Board of Trustees

As a registered charity, your Students’ Union is required to have a Board of Trustees.

Your Board of Trustees is responsible for the strategic direction, governance and financial performance of the Union.

Who are your Trustees?

  • Four Sabbatical Officers
  • Four External Trustees
  • Four Student Trustees

Each of the members of the Board brings a variety of experience and skills to inform our decision making, and to ensure that officers and staff are held accountable for their roles and responsibilities.

The Board of Trustees is comprised of 12 trustees. These include the four Sabbatical Officers who are elected annually, four Student Trustees who are appointed annually and four External Trustees who are appointed for terms of four years.

Our External Trustees are:

  • Mike Roy
  • Chris Ellicott
  • Maggi Thomas
  • Russell Thomas

Our Student Trustees for 2020-21 are:

  • Marianne Evans
  • Matthew Marsh
  • Joshua Ponte
  • Joseph Walliker

How are Trustees chosen?

As a member of the student body, each year you have the opportunity to vote for your Sabbatical Officers. The four Sabbatical Officers automatically become Trustees during their term of office.

Your Students’ Union President chairs the Board of Trustees.

Student Trustee vacancies are advertised each year. All current Bath Spa students can apply to become a student trustee. The four Student Trustees are appointed for one year by the Democracy and Scrutiny Committee who consider all the applications received.

The four External Trustees are recruited by the Board’s Appointments Committee. Their appointment in the role is approved by both the Board of Trustees and also by the Democracy and Scrutiny. The External Trustees bring their experience and expertise from the public, private and voluntary sectors to their role. Their appointments to the Board last for four years and they may serve for two terms of office.

Responsibilities of Trustees

The Board also has a number of sub-committees which can also include external members who bring their professional expertise to provide advice and guidance in particular areas to the Board.

When the Union is recruiting external trustees, we have to give careful consideration to the balance of skills and expertise on the Board so that these complement the skills and experience of the student officers. The role of a trustee is a very important one and all 12 trustees are equally responsible for ensuring that the Union is managed in the best interests of the students at Bath Spa. In particular:

Trustees are responsible for the proper administration of the charity - They make sure that the charity’s assets and resources are used only for the purposes of the charity.

Trustees must accept ultimate responsibility for everything the charity does - The trustees are responsible for the vision, mission and management of the charity. They are accountable if things go wrong.

Trustees have to act reasonably and prudently in all matters relating to their charity - The law imposes a duty of care on the trustees of charities. This is sometimes expressed as a duty ‘to exercise such care and skill as is reasonable in the circumstances’.

Trustees must safeguard and protect the assets of the charity - A charity’s assets include its investments, cash, land, intellectual property, staff and reputation.

Trustees have a duty to act collectively - Decisions and responsibilities are shared; so all trustees should take an active role.

Trustees must act in the best interests of their charity - The interests of the charity are paramount. Trustees should not allow their personal interests or views to override this: they must exercise independent judgment.

Trustees must avoid any conflict between their personal interests and those of the charity - Unless there is specific legal authority, charity trustees cannot receive any benefit from the charity. All trustee positions are voluntary, including the roles of the Sabbatical officers who are not paid for this element of their roles.

What does the Board do?

The Board meets on a regular basis to discuss the key issues the Union faces. They have overarching responsibility for ensuring that the Union has a long-term strategic vision and to monitor progress in delivering it.

The whole Board collectively makes decisions on changes which affect the Union.

The Board also ensures that the Union has policies and procedures in place to ensure that we comply with any relevant legislation, manage any risks facing the Union and are ultimately accountable to the student body and the University.


The Board has three sub-committees which examine specific areas of work in detail and report their findings back to the Board.

The minutes of their meetings appear at the end of the Board of Trustees meeting papers.

You may find out more about the work of each committee, as well as who sits in on them, in the Union Constitution.


Phone Number

01225 875588