It was a pet peeve of mine when I was NUS that colleagues and officers would peddle the myth that EA94 requires an SU- it doesn’t. It just creates regulation when there is an SU.
However, all is not lost. Section 20 defines SUs. The Tories were so concerned that we’d wriggle round the legislation that the definition clause is deliberately wide, and that effectively creates the requirement for an SU by the back door:
(1)In this Part a “students’ union” means—
(a)an association of the generality of students at an establishment to which this Part applies whose principal purposes include promoting the general interests of its members as students; or
(b)a representative body (whether an association or not) whose principal purposes include representing the generality of students at an establishment to which this Part applies in academic, disciplinary or other matters relating to the government of the establishment.
Basically it’s really bloody difficult to run an HEI in accordance with the Quality Code and to get a decent score on Q26 without having some body “representing the generality of students at an establishment” … “in academic, disciplinary or other matters relating to the government of the establishment”- and the moment you have that (whether you call it an SU or not) it has become an SU in law.
As you can imagine that would be frequently useful in FE casework when a dodgy principal would shut the SU, create a student council and claim that EA94 wouldn’t apply.