Parents' Association Constitution

The name of the Association is: The Bedales Parents Association
Where the word 'School' is used below it means Bedales, Dunhurst and Dunannie, unless otherwise stated.

The Association comes under the auspices of the School, which is a registered charity. The funds of the Association are and will remain restricted funds held within the accounts of the School.

Object

The object of the Association is to advance the education of the pupils of the School by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities for education in the School. In furtherance of this object the Association may:

  • foster more extended relationships between the Staff, parents and others associated with the School; and
  • engage in activities, including fundraising, which shall support the School and advance the education of the pupils attending it

Membership

Membership is open to all parents who have children in the School, to guardians of children attending the School and to members of the Staff. Parents whose children have left the School and former members of the Staff may continue as associate members and shall be entitled to the same privileges as ordinary members except that they shall not be entitled to vote on any matters.

Subscriptions

The annual subscription shall be 0.1% of current fees for each child or such sum as shall from time to time be fixed at the Annual General Meeting. The subscription shall be absorbed into the basic school fees and shall automatically be paid by the Bursar into the Association's account annually. Subscriptions for associate members shall be fixed from time to time by the Committee, and shall be sent direct to the Treasurer. Subscriptions are used to fulfil the object of the Association.

Annual General Meeting

The Association shall once a year and normally in the Spring Term hold an Annual General Meeting for the following purposes:

  • to receive the Chairman's report;
  • to receive the accounts for the previous year;
  • to approve the appointment of members to the Committee;
  • to deal with any other business for which at least twenty one  days’ notice shall have been given by any member in writing to the Secretary and which is appropriate to the purposes of the Association; and
  • at the discretion of the Chairman, to deal with any further business which may be raised at or before the Meeting, and which is appropriate to the purposes of the Association.

A quorum shall consist of not less than twenty members qualified to be present and to vote.

At least twenty eight days before the date of the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall send to each member a notice giving the time, date and place of the Meeting.

Committee

There shall be a Committee which shall consist of the following:

  • The Head of Bedales, the Managing Head of Bedales, the Head of Dunhurst, and the Head of Dunannie, who shall be members ex officio.
  • Parents with children at the School. Of these there shall be a minimum of one parent with a child at Dunannie, two parents with children at Dunhurst, and four parents with children at Bedales.
  • One member of the House Staff from each of Bedales boys', Bedales girls', and Dunhurst, two other members of the Teaching Staff of Bedales, and one member of the Teaching Staff of Dunhurst, all such members to be elected by the respective Common Rooms of those Schools.
  • The Secretary and the Treasurer if they are not already members elected as above.

The Committee shall have power to co-opt a member or members to fill a casual vacancy or vacancies. If the Committee decides that it is in the best interest of the Association, such co-opted member or members may be persons who are otherwise ineligible for election under the maximum period below.

A quorum shall consist of not less than eight members, at least five of whom shall be parents with children at the School.

The Committee shall elect a Chairman and may elect a Vice-Chairman who are parents of children at the School, who shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting but who shall be eligible for re-election to those offices if still members of the Committee.

A Secretary and a Treasurer shall be appointed by the Committee  who shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting but who shall be eligible for re-election so long as they are members of the Association.

Members of the Committee, except the ex officio members, shall serve as follows:

  • Parents with children at the School for three years or until their children have left the School, whichever is the shorter period.
  • Members who are serving, at the expiry of three years since their selection, as Chairman or Vice-Chairman, shall be entitled to serve for such further period as the Committee shall decide up to a maximum of three years. Members so retiring shall be ineligible for re-election (except as provided for under the rule concerning co-option) for a period of three years.
  • The Secretary and Treasurer for one year, but they shall be eligible for re-election.

The Committee shall meet not less than once in each school term. The Committee may additionally be called at any time on being given fourteen days' notice by:

  • The Chairman
  • The Secretary provided he/she shall have been requested by notice in writing by at least three members of the Committee.

Sub-Committees

Sub-committees representing each of the three schools separately (to be known initially as The Friends of Bedales/Dunhurst/Dunannie as appropriate) will meet at least once a term and will consist of the relevant parent members of the Committee and the relevant head of school and such additional parents of children at the relevant school as may be co-opted from time to time. These sub-committees are intended to be more informal exchanges of information and will facilitate the preparation of topics for discussion by the Committee and the discussion of proposals for fundraising.

Nomination and election

The names of those members nominated to the Committee may be advised to the Secretary before the Annual General Meeting or may be nominated at the Annual General Meeting, and shall be supported by at least two members duly qualified to vote. Where more nominations are received than there are places vacant on the Committee, a vote by a show of hands of those parents at the Annual General Meeting shall be taken.

Meetings

Apart from the Annual General Meeting the Association shall meet at such times as the Committee shall deem necessary. Not less than fourteen days' notice of all Meetings shall be given to members. The attendance at meetings of parents and guardians of children at Bedales, Dunhurst and Dunannie who are not themselves members of the Association will be most welcome, but non-members will not be entitled to vote on any matter.

The Committee may call an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to discuss and vote on pressing matters which need to be determined before the next Annual General Meeting. The rules governing the conduct of an Extraordinary General Meeting will be the same as those governing the conduct of an Annual General Meeting.

Accounts and finance

Proper books of account shall be kept and the Treasurer shall lay before the Committee as soon as possible after the 31st August in each year a  statement of income and expenditure and of the assets and liabilities of the Association..

The Committee shall present to the Annual General Meeting of the Association the report and accounts of the Association for the previous year.

The Committee shall maintain such bank account or accounts in the name of the Association as they think fit. Cheques shall be signed by such persons as the Committee shall from time to time authorise.  

Dissolution

If at any time the Committee shall decide that the purposes of the Association cannot in the circumstances continue to be carried out, they shall call a Special General Meeting of all members of the Association and put forward a resolution which shall be quoted in the notice of the meeting stating that:

  • The Association is to be dissolved and
  • What is to happen to any assets.

The resolution to this purpose shall be effected only if confirmed by the Special General Meeting and is carried by three-quarters of the majority of those present in person or by proxy.

If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Association there remain after satisfying any outstanding debts and liabilities any funds or other assets, these shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association, but shall be given or transferred to the School if it shall then exist as an independent charitable school, or to some other charitable institution having objects similar to the Association, and which shall be named in the notice calling the Special General Meeting.

Constitution

No alteration or amendment of this Constitution shall be made except at the Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting.

Notice of any proposals to alter or amend the Constitution must be contained in the notice convening the meeting, together with details of the resolution to be put.

A resolution to alter or amend the Constitution shall not be effective unless it is passed by a majority of three-quarters of those present in person or by proxy. Any member who desires proposing any alteration in the Constitution shall give notice of such proposals to the Secretary at least thirty days before the proposed date of the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed.

Other matters

Any point or matter that will arise in addition to the foregoing, including any question or dispute arising upon those rules or between the Association and any of its members  shall be dealt with and determined by the Committee and shall be subsequently ratified at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.