Constitution of the Socialist Educational Association

Formally amended by the Annual Conference held on 25th June 2011 and further updated on June 21st 2014 and June 27th 2015.

       1.   NAME
The name of the organisation is the Socialist Educational Association. It is one of the socialist societies affiliated to the Labour Party.

       2.  OBJECTIVES

(i)      To promote the learning society, and to develop the full potential of each individual by aiming for an inclusive and comprehensive education service, which has equality of opportunity and lifelong availability of excellent provision throughout the UK within which state education shall be free, well-resourced and publicly accountable.

(ii)     To promote an international and multi-cultural perspective to education through a curriculum with a global dimension.

(iii)    To assist in the development and evaluation of the educational policies of the Labour Party in accordance with these objectives and to enlist the support of the Trade Union and Co-operative movements accordingly

(iv)    To enable all socialists interested in education to assist in formulating a socialist educational programme for the Labour Party

(v)     To encourage support for a socialist vision of education among teachers and their educational and professional associations

(vi)    To make available to the education service and the general public comment and information on educational issues

  1. MEMBERSHIP

(i)      Full individual membership of the SEA shall be open to anyone eligible to join the Labour Party who subscribes to the above objectives

(ii)     Application for membership shall be by an application form.

(iii)    Annual Conference may award Life Membership to any member who has given outstanding service to the SEA.

  1. AFFILIATED ORGANISATIONS

(I)      Organisations eligible for affiliation to the Labour Party at national or local level may apply for acceptance as an organisation affiliated to the Association at national level. Branches of such organisations together with Constituency Labour Parties and Labour Party branches may also apply for affiliation nationally and, on acceptance, shall automatically be affiliated to the relevant branch of the Association. Members of affiliated organisations may attend and take part in the business of the meetings but each affiliated organisation shall have only one vote

(ii)     Any person representing an affiliated organisation shall be subject to Article 3 (i) above.

  1. POLICY DEBATE AND FORMATION

(i)      The members shall control the Association. Its policies shall further the objectives as in paragraph 2. Resolutions passed at Annual or Special Conferences shall be implemented by the National Executive Committee (NEC). Matters requiring decisions between conferences shall be determined by the NEC and F&GP as appropriate.

(ii)     The NEC shall convene regular meetings open to all members in different locations around the country. These meetings will normally take place after an NEC session. These meetings will be dedicated to the discussion of current education policy issues and to the development of SEA’s campaigning strategy.

  1. STANDING ORDERS

Standing Orders shall be adopted by Annual Conference for F&GP meetings, NEC meetings and All-Members’ Meetings, with the proviso that provisional standing orders may be adopted by these bodies pending approval by Conference.

  1. NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

(i)         The affairs of the SEA shall be administered by a National Executive Committee which shall be elected annually

(ii)        Composition of NEC:

(a)        The officers who shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, General Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary. The desirability of having gender balance amongst the officers should be recognised.

(b)        The NEC will determine annually what additional officer posts are required and they will be filled by election in the same way as the established officer posts.

(c)        Other members of the NEC shall be

  • eight men and eight women elected by the membership
  • A representative of any branch with 35 or more individual members, (who must live or work within the Branch area). Any Branch with more than 100 members may have a second representative
  • Any national affiliated organisation (paying the full subscription) may appoint (elect) one member.
  • A President and up to six Vice-Presidents who shall be members of the Association, shall be appointed each year by Annual Conference
  • The NEC has the right to co-opt members as deemed advisable

(iii)       The quorum is 8 members which must include at least 2 officers

(iv)       Any member of the SEA may attend meetings of the NEC as an observer. Any affiliated organisation may also send one observer. An observer may take part in discussions but shall have no vote. The NEC may require observers to withdraw for a specific item.

(v)        Individual members of the NEC are expected to play a full part in managing the affairs of the SEA and in actively promoting its values and policies

(vi)       Other matters:

a) Membership of the NEC shall be dependent upon the outcome of annual elections which shall be held for each place, (see Appendix 2 for the conduct of elections)

b) The calendar of NEC meetings will be set at the NEC immediately following the Annual Meeting.

c) The NEC shall appoint a ‘Finance and General Purposes Committee’ which shall meet at least before each NEC meeting to oversee the financial affairs of the Association and to action administrative matters referred to it by the NEC. Its membership shall be the Officers plus up to three members from the NEC elected by the NEC. Other sub-committees or working groups may be set up by the NEC for specific purposes as appropriate

d) Officers shall not serve for more than five years in any one position or for more than ten years in succession in two or more positions except that a year’s extension may be granted by the NEC to one officer if two or more are standing down in the same year

e) The roles of officers are given in Appendix 5

f) Standing orders are to be determined by F&GP and NEC and approved by Conference

       8. SUBSCRIPTIONS AND FINANCE

(i)        Membership of the Association shall commence upon acceptance by the National Membership Secretary of the appropriate subscription or standing order authorisation application form

(ii)       Membership of the Association shall entitle the member to receive the Association’s Journal and such other publications appearing from time to time as the National Executive Committee shall determine

(iii)      Individual subscription shall be determined by the Annual Conference

(iv)       Affiliated organisations shall be liable to pay the subscription as decided by Annual Conference

(v)        Membership runs for one year from the date of payment. Members not renewing 15 months after payment are deemed to have lapsed. People joining or re-joining the Association after 31 August pay the next year’s subscription rate and are members from the date of joining to 31 December of the following year

(vi)       A proportion of the subscription to be determined by the National Executive Committee, but not less than 10% on individuals and 50% on affiliates, shall normally be paid to local branches

(vii)      The financial year shall run from 1 January to 31 December. Audited accounts shall be presented to the next A.G.M.

  1. LOCAL GROUPS AND BRANCHES

The National Executive Committee shall be responsible for encouraging groups of members in particular areas to work together and share information in order to further the aims of the Association.

Detailed arrangements for local groups and branches are set out in Appendix 4.

  1. ANNUAL CONFERENCE / ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual Meeting of the Association will be held in June or July unless exceptional circumstances require the NEC to alter the date.

The AGM shall receive an annual report from the General Secretary of behalf of the NEC, elect Honorary President and Vice -Presidents, consider any constitutional amendments, discuss policy papers on education and other matters submitted by the NEC together with issues raised by branches and individuals.

The arrangements for and conduct of the AGM are in Appendix 3

  1. SPECIAL CONFERENCE

A special Conference shall be summoned either (i) by decision of the National Executive Committee, or (ii) by the request in writing of not less than ten per cent of the membership, setting forth the terms of the matter to be considered. At least four weeks’ notice of a Special Conference must be sent to all members.

  1. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Alterations to the Constitution may be made by ordinary motion and simple majority at Annual Conference, provided that notice of the proposed change is received by the General Secretary for consideration at the NEC meeting preceding Annual Conference. The General Secretary shall notify all members of any proposed changes that have been received.

Appendices

APPENDIX 1

SUSPENSION AND REMOVAL FROM MEMBERSHIP

  • The National Executive Committee shall have the power to suspend from membership any person who in the opinion of the Committee has acted or behaved in such a way as to be likely to bring the Association into disrepute
  •  In between meetings of the Committee this power shall be exercisable by the Chair but any such action shall be reported to and approved by the next meeting of the Committee
  •  Any person whose suspension in accordance with these provisions is being considered shall be given such notice as may be reasonable in all the circumstances to enable him or her to attend and address the meeting of the Committee considering the matter, or if not practicable the next immediately following meeting of the Committee. The Committee may thereafter:
  •  Reinstate the member immediately with or without conditions
  • Terminate the person’s membership of the Association
  • Take any other action, including suspension for any period, which shall seem to the Committee to be proper in all the circumstances
  • The member shall be entitled to appeal to an Appeals Committee which shall have the same powers as outlined for the National Executive Committee in Clause (iii) above. The Appeals Committee shall consist of three members appointed annually by Conference. No member or candidate for membership of the National Executive Committee shall be eligible for service upon the Appeals Committee. The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be reported to the Annual Conference
  • The member shall have a final right of appeal in person to Annual Conference, such appeal to be submitted in the form of a resolution. The decision of Conference shall be final.

APPENDIX 2

ELECTIONS TO NEC

  • The General Secretary shall issue a notice to each branch, each affiliated organisation and each member asking for nominations to be made. Such nominations must be returned by 30th April to the General Secretary
  •  Nominations made by individual members who have not paid their current year’s subscriptions shall be invalid
  • If there is more than one nomination for any position the General Secretary shall, not later than 31 May, issue to all members ballot papers and verification containing the names of all persons who have been validly nominated. No other ballot
  • If there is more than one nominee for General Secretary, including the current postholder, the Chair will appoint another member to conduct the rest of the election process.
  •  All papers shall be returned to the General Secretary, by a time and date stated on the ballot paper. The ballot papers may not be returned to a candidate taking part in the election.
  •  Ballots will be verified and counted by at least two of the officers, President or Vice Presidents who are not themselves candidates in the election.
  •  The successful candidates, except the Treasurer and Membership Secretary, hold office for one year beginning from the conclusion of the Annual Conference and ending at the conclusion of the subsequent Annual Conference unless they be re-elected. The term of office for the Treasurer and Membership Secretary shall be from 1 August following the Annual Conference until the 31 July following
  •  If a candidate is elected to be an officer and also to be an executive member, a by- election will be held for the latter position
  •  In event of vacancy occurring either amongst the Officers or the Executive Members the National Executive Committee shall have the discretion to leave vacant the post, to co-opt or to hold an election. The NEC may appoint a member of the NEC on a temporary basis to fill an Officer vacancy
  •  In the event of a tie the winning candidate shall be decided by the holding of a by-election

APPENDIX 3

ANNUAL CONFERENCE / ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The arrangements for and conduct of the Annual General Meeting/ Conference shall be as follows:

  • It will be held each year normally in June or July unless circumstances cause the Executive Committee to alter the date; in such case the Conference shall be held at the earliest opportunity
  •  The venue of each Conference shall be decided by the National Executive Committee
  •  Each member shall be entitled to attend the Conference with power of speaking and voting by show of hands on payment of a Conference fee to be determined by the National Executive Committee.
  •  Affiliated organisations may send up to 5 delegates to Conference on payment of a conference fee for each delegate but will only have one vote.
  • Resolutions for the Conference agenda may be submitted in the names of branches, affiliated organisations or individual members. Resolutions must be received by the General Secretary by 15 May. The National Executive Committee shall have the power to place resolutions on the agenda
  •  The NEC may composite resolutions dealing with the same area and shall decide the order of discussion, both subject to the approval of Conference
  •  All voting shall be decided by simple majority, the Chair having additional casting vote in the event of a tie
  •  A majority of those present shall be required to sanction the presentation of an emergency resolution which could not have been submitted in the ordinary way
  •  Auditors shall be appointed by the NEC but a report shall be submitted by the Auditors to Conference at the same time as the Financial Report

APPENDIX 4 LOCAL GROUPS AND BRANCHES:

  • The National Executive Committee shall be responsible for encouraging groups of members in particular areas to work together and share information in order to further the aims of the Association.
  •  This will often involve informal arrangements rather than a formal branch structure. Where appropriate the NEC may recognise individual members as having a leadership role in a particular geographical area or amongst particular categories of members.
  •  Where there at least ten members wishing to establish a formal branch, they may apply to the NEC for recognition. Branches may be based on a constituency, a local authority or any other appropriate area.
  •  Branches must adopt appropriate standing orders and submit them for approval to the NEC.
  •  Branches are required to adhere to the policies of the SEA as agreed by the Annual Conference and by the National Executive.
  •  Branches may affiliate to constituency Labour parties within their area but will be responsible for any fees.
  •  If a branch has 35 or more members, it may elect a delegate to the NEC.
  •  The National Executive may withdraw recognition from a branch if membership falls below 10 or if a branch ceases to be active.

 APPENDIX 5

ROLE OF OFFICERS

CHAIR
The Chair shall preside at NEC, Finance and General Purposes meetings, the AGM and at SEA Conferences. He/she is an ex officio member of all NEC sub-committees and of the Editorial Board of SEA publications. His/her role is as “primus inter pares” in the NEC and as a public representative of the Association

VICE-CHAIR
The Vice-Chair shall act as Chair in his/her absence or at his/her request

GENERAL SECRETARY
The General Secretary is responsible for the organisation and administration of the Association. It is the General Secretary’s duty to prepare, in full consultation with the Chair and other Officers as may be necessary, the agendas and papers for meetings of the NEC and Finance and General Purposes, the AGM and of all sub-committees and for implementing their decisions. The General Secretary shall also be responsible (in consultation with the Chair) for relations with the press

TREASURER
The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the finances of SEA in a sound condition, for maintaining the accounts, arranging audits and reporting to each meeting of the NEC and Annual Conference

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
The Membership Secretary shall maintain an accurate list of members and affiliates and issue appropriate letters and information to new members

Other officerships are determined annually by the NEC. Currently there are:

Deputy General Secretary

Equalities Officer

Minutes Secretary

Publications Officer

Recruitment Officer

Social Media Officer

Youth Officer

Website Officer

 

 

 

 

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