The next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Forest School Association (FSA) will be held on Saturday 7th May 2022, via an online Zoom meeting between 13:00 and 14:30.

The decision to hold the AGM online has been taken because it has proven effective, over the past two years, in terms of reaching more members and having positive environmental, cost, and time-saving benefits when compared to holding a face to face AGM.

Any FSA member is welcome to attend the meeting but please note that Trainee Members are not eligible to vote in the election. We should be grateful if you could help us plan for numbers by registering your intention to attend as soon as possible through this link …

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The primary purpose of the AGM is to elect new trustees in line with our constitution and charity commission guidelines. It is also an opportunity for trustees to report on activities conducted in the past year and on future plans. The annual report and accounts will be made available to members ahead of time and members are encouraged to ask any questions that they may have about these. Members who are unable to attend the meeting in person can ask questions for trustees’ consideration by emailing … with the subject heading. ‘Question for trustees, AGM 2022

Members have the right to appoint a proxy under section 324 of the Companies Act 2006 and article 22. If you wish to appoint a proxy please email … with the subject heading ‘Appointment of proxy at AGM 2022’ stating your full name and address and the name and address of your proxy.

In addition, this year the board will be hosting a special webinar on the Wednesday evening before the AGM (8pm-9.30pm on Wednesday 4th May). This is an opportunity for members to ask the trustees questions. They will attempt to answer the questions during that evening but it is also an opportunity to gather questions that can be answered more formally at the AGM. To join the webinar please click link below. Please bring your ideas because there will be an opportunity to meet with other practitioners to think about what else we all might do together to advocate for quality Forest School for All.

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Election of New Trustees


According to our constitution, one third of our tustees must stand down each year. If no trustees wish to step down voluntarily then these should be the longest serving trustees.

“one-third of the trustees or, if their number is not three or a multiple of three, the number nearest to one-third, must retire from office.”

There are a total of 12 places on the board. At time of writing we have 10 trustees:

Louise Ambrose

Lewis Ames

Sara Collins, (Deputy Chair)

Jon Cree, (Treasurer)

Sarah Lawfull, (Chair)

Matt Harding

Lily Horseman

Geoff Mason, (Company Secretary)

Jo Phillips

Froo Signore

Therefore, 3 trustees must stand down at the end of the AGM.

Jon Cree is retiring from the board but will continue to act as an ambassador for the FSA. As the longest-serving trustee (since standing for election) Louise Ambrose and Lily Horseman have volunteered to re-stand for election.

Carol Middleton, who has served as an advisor to the board for 1 year, is also being put forward for election by the trustees.

Therefore, there are 5 places available on the board this year and there are 3 candidates standing for election.

According to our constitution trustees are elected by ordinary resolution (a vote). This may happen at the AGM but we always hold an electronic vote to ensure that the maximum number of eligible members can participate. The result is then announced at the AGM.

Trustee recruitment and selection

The FSA became a charity in 2014. According to the charity commission ‘charities have a responsibility to ensure that prospective trustees understand the responsibilities they are taking on and can be relied on to carry them out responsibly. They must be adequately vetted’.

So, while our constitution says that the membership must vote on the appointment of new trustees, if the FSA wishes to have charitable status then it must be able to demonstrate effective vetting of new trustees. Therefore, prospective candidates must have the full confidence of the current board (who have legal responsibility for the good running of the organisation) before they will be put forward to stand for election.

To gain board confidence and approval to stand in the election candidates must submit to the following:

  1. Application form expressing interest in taking on the role and a declaration from the prospective trustee that they are not disqualified from acting as a charity trustee.
  2. A search against the Individual Insolvency Register.
  3. A search against the register of disqualified directors.
  4. A search against the register of all persons who have been removed as a charity trustee either by the commission or by an Order of the High Court since 1 January 1993.
  5. Providing satisfactory references
  6. Interview via Skype with existing Trustees

Company accounts and a position statement will be made available to candidates prior to the interview to ensure that they have an understanding of the charity’s position and are in a position to ask questions. However, current trustees must be satisfied that prospective trustees understand the responsibilities they are taking on and can be relied on to carry them out responsibly. Feedback will be given to prospective trustees after the interviews.

In September 2020 the FSA board agreed to introduce a probation period of one year prior to candidates committing to going forward for election to the Board. This will be a ‘get to know each other year’. Candidates who pass the initial due diligence checks (stages 1-6) will serve as ‘advisors to the board’ for this period. They will have full speaking and attendance rights and will act as a member of the board with the privileges and responsibilities that pertain to a member of the board. However, as they will not be full board members (registered at Companies House) or trustees (registered with the Charities Commission) they will not have the legal liability that full board member/trustee status entails. Therefore, they will not have board voting rights. This probation period will allow candidates to learn how the FSA board works and ensure a good fit before they commit to a longer period. There will be a number of review points during the year. Advisors will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement with the FSA.

We invite members to consider whether or not they may wish to put themselves forward to stand as a director/trustee.

Candidates should submit electronic application forms before 25th April 2022 so that we have time to undertake the necessary checks and arrange interviews before the AGM.

Application form: FSA-trustee-application-form-2022

Duties of a director – Companies House

Duties of a trustee – Charities Commission

Details of the voting process to follow but it is expected to be similar to last year. Voting will start on 25th April 2021 and end on 6th May at 12pm.

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