BATOD
The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf

PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN DEAF EDUCATION

Association Constitution

This updated constitution was presented to BATOD members at an Extraordinary General Meeting in Belfast on 10 June 2017, members having been informed with due notice prior to the meeting. It was accepted unanimously.

Section 1: Title

The title shall be 'The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf' hereinafter referred to as 'The Association' and 'The National Body'.

Section 2: Constitution

  1. All members shall belong to the main body of the Association which shall be managed by the National Executive Council (NEC).
  2. Each member of the Association shall be a Registered Member of one Constituent Region/Nation of the Association.
  3. Each Constituent Region/Nation shall be managed by a Committee according to the Rules detailed in Section 20 of these Rules and Constitution.
  4. The NEC shall keep under review the arrangement of Constituent Regions/Nations and on their own initiative or in response to representation from Full members of the Association, devise recommendations for the rearrangement of the boundaries of existing constituent regions/nations or the establishment of additional Constituent Regions/Nations which if approved by the NEC shall be submitted to the membership of the Association in the form of a proposal for amending these Rules and Constitution according to the procedure detailed in Sections 15 and 16.

Section 3: Objects

  1. To promote the education of all deaf babies, children, young persons and adults and to promote the interests and status of all Teachers of the Deaf and members of allied professions.
  2. To encourage and assist in the training of Teachers of the Deaf including mandatory qualification training and post-qualification continuing professional development.
  3. To maintain and improve the status of Teachers of the Deaf as specialists in the work of education and also to maintain and improve the status of those Teachers of the Deaf working in contexts other than schools.
  4. To encourage the development of the role of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Communication Support Workers (CSWs) in supporting the work of Teachers of the Deaf.

Section 4: Membership

  1. Conditions of Membership
    All applicants for membership shall be required to fill in a form stating their qualification status. The NEC shall arbitrate on any question arising from the above provisions.
  2. Full Members
    1. Full members shall be persons who possess a recognised qualification as a Teacher of the Deaf.
    2. Full members shall be persons who are in training as Teachers of the Deaf.
  3. Associate Members
    1. Persons who are not qualified Teachers of the Deaf may apply for Associate Membership of the Association (mainstream teachers, SENCOs, Teaching Assistants, Communication Support Workers, parents etc)
  4. Retired Members
    Full members shall be entitled to become Retired Members of the Association upon retiring. Retired Members receive all the benefits of Full Membership, except that they may not vote and will only receive the Journal on payment of an additional fee to cover the Association's costs in providing it.
  5. Life Members
    The Association no longer creates Life Members. Existing Life Members shall be entitled to the same privileges as Full Members (as defined in 4b). except that they may not vote and will only receive the Journal on payment of an additional fee to cover the Association's costs in providing it.
  6. International Members
    Persons living outside the UK who are interested in the aims of the Association may become either Full or Associate members appropriately upon payment of an additional fee which covers the administration costs of the Association in supplying member benefits.
  7. Special Members
    1. Teaching Assistants and Communication Support Workers may apply for Special Membership of the Association. They will not receive the Journal of the Association and may not vote on the affairs of the Association.

Section 5: Membership Subscriptions

  1. The NEC shall seek to ensure that the income from Membership subscriptions is adequate for the needs of the Association.
  2. Subscriptions shall fall due on August 1st of each year and shall be payable in advance for the following membership year, August 1st to July 31st, except for members who pay by Direct Debit who may choose to pay quarterly in advance.
  3. Only Full Members whose subscriptions are up to date and Life members shall be:
    1. eligible for nomination for election to NEC
    2. entitled to nominate candidates for elections
    3. entitled to vote in the affairs of the Association for the remainder of that membership year.
  4. The Annual Subscription for Full, Associate, International as defined in 4b, 4c, 4d shall be decided by the NEC annually and announced to the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

Section 6: Collection of Membership Subscription and Cessation of Membership

  1. The National Treasurer shall be responsible for arranging collection of membership subscriptions.
  2. Membership shall be deemed to have lapsed if subscriptions are outstanding for more than two months, or from the time of cancellation of a Direct Debit instruction.
  3. Anyone resigning from the Association during the year for which a subscription has been paid shall not be entitled to a refund of any portion of that subscription.
  4. Privileges shall be withdrawn from the date of resignation.
  5. Re-entry to the Association during the year of earlier resignation shall entitle the individual to restoration of privileges without additional subscription for the remainder of the year.
  6. Exclusions and expulsions
    1. By unanimous agreement of the NEC a proposal to exclude or expel any person from membership of the Association shall be submitted for decision by a straight majority vote at a General Meeting of the Association to which the member involved has been invited.
    2. Anyone so expelled or so excluded shall lose all privileges of membership of the Association and shall not be entitled to any refund of any portion of any subscription paid for the year in which expulsion occurs.
    3. Anyone so expelled or excluded shall be re-admitted to membership of the Association in the same or subsequent years only after a majority decision to this effect at any General meeting of the Association.

Section 7: Funding of Constituent Regions/Nations from Membership Subscriptions

  1. Constituent Regions/Nations shall determine their expected costs for the year and submit these to the National Treasurer following their AGM. Constituent Regions/Nations are expected to maintain a balance of approximately £1000 as a contingency fund.
  2. The National Treasurer shall pay amounts due to the Constituent Regions/Nations when agreement is reached.
  3. In addition, Regional/National Committees may request the NEC to consider awarding financial assistance towards the expenses involved in the furtherance of a specific project.
  4. The NEC may, from time to time, ask Regional/National Committees to review their reserve funds and as appropriate demand the payment of a proportion of these funds into the British Association's account as seems likely to be in the interest of the Association as a whole.

Section 8: Honorary Officers and the National Executive Council

  1. Honorary Officers
    1. The Officers of the Association shall be the President, the President-elect, the National Minuting Secretary and the National Treasurer.
    2. Candidates for Office should have served for at least two years as members of the NEC.
    3. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all working groups of the NEC and the Committee of each Constituent Region/Nation of the Association.
    4. The President, after consultation with at least two other members of the Steering Group, is empowered to act on behalf of the Association on matters requiring immediate attention.
  2. The National Executive Council
    1. The National Executive Council shall include at least one representative from each Constituent Region/Nation who liaises between the Constituent Regions/Nations and the National Executive Council.
    2. The National Executive Council shall include three honorary officers (as defined in 8a) who shall be elected on a National basis.
    3. The National Executive Council shall include twelve members elected on a National basis.
    4. The National Executive Council shall include the holders of Posts of Appointment (see 13) who shall have full voting rights at all NEC, standing committee or sub-committee meetings.
  3. The Representatives and the Honorary Officers shall be drawn from those registered as Full Members (as defined in 4b).
  4. All members of the NEC shall serve on one of its standing Committees/workstreams. Membership of Committees/workstreams shall be decided by the Honorary Officers in consultation with the individual members of the NEC.
  5. The Steering Group
    1. The Honorary Officers, (as in 8ai), together with the Executive Officer (as in 13b) and the Consultant, (as in 13c), shall form the Steering Group of the NEC.
    2. The Steering Group may invite other members of the NEC to attend meetings as seems appropriate.

Section 9: Election of the National Executive Council

  1. Only Full Members and Life Members of the Association may be nominated for election to the National Executive Council.
  2. All candidates shall be sponsored by a proposer and by a seconder who must be Full Members or Life Members of the Association.
  3. No more than one candidate for election to the NEC may be proposed or seconded by the same person.
  4. Only Full and Life Members of the Association (as defined in 4b and 4e may vote in the election of representatives to the NEC.
  5. National elections shall be held annually. Each elected member shall serve for a two-year term.
  6. Regional/National representatives:
    1. Each Constituent Region/Nation shall elect or nominate a Representative to hold office for a period of two years.
    2. If a Constituent Region/Nation has no member elected to the NEC, that Constituent Region/Nation may elect or nominate a second representative to hold office for such period as may be necessary to ensure the Constituent Region/Nation has two representatives on the National Executive Council.
    3. No member may serve in this capacity for more than three consecutive terms.
    4. If the representative cannot attend an NEC Meeting another member from the Constituent Region/Nation may attend in their place. Members attending as substitutes shall have full voting rights.

Section 10: Election of Honorary Officers

  1. Only Full Members and Life Members may be nominated for and elected as Honorary Officers of the Association.
  2. Only members of the NEC shall be eligible for nomination as an Officer, (see 8a ii).
  3. Each candidate for office shall be sponsored by a proposer and by a seconder who shall be Full or Life Members of the Association. Such proposers and seconders may sponsor members for each office of the Association but may not sponsor more than one person for each office of the Association.

Section 11: Terms of Service and Election of the NEC and Honorary Officers

  1. NEC Members
    1. Shall be elected for a two-year term.
    2. Members may seek re-election for two further two-year terms.
    3. On completion of three consecutive two-year terms of service, such members, if not elected to office during this time, shall not be eligible to seek re-election to the NEC in the following annual election.
    4. Constituent Regional/National representatives shall not be eligible to serve in that capacity for more than three consecutive two-year periods, except as in 11c.
    5. The NEC shall appoint one of its members to fulfil the role of minuting secretary.
  2. Honorary Officers
    1. All Honorary Officers shall be elected for two-year terms and shall be entitled to serve a two-year term of ex-officio service without the need to seek re-election to the NEC on completion of their period of service as an officer.
    2. The President-elect
      1. Shall serve for two years followed by promotion without election to the office of President for a further two-year term.
      2. In the event of the President-Elect refusing, or being unable to accept, promotion to President, elections shall be held for both President and President-Elect.
      3. The President-Elect who has declined promotion shall continue ex-officio service (as defined in 11bi) subject to the approval of the NEC.
      4. The National Treasurer may seek re-election to office for an indefinite number of terms.
  3. The NEC shall have unrestricted power to terminate the appointment of any Honorary Officer and to make arrangements for vacancies on the NEC to be filled. Any solution will involve serving out the unexpired period of service pertaining to the vacancy.
  4. Election Procedure
    1. The Executive Officer shall be responsible for the conduct of the National Elections, for arranging the validity and timing of election papers and all procedures to do with the preparation and dispatch of voting papers and collation of results.
    2. Each Constituent Region/Nation shall be responsible for the election or nomination of their Representative.
    3. The decision of the NEC on any matter in dispute in relation to elections shall be final.

Section 12: Standing Committees/workstreams of the NEC

  1. The NEC shall have the right to decide the number, composition and responsibilities of its Committees/workstreams. Any changes shall be communicated to the members in the Magazine of the Association.
  2. Each Committee shall be responsible to the NEC for all its operations.
  3. Immediately following the Annual General Meeting each Committee shall appoint a Chair.
  4. Each Committee may then, subject to NEC approval, co-opt members to enable them to fulfil the functions of the Committee.
  5. The NEC shall set up ad hoc Committees/workstreams as situations demand.
  6. The NEC shall publish a list of the members of its Committees/workstreams annually.

Section 13: Posts of Appointment

  1. The NEC shall appoint Editors for the Journal and the Magazine in conjunction with the publishers.
    1. The holders of these posts of Appointment shall be members of the Association.
    2. Holders of Posts of Appointment shall report to the Honorary Officers.
  2. Executive Officer
    1. The Honorary Officers of the Association will ensure the appointment of a suitable person to fulfil the role of Executive Officer . The holder of this post is to provide professional and administrative support to the Association and its Executive Council.
    2. The position will be advertised and the appointment made by an interviewing panel of at least three Honorary Officers of the Association.
    3. The terms and conditions of employment and the level of remuneration will be reviewed annually by the Honorary Officers of the Association.
    4. Should this position fall vacant, the Honorary Officers will make interim arrangements, if necessary, pending the appointment of a new Executive Officer .
  3. Consultant
    1. The Honorary Officers of the Association will ensure the appointment of a suitable person to fulfil the role of Consultant. This person shall be a Full Member of the association and will usually have served as a member of the NEC.
    2. This position will be reviewed annually prior to the AGM.

Section 14: Meetings of the NEC and its Committees/workstreams

  1. The NEC and its Committees/workstreams shall meet as frequently as is deemed necessary to conduct the business for which they are responsible.
  2. The quorum for meetings of the NEC and Committees/workstreams shall be determined by the NEC for the following year at the first meeting after the AGM.
  3. Members of the NEC who miss two meetings in any one year without good reason shall be deemed to have resigned from the NEC.

Section 15: Meetings of the Association

  1. The NEC shall arrange for an Annual General Meeting and other General Meetings which it considers to be desirable.
  2. At least twenty-one days notice (except in the case of an emergency Special General Meeting where the notice will be seven days) together with the Agenda of every General Meeting and AGM, shall be distributed to the membership specifying the place, day and hour of the meeting but the non-receipt of such notice by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings at any meeting.
  3. In the case of the AGM, only that business which has been conveyed in the Notice of the Meeting may be discussed.
  4. Resolutions
    1. Resolutions deemed by the NEC to be amendments to these Rules and Constitution or matters of Association Policy shall be placed only at Annual General Meetings.
    2. Any full member wishing to present a resolution at the AGM including a proposal to amend these Rules and Constitution shall ensure that the duly proposed and seconded resolution - by Full Members (as defined in 4b) shall be in the hands of the Executive Officer prior to the NEC Meeting immediately preceding the AGM.
    3. These resolutions shall become motions to be moved at the AGM if they receive a two-thirds majority in the NEC.
    4. Resolutions passed by a simple majority at a Constituent Regional/National Meeting should automatically go to the next appropriate Annual General Meeting.
    5. Resolutions concerning these Rules and Constitution or a matter of the Association Policy passed at any General Meeting or Special General Meeting should go to the next appropriate Annual General Meeting.
    6. Resolutions passed under 15di and ii shall proceed to the NEC before the appropriate AGM and the NEC shall decide whether to offer an opinion on the resolutions for the benefit of members and shall decide whether any particular resolution should be put to a postal vote or whether proxy voting should be introduced.
  5. Special General Meetings
    1. A Special General Meeting of the Association may be called at any time by the NEC.
    2. On receipt of a written requisition signed by no less than twenty Full Members of the Association requesting a Special General Meeting the Executive Officer shall make immediate special arrangements for such a meeting to be held.
    3. The Membership shall be notified according to the procedure of 15b.
    4. No business shall be transacted at a Special General Meeting other than that specified in the Notice calling the Meeting.
    5. Quorum
      1. No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting or the AGM unless a quorum of members eligible to vote in the affairs of the Association be present.
      2. Twenty Members personally present; eligible to vote in the affairs of the Association shall form a quorum.
      3. If within half an hour after the time appointed for the meeting to commence, a quorum is not present the Meeting shall be dissolved.

Section 16: Voting Procedures

  1. Motions at Annual General Meetings and Resolutions at General Meetings to change these Rules and Constitution, or to effect a change in the Policy of the Association shall require a two-thirds majority vote of Full Members present or those voting in a postal vote or those voting by proxy, to gain adoption. Otherwise a straight majority vote only shall be required to carry a motion.
  2. In NEC Meetings a straight majority vote shall be required for the adoption of proposals for business deemed by the President to be a matter of Policy. For a change in these Rules and Constitution then a two-thirds majority vote shall be deemed necessary for adoption.
  3. The NEC shall arrange for a postal vote by all Full Members on any matter which the NEC considers important enough to warrant this procedure.
  4. On receipt of a written requisition signed by no less than twenty members requesting that postal voting should take place the Executive Officer shall place this request on the Agenda for the next available NEC Meeting. The NEC shall decide on whether the procedure of postal voting shall be implemented or not.

Section 17: Records

The Executive Officer and Honorary Officers shall be responsible for keeping all records of Association business, making them available at the request of the NEC and maintaining the archive of such documents held at Birmingham University Education Library.

Section 18: Finance and Audit

  1. Responsibilities
    1. The National Treasurer shall be responsible for the Management of all Association monies and assets.
    2. The National Treasurer may seek, subject to NEC approval, the assistance of NEC Members and Full Members of the Association and the assistance of professional support in the management of the monies.
    3. The NEC shall appoint a Full member of BATOD to fulfil the role of Assistant Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer may be co-opted to the NEC.
    4. If neither the National Treasurer nor the Assistant Treasurer are able to fulfil the duties of the post the President shall make alternative arrangements.
  2. Accounts
    1. A full account of all financial transactions shall be maintained at all times by the National Treasurer.
    2. The National Treasurer shall arrange for the accounts to be independently examined each year for the period August 1st to July 31st and present the independently examined accounts to the Annual General Meeting.
  3. The National Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer shall be empowered to issue cheques on behalf of the Association. Cheques must be signed by any two people taken from the President, President Elect, Executive Officer, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. In exceptional circumstances the President shall have the authority to issue cheques on behalf of the Association.
  4. The National Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer and the Executive Officer shall be empowered to conduct electronic banking on behalf of the Association. Any payments to be made must first be approved and signed by another person from the Executive Officer or an Honorary Officer.
  5. Any funds of the Association not required for current administration may be invested in Government Securities, Local Authority Securities, Banks or Building Societies for the benefit of the Association at the discretion of the NEC.
  6. The Honorary Officers may arrange insurance in the interests of the Association.

Section 19: Publications

  1. The NEC will seek to ensure that a refereed Journal is published for the benefit of the Association's Members.
  2. The NEC will also seek to ensure that an Association magazine is published.

Section 20: Constituent Regions/Nations of the Association

  1. Constituent Regional/National Committees shall be fully accountable to the NEC.
  2. Each Constituent Region/Nation shall elect a Chair. The functions of a secretary, a treasurer and a membership registrar should be provided for by the Committee.
  3. The Constituent Region/Nation shall arrange to hold an Annual General Meeting and other General Meetings, Committee Meetings and Functions as frequently and in such places within the Constituent Region/Nation as is considered desirable.
  4. Each Constituent Region/Nation will submit its independently examined accounts each year for the period August 1st to July 31st to the National Treasurer immediately after their Annual General Meeting.
  5. The size and composition of the Constituent Regional/National Committee shall be decided by the Region at the Annual General Meeting of the Constituent Region/Nation.
  6. No restrictions shall be imposed on registered members of the Association attending meetings arranged in any other Constituent Region/Nation but they may only vote on the business of the Constituent Region/Nation with which they are registered.
  7. Constituent Regions/Nations should conduct their affairs according to the spirit of the whole Association and in accordance with these Rules and Constitution.
  8. Constituent Regions/Nations shall be responsible for providing full Members registered with them with the means of proof of their eligibility to vote on a show of hands at any general meeting of the Association.

Section 21: Affiliation with Other Organisations

The Association may, at the discretion of the NEC, affiliate with other organisations in order to form links with groups having common interests with the Association.

Section 22: Winding Up

Should it be agreed, following procedures defined in Section 15 and 16, that the Association be wound up or amalgamated with some other organisation the NEC shall be responsible for settling debts out of Association funds and distributing surplus monies to bodies similarly concerned with the education of deaf children and young people.