The ACT Council is separate from the Trustees, and comprises teachers and practitioners who contribute to the association’s education programmes and decision-making.
The Council was established in 2007 following changes to ACT’s governing structure to separate the role of practitioners from the Board of Trustees. This decision was made to ensure the Council focuses on helping to shape and support the delivery of ACT’s educational work, rather than legal and administrative tasks. The Council normally meet 3 times a year.
The role of the Council is to:
- represent members within ACT’s decision-making structure through advising trustees on educational and membership issues, as well as contributing to the strategic plan
- provide a forum through which practitioners can support ACT staff in the development of ACT’s strategy and programmes
- take a lead on the content of the ACT journal and the annual conference
- initiate education projects and events as Council and staff deem appropriate.
Composition of the Council
The Council are all ACT members with a paid subscription who represent a range of geographical areas across England and a range of constituencies involved in Citizenship education from early years and primary to post 16, from youth settings and NGOs.
The Council comprises a Chair, Vice Chair, Editors of Teaching Citizenship, Conference planning group and Council Members. All roles within the Council are voluntary and attract no financial reward. Council Members are reimbursed for the cost of travel to Council meetings.
How to stand for Council
Any paid member of ACT can stand for Council and there are a maximum of 25 Council Members. The Chair will issue an annual invitation to ACT members to stand for the Council at the conference and by email to all ACT members. ACT members who wish to stand for Council should make their interest known to the Chair of Council in the first instance and they may then be co-opted onto the Council. If, at any time, more than 25 members express an interest in joining, the Chair will arrange an election for new Council Members using an on-line voting tool that is distributed to all ACT members via email. Such elections will operate with a simple first past the post single vote.
Helen Blachford (Chair of Council)
Helen is an experienced teacher and is currently the Curriculum Leader for Citizenship and PSHE at Priory School, a large secondary school in Southsea, Hampshire. In addition she has responsibility for Pupil Voice and Pupil Leadership. Helen initially trained as a secondary teacher in Business Education but has been involved in Citizenship education for over 20 years. She has been a committed member of ACT Council since 2012 and has helped to plan the ACT national conference, written articles for the journal and worked on curriculum briefings to support teachers and Citizenship professionals with the new National Curriculum. Helen is also a member of the Expert Subject Group for Citizenship and has contributed to the Five Nations Network as a country expert for England. Helen became Chair of ACT Council in 2015.
Hans Svennevig (Vice Chair and Co-Editor of Teaching Citizenship)
Hans is Academic Leader Professional Studies at University Centre Croydon, the Higher Education section of Croydon College. He is citizenship trained and has taught abroad, been a Head of Citizenship and RE in Luton and developed and run successful Citizenship and Government Politics A-Level courses in a large FE college in St Albans. Hans has also worked in the third sector creating and editing resources, delivering taught sessions and training teachers about the teaching of controversial subjects. He is involved in numerous projects to promote citizenship values across different teaching sectors. Hans has been a member of ACT Council since 2014 and became Vice Chair in 2017. He became co-editor of ACT journal 'Teaching Citizenship' in 2018.
Lee Jerome (Co-Editor of Teaching Citizenship and Chair of ACT HE network)
Lee is Associate Professor in Education at Middlesex University. Lee trained as secondary teacher in Social Studies and taught History and Sociology for several years before moving to the HE sector, where he taught on PGCE programmes, as well as a variety of CPD & MA courses. Lee has been involved with ACT since it began in 2001 and served on the Board of Trustees and was Chair of Council until April 2013. Lee is co-editor of the ACT journal 'Teaching Citizenship'.
David Kerr (Co-Editor of Teaching Citizenship)
David is Head of Intial Teacher Education at the University of Reading. He was previously a Programme Director of Research at the National Foundation for Educational Research where he led the 10 year longitudinal study on Citizenship in England and its impact. He has previously been an adviser to the DFE, worked internationally on research projects including the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study, and has written extensively on Citizenship education. He became Co-Editor of the ACT journal 'Teaching Citizenship' in 2018.