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The Court

The Court is the body empowered by the Charter to appoint the Visitor, the Chancellor and the Treasurer of the College. The Court also appoints certain members of the Council, being neither members of the academic staff nor salaried officers of the College. The Court which has a membership of around 300 meets annually, and receives a report by the Vice-Chancellor and  Pro-Chancellor on the College during the previous year and the audited financial statement of the College.

Reform of the RCA Court 2021

As of 2019, the RCA is considering the role and functions of Court in the light of the changing nature of regulation of universities in England following the establishment of the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS) and the revised Code of Governance published by the CUC (Committee of University Chairs). 


At the Court meetings on 22 January 2019 and 21 January 2020 we reported on developments in our proposed plans to reform the current Court and invited feedback from Court members on the future status of the Court as part of a review of our Charter, Statutes and Ordinances. 

Rationale for reforming the Court

A key requirement of the College’s regulator, the Office for Students (OfS) and the CUC Code of Governance, is that Council must have unambiguous responsibility for the entirety of its business which includes the appointment of its members. The current status of the Court is therefore at variance with the Government’s regulator, because the Court is responsible for appointing a Treasurer and twelve of the twenty independent Council members. It is important that the Council is accountable in all areas of its business and that there should be a direct link to the Nominations Committee (which all higher education institutions are required to have) and the Council.  


The main point of feedback to our proposed reform we received from Court members, was to ensure that any ‘new’ Court would provide a meeting point to learn about the past year of activities and what the College had planned for the coming year (albeit without its current statutory responsibilities). Additionally, Court members sought assurance that committed existing members would be offered the opportunity to participate in future arrangements.

Proposal and principles

The RCA’s Council has proposed that the Court should be included in the College Ordinances, but that it should no longer form part of the College’s formal governance structure. 

Next steps and indicative timetable

  • The Senate agreed the proposed changes to the Statutes and Ordinances on 28.10.20 and Council passed Part 1 of the Special Resolution to amend the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances is due to be passed on 26.01.21. Following the Special Resolution, the amended Charter and Statutes will go to the Privy Council for formal approval in February. 

  • Once the Privy Council has formally approved the amendments to the Charter and Statutes, the College will be in contact with existing appointing bodies to the Court informing them of the changes.

Future format

The College recognises that it is gifted with a diverse Court whose rich expertise and experience is valuable to the College. Future meetings will offer committed current members and new guests the opportunity to engage with the work of the College, acting as ‘critical friends’ and advocates. 

We would like to thank you all for your continued engagement and dedicated support of the College. 

Jocelyn Prudence

College Secretary and Clerk to the Court




The Chancellor, Sir Jony Ive
The Pro-Chancellor, Baroness Rebuck
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Paul Thompson
The Treasurer, Caragh Merrick
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Naren Barfield
The Professors
The Honorary Professors and Emeritus Professors
The Fellows and Honorary Fellows
Lay Council members (who are not ex-officio members)
The President and Vice-President of the Students’ Union

Appointed Members
Appointing Body

Mr Geoffrey Clarke                                    
The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury

To be appointed 
The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster

Ms Leila Behrman                                    
The Chief Rabbi

The Rev John A Cooke                              
The President of the Conference of the Methodist  Church

Mr Larry Keith                                            
The National Gallery

Mr Sandy Nairne                                        
The National Portrait Gallery

Mr Richard Humphreys                            
The Tate Galleries

Miss Frances Carey                                  
The British Museum

Ms Jane Smith                                            
The Natural History Museum

To be appointed                       
The Victoria and Albert Museum

Dr Andrew Nahum                                     
The Science Museum

Mr Timothy Wilson                                    
The Ashmolean Museum

Miss J A Munro                                            
The Fitzwilliam Museum

Professor Christopher Green                  
The Courtauld Institute of the University of London

Professor J G Williams                              
The Imperial College London

Professor Colin Lawson                            
The Royal College of Music

Ms Judith Hanratty                                    
The Commonwealth Education Trust

Professor Sonia Boyce                                           
The Royal Academy of Arts

Miss Christine Hawley                              
The Royal Institute of British Architects

Miss Wendy Taylor                                      
The Royal Fine Art Commission

Ms Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton                
The Arts Council of England

Mr Richard Riley                                        
The British Council

To be appointed                                           
The Design Council

Miss Helen Auty                                          
The Royal Society of Arts

Mr David Gentleman                                 
The Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry

Mr David Pocknell                                      
The Chartered Society of Designers

Ms Joan Bakewell                                     
The British Film Institute

Mr John Allan                                             
The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England

Ms Rosalinda Hardiman                          
The Museums Association

Professor B S Yamey                                  
The British Academy

To be appointed                                           
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

Mrs Helen Robinson                                  
The Commonwealth Education Trust

Dr Duncan Michael                                    
The Royal Academy of Engineering

Sir Alan Muir Wood                                    
The Royal Society

Ms Rosy Greenlees                                    
The Crafts Council

Mr Charles McCaskie                               
The Engineering Council 

City Livery Companies

Mr Geoffrey Matthews, Mercers

James Roundell, Grocers

The Earl of Antrim, Fishmongers

Mr Martin Drury, Goldsmiths

Dr Stephen Lloyd, Skinners

To be appointed, Merchant Taylors

Mr Brian Shawcross, Haberdashers

Mr Richard Callingham, Salters

Mr Richard Hunting ,Ironmongers

Mr Alan Reid, Cutlers in Hallamshire

Mrs Carolyn M Way, Armourers and Brasiers

Miss Emma Birts, Carpenters

Mr A H Stevenson, Painter-Stainers

Mr Oliver Makower, Weavers

Mr Roger Putnam, Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers

To be appointed, Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers

Mr Clive Birch, Carmen

Mr Philip Reynolds, Furniture Makers

Trade Associations, Universities
and other bodies 

Mr Reginald Watts, Confederation of British Industry

Miss Monica Ford, British Ceramic Confederation

Miss Jan-Marie Knights, British Glass

Mr Stuart Preston, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

Mr Philip Reynolds, Furniture Industry Research Association

Mr Guy Perricone, Institute of Contemporary Arts

Ms Amanda Berry, British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Mr Geoffrey Russell, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising

To be appointed, The Newspaper Society

Mr Andrew Nairne, University of Cambridge

To be appointed, University of Oxford

Ms Christine PayneTrades Union Congress

Councillor Daniel Moylan, Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

Councillor Judith Warner, Westminster City Council

Six members of the Academic Staff
appointed by the Senate to serve for a period of three years:

Chantal Faust, School of Arts & Humanities

Beth Hughes, School of Architecture

Savina Torrisi, School of Design 

Four graduates of the College
appointed by the Senate to serve for a period of three years:

Victoria Broackes

Adrian George

Jane McAdam Freud

To be appointed