The high-profile ex-civil servant Dr Susan Pember has praised the use of Active Dashboards at South Staffordshire College.
Speaking at a conference on good governance through dashboard technology held on 19th September, she described Active Dashboards as an “engaging and sustainable” way of supporting better college governance.
The former head of FE and skills investment at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Dr Pember was speaking at the event to set out the soon-to-be-published findings of her recent AoC Review of FE Governance.
Dr Pember said that because colleges now have more freedom from government control, “the role of governors is more important than it probably ever has been.” But, she said, the training or support available for college governors across the country was not as good as it should be.
Dr Pember added: “There are no checks and balances at the local level, so governors: the pressure’s on you to get it right.”
“A very good self-sustaining model”
The former civil servant said that on her travels around the country for her AoC review, she had concluded that “the method of mentoring or looking at the performance of governors really needs to be engaging, and so I was looking for an engaging model.”
She went on to say: “I need to give a bit of praise here. This is engaging. Today’s event is a very good self-sustaining model.”
Describing the work South Stafffordshire College had done with Dynistics on its governance dashboards, Dr Pember said: “There are other products on the market but I actually think the way this has been developed is a credit to everybody.”
The ‘Good Governance through Dashboard Technology’ conference was co-sponsored by Dynistics and the Association of Colleges, and was designed to show college boards, principals and CEOs the benefits South Staffordshire College has seen from its use of dashboards.
“The stronger the board, the stronger the college,” said college chief executive principal Graham Morley.
“I want good governance and good leadership,” he said. “Our dashboard enables the board of governors to fully discharge their duties without the need for my senior team to spend hours writing reports.”
He added: “Every college I’ve worked at looks at things slightly differently. But Dynistics provides you with a tool that enables you to do the job you need to do.”