1.1. The name of the Group is the New Visions for Education Group.
2.1. As its principal objective to promote a collaborative, inclusive and equitable public education service that –
2.1.1. aims to provide a high-quality education for all
2.1.2. ranks practical learning as highly as academic learning, and
2.1.3. values the personal development and well-being of the individual as highly as economic and occupational needs.
2.2. To provide opportunities and means for the sharing and development of ideas and policies in support of the Group’s principal objective
2.3. To campaign, lobby and give support for ideas and policies consistent with the Group’s principal objective
2.4 To co-operate with other organisations having similar objectives and to engage positively with practitioners and others involved in the management and delivery of education.
2.5 To use the collective experience of its members, its research and its findings, and the outcomes of relevant work and research carried out by others, in the UK and abroad, to influence education policy-making by informing government, and other interested parties, about how their policies are working out in practice, and advising them on what Group members collectively needs to be addressed if good practice is to be more widely spread and impediments to progress removed.
and the Council of the Group shall in addition establish and maintain a statement of policy setting out the Group’s values and vision. That statement shall be annexed to but not form part of this constitution so that it may be amended by simple majority
3.1 The members of the Group at the date of the adoption of this constitution continue to be members. After this date membership of the Group is available on application to the Group’s Honorary Membership Secretary for the time being, by post by email or by application through the Group’s website. The Council reserves the right to refuse membership to an applicant at the discretion of the majority of the members present at a Council meeting.
3.2 Members may resign by notification to the Group’s Honorary Secretary.
3.3 Membership will automatically terminate in the event of non payment of a subscription despite two reminders requesting payment within fourteen days. Membership may also be terminated by majority decision of the Council for cause considered by a majority of members present at a Council meeting to be good or urgent.
4.1 The policies and the oversight of the business of the Group are determined at meetings of a Council. All members of the Group at the date of the adoption of this constitution are members of the Council. Thereafter additional members may be appointed to the Council with the approval of a majority of the Council given at a quorate meeting.
- OFFICERS AND MANAGING COMMITTEE
5.1. The Group has the following officers –
5.1.2. Immediate past Chairperson
5.1.3. Two Vice-Chairpersons
5.1.7. Press media and social network Officer
5.1.8. Website Manager
5.2. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson or that of Vice Chairperson, a selection panel is to be appointed from amongst the full members at a meeting of the council after at least three weeks notice has been given that the appointment of a selection panel will be on the agenda for that meeting. The selection panel will consider suitable candidates and make recommendations to a subsequent meeting of the Council for which a similar notice has been given. In the event that the panel recommends more than one person for consideration by the Council the final decision will be by majority vote of those attending the Council meeting.
5.3. Managing Committee: The affairs of the Group are to be managed between meetings of the Council by a managing committee made up of the Officers plus four other full members volunteering and approved by the Council. In the event that more than one person volunteers for a post (other than that of Chairperson or Vice Chairperson) the decision shall be by majority vote at a Council meeting. Each officer of the Group is to be responsible for that part of the Group’s work as his or her title suggests reporting to the managing committee.
- SUBSCRIPTIONS AND LEVY
6.1. The initial subscription is a fixed amount as approved by the Council payable on admission to membership and thereafter an annual subscription of an amount determined by the managing committee and approved by the Council and payable in January of each year.
6.2. Members may additionally be requested from time to time to contribute to the funds of the Group to be used for an activity or campaign approved by the Council.
7.1.1. Meetings of the Council are to be held as the Management Committee believe to be appropriate but in any event and subject to the exceptions below at least three times each calendar year at intervals of no longer than six months.
7.1.2. At the last meeting of the Council in any calendar year, the Council shall approve a schedule of Council meetings for the following year. The Chairperson may call additional meetings as he or she considers necessary and may, after consultation with other officers, cancel postpone or rearrange Council meetings provided that if a cancellation would otherwise result in reducing the number of meetings in a year below three, a meeting shall be convened on an alternative date unless at least one fifth of the full members agree by telephone or email communication that the meeting may be abandoned.
7.1.3. An agenda for a Council meeting shall be circulated to full members at least ten days before the date on which the meeting is to take place. Prior to the circulation of an agenda the Secretary will have sent a notification to full members asking, for a reply within seven days, whether there are items which members wish to have considered.
7.1.4. The agenda shall include as standard items reports from the Treasurer and from the Press and Media Officer and from such sub-groups as have met in the period since the previous Council meeting. The agenda may include an item of “other business” but no business may be considered under this heading unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Council members present that urgent consideration is required.
7.1.5. The Group’s Chairperson or one of the Vice-Chairpersons presides at meetings of the Council or the Chairperson may after consultation with the Vice-Chairpersons request another full member to preside at a meeting whether or not one or all of them is present.
7.2. Managing committee
7.2.1. The Chairperson may call meetings of the Managing Committee as he or she thinks fit or at the request of a majority of Management Committee members. The business of the Management Committee may also be conducted by email exchanges.
7.3.1. Plenary meetings of full and associate members shall be organised to take place normally once in each calendar year at a suitable venue. Such meetings will take the form of conference to which speakers will be invited, but will include a brief formal session for the receipt of a financial report and a report from the Council on the activities of the Group. A plenary meeting may be called by a decision of the Council to take place at any other time if in the opinion of a majority of the Council members such a meeting is necessary to give consideration to the advancement of a policy or campaign.
- TASK AND FINISH GROUPS
8.1. The Council may establish sub-groups to be known as “task and finish” groups for the initial consideration of specified issues of concern to the Group in different sectors of education or by subject or otherwise as may be considered appropriate. Membership of each such group shall be by the choice of Council members concerned individually, but the Council may set a limit on the number of members of a group for the efficient conduct of its business. In that event and in the event that the number would be exceeded by those volunteering, the task and finish group’s membership may be determined by vote of the Council.
8.2. The members of a task and finish group shall choose their own Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and rapporteur who will have responsibility for reporting on the group’s work to the Council.
9.1. The quorum for a meeting of the Council is 15. The quorum for a plenary meeting is 40
10.1. A bank account is to be maintained in the name of the group, the signatories on the account being any two of the following
10.1.2. A Vice Chairperson
10.2. The Group’s financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December
10.3. The Treasurer will report formally to the Council on the Group’s finances at the first meeting of the Council following the end of a financial year.
10.4. A suitably qualified person may be paid to assist in the preparation of accounts for submission to the Council.
- WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA AND PRESS RELATIONS
11.1. The Group will maintain a website and a social media accounts for the regular publication of information relating to the Group’s policies, campaigns and activities.
11.2. Subject to moderation by the Website Manager, there may be included on the website papers or other material submitted by members for comment by visitors to the even though they have not been considered or approved by the Council, but any such material must be clearly identified on the website as being for consideration and not approved Group policy.
11.3. The Press Officer may issue releases to the press and media in the Group’s name. Such releases require the approval of the Chairperson, or in his or her absence a Vice Chairperson, and of the Convenor except that in emergency the approval or the Chairperson, or in case of his or her unavailability, a Vice-Chairperson acting alone will suffice.
11.4. A release by way of a press or media release, or by way of the Group’s website or social media account may, with his or her prior consent, name a full member as spokesperson for the Group on the subject to which the release relates so that person may be called upon to give further information or offer himself or herself for interview as appropriate.
11.5. A suitably qualified person may be paid to assist in maintaining the Group’s website and social media presence.
Our vision is of an education service that aims to provide a high quality education for all helping to combat social disadvantage and is underpinned by:
- integrity in all that it seeks to do and does;
- fairness in the ways in which it goes about its work;
- cooperation with all who can help in achieving desired ends, and openness in its accountability to the wider society.
Translating these principles into practice requires of all interested parties:
- a sense of working together in a worthwhile, shared endeavour;
- agreement about what the service is expected to achieve for the nation, for the wider society, for local communities and for individuals, allied with policies and actions likely to realise those expectations;
- clarity about each interested party’s expectations of the service, and of what is expected of them;
- agreement about, and acceptance of, their rights, responsibilities and obligations.
The New Visions for Education Group is not affiliated to any political party, but seeks to realise its vision of a high quality equitable public education service, and urges government to pursue those policies and measures that the Group’s members collectively believe necessary to achieve this vision.
In pursuing the realisation of the Group’s vision and its aims, its work will be shaped and underpinned by the following beliefs and principles:
- every child and adult has the right to the best education that can be provided, from cradle to grave;
- education should be free, universal and undertaken by institutions and agencies that are publicly accountable, democratically controlled and working in cooperation with each other;
- the process of education is a complex interaction between individuals learners, teachers and institutions. Education policy-making should respect this, in particular, by enhancing and valuing the professionalism of heads and teachers, ensuring that national requirements leave space for institutions to develop their own particular ethos and strengths and that learners can make their views known;
- the whole education service is an inter-related, coherent and life-long process consisting of pre-school, school, and the varied forms of adult and continuing education, including non-formal education at all stages but especially during adolescence and young adulthood;
- we should aim continually to improve the quality of education at all phases of life so as to help all citizens adapt to changing needs and circumstances, and achieve the higher educational standards that will be needed to take advantage of the possibilities, and cope with the challenges of the 21st century;
- education has a duty, and a key role to play, in tackling the roots and manifestations of inequality, prejudice and discrimination within its own practices and institutions, and in society at large;
- the education service must be funded, resourced and equipped to enable it to play its crucial part in combating social disadvantage and meeting the special needs of those with learning difficulties;
- for all involved to flourish, and for society to gain maximum benefit, the education service should be shaped by a public service culture, not by one of market forces and competition, driven by institutional self-interest, league tables, target-setting, performance indicators and an excessive testing of pupils;
- school admission policies and practice should outlaw overt and covert selection;
- the nature and aims of schooling and other phases of education are in need of examination and clarification in order to review and re-think purpose, curricula, assessment systems, inspection arrangements and devise new more appropriate pedagogies.