Governance of Skills & Learning Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.


A partnership agreement between Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council and Borough of Poole created a single joint adult learning service which came into being on 1 May 2013. 

The Borough of Poole is responsible for the performance, delivery and line management of the adult learning service on behalf of the three councils.  The lead officers of Poole are accountable to and report to the Joint Governing Board for the outcomes of the service and for the effective management of the service within the terms of the formal partnership agreement, and the annual business plan.  

 Membership of the Governing Board

  • The relevant Portfolio Holder from Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
  • One designated service unit head or director from each of the three partner councils
  • The service manager.


The Governing Board formally meets approximately three times a year and more frequently by exception if necessary.

The Chair of the meeting rotates annually between the three Portfolio Holders.

Responsibility and Accountability 

The Governing Board oversees the work of the joint service and is responsible for advising and approving strategic and financial planning decisions in respect of the service subject to each authorities overall corporate budget and policy setting requirements.

The Governing Board on behalf of the three authorities formally reviews and approves an annual business plan for the joint service prior to the commencement of each academic year.  The business plan constitutes the service specification setting out what the merged adult learning services will deliver.  The business plan takes account of annual changes to funding levels and targets set by the funding agencies.  It also includes an element of forward planning for strategic development over a three year period. 

The Governing Board on behalf of the three authorities monitors the performance and achievement of the service as set out in the business plan.

Members of the Governing Board report on the service within their own council’s procedures and requirements.  Members may be required to attend relevant meetings of the partner authorities in order to be accountable for the service, including amongst others Overview and Scrutiny meetings, working parties, Cabinet and Council meetings.

The Governing Board monitors and oversees the operation of the overall governance arrangements for the service.