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Lay Trustee | King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU)

Bill Yuksel - Students' Union recruitment - King's College London Students' Union for Trustee recruitment

KCLSU is the oldest Students’ Union in the UK. At 147 years old we are as ambitious as ever. We are looking for a Lay Trustee with a legal and/or governance background who can bring critical thinking to the Board.

  • Location: London
  • Salary: Unremunerated (reasonable expenses paid)

About the role

KCLSU is the oldest Students’ Union in the UK. At 147 years old we are as ambitious as ever. With our Strategy 2025 we ensure that we are constantly evolving to provide the support our students need to thrive. King’s College London has one of the most diverse student bodies in the Russell Group and KCLSU is committed to using this position to challenge discrimination, resist structural oppression, and work against institutional racism.

As a £9m turnover charity that supports, empowers and represents 34,000 students, we have significant resources, but we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a Lay Trustee with the drive and knowledge to ensure that we remain ambitious whilst also utilising our resources effectively. As well as sitting on our Trustee Board, our new Lay Trustee will also Chair our Governance & Policy Sub-committee. This committee provides essential oversight of our Union’s democratic and election processes, as well as overseeing our governance processes, and policies and procedures that apply to our members (students of King’s College London).

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a Trustee with a legal and/or governance background who can bring critical thinking to the Board. Our ideal candidate will be able to provide us with the legal and governance expertise perhaps from legal practice, or from experience in guiding organisations through complex governance and legal challenges.

KCLSU is able to seek specific legal opinion where needed but would value the critical thinking and robust challenge that people with legal expertise provide. This will be especially valuable as we navigate the changes caused by Covid-19 as well as new legal requirements such as the Government’s Higher education: free speech and academic freedom’ policy paper.

Someone who is keen to cut red tape and eliminate bureaucracy where they see it, and provide appropriate challenge and support to help us evolve successfully in a post-Covid-19 world, would be perfect.

We are proud to have a diverse and inclusive student body, staff team and board of Trustees. We encourage applications from people from all walks of life, whether you identify as a person from an ethnic minority community, come from a working class background or have overcome systemic challenges. We recognise that Board diversity is key to effective decision making, as well as ensuring that KCLSU Trustees have the trust and confidence of our diverse student body.

If you are inspired by this opportunity, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Bill Yuksel, at Peridot Partners here: https://calendly.com/byuksel/

Closing date: Wednesday 2nd June 2021

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

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Welcome from Salma Hussain, KCLSU President 2020/21

We are King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU).

As a student-led organisation, the Trustee Board that I chair is made up of six elected student officers, four elected student trustees and four co-opted lay trustees. The Board and each sub-committee has a majority membership of student trustees to ensure that we’re truly student focused, and that we’re truly representative of the views of our diverse student body. With over 300 student groups and 10 liberation networks, each chaired by part-time student representatives, we’re led by students for students at every level.

We’re the oldest Students’ Union in the UK, at 147 years old however that does not mean that we’re stuck in the past. With our Strategy 2025, we’re agile in ensuring that we’re constantly iterating and evolving to ensure students are supported. King’s has one of the most diverse student bodies in the Russell Group and KCLSU must reflect and respond to the needs of our diverse student population. KCLSU as an organisation is committed to using our power to help challenge discrimination, resist against structural oppression, and institutional racism.

We cannot do this alone. We need a lay trustee with the drive and knowledge to ensure that we’re constantly striving for the best but also utilising our resources effectively. We’re looking for a co-opted lay trustee who can use their critical thinking skills to help us grow as a Board. We need someone who’s able to spot governance pitfalls and navigate reputational risks. We need someone to constantly ask questions to make sure we’re doing the best by our students.

This trustee will be Chair of our Governance & Policy Sub-Committee. This essential committee provides support to the Board and the organisation with oversight of our Union’s democratic and election processes. The Committee also oversees our governance processes, including our policies and procedures that apply to our members (students of King’s College London). It ensures we’re fulfilling our key tenets as a Students’ Union to truly make policies inclusive for our diverse student population whilst ensuring we meet our governance requirements as a registered charity.

Who are we looking for?

Someone who can use their critical analysis skills to scrutinise decisions. Someone who isn’t afraid to question us when we need to be better. Someone who knows that policies have to be able to adapt in a post-Covid world and will help us on that journey in responding to these changes in an agile manner.

I want to encourage anyone who doesn’t feel that they’re good enough – to apply. If you don’t put yourself forward you’ll never know otherwise. I suffered a lot from imposter syndrome at the beginning of my role, but I’ve grown more than I ever expected as a trustee. As an SU with a diverse student body, we would welcome applications from people from all walks of life, whether you identify as a person of colour, or rose up through the ranks after overcoming systemic challenges of being from a working class background. Without this diversity of experience, we cannot represent our diverse student body.

Someone who’s willing to serve the students leading this amazing organisation. If this is you, read on and we look forward to receiving your application.

With kind regards,

Salma Hussain
KCLSU President 2020/21 (she/her)

About King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU)

King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU) is a democratic charity whose object is ‘The advancement of education of students at King’s College London for the public benefit’.

We describe ourselves as ‘a union of students where people connect, have fun, build communities, share experiences, and make change’. We are committed to being run by students, for students.

Founded in 1848, the charity is one of the oldest students unions in the UK. KCLSU is a £9m+ charity with approximately 34,000 student members. We also employed around 68 salaried staff as well as 136 student staff during the year, as well as our team of volunteer student leaders in over 300 clubs and societies who are an essential part of providing an amazing student experience for all our members.

Our teams work across four campuses in London and their dedication and commitment is at the heart of our achievements. Our team members have a wide variety of talent and experience, coming from diverse backgrounds, including former students of King’s College London, industry experts and managers with both private and charity sector experience.

KCLSU’s Trustee Board is made up of six elected Student Officers, four elected Student Trustees and four Lay Trustees. KCLSU’s Trustees are also directors of the limited company.

We’re here to make sure that every student at King’s College London has the best student experience possible. We’re run by students, for students. Our decisions, policies and what we do are decided by our members. They elect the Student Officers, Academic Reps and other officials that they want to represent them.

As a democratic charity and membership organisation, students lead us at every level. As well as empowering our student members to share and use their voice, there are loads of other ways they can get involved with their Students’ Union including:

  • Accessing impartial and confidential support from our Advice Service (for both academic and non-academic advice and support)
  • Joining one or more of the 300+ student-led activity groups, societies and sports clubs
  • Visiting a KCLSU “Hub”: our KCLSU branded welcome desks available on every campus, or using one of our KCLSU Study Spaces or Sleep Pods
  • Socialising in one of our Students’ Union bars and cafes
  • Buying our merchandise either through our online shop, or at our Guys Campus site
  • Making a difference through volunteering and fundraising
  • Shaping their experience through Student Reps, Student Council and Student Officers
  • Working for us as part of our Student Staff Team

Why this is an exciting time to join us

You can find out more about our vision, mission and our priorities over the next five years here: https://www.kclsu.org/about/kclsu/strategy/

One of our Lay Trustees (who provided Legal and Governance expertise) recently stood down and we are looking for a new trustee to join the KCLSU Board and support us in the next exciting chapter for KCLSU.

As we start year two of our 2019-2025 Strategy with the vision to provide a future where every member of KCLSU has an opportunity to thrive. We are delivering this through four key themes:

Future: To empower and support students to discover their potential and shape their future and communities.

Representation: To enable and support our diverse students population to build collective power to make positive change in their education and student communities.

Connections: To ensure every student feels like they belong through connections to each other, KCL and the wider world.

Social Experiences: Together we will create, develop and sustain a SU that provides fun, diverse and inclusive social experiences.

Our values

Our Values are the words that we use to describe how we are as people within an organisation. It’s how we go about our work. We are COLLABORATIVE, TRANSPARENT & ACCOUNTABLE, UNBUREAUCRATIC, INCLUSIVE, SUSTAINABLE (EFFICIENT & CONSCIENCIOUS) AND FUN!

KCLSU structure

KCLSU funding

KCLSU’s unrestricted income for the 2019/20 year was £9.1m, representing a growth of 14% compared with the previous year.

The increase was primarily from a 23% increase in our Grant from King’s. However, there was a decline of 18% in our Commercial activities due to the COVID-19 lockdown since 20 March 2020.

Total expenditure from unrestricted funds for the year increased by 20% to £9.4m, which corresponds to increased support in Student Activities and a £355K increase in net present value adjustment to the Past Service Pension Deficit. The General Reserve available to fund operations amounts to £1.07m at the year-end. This balance, which excludes the long-term pension liability of £1.18m, is equivalent to 3.2 months of core operating costs.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, all our commercial venues, offices and hubs spaces closed in March 2020 in line with government guidance. We accelerated our digital transformation and moved all our services online with all our staff working remotely. We accessed £232,939 from the Government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme to support 117 staff who were put on furlough. We also received an additional grant of £250,000 from King’s College London.

KCLSU performance & impact

Every year, we publish a report called “KCLSU in Numbers” that tells the story of our success so far. Last year saw us achieve more than ever. Here are just some of the highlights in the report:

  • 6,522 students voted in our KCLSU elections (Autumn, Spring, and Bye-Election) over 19/20.
  • Through our advice service, we supported 1,397 students and attended 120 college hearings and meetings with them.
  • Our newly formed Research Bureau delivered over 20 insights projects, collecting over 20,000 data entry points, ensuring all KCLSU decisions are student centric.
  • Our annual survey saw 2,890 students tell us their views, with 60% of students either definitely or mostly agreeing that KCLSU had a positive impact on their sense of belonging at KCL.
  • The survey showed that 59% of King’s students had made a friend or connection through KCLSU.
  • We helped students connect to each other and the wider world and saw over 900,000 sessions of active engagement with our digital communications through our website.
  • We had over 8,000 students attend our Welcome fair in September 2019.
  • We showcased 100 students through Project X giving talented individual students a platform to showcase their skills, talents and entrepreneurship.
  • We delivered our first online KCLSU Awards reaching almost 5,500 students whilst celebrating 3,200 students’ successes throughout the year.
  • We had over 50,000 conversations with King’s students through our hubs front of house. Almost 10,000 of these conversations were via email. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we quickly transformed the service to be fully digital, improving and prioritising our email response times to ensure students could get in touch with their Union in a timely manner when not on campus.
  • We have delivered 36 educational, celebratory and collaborative Liberation History Month events, including hosting 15 collaborative Black History Month events.
  • We had a 7.5% increase in student memberships with 13,541 memberships across all our groups, clubs & societies. This included 1,152 memberships in our student media groups and 3,464 memberships across sports clubs.
  • We opened our brand-new hub at Denmark Hill to embed KCLSU services for students at that campus. It’s jam-packed opening event, attended by over 600 students, has led to the regular use of the space at Denmark Hill, including the hosting of 19 new events including Project X.
  • We worked with King’s to expand provision of resting spaces for students and installed two state-of-the-art nap pods at our Strand Campus.

KCLSU Governance

At KCLSU we are committed to the highest standards of governance. Governance is one of the key enabling themes in the KCLSU Six Year Strategy 2019-2025. Good and effective governance is a driver of performance for the Union.

This is not just about compliance and regulation but also about the accountable and transparent delivery of Board priorities: the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of our organisation.

Our Governance and Policy Committee promotes good governance, continuously reviews our governance arrangements and identifies opportunities for improvement.

KCLSU is a charity registered in England and Wales, number 1136729, governed by a Trustee Board who take overall responsibility for the for the legal, strategic and financial health of the Union.

The Board makes sure the Union works to the benefit of its Members – KCL students – as well as to the wider public benefit in line with charity legislation.  We are also a Company registered by guarantee, under the number 05762196, and we are also governed by the requirements of the Education Act 1994.

Find out more about our governance commitments and our Trustees here: KCLSU our Governance.

For more information about KCLSU:

Our website

Charity Commission

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Please download the Brief and Role Description and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

    Candidates are invited to arrange an informal conversation with our advising consultant, Bill Yuksel, at Peridot Partners here: https://calendly.com/byuksel/

    To apply, please submit a CV and a supporting statement (a maximum of two sides of A4). The supporting statement should clearly outline your suitability against the essential criteria in the person specification with an explanation of why the role is of interest and relevant to you.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “KCLSU – Lay Trustee” into the subject field.

    We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact:


    KCLSU is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We celebrate diversity and applications are actively encouraged from individuals from diverse backgrounds.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process, to discuss steps that can be taken to overcome any operational difficulties.


    Closing date: Wednesday 2nd June 2021
    Shortlisting: Monday 7th June 2021
    Interviews with KCLSU Appointments and Transitions Committee (ATC): w/c Monday 14th June 2021 (TBC subject to availability)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and KCLSU are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality and diversity.

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