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ACT’s Mission and governance

Our Mission

The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) is an education charity and membership association. ACT became an Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in 2020, but was founded as a charity in 2001 by Professor, Sir Bernard Crick to support the teaching of Citizenship in schools.

We work to transform the lives of children and young people through high quality Citizenship education. We do this by providing expert advice, training and support to teachers in developing high quality curriculum and teaching in schools and colleges across the UK.

Our Strategic Plan

ACT’s Strategic Plan for 2018-23 has been developed by ACT Trustees, our Council, members and stakeholders. The overall goals of the plan are focused on four strategic priorities to:

  • build capacity so that more teachers become knowledgeable, confident teachers of Citizenship
  • support and improve the quality of Citizenship provision in more schools and colleges
  • increase the pool of Citizenship education expertise; and
  • secure greater public understanding and policy support for Citizenship education.


ACT’s governing document (also called the Constitution) sets out our core objectives as:

  • for the public benefit to support and promote the teaching of Citizenship
  • to promote research into, and the study of, the full and effective participation of citizens, especially young people, in society and to publish the results thereof. 

The Board of Trustees, ACT Council and Staff work together to ensure the charity delivers its objectives and comply with legal and financial requirements. ACT Trustees and Council members, and indeed Teaching Ambassadors, are all volunteers.

Our annual statement and financial records are also publicly available on the Charity Commission website under our charity number 1187335.

Board of Trustees

The ACT Trustees have overall responsibility for financial and legal affairs and for directing the strategy of the charity. The Board of Trustees ensure ACT:

  • complies with its governing document, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • pursues its objectives as defined in the ACT governing document
  • applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives
  • is effectively and efficiently administered as an organisation
  • is financially stable as an organisation.

The Board of Trustees normally meets 3 times a year.

The Board comprises a Chair, Vice Chair, a Treasurer and up to 8 other Trustees at least two of whom are drawn from the ACT Council of Teachers. The Trustees include individuals with specialist knowledge, skills and experience of value to the association. Trustees are appointed following an application process which is advertised when vacancies arise.

All members of the Board are voluntary and no financial payments are made for being a Trustee.

Recruitment of Trustees

Trustees have a range of knowledge and experience in finance, human resources, business development, fundraising, how the law affects charities and education. The recruitment of Trustees is overseen by the Chair and normally involves a written application and interview.

ACT Council

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 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.

There are up to 25 Council members and all are 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 range of teachers and citizenship educators who take on the roles of  Chair and Vice Chair.  Council members also contribute to ACT’s work to edit the journal ‘Teaching Citizenship’, plan our summer Conference and contribute to our projects and work to support the subject. All members of  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 apply to be a member of Council. Those interested should express their interest in writing to [email protected] for the attention of the Chair of ACT Council. The Chair will arrange an election for new Council Members using an online vote. Such elections will operate with a simple first past the post single vote.

Our vision is for all young people to be active, informed citizens, equipped through effective Citizenship Education with the political knowledge, skills and experience to participate in and shape a strong and vibrant democracy based on equality, fairness and justice.

ACT vision