Constitution of The Friends of The Charter School North Dulwich
The name of the organisation shall be The Friends of The Charter School North Dulwich (FoTCSND or the Friends).
The aim of the Friends is to advance the education and enrich the experience of the pupils of The Charter School North Dulwich (the School). In furtherance of this aim the Friends may:
● Develop relationships and communication between staff, parents/carers and the local community
● Engage in activities which support the School and the local community, in particular, with other local schools
● Engage in fundraising, provide and assist in activities, facilities or equipment that support the school and advance the education and experience of students (not normally provided by the school budget)
● Provide practical support for the work of the School in promoting and publicising the School, its achievements and activities
● Promote pupil enrichment, inclusion, wellbeing as part of a sustainable approach in line with the School ethos.
The Friends shall be a voluntary, non-party political and non-sectarian body.
The Friends membership
Membership shall be open, free of charge to all parents/carers of pupils at TCSND and employees of the School. All parents/carers of pupils at the school and all members of staff are automatically members of the Friends.
Any other person who wishes to offer appropriate support or help the School in furtherance of the aims of the organisation may be considered by the Committee for membership and determined by a Meeting by the Friends.
The Committee may for good reason (whether or not at the request of the Headteacher or Local Governing Body) exclude any person from membership whose presence at or support of the School is deemed to be detrimental to the School or its pupils or staff, or might bring the organisation into disrepute. This shall be by unanimous vote of all the Committee.
The Officers and Committee
The officers of the Friends elected by the members shall be a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary and a senior staff member of the school.
The business of the organisation shall be managed by a Committee. The Committee of the Friends shall comprise the 4 officers and up to 15 additional voting members.
Governors will not be eligible to stand as office bearers but they are eligible to stand for the Committee. If an office bearer should become a governor, they will stand down from office at the next AGM and not be eligible for re-election.
Committee members shall have the power to co-opt additional Committee members at any time to assist them in the performance of their duties. The number of co-opted Committee members must not be more than 50% of the total number of Committee members. Co-opted members shall be non-voting.
Elections to the Committee
The Officers of the Friends shall be elected at the AGM from the membership in attendance and shall serve until the next AGM when they shall be eligible for re-election subject to serving a maximum of three consecutive terms of office (except the Staff Representatives).
Nominations for officers and Committee members shall be proposed by members and should have the consent of the nominees. The nominees for Committee members should, as far as is possible, include at least one representative of each year group in the School.
If no nominations or an insufficient number are received before the AGM, any members present may nominate a person, with their consent. They should be seconded by another member and that person may be appointed by a majority vote of those present.
Formal Committee meetings shall be held at least once each term. Notice shall be given to all members of the Friends at least seven days in advance. The Chair should attend all meetings. If the Chair is unavailable to attend they can nominate a member of the Committee to act on their behalf
All parents/carers of the Friends shall be entitled to attend Committee meetings but not to vote officially.
Each member of the Committee shall have one vote and resolutions shall be passed by a simple majority vote of those present. For meetings of the Committee a quorum shall be 2 officers and 2 other voting members.
The Chair, or the nominated Committee member in the absence of the Chair, shall have a deliberative and casting vote. The Chair’s casting vote shall only be used in the event of a tie. If there are office bearers who share a role, then each member shall have one vote.
The Committee may set up and authorise sub-committees and working groups to make recommendations to it.
The Committee shall take decisions to further the aims of the Friends and undertake to report to the members through a newsletter at least once a term.
Minutes of the Committee meetings shall be circulated to all the Committee members, the observers who attended the meeting, and made available to all parents/staff.
A member of the Committee failing to attend three consecutive meetings without good cause (to be determined by the Chair/Office Bearers) may be deemed to have retired from the Committee.
Annual General Meetings (AGM)
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is open to all parents/carers, employees of The Charter School North Dulwich and shall be held during the Autumn term. The notice calling the meeting shall be posted at least 14 days in advance to all members of the organisation and business shall include:
• The work of the Committee via a report from the Chair;
• The Treasurer’s report and accounts;
• Approval of the accounts;
• Appointment of an independent auditor for the organisation.
• Election of members to serve on the Committee for the following year.
A Special General Meeting (SGM) shall be called at the written request of a minimum of 10 members of the Friends to the Chair. 14 days notice shall be given of an SGM to all members of the Friends and a formal agenda will be provided.
All questions requiring a vote either at the AGM or SGM or at a Committee meeting shall be decided by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote. The Chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote in the event of there being no clear majority.
For AGMs and SGMs to be quorate, there must be a minimum present of twice the number of Friends officers (shared roles will be counted as two officers) ie. 8 is the minimum for the meetings to be quorate if all Friends officer roles are single posts.
The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that all property/ money received by/ for the organisation shall be applied for the aims of the organisation. Decisions on funding allocation will be voted at Committee meetings or where urgent, with the agreement of a quorum of three office bearers between meetings and then reported by the Chair at the next Committee meeting.
The monies of the Friends shall be held in a bank account/building society in the name of the Friends. The Treasurer shall keep an account of all income and expenditure. Bank payments and withdrawals shall be made in the name of the Friends and checked by two officers. The Committee shall appoint an honorary auditor who must not be a Committee member and who need not be a member of the Friends.
The financial year shall end on 31 August.
No Committee member may receive payment of money or other material benefit from the organisation.
The Definition of roles
The Chair provides leadership for the Committee and sets the agenda for meetings. The Chair will work closely with the Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary to ensure the organisation is run effectively.
The Chair writes the annual report in cooperation with the Secretary and ensures the annual return is submitted.
The Treasurer will be responsible for keeping accurate records to show how money raised has been used to fund specific items. These will be kept by the Committee. The Treasurer will provide an account review at each formal Committee meeting. The Treasurer will be responsible for providing a profit and loss statement for each fundraising event that takes place. A report will be presented to the parents/carers at the AGM of funds raised and how they have been allocated.
The Treasurer will prepare annual accounts for submission to the Charities Commission and update information as necessary as Trustees change.
The Secretary shall be responsible for making sure that accurate minutes of all meetings are kept and shall make these available upon request to any member of the organisation. Minutes will be emailed to all members of the organisation ahead of the next meeting.
Changing the Constitution
The Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting (see quoracy numbers for AGMs above). The notice of the Annual General Meeting must include notice of the resolution setting out the terms of the alteration proposed. No amendments of alterations shall be made without the prior written permission of the Charity Commission to the name, aims, dissolution or voting arrangements at AGMs or SGMs, and no alteration shall be made which could cause the organisation to cease to be a charity in law.
The Friends may be dissolved by a resolution presented at an SGM called for this purpose. The resolution must have the assent of two-thirds of the votes cast by those entitled to vote. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets remaining after satisfying any outstanding debts and liabilities. These assets shall not be distributed among the members but will be given to the School for the benefit of the pupils of the School or in the event of a school closure, to the School to which the majority of children of the closing School will go, in any manner which is exclusively charitable in law. If effect cannot be given to this provision then the assets can be given to some other charitable purpose.
Adopted - 8/10/2020