Candidate nomination form

The Candidate Nomination form provides WEA members with the opportunity to stand for election to become Association President or Deputy Association President. The Association President and Deputy Association President also are expected to serve as Trustees and to serve as members of the WEA Council.

These Association Officers will be elected by a ballot of all Association Members.

The deadline for completed nomination forms to be received is 5:00pm on 2 April 2024. The elections will take place during April – May 2024 (exact dates TBC), with ballots to be circulated electronically and by post. Election results are expected to be announced on or near 6 June 2024.

The nomination form requires authorisation from the candidate, nominator and at least four additional supporters*, each of whom is required to be an Association Member. Each candidate who commits to stand for election declares that they will abide by WEA’s constitution and its principles, and that they meet the statutory requirements to serve as a charity trustee and director of a UK-registered company.

Eligibility guidelines

Please note that for the purposes of nomination and election in the 2024 Election of Association Officers, “Association Members” shall include any learner who has been enrolled on a WEA course at any time in the 12 months leading up to Conference, as well as those individuals who are current subscribing members, volunteers, or others in receipt of concessionary membership.

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].

*Regulation 4.33 requires each nomination to be supported by 10 signatures. However, as each nominee is also subject to interview by Nominations Committee, the six members of the Nominations Committee are assumed to contribute to the remaining balance of required signatures.

The Association Officer posts and how they fit into WEA’s structure

WEA is governed by fifteen Trustees, all of whom are volunteers. The Association Officers make up four of the Trustees comprising the President, two Deputy Presidents and Treasurer.

Officers generally serve a four-year term, with the terms arranged so that there are elections for two of the four positions during the WEA Conference in even numbered years. For 2024, the two scheduled elections will be for the Association President and one Deputy Association President, for terms lasting until 2028. The Officers are expected to serve on the Board of Trustees and as Chair and Deputy Chair of WEA Council.

The remaining 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. To the fullest extent possible, appointments are made from within the Association Membership before undertaking any external recruitment. All appointments to the Board of Trustees are guided by the Nominations Committee.

Association Officer Roles

All Association Officers have a responsibility, along with the other Trustees, to ensure that the Association - including its delegated committees and staff - comply fully with its Articles & Regulations and the legal obligations and duties of the WEA. The WEA is a charitable company providing education courses and other activities to promote its main purpose: the advancement of education, particularly for those who are socially, economically, and educationally disadvantaged.

The role of Association President

The Association President provides leadership alongside the other Association Officers to support and champion WEA’s educational mission and democratic values within and outside of local learning and membership networks. In particular, the Association President serves as Chair of WEA Council – WEA’s chief stakeholder body responsible (among other things) for ensuring WEA is responsive to learner feedback.

The Association President acts together with the Board of Trustees to give firm strategic direction to WEA, setting overall policy, defining goals, and setting targets. Candidates for the role should demonstrate a strong passion and commitment to the Association, its strategic objectives, and its charitable aims. They should demonstrate clear understanding of WEA and its mission and have strong leadership and consensus-building skills. 

Click here for a full role description.


The role of Deputy Association President

The two Deputy Association President positions – of which one is open to nominations in 2024 – provide leadership alongside the other Association Officers to support and champion WEA’s educational mission and democratic values within and outside of local learning and membership networks. The Deputy Association President serves as a Deputy Chair of WEA Council, and substitutes for the Association President as needed from time to time.

The Deputy Association Presidents are expected to establish and maintain strong, effective, and constructive relationships with their fellow trustees, WEA staff, governance volunteers and the Association Membership. Candidates for the role should demonstrate a strong passion and commitment to the Association, its strategic objectives, and its charitable aims. They should have experience of governance, and of being part of a committee or a Board (in any sector). 

Click here for a full role description.

Eligibility and rules

The election of Association Officers is governed by WEA’s Articles of Association and Regulations, which are available for download on our governance webpage.

Each nomination requires authorisation from the candidate, nominator and at least four additional supporters, each of whom must be an Association Member. See the text above for eligibility guidelines and the definition of “Association Member” for the purposes of nomination and election. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact [email protected].

No WEA resources or facilities shall be used to promote any candidate.

There are further requirements which nominees must agree to by signing the declaration to be found on the nomination form (i.e., the last two pages of this document).

If you are interested in applying for any of the roles and would like an informal conversation, please contact the Director of Governance & Company Secretary (contact details below).

Time committment and conditions

Association Officer posts are unpaid, voluntary positions. Reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses incurred in the course of WEA business will be reimbursed.

The workload expected of an Association Officer is estimated to be in the region of 2 days per month, exclusive of any travel time required. Officers are expected to attend WEA Conference and meetings including those of the Trustees and WEA Council. Most WEA meetings take place during regular working hours. While meetings are held primarily by videoconference, there are face-to-face meetings held throughout the year, usually in London or Leeds. All meetings provide for online attendance for those members unable to travel.

Conference and election contact

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