Nuclear Education Trust

Nuclear Education Trust Chair

Are you passionate about the debate around Nuclear weapons? The Nuclear Education Trust is seeking a dedicated and experienced Chair to make a big difference.

The Nuclear Education Trust (NET), a charity working to improve education on nuclear weapons, is seeking a new Chair of its Board of Trustees to guide the organisation for the next 2-4 years. The successful applicant will be enthusiastic about NET’s objectives, have the ability to think strategically and have knowledge of the nuclear disarmament debate.

If you posses these qualities and want to contribute to this essential field, please send a copy of your current CV and a letter of 1-2 pages explaining what you can offer and why you are interested in this role. Please send these to Linda Hugl at chair@nucleareducationtrust.org by Monday 9th October, with a view to attending an informal interview Friday 27th October in London. The successful candidate will be asked to provide two referees. Linda can also be contacted for more information.

 

Nuclear Education Trust Chair role

Overview

The NET Chair will guide and inspire fellow Trustees to develop and promote the work of the organisation. On a practical level, the NET Chair, working with other Trustees and the Secretary, will co-ordinate NET's work, help develop the NET organisational strategy for meeting its charitable objectives.

Activities

1.  Chair any formal events organised by NET and act as figurehead for the organisation.

2.  Chair NET Trustee meetings three times per year.

3.  Liaise with the Secretary between Trustee meetings on organisational matters and the preparation of the Trustee meeting agenda.

4.  Work with colleagues to develop and implement the NET organisational strategy.

5.  Maintain an interest in the work of NET's education, research and fundraising subgroups, participating in the work of at least one of the groups.

6.  Contributing to funding applications as necessary.

7.  Develop and maintain working relationships with other NGOs and charities.

8.  As a Trustee, ensure all legal obligations of a charity and company limited by guarantee are complied with and to safeguard NET’s good name and values.

Time commitment

The NET Board currently has eight enthusiastic Trustees, with a range of experiences, who are also directors of the company. The Trustees meets three or four times per year and all members are expected to attend all meetings.  Subgroup meetings (often by Skype) are convened as required in between trustee meetings. The Chair may expect a workload of approximately 5-10 hours per month on average.

NET does not have its own offices or staff but essential office support is outsourced.   Individual Trustees provide varying levels of time, experience and commitment to ensure the organisation can meet its objectives. Trustee meetings are usually held at the CND office in London and occasionally elsewhere in London, but participation remotely by Skype may be possible from time to time.

Remuneration

This is not a salaried position, purely voluntary, but reasonable expenses can be claimed.

 

Person Specification

Key attributes

1.  Commitment to the aims and values of NET.

2.  Knowledge of basic issues surrounding nuclear disarmament.

3.  The ability to think strategically and guide a small charity.

4.  Drive and enthusiasm.

5.  Ability to work as part of a team.

Desirable attributes

1.  Knowledge and experience of working in the charity sector.

2.  Experience in the education or research sectors

3.  Experience of the management of voluntary sector or business organisations.

4.  Experience of working with the press.

5.  Good organisational abilities.

6.  Good communication skills and the ability to influence.

7.  Experience of organisational communication.

8.  Experience of public speaking.

9.  Ability to understand simple accounts.

10.  Experience of fundraising.

11.  A network of contacts for example in politics, the military, media or entertainment.

 

About NET

The Nuclear Education Trust (NET) was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 8 August 2005 (5530662) and was registered as a charity on 14 March 2007 (1118373). Its governing document is its memorandum and articles of association and it is also governed by charity law. It is an independent organisation with a clearly defined educational remit and is not a campaigning organisation.

NET’s aims are to advance understanding of arms control and disarmament, defence and security, with an emphasis on nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, through education and research. We want to make nuclear issues accessible to all regardless of age and ability and commission research to gather a wide range of opinions on specific topics and fund peace education materials aimed at school children of different ages and abilities.

NET has been able to contribute to the Trident replacement debate as well as fund the excellent and well received CND peace education packs since its formation in 2007.  For more details check out the different pages on this website

Please see the appendix below for further information on the legal requirements for charity Trusees and company directors.

 

Appendix: Further information on legal requirements

 

Trustee eligibility rules can be found here

 

Requirements of charity Trustees

1.  Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law

2.  Act in your charity’s best interests

3.  Manage your charity’s resources responsibly

4.  Act with reasonable care and skill

5.  Ensure your charity is accountable

Further details of the requirements of a Trustee can be found on the Charity Commission website.

 

Requirements of Company Directors

1.  To ensure that NET complies with the Companies Act 2006, the NET Memorandum and Articles of Association, and all relevant company law and regulations.

2.  To ensure that NET complies with legislation and good practice relating to the organisation's work, for example, health and safety, the environment, equal opportunities and employment, where applicable.

3.  Directors must not put themselves in a position where the interests of the company conflict with their personal interests or duties to a third party, and should disclose any interests which may be relevant to the running of the company.

4.  Directors must not make a personal profit out of their position as a director unless expressly permitted to do so by the company.

5.  Directors must act in good faith in what they consider is in the interests of the company, and not act for any other purpose when making decisions relating to the company.

6.  Directors have a duty to display a certain amount of skill and exercise reasonable care in the performance of their work.

Please see the guidance on the role of company directors prepared by Companies House

 

Directors should ensure that NET is a well run and effective organisation by:

1.  Knowing how any proposed action will affect the organisation’s performance, particularly if it involves a significant sum of money;

2.  Ensuring that they have access to up-to-date financial data that can be used to assess the organisations’s performance;

3.  Getting appropriate legal and accounting advice when needed;

4.  Taking an active role in Trustee meetings;

5.  Talking to stakeholders about how the organisation is performing;

6.  Ensuring the required records are kept and filed with Companies House;

7.  Taking a broad perspective of the organisations's work and being willing to offer constructive advice and feedback;

8.  Bringing their independent judgment to bear and insisting on high standards at all times;

9.  Using any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Trustees reach sound decisions.

 

Labour Party Attitudes to Nuclear Disarmament: Past and Present

The results of a long-standing study into attitudes within the Labour Party on nuclear disarmament, funded by the Nuclear Education Trust, were presented at a seminar in Portcullis House, London, on 28 February 2017 chaired by Kelvin Hopkins MP.
 
The study's findings were presented by author Carol Turner, who conducted the study, who explained how Labour's policy on nuclear weapons began to develop in the period immediately after World War II, when the Attlee government decided to acquire nuclear weapons, and how it became a defining but contentious issue for the Party in the 1980s.  Many of the current views within the Labour Party on nuclear weapons have been shaped by the experiences of the 1980s – but are not always based on accurate perceptions of the politics of the era.


John Edmonds, former General Secretary of the GMB trade union, gave a personal recollection of how Labour's policy had evolved and emphasised a number of factors which he felt were important in the debate on nuclear weapons within the Labour Party: jobs and employment conversion, how to genuinely address national security concerns, the UK's role in the world, and the view held by some that a desire to achieve a world without nuclear weapons does not automatically equate to Britain's 'unilateral' disarmament.  He stressed that the view that the UK should abandon nuclear weapons on a matter of principle does not necessarily resonate with ordinary Party members unless it is underpinned by more pragmatically based arguments.
 
Carol Turner's new book, 'Corbyn and Trident: Labour's Continuing Controversy' draws on many of the themes identified in her research on this topic, and is available from Public Reading Rooms.  Further information drawn from the study will be published on the Public Reading Rooms website in due course.

The British Bomb and NATO

New study finds role of UK's nuclear contribution to NATO is 'exaggerated'

A new report on the contribution that Britain's nuclear weapons make to the NATO alliance concludes that their political significance ‘may be exaggerated’ and their role in relationships with NATO partners is ‘hotly contested’.

The report, published 1st December 2015 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the UK-based Nuclear Education Trust (NET), shows that UK strategic nuclear weapons have been a constant ‘contribution’ to NATO nuclear doctrine since the late 1950s but that ‘the exact nature of that contribution has become increasingly obscure since the end of the Cold War’.

The report, ‘The British bomb and NATO: Six decades of ‘contributing’ to NATO’s strategic nuclear deterrent’, reviews the NATO political and military structures that influence the UK's nuclear weapons policy, how the UK's contribution to NATO's nuclear forces is valued by NATO allies, and the implications for NATO-UK relations of a decision not to replace Trident.

The analysis is particularly topical in the light of the current UK Strategic Defence and Security Review and the imminent 'Main Gate' decision on Trident replacement. Strategic arguments for Britain retaining nuclear weapons have tended to fall into three broad categories: use in the last resort to deter a nuclear attack or nuclear blackmail; to provide reassurance in a potential future with many nuclear powers; and that an independent UK nuclear weapon system is necessary for Britain’s role in NATO.

The report is also topical given that NATO is re-evaluating the role of nuclear scenarios and the use of nuclear weapons in its crisis-management exercises. According to a recently declassified US intelligence review, a nuclear weapons command exercise by NATO in November 1983, known as Able Archer, almost led to an inadvertent nuclear war.

SIPRI's Ian Davis, who authored the report, said: “Despite Russian nuclear sabre rattling, it was only two years ago that Moscow had a seat at the NATO table. Is it really appropriate for the alliance to be returning to such a dangerous practice?

“Instead, the alliance ought to be focusing on how to modernise the rules for reducing tensions, incidents or accidents that create misunderstandings – both conventional and nuclear – to minimise the risk of them spiralling out of control’, he added.

”Given the importance of nuclear weapons in both UK national security and NATO collective security thinking, both the UK Government and NATO ought to be willing to set out in some detail how they see the UK’s nuclear weapons contributing to the alliance’s continuing effectiveness and deterrent capability”

Madeline Held MBE, Chair of the Nuclear Education Trust, said: "This study is extremely timely given the current debate over renewing the UK's Trident nuclear weapons and the government's wish to join other nations taking military action in Syria. The role that the UK plays in NATO is not given enough scrutiny and it is important to understand that we have a range of alternatives and choices in how we can contribute constructively as a nation to the alliance."

The report was launched Tuesday 1st December 2015, Betty Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, London, chaired by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb.

Author Ian Davis

Dr Ian Davis joined SIPRI in November 2014. As Director of the SIPRI Editorial, Publications and Library Department he is responsible for supervising SIPRI's team of editors and managing the departmental budget and work flow. He is also responsible for all aspects of producing the flagship SIPRI publication, the SIPRI Yearbook, as Executive Editor. Prior to joining SIPRI he held several senior positions and worked as an independent human security and arms-control consultant. He has a long record of research and publication on international and regional security issues, is a trustee of Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI) and blogs on NATO-related issues at www.natowatch.org.