The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 requires that there should be a governing body (the Corporation) for any college in the further education sector.
The Corporation of a college is there to represent the interests of the local community in particular and public interest in general. It is there to oversee the way the college is run and to make sure it delivers what its community needs, in a way that reflects the highest professional and ethical standards, and makes effective use of the resources it has available. It is accountable for the financial solvency of the college, its sound management and the quality of the service it provides. It is also accountable for the proper use of the public funds entrusted to it and for the proper business management of the commercial activities of the college.
In all the work they do, one key principle applies throughout; the importance of distinguishing between governance and management. The role of governors is to oversee the way the college carries out its work and to provide strategic direction; they are not there to manage the college or involve themselves in its day-to-day operations. The management of the college remains the responsibility of the Principal, within the broad framework of policies and accountabilities set out and monitored by the Corporation.