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Charitable status

Higher Education Corporation

Staffordshire University is a Higher Education Corporation by virtue of the Education Reform Act 1988. The University’s full legal name is Staffordshire University and the correspondence address is:

College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire
ST4 2DE 

Powers of the Corporation 

Under Section 124(1) of the Education Reform Act 1988, the University has power to:

  • provide higher education
  • provide further education
  • carry out research and publish the results of such research  

Section 124(2) of the Education Reform Act 1988 permits the University to do anything which appears to the trustees to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of providing higher and further education and research. In addition, there is a general power to do anything incidental to the conduct of an educational institution providing higher or further education, including the giving of prizes, grants and scholarships. 

Constitutional documents

The University’s primary constitutional documents are: 

(i) the Instrument of Government of Staffordshire University dated 5th March 1993 creating the Higher Education Corporation in accordance with section 124(3) and (4) and Schedules 7 and 7A of the 1988 Education Reform Act. The Instrument of Government details the constitution of the Higher Education Corporation including the responsibility of the Board of Governors.

(ii) the Articles of Government of Staffordshire University which came into operation on 22nd June 1994 and superseded the previous articles. The Articles of Government contain details of the internal structure and running of the Higher Education Corporation. In addition, at its meeting held on 22nd March 2005 the University’s Board of Governors approved the following Statement of Primary Responsibilities for the Board in accordance with the guidance issued by the Committee of University Chairmen – Governance Code of Practice and General Principles:

Section 3(i) of the University’s Instrument of Government states that the Board of Governors shall be responsible for:

  • the determination of the educational character and mission of the University and for oversight of its activities;
  • the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the institution, and the Corporation and for safeguarding their assets;
  • approving annual estimates of income and expenditure;
  • the appointment, grading, assignment, appraisal, suspension, dismissal and determination of the pay and conditions of service of holders of senior posts; and setting a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff. 

In particular the Board will:

  • approve the mission and strategic vision of the institution, long-term business plans, key performance indicators (KPIs) and annual budgets, and ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders;
  • appoint the head of the institution as chief executive of the institution and put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance;   
  • ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, clear procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest;
  • monitor institutional performance against plans and approved KPIs, which, where possible and appropriate, be benchmarked against other institutions. 

Charitable status and the University’s Trustees

As a Higher Education Corporation, the University is listed as an exempt charity under Schedule 2 to the Charities Act 1993. This means for its charitable activities the University benefits from the status of a charity but it is not registered with the Charity Commission. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), as principal regulator, is responsible for ensuring that those English universities that are exempt charities fulfil their obligations under charity law. 

The members of the Board of Governors, who include the Vice-Chancellor and staff and student members, are the trustees of the charity. The names of the trustees as at 31 January 2017 are listed below, together with the names of any other charities of which each member is also a trustee. 

Independent and co-opted members  

  • David Gage, Chair of the Board (Trustee of The Friends of the Staffordshire & West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force)  
  • Cordella Bart-Stewart  
  • Richard Cotterell   
  • Barry Machin (Trustee of Home-Start, Staffordshire Moorlands) (until 31 July 2017) 
  • Mike Herbert, Deputy Chair  
  • Elaine Simpson (Chair of the National Children’s Board and of Slough Children’s Services Trust) (until 31 July 2017) 
  • Sara Williams (Trustee of the New Vic Theatre)  
  • Cathryn Hickey  
  • Jonathan Vardon  
  • Gary Crowe (until 15 March 2017) 

Student members  

  • Jamie-Lee Cunningham, President, Students' Union (until 31 July 2017) 
  • Darren Clarke, Vice-President, Students' Union 

Staff members  

  • Martin Fiddler, Teaching Staff representative (Governor of Weston Road Academy) (until 31 July 2017) 
  • Sarah Tudor, Professional Support Staff representative (Chair of Trustees, Biddulph High School) 

Vice-Chancellor  

  • Professor Liz Barnes (Trustee of Potteries Educational Trust (6th Form College); Uttoxeter Learning Trust MAT; Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Ashbourne; Safe n Sound; SUAT (Staffordshire University Academy Trust); Jisc). 

Educational Representatives  

  • Dr Richard Hey (until 31 July 2017) 

Former student working in business and/or the professions  

  • Glenn Earlam 

Financial Statements

For a detailed overview of income sources and expenditure as well as other financial information visit our Financial Statements page.