Chair of the Board, Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium.
1. The Organisation
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is a leading hands-on science and discovery centre dedicated to sparking curiosity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It attracts more than 172,000 visitors per year from across the South of England and is home to the UK’s largest capacity planetarium.
The Centre is an independent educational charity formed in 1985 as a strategic initiative with local government and businesses, to address the shortage of young people entering technical careers at both regional and national level.
Our extensive educational programme attracts around 42,000 school children to the Centre; they explore, be inspired and interact with our science exhibits and staff-led activities. Our outreach activities which include a mobile planetarium, are delivered in schools across the region and this is further enhanced by our STEM Ambassador programme.
Throughout the year there is an extensive programme of events encompassing school holiday activities, themed weekends, live science shows, lectures, workshops, film screenings and evening performances. The Centre also hosts birthday parties, corporate bookings and private events.
Since opening its doors at the existing site in 2002, Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium’s visitor numbers have grown by over 100%; and there are plans for further growth.
2. The Role
The Board is responsible for the financial viability of Winchester Science Centre (WSC), agreeing the budget and the risk register and monitoring performance against them. The Board is also responsible for ensuring that WSC has a well-developed strategy, with clear goals that are in line with the objectives detailed in the Articles. The Chair is responsible for leading the governance of WSC and ensuring that the Board conducts its business effectively. The Chair is also responsible for ensuring that the Board provides strong, thoughtful and supportive challenge to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and to other senior post-holders, who are members of the Senior Management Team.
The Chair is the senior representative of WSC at external events; championing its values, mission and its strategy to a wide range of stakeholders, locally and nationally. In addition, the Chair should develop a strong profile internally, demonstrating an understanding of and commitment to the values of WSC, supporting staff and volunteers as necessary.
The initial appointment will be for three years, with the possibility of up to two further three-year terms, subject to approval by the Board.
The position of Chair is unremunerated. The time commitment may vary according to circumstances but subject to a minimum of 2 to 3 days per month which may include occasional evening and weekend commitments.
3. Specific Duties
· Ensure that the Board observes the principles of public life, which embrace selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
· Provide leadership to the Board in its role of setting the strategy of the Science Centre
· Ensure that WSC sets prudent budgets, to maintain its financial stability, and that WSC maintains a comprehensive risk register and regularly monitors its position against both
· Ensure that the Board receives the appropriate quality information in a timely manner to enable it to make informed decisions
· Chair meetings of the Board and key committees, ensuring that all members of the Board are given equal opportunity to express their views while working together to achieve consensus
· Ensure that action items established by the Board are tracked and appropriate follow-up action is taken as necessary
· Promote the effectiveness of the Board, and governance more generally, ensuring that the Board undertakes regular reviews of its own effectiveness
· To act as the primary point of contact for candidates for future membership of the Board, and ensure an orderly succession of Board membership through the Nominations Committee
· Manage the CEO, including setting objectives, appraising performance and setting remuneration through the remuneration committee
· Provide advice and good counsel to the CEO and other senior post-holders to support them in the carrying out their duties
· Ensure that WSC operates within the legal framework provided by its Memorandum and Articles of Association and within regulations laid down by the Charites Commission.
· Act in accordance with delegated authority granted by the Board
· Act as an ambassador for the Science Centre , promoting its activities to employers, schools and further education centres and to the wider community, locally, nationally and internationally
4. Key Skills and Qualities
· Strategic and forward looking vision in relation to the charity’s objects and aims
· Independence of judgement
· Clear understanding of the role of non-executive directors
· A strong personal commitment to STEM and the vision, mission, and core principles of the Science Centre
· A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as Chair
· A clear understanding of effective governance processes
· The experience and authority to command the respect and confidence of senior representatives of external bodies, Board members and the senior executive team
· A strong commitment to equality and diversity
· The ability to balance tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and constructively criticise
· Ability to deal with conflict in a constructive and diplomatic way
· Good understanding of financial issues and of risk management
· Strong skills of networking, influencing and advocacy
5. Application Procedure
If you have any queries about the role, please contact Laura Hobin on 01962 891900.
Please submit a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. All applications must be received by midnight on 18 August 2017. Short-listed candidates will be invited to Winchester Science Centre’s annual staff and trustee away day on 5 September, with interviews taking place soon after.
Winchester Science Centre is committed to equality and diversity and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their background or circumstances.