WEA is governed by 15 Trustees, all of whom are volunteers. Association Officers make up 4 of the Trustees comprising the President, 2 Deputy Presidents and Treasurer.

Officers generally serve a 4-year term, with the terms arranged so that there are elections for 2 of the 4 positions during the WEA Conference in even-numbered years.

This part of our website provides further information about the roles, the process for nominations and elections. If you need any help or support to take part in this process, please contact Kathleen Formosa, Director of Governance & Company Secretary at [email protected]

Association Officer Vacancies

On 1 March 2024 nominations open for two scheduled elections for the Association President and a Deputy Association President, for terms lasting until 2028.

Both role descriptions are available as a download:

Association President

Association Deputy President

The Officers are expected to serve on the Board of Trustees and as Chair and Deputy Chair, respectively, of WEA Council. Aside from those Trustees who are elected as Association Officers by the Association Membership, all other Trustee positions are appointed on the basis of skill and experience, with attention to building a Trustee body reflective of the diversity of WEA’s learners.

All appointments to the Board of Trustees are guided by the WEA Nominations Committee.

To learn more about the role of a Trustee and the WEA Board visit: https://www.wea.org.uk/about-us/governance.

What is the WEA Council?

The WEA Council is the Association’s chief stakeholder body, and as such is responsible for channelling the voice of Association Members to the Board of Trustees. It promotes the democratic involvement of all Association Members – including learners, volunteers, and staff – in the life of the Association. Download the Council’s Terms of Reference here.

The Council currently meets 3 - 4 times a year via Teams and up to 3 times a year with the Board of Trustees (hybrid). Meetings usually take place on a Wednesday or Thursday between 10.30am and 4pm.

Make sure you are a WEA member in time to vote, nominate or stand as a candidate

In order to vote, nominate or stand as a candidate in the officer elections, you must be an Association Member. Association Members are current subscribing members of WEA (i.e., you have paid your annual membership fee), or in the 12 months prior to 1 March 2024, have been a WEA learner, volunteer, or otherwise qualified for free membership.

New members whose applications are received by 1 March 2024 will also be considered an Association Member for the purposes of voting, nominating or standing as a candidate in the 2024 elections.

Anyone who is not sure whether they qualify as an Association Member - or who is not sure of their membership number - can ask us to check by emailing [email protected].

Timetable for Nominations and Elections

  • 1 March 2024 – Nominations period will officially open during the formal business of Conference.
  • 5pm, 2 April 2024 – Nomination period closes.
  • 8 – 18 April 2024 – Candidate interviews. In accordance with WEA’s Articles, and just like all other governance volunteers, Association Officers are required to undergo a process of interview ahead of their appointment to the Board. In accordance with WEA’s safer recruitment procedures, candidates will also be asked at this stage to provide two personal references and to begin the process of enhanced DBS clearance, if such clearance is not already held.
  • 19 April 2024 – Nominations Committee confirms the suitability of those individuals proposed to appear on the ballot for Association Officer elections
  • 22 April – 24 May 2024 – Period of election. · 5 June 2024 – Quarterly meeting of WEA Council.
  • 6 June 2024 – Election results to be announced to the Association Membership.

Please note that the above timetable is preliminary and therefore subject to change. Subject to more than one nominee for either the President or Deputy President role, the timetable may need to be adjusted to accommodate the requirements of any third-party scrutineer in the event of a contested election.

Nominations Committee will recommend to the Board of Trustees that the incumbent Association Officers, whose terms are set to expire in May 2024, shall have their terms extended to 31 July 2024. The extension will allow for a period of handover between the outgoing and incoming Association Officers.

Defining “Association Membership” for the purposes of nominations and voting

The definition of Association Membership as set out in Article 9 of WEA’s Articles of Association (last updated 2022), and corresponding Regulation 2.1 is clear that Association Membership “shall be open to all learners on WEA courses and programmes, authorised representatives of affiliated organisations and supporters of the Association and its object and activities in England and Scotland.”

Those who are current subscribing WEA Members (i.e., those who have paid their £15 membership fee), those who have applied for Association Membership by 1 March 2024, and those who have studied on a WEA course in the 12 months prior to 1 March 2024 are eligible to vote in the 2024 elections.

In the event of no nominations for one or either of the Association Officer roles

WEA’s Articles provide that the Board of Trustees have the power to appoint to casual vacancies arising among Association Officers, or in the event of no nomination to a role. In 2022, WEA had no nominees for the role of Association Treasurer, and in this case an appointment was made from among the lay members of the Finance & Capital Resources Committee.

Need further help? Contact the Governance team

Need further information, help or support about our nominations and elections? Contact Kathleen Formosa, Director of Governance & Company Secretary via [email protected]