Governance and Management
Strategic decision-making lies with the governing body, referred to as the Provost and Fellows, who normally meet twice each term at Eton. They devote the previous evening to activity that deepens their knowledge of the school and of issues of current importance, perhaps by means of a departmental presentation, perhaps discussion with a particular group of masters, perhaps a private dinner for wide-ranging discussion.
The Provost and Vice-Provost reside at the College. This unusual feature of governance at Eton provides for close awareness at governor level of issues affecting the school, and for support of the Head Master.
The Head Master is responsible to the Provost and Fellows for the management of the school. The Bursar is responsible for the property and non-educational administration of the College (this being a term used to embrace the affairs of the College as a whole, including its endowments, as well as the school within it), and has the care of the income and expenditure of the College, its investments, and trading activities. The Bursar is responsible to the Head Master in the area of ‘school activities’ and to the Provost and Fellows in the areas of ‘trading activities’ and ‘investment activities’. The Head Master and Bursar attend the Fellows’ meetings and provide written reports for their attention.
Six committees of Fellows consider certain areas of business in detail. The Standing Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee, the Investment Committee, the Heritage Committee, the Nominations Committee, the Senior Salaries Committee and the Staff Remuneration Group. The Standing Committee - chaired by the Provost - oversees the administration of the College within the strategic and policy framework established by the Provost and Fellows, and plans and reviews the agenda for the Provost and Fellows’ meetings. The Audit and Risk Committee is chaired by Professor Christopher Dobson. The Investment Committee, chaired by Mr David Reid Scott, provides endowment investment advice from a group of expert Old Etonians. The Heritage Committee, chaired by the Provost, oversees the management of Eton's historic buildings, environment and collections. The Nominations Committee, chaired by the Provost, manages the processes for appointment of Fellows, the Head Master and senior administrative staff. The Senior Salaries Committee is chaired by Mr Hamish Forsyth. The Staff Remuneration Group, chaired by the Head Master with two Fellows, the Bursar and HR Director, reviews the salaries of teaching and support staff in consultation with an elected group of masters.
The Bursar and her senior team work closely and constantly with the Head Master and his senior team. Within the school, committees composed of masters and administered by the Bursary consider budgets for teaching, sports, welfare, premises and administration. Those committees’ recommendations are channelled to the Provost and Fellows through the Standing Committee. A range of other committees of masters deal with matters, such as curriculum and health & safety under frameworks established by the Provost and Fellows or the Head Master. Eton’s organisation is distinguished both by the involvement of many masters in decision-making processes, and by the associated delegation of budgetary responsibilities to the lowest practical levels.