Colleges, Governance

Successful bidder to run governor recruitment service revealed

Struggling colleges will have access to the free governor recruitment service from this September.

Struggling colleges will have access to the free governor recruitment service from this September.

Search firm Peridot Partners Ltd has been awarded just under half a million pounds to establish a new fully-subsidised governor recruitment service for college boards.

The Department for Education began its hunt for an organisation to run the service back in May and has revealed the successful bidder this week. 

In return for £458,000, Peridot must place at least 137 “diverse and lasting” individuals to college boards by the end of the 2024-25 academic year. 

The new service will be available for free for colleges identified by the Department’s regional teams and the FE Commissioner as part of its package of support measures for struggling institutions.

However colleges that are experiencing “considerable difficulty” in recruiting board chairs, committee chairs or filling skills gaps to their boards can apply for help through the new service.

The funding from DfE replaces the Inspiring FE Governance service, ran by the Education and Training Foundation, which was available to all colleges and training providers regardless of their intervention status. 

At least half of the new governors recruited through the new service, which begins this September, must be women and at least 30 per cent must be from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Peridot is already known in the governor recruitment space, having delivered a pilot programme for the DfE in 2020-21 worth £110,000. As well as their profile in FE, the firm recruits for boards of charities, universities and multi-academy trusts.

Peridot’s director of education practice, Drew Richardson-Walsh, told FE Week the firm is “thrilled to have been selected to lead this important work again.”

“Working to support the development and enhancement of effective governance across the English FE system is something we take great pride in, and something we take very seriously.

“We look forward to bringing more new and diverse talent into FE and creating a cohort of ambassadors for their college and the sector as a whole” Richardson-Walsh said.

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