletter : Issue 11, autumn term 2009

Gleeson, D., Abbott, I., & Hill, R.  (2010) Governing the governors : a case study of college governance in English further education. British Educational Research Journal 2010, iFirst Article 1 – 16

Hill, R. & James, I. (2010) Local control calls for top-notch governance. TES (F.E. Focus) 16 July 2010

Hill, R & James, I. (2012) Clerks Come of Age. TES (FE Focus) 20 January 2012

Morecroft, C., Hill, R. and Eldred, J. (2012) Thinking Outside the College – Planning and Delivering Local Accountability. AoC/LSIS

Hill, R., Downs, Y. and Drake, J (2012) Getting Ready for Governance Freedoms – A Survey of F.E. Governance 2012.

Hill, R. (2012) Higher Education in Further Education : Implications for Governance. LSIS Governance Newsletter , Autumn 2012 

Hill, R. and James, I. (2012) College Senior Staff and Their Contribution to College Governance, LSIS, Coventry, UK (November 2012)

Hill, R. and James, I. (2013) The Contribution of Senior Staff to Further Education College Governance Management in Education : The Journal of Professional Practice (Special Edition re Governing and Governance in Education) Vol 27, No 3, July 2013

Hill, R. (2013) Colleges and Stakeholders Working Together AoC, September 2013

Hill, R (2014) Trends in Governance in Further Education Local Government Studies 40 (6) pp 972 - 985

Hill, R. and James, I. (2015) Reviewing the self-assessment of governing body performance in colleges and schools in England Published by EMAL on-line 1-12 (2015)

Hill, R and James, C. (2015) An analysis of the role and responsibilities of chairs of further education college and sixth form college governing bodies in England Published by EMAL on-line 1-20 (2015)

Hill, R. James, C and Forrest, C. (2016) The challenges facing further education college governors in England : a time for caution or creativity? Management in Education : The Journal of Professional Practice - Vol 30 No 2 April 2016


James, C. Forrest, C. Goodall, J & Hill, R. (forthcoming) 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 education educational institutions? EMAL 

British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society

I act as Convener of the BELMAS research interest group ‘Governing and Governance in Education’. 

Qualifications (Select)

B.Sc (Econ) (Hons) in Economics : University of Hull

Post Graduate Cert in Education : University of Durham

M.Ed (Further Education) : University of Manchester

M.A. (Law and Employment Relations) : University of Leicester

Ph.D (Further Education) : University of Leeds

Certificate in F.E. Governance : Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

M. Litt (part/continuing – History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands) : University of the Highlands and Islands 

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