Rules of HBSFSA

HITCHIN BOYS’ SCHOOL FORMER STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

Formerly Hitchin Boys’ School Old Boys’ Association and Hitchin Grammar School Old Boys’ Association

1.    The Association shall be called ‘The Hitchin Boys’ School Former Students’ Association.’

  • All former pupils of Hitchin Boys’ School shall be eligible for membership, whilst past and present members of staff shall be eligible for Honorary Membership, all subject to the approval of the committee.
  • The Officers of the Association shall be a President, President-Elect, Vice-Presidents, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary, all of whom shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.
  • The Committee shall consist of its officers, nine members and the Head Teacher. The committee shall have the power to co-opt.Each member shall be elected to serve a term of three years and one third of the Committee shall retire at each Annual General Meeting. Upon completion of three years’ service a Committee member shall not be eligible for re-nomination for election to the Committee until twelve months shall have elapsed. The President shall be appointed Chairman. Five members shall form a quorum on Committee Meetings.
  • There shall be the following classes of membership of the Association, subscription of which shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting:-

(i)   Ordinary Members who shall pay an annual subscription.

(ii)  Life Members, who paid a Life membership subscription prior to 25th March 1990.

(iii) Term Members, who shall pay a subscription, which shall cover a period of twenty years and be renewable every twenty years.

  • Honorary Members
  • Associate Members, who shall be School Leavers who are not liable to pay a subscription for a period of five calendar years after leaving the School
  • Members shall be entitled to receive a copy of all notices and of all issues of the ‘Association Newsletter’.
  • Membership shall be terminated when a subscription is twelve months overdue.
  • The Annual General Meeting, of which onemonth’s notice shall be given, shall be held in March or April, or at such time as the Annual Reunion takes place, when Annual Reports and Accounts shall be presented and the Officers and Committee elected. Fifteen members shall form a quorum at General Meetings. Absent voting will be allowed for changes to the Constitution.
  • All Former Students may attend General Meetings but only members may vote.
  • Special General Meetings shall be called at the written request of eight members specifying what resolution they intend to move, to the Honorary Secretary. The business of the Meeting shall be outlined and limited to such resolutions. The Honorary Secretary shall give notice of the business to all members at least one month before the Special General Meeting, together with an Absent Voting Form. The Form must be returned to the Honorary Secretary by the day before the Special General Meeting, if the member is unable to attend in person. 15 members attending shall form a quorum.
  • Any member desirous of proposing any alteration of or addition to the Rules of the Association shall give notice in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least three months before the Annual General Meeting. The Honorary Secretary shall give the proposal to all members at least one month before the Annual General Meeting., together with an Absent Voting Form. The Form must be returned to the Honorary Secretary by the day before the meeting, if the member is unable to attend in person.
  • In order to ensure compliance with its obligations under Part 7 of the Equality Act 2010, the Association will take all reasonable steps to ensure that it does not discriminate against, fail to make adjustments for, or permit the harassment or victimisation of any member of the Association by another member. See Appendix One for a full explanation of the Act as it applies to the Association and how the Association intends to deal with its legal obligation when the Act is breached.

AIMS OF THE ASSOCIATION

1. To provide and maintain the School’s tradition forming a link between past and present members of the School.

2. To support the School. This may include, providing advice on careers, offering work experience and fundraising.

3. To provide a forum through which Former Students can keep in touch by information on the Association website and via Newsletters.

4. To arrange reunions and any other activities that members wish to support.

5. To keep members informed of what is currently happening at the School.

APPENDIX ONE

Any member can raise a complaint with the Committee in writing, or verbally if the committee is actually present, if they believe that they are being discriminated against. The Committee will use the two Guidance documents for Schools and Clubs and Associations which are published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s website to determine if a breach has taken place (the Guidance). Dependent on the severity of the complaint, the Committee has one of 3 options which it can impose (Sanctions). 

  1. Send a letter of censure, or censure verbally if the offence takes place within a meeting. The members voting rights will be removed for the duration of the meeting, if they are censured by the Chair or Secretary. There is no appeal.
  2. Vote a suspension of a members voting rights and ability to attend events e.g. meetings and dinners etc for 1 year and 1 month.
  3. A lifetime Ban.

However, if a member’s behaviour has also been reported to the police by another member, the committee will suspend the membership of the offending party indefinitely, until there is an outcome in the police investigation, or the Court Process. 

If a police investigation is closed and no charges are raised, the Committee can still impose sanctions 1 and 2 if they feel that it is appropriate. Otherwise the committee can vote to take no further action.

In the event of Court Action and a guilty verdict, the member will receive option 3 of the sanctions. On a not guilty verdict, the committee will abide by the Courts decision and re-instate the member.

A member facing Sanctions, is entitled to send a statement to the Committee in their defence. The Chair or Secretary of the association will read this statement out in a meeting. This statement must be delivered to the Secretary of the association, either by mail or email, at least 1 day before the meeting. The date and time of the meeting will be determined by the Committee. The statement must not be used as a platform to continue a breach of The Act. In such circumstances the Chair and the Secretary can refuse to read out the statement from the member.  The Chair and Secretary will inform the committee as to why they refused to read out the statement. 

A member facing Sanctions, cannot attend the committee meeting.

If a member is censured twice in 12 months, or they repeat the same discrimination against a member within 10 years, which resulted in the first censure, option 2 of the sanctions will be applied without a committee vote.

In the event of a suspension the member will be informed either by registered post or email of the fact. Proof of posting, or a copy of the email will suffice as proof of delivery. 

If a member has been suspended or banned because of breaching The Act, they are not entitled to any refund of subscriptions. 

The Committee will ensure that any changes to the rules and or the constitution are compliant with The Act. In the event that there is a proposed change to the constitution and or rules etc these should have no impact upon any member who has a protected characteristic under The Act, as this would be illegal. In case there is any doubt the Committee (one vote against) must seek 3rd party legal clarification from a legal firm who has experience in matters relating to the Act (legal Clarification). This legal firm cannot have any connections with the School or Association in order to maintain neutrality. There will be a limit on how much the committee can spend on answering such a question, and this will be limited to 5% of the total cleared funds of the associations during that financial year, for all legal questions (the Budget). For the avoidance of doubt, the Budget will be calculated from the Profits from events, subscriptions, raffles, donations to the association for the association, but it will exclude legacy’s left by members for the school via the association.

If the estimated costs of providing such advice exceeds the Budget, the committee will have no choice but to strike out any proposition, even if this has been voted on or requested by the Association.

In the Event that any member objects to a change of rules, or the constitution and this is based upon a protected characteristic which they possess, the committee can investigate the claim using the guidance. If there is any doubt (one vote against) on the committee, about the Guidance and the legal standing of the situation, then the Committee must seek legal Clarification. The committee must ensure that the legal Clarification does not exceed the Budget. If the budget is, or will be exceeded, the change at the centre of discussion will be struck out to protect the association from any adverse legal liability; there is no need for a committee vote. In the event that the legal Clarification advises on caution or to reject the change, the committee will strike out the motion without a vote. Otherwise, if the legal Clarification advises that there will be no liability for the association in accepting the change, the committee will implement the wishes of the association and inform the member of the outcome.

In the event that the committee finds what is considered a criminal intent to breach the Act, this matter will need to be reported to the police like any other crime. Otherwise the association could find itself liable under the Act. This will be up to the Chair or Secretary to write to the police, so that the association distances itself from such illegality, and distances the association so it is not held liable for the breach of members acting outside the Act.

This clause of the associations constitution can be amended in line with Changes to The Act, or if The Act is replaced. This can be done without the need of further voting, this is to ensure the rules apply to the current law. For the avoidance of doubt this does not change the substance of this clause or set of clauses, only the Guidance and if the Equality Act 2010 is replaced or superseded. 

A hard copy of the Guidance is to be held by the Secretary for Committee use. 

Members can find an online copy of the Guidance at the following URLs.  In the event these URLs no longer work, please contact the Secretary.

The Guidance.

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/what_equality_law_means_for_your_association2c_club_or_society.pdf

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/technical_guidance_for_schools_england.pdf

Current legislation for the 2010 Equality Act ( the Act )

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents