Taunton Opportunity Group Constitution 

 

1) Name

The name of the playgroup shall be ‘The Taunton Opportunity Group’ hereafter referred to as ‘the Playgroup’ which shall be a registered charity (number: 277984).

 2) Aim

The aim of the Playgroup is to provide safe and satisfying group experience and play, for the advancement of the education of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Children with special educational needs are defined as those with physical, sensory, neurological and mental disabilities; those with behavioural disorders, emotional problems; and those who are at risk of abuse or have been abused. The Playgroup will provide opportunities for all children regardless of race, culture, religion or means. In furtherance of this objective thereto, the Playgroup may:

  1. Run a playgroup enabling children with special needs where possible to mix with children without such needs.
  2. Foster mutual help and co-operation between the parents, guardians, relatives and friends of children with special needs and those entrusted with the care of such children.

 3) Powers

For the furtherance of such objectives, the Playgroup may:

  1. Provide accommodation and equipment; engage staff; control the admission of children and require such payments to be made as referred to hereafter.
  2. Raise funds for the achievement of the foregoing objectives and invite and receive contributions from any persons by way of subscriptions, donations and otherwise, provided that the Playgroup shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for its charitable objectives.
  3. Expend monies received from any resources as necessary.
  4. Fix and collect fees payable in respect of children attending the Playgroup.
  5. Obtain and continue membership of the Pre-School Learning Alliance and other suitable associations and assist in the promotion of these associations.
  6. Take such other action as may benefit the Playgroup.

 4) Membership

Family members/carers: all parents or guardians of children on the attendance register of the Playgroup will have deemed membership and have one vote per child.

Members: other interested persons may apply to, or be invited by the committee on a year to year basis, to become Members and will complete a membership form that includes a declaration that they endorse the aims of the Playgroup.

Attendance: it is recommended that committee members attend at least 60% of meetings.

 5) General meetings

An Annual General Meeting shall be held in July each year at which the Trustees’ Annual Report and Audited Account for the preceding year ended 31st March shall be presented and adopted.

 6) Special general meetings

A Special General Meeting may be called at any time at the request of the committee or one quarter of the members.

 7) Convening of meetings

The Secretary or Chair shall send a note of the date, time and place of each Annual General Meeting and any Special General Meeting with a list of items to be discussed, to all members at least four weeks before the date of the meeting.

If the Chair or Secretary do not call a Special General Meeting within two months of a request to do so, any member may call that meeting by putting a notice in a conspicuous place where the Playgroup meets, at least two weeks before the meeting.

 8) Quorum

At least 20% of members entitled to attend shall be a quorum.

 9) The Committee

The committee shall meet at least three times a year and is responsible for ensuring that the Playgroup complies with its aim and is properly managed.

  1. The committee shall consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and not less than two other members.
  2. The committee shall have the power to co-opt non-voting members or advisors for one year as it shall think fit.
  3. In the event of the death or resignation of an elected member, the vacancy shall be filled by a member appointed by the committee.

 10) Committee meetings

At committee meetings, officers and elected members each have one vote. In the event of a tie, the Chair has a second or casting vote. A quorum shall not be less than half the committee, including two officers.

 11) Tenure

The officers of the committee shall retire each year at the Annual General Meeting and may be eligible for re-election. No officers should be re-elected to the same post for a seventh year.

 12) Committee Business

The committee as charity trustees have control of the Playgroup, its property and funds. Day-to-day management of the Playgroup will be vested in the committee. Subject to that the committee are empowered to delegate any of their functions to subcommittees consisting of two or more persons appointed by them (but at least two members of every sub-committee must be committee members and all proceedings of subcommittees must be reported promptly to the committee).

The committee may make rules consistent with this constitution for the conduct of such subcommittees.

 13) Finance

The Treasurer shall prepare budgets and keep proper accounts of the finances of the Playgroup. At each meeting the Treasurer, or his/her Deputy, shall present a Statement of Accounts to the committee. Acceptance of the accounts by the committee shall be recorded in the meeting minutes. All cheques must be signed by any two members of the cheque signing panel approved by the committee.

 14) Annual accounts

The Annual Accounts submitted to members, shall be examined by an Independent Examiner to be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.

 15) Application of funds

The funds of the Playgroup shall be used only for the purposes of the Playgroup and no payment shall be made to any members except:

  • If that member is employed by the Playgroup and then only as proper remuneration in respect of that employment.
  • As repayment of expenses properly incurred on behalf of the Playgroup.
  • As interest at reasonable rate on money lent to the Playgroup.

 16) Property trustees

The title to any real or leasehold property which may be acquired by the Playgroup should be vested in ‘property trustees.’

16.1 Property trustees will be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

16.2  Property trustees shall act in accordance with the lawful directions of the committee. In the absence of fraud or wilful default the property trustees shall be indemnified out of the Playgroup’s property against risk and expense incurred in the exercise of their duties as property trustees.

17) Dissolution

In the event of the Playgroup being for any reason dissolved, the assets and funds of the Playgroup shall be transferred to such charity as may be nominated by resolution in General Meeting and passed by two thirds of the members present, provided such charity has similar aims to the Playgroup.

 18) Change of Constitution

The constitution may be altered only if:

  1. Two thirds of the members present at a General Meeting vote in favour of changing it;
  2. No change may be made to clause 2 (Aims), without the authority of the Charity Commissioners;
  3. The alternative is approved by and registered with the Charity Commissioners.

This constitution was approved by members of Taunton Opportunity Group Annual General Meeting held on 8th November 2018.