Becoming a director of SPTC

If you’re a parent or teacher with a passion for parental involvement, then you should consider becoming a board member of SPTC. Any parent or carer whose group is an SPTC member can stand for the board, as can any teacher whose local authority is a group or corporate member.

You can see a list of our current directors here.

Download the Director Nomination Form 2017 here.

You can download a leaflet with more information about what it means to be a director, or read the information below. SPTC Directors leaflet(464 kb)

What are the benefits to being a director of SPTC?

As a director of SPTC, you play a lead role in the only independent, national parent’s organisation in Scotland. You have the opportunity to influence policy development for the good of all Scotland’s children.

And because we are in regular contact with the Scottish Government and a number of other organisations like Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, we are often involved at an early stage.

We are invited to send directors to events and meetings on topics relevant to education, to join TV and radio audiences and to be interviewed. We also have the opportunity to put our views directly to MSPs, the Parliamentary Education Committee and to Ministers.

Why should you become a member of the board of directors of SPTC?

Because you are vital to SPTC, so that it can carry on. We need you to ensure we represent our membership, to inform our discussions and help us make policy. SPTC is the only organisation in Scotland that provides independent, parent-friendly advice and information to all. We also offer a parental perspective to policy makers and media: it’s a unique organisation and directors have a unique role in it.

The day-to-day work of the organisation is carried out by the staff in our Edinburgh office and around the country, but directors have a significant part to play.

What is a director’s position?

The majority of directors are nominated by their PTA or Parent Council, but they do not represent their school organisations on the SPTC Board. (A small number of directors are appointed because they bring with them specific business skills we need.) Within SPTC, directors work to and for SPTC. Directors are expected to take an overall view of children’s education, informed by their own experience as a parent and/or teacher, but not representing any particular constituency.

What is involved in being a director?

  • Directors are expected to attend the regular meetings of the board. There are usually six of these in the year, on Saturdays, in the Edinburgh office. Normally the meetings last from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm (lunch provided).
  • Directors will be sent papers in advance of all meetings and it is expected that they will have read these.
  • In between meetings, directors must be prepared to read and comment on draft papers, reports and consultation documents.
  • As a director you will also have responsibility for the company as a business and so you may be asked to attend meetings or provide other practical support to the organisation. Working groups have been established to look at aspects of the organisations development and directors are encouraged to take part in these.
  • Directors may also be invited to attend conferences and meetings on behalf of SPTC.

Expenses incurred for any activity undertaken on behalf of SPTC are paid.

We provide extensive briefing material and organise in-house training for directors to help them make the most of their role.

Office Bearers

Like other organisations, SPTC has office bearers: convener, vice convener, treasurer and secretary. Directors are asked to put themselves forward for these roles, which are important to the running of the organisation.

Directors’ activities

It is important that the office keeps track of who has gone to what meetings, particularly in a representative capacity, so all activities are co-ordinated through the office. If a director is invited independently to attend a meeting, they should inform the office.

Directors may be invited to become members of particular committees. Once on such committees, SPTC directors need to respond to the needs of that committee. They have the same sort of loyalty to that committee as they have to SPTC, ie they operate as a committee member, informed by their own experience which includes their role as an SPTC director.

Whilst any expenses incurred in carrying out SPTC activities will be met by SPTC, expenses incurred on behalf of others will not.

Being a director of a company limited by guarantee

SPTC is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. The “company limited by guarantee” status offers proper protection to directors and limits their financial liability – and that of all members – to £1.

Moreover, as a company, we are a legal entity and we are able to trade, buy and sell.

However, the company status puts certain requirements on us in order to comply with company law.

  • All directors have to be registered formally as directors with Companies House once appointed.
  • Directors who are nominated have to stand down after three years, although they can be re-appointed.
  • We have to send annual returns to Companies House detailing any changes in the company and in the directors.

Being a Charity Trustee

As with company law we also have requirements placed on us in order to comply with charity law.

  • As a trustee of a charity, directors are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the organisation (and on appointment you will be provided with a leaflet detailing a trustee’s duties).
  • We ask that you sign a form (purely for our records) that states that you are not disqualified from being a trustee of a charity.

The burden of complying with company and charity law falls largely on the office team but it is important that everyone understands that being a director of SPTC is not just an honorary title – it carries with it both statutory and managerial obligations.