Page 1

Irish Second-Level Students’ Union


Revised May 2014




Article 1.


Article 2.


Article 3.

Annual Assembly

Article 4.

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union Limited

Article 5.

ISSU Secretariat

Article 6.

Monitoring and Advisory Committee

Article 7.

National Student Executive

Article 8.

National Council of Schools

Article 9.

Regional Council of Schools

Article 10.

Former Executive Panel

Article 11.

Policy of the ISSU

Article 12.

Constitutional Ammendments

Appendix 1. Procedures Appendix 2. Elections Appendix 3. Standing Orders Appendix 4. Child Protection


1. The name under which Ireland’s second-level students’ representative body shall be known as the ‘Irish Second-Level Students’ Union’, or in Irish, ‘Aontas na Mac Léinn Iar Bunscoile’, which may be shortened to ISSU or AMLIB respectively. 2. The ISSU is the voice of Irish second-level students. Connecting Irish secondlevel students’, and representing the voice of the Irish second-level student at a national and international level. 3. The ISSU is the recognised national umbrella body for second-level school student councils. 4. The ISSU seeks to advance the education system by involving young people in all aspects of the education system and thus empowering them to realise their voice. 5. To realise their basic principle, the students in and through ISSU, shall work: 5.1. For an education and training system open to all, irrespective of any consideration, including consideration of national origin, ethnic background, age, ability, sex, sexuality, creed, membership of the travelling community, political beliefs or economic circumstances, so that each individual can realise their full potential. 5.2. For an education and training system which truly serves the interests of the second-level students of Ireland, and through this the economy and the future generations of Ireland. 5.3. For the provision of adequate student services, which directly benefit the students and students become involved in how they are run and organised. 5.4. To represent, provide support, train and work with; Student Councils (or equivalent school student representative system). 5.5. The ISSU is a fair, transparent and reliable modern organisation, and holds no prejudice against race; colour; gender; religion; language; sexual orientation; gender identity; political or other opinion; national, social, property, birth, economic, academic or other status, provided only that in enjoying such rights, the rights of others are not infringed. No quota system shall be introduced which would affect the make-up of any of the organs of the ISSU.

ISSU’s main aims are:  To provide support, training and assistance to second-level student councils.

 To develop policies on issues affecting Irish second-level students and bring the needs and rights of students to the attention of the relevant authorities.

 To provide a transparent, democratic and reliable organisation.  To work in collaboration with other educational institutions and bodies both in Ireland, and Europe.

 To work closely with educational partners to continually develop a transparent, fair and modern education system.

 To give students a structured platform through which the voice of the Irish second-level Students will be heard.


1. Membership is open to all democratic, student led student councils in secondlevel centres of education in the Republic of Ireland. 1.1. When a second-level student council votes to join the ISSU, they join on behalf of all of the students in their centre of education. 1.2. For the purposes of membership, the ISSU refers to all types of equivalent democratic student representative systems as ‘Student Councils’, as proposed by the Education Act 1998, Section 27. 2. Student Councils are a representative body composed of students elected by their classmates, to voice their opinions on student issues and liaise on their behalf with other stakeholders in the school community. 2.1. Student Councils should be proactive, student led and democratic. 2.2. Student Councils give students a voice on matters affecting them. 2.3. Student Councils serve as representatives of the student body in school management. 3. Second-level centres of education are defined as all second-level schools and second-level second chance education centres, as recognised by the Department of Education & Skills. These include community schools, comprehensive schools, vocational schools, voluntary schools, youthreach centres and educate together second-level schools. 4. Membership is granted for a period of three years. 5. Membership proceedings can only begin when a school satisfies the following: 5.1. An active, democratic and student led student council (or equivalent school student representative body) has been established. 5.2. When a democratic and transparent ballot of the aforementioned has taken place, whereby 50% +1 have voted in favour of joining the ISSU. 6. Membership proceedings are overseen by the National Student Executive. 6.1. If membership status is rejected applicants have the right to appeal the ruling to the Monitoring and Advisory Committee, who can then choose to overrule the board. 6.2. The Monitoring and Advisory Committee is obliged to provide reasons to those whose applications have been rejected.

7. Membership can be suspended on the basis that a school does not satisfy the following conditions: 7.1. They accept and uphold ‘The ISSU Constitution’. 7.2. They ensure that the students have a voice, which is respected, heard and listened to. 7.3. Where a democratic student-led student council (or equivalent student representative system) is proved not to be in existence. 8. The ISSU automatically grants all second-level student councils observer status.


1. The Annual Assembly is the highest governing body of the ISSU. It has the power to amend the constitution, to decide ISSU policy, and to direct the work of the NSE. 2. A Special Assembly can be convened at any time on authority of the National Council of Schools or on the written request of fifteen or more member schools. It will deal only with the specific matter for which it has been called. 3. Annual Assembly is composed of the members of the NSE, and delegates from each member school. Each member school shall be entitled to two voting delegates, and additional non-voting “observer� delegates as approved by the NSE. 4. Annual Assembly shall elect all members of the NSE. Any member of any Member Organisation is entitled to run for any elected position at Annual Assembly. All registered voting delegates are entitled to vote in each election at Annual Assembly. 5. The outgoing President is responsible for ensuring that accurate minutes of the Annual Assembly are taken and made available to member schools within one month of the Annual Assembly. S/he is also responsible for ensuring that all policy documents etc. are updated according to the outcome of the Annual Assembly and made available to member schools and the NSE within one month of the Annual Assembly. 6. Formal adoption of ISSU policy occurs by motion at the Annual Assembly. Union Policies shall be contained in a published Union Policy Manual and they shall remain policy unless they mandate an action which has been completed, or bya decision of the Annual Assembly. 7. Member(s) of the NSE can be mandated by the Annual Assembly to perform certain tasks. These shall lapse when the task has been fulfilled, or when 3 years have lapsed since the introduction of the mandate.


1. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union Limited is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital registered in Ireland. 2. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Limited is governed by the Board of Directors of the company. 2.1. They shall uphold the ISSU constitution. 2.2. The Board of Directors consists of nominated people from the Monitoring and Advisory committee, co-opted directors, and student representatives. 3. All financial decisions and budgets are made by the National Student Executive and implemented by the ISSU secretariat, as approved by the Board of Directors. 4. The main objective for which the ISSU is established is to contribute to the advancement of the education of all second-level students in order to improve and enrich the education of each student and to support the involvement of students at all stages of their education, so that they achieve their full potential and as responsible citizens, to improve society. 5. The constitution provides a guide for the day to day running of the ISSU and does not supersede the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union Ltd.


1. There shall be a secretariat to support the administrative work of the ISSU. 1.1. The General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and Chairperson to the Board of Directors shall be members of the ISSU Secretariat. 1.2. The Board of Directors may appoint other officers and staff of the ISSU to the ISSU Secretariat following consultation with the National Student Executive. 2. The secretariat shall assist the National Student Executive in fulfilling its remit. 3. The General Secretary shall chair the ISSU secretariat.


1. The Monitoring and Advisory Committee will consist of the General Secretary, the President, the Honorary President, Nominated ISSU Directors, and ISSU Trustees. 1.1. The President, the Deputy President and the Honorary President represent the National Student Executive. 1.2. Nominated ISSU Trustees are comprised of representatives from leading organisations in the Education and Youth sectors. 2. The General Secretary is the Chairperson of the MAC. 3. The ISSU Honorary President is the secretary to the MAC and shall maintain official records of the committee. 4. It is recommended that the MAC meet at least four times a year. The General Secretary is responsible for calling meetings. 5. The MAC monitor the National Student Executive but may only steer and advise the NSE and so not take any direct role in the formation of policy of the ISSU except where it is in conflict with this document. 6. The MAC has the power to appeal to the National Council of Schools any policy or change in the constitution only if it is concerned that such a policy or change may be in violation of the constitution.


1. The National Student Executive represents the National Council of Schools, and acts on behalf of members of the ISSU on a daily basis. 2. The NSE will be the public representatives of the ISSU. 3. The NSE can make policy decisions except where they are in conflict with this document and decisions made by the National Council of Schools or the Annual Assembly. 4. Members of the ISSU NSE can be dismissed if they fail to satisfy the terms of this document, or are viewed by the majority of the Monitoring and Advisory Committee to bring the organisation into disrepute. 5. Members of the NSE cannot vote as members of the ISSU National Council of Schools or any Regional Council. 6. If a member of the NSE resigns they must submit a letter of resignation to the ISSU President and the Monitoring and Advisory Committee. 7. The membership and roles of the officers of the ISSU NSE are as follows: 7.1. ISSU President Has overall responsibility to lead the day-to-day work of the ISSU; to allocate work amongst the officers and to report to the National Council of Schools and the Monitoring and Advisory Committee on the work of the NSE. The President is the chief spokesperson and representative of the ISSU. The President is the chairperson of the NSE, and has responsibility for setting monthly meetings and in the event of a deadlock; the President holds the casting vote. 7.2. ISSU Deputy President In the absence of the President they shall assume the duties of the President where necessary. The Deputy President works to progress the strategic development of the ISSU and to promote a strong membership base for the organisation. He/she will also ensure communication and efficiency between the various bodies of the ISSU. There is no direct entry election for the position of Deputy President. Instead, the runnerup in the presidential election is returned as Deputy President. 7.3. Education Officer Has overall responsibility for the implementation and development of the education policy of the ISSU, and oversees the work of the Education Advisory Panel, of which they are the Chairperson. The Education Officer has

responsibility for ISSU’s work on academic affairs and has special responsibility for the provision of ISSU policy on Education, Syllabi and Curriculum reform and other such related matters. 7.4. Welfare and Equality Officer Has overall responsibility for the defence and promotion of student welfare rights and in issues of equality which affect second-level students. They have coordinate the implementation and development of ISSU’s welfare and equality policies and oversee the work of the Equality and Welfare Student Advisory Panel, of which they are Chairperson. 7.5. NSE Secretary The Secretary shall be responsible for the administration of the ISSU on a daily basis. The Secretary shall be responsible for the Minute Book of the ISSU, which are to be made available to the NSE and Monitoring and Advisory Committee at least 5 days after each NSE meeting. The Secretary shall also be responsible for arranging all NSE meetings after one has been called for and for arranging all official meetings. The secretary will also assist the National Council of Schools and the Regional Council of Schools with their administration work, if it is required. 7.6. Campaigns and Communications Officer The Campaigns and Communications Officer is responsible for the development of ISSU media policy and shall be responsible for the publication of ISSU policy in all forms. They have overall responsibility to organise and prepare campaign and communication strategies as required by the National Student Executive in pursuit of ISSU policy and campaign objectives. The Campaigns and Communications Officer must clear all press releases with the President. In the absence of the President, all press releases must be cleared by Deputy President. He/she is also responsible for the management of designated ISSU social media networks. 7.7. Student Council Support Officer The Student Council Support Officer links the ISSU National Council to the National Student Executive. Their main role is to ensure the smooth running of the National Council and the Councils of Schools, maintaining contact with Student Councils in schools and organising regional training events. They have overall responsibility for membership promotion, training and membership development.

7.8. Oifigeach na Gaeilge – Irish Language Officer The Irish Language Officer has responsibility for all things regarding the Irish Language. They must update all ISSU policy documents in Irish, and also create new policies in relation to the development and modernisation of the Irish Language. 7.9. International Officer The International Officer will liaise with OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions), and represent the ISSU at European and International events. They have overall responsibility for the coordination and promotion of International policy of the ISSU. 7.10.

Honorary President

Following the election of a new ISSU President, the outgoing President is returned to the position of Honorary President. They will guide the new NSE as they settle into their roles, until the date for the following Annual Assembly is called.


1. The National Council of Schools implements all policy decisions regarding the ISSU except where they contradict this document – ‘The ISSU Constitution’. 2. The NCS is represented on a daily basis by the National Student Executive. 3. The NCS will be chaired by the Student Council Support Officer. 3.1. The Student Council Support Officer will oversee and advise on the work of each of the 4 Regional Councils of Schools. 4. The NCS shall be comprised of two representatives from each of the 4 Regional Councils, the ISSU Student Council Support Officer, and the ISSU President and Deputy President. 5. The primary functions of the ISSU Regional Officers shall be: 5.1. To promote, defend and campaign for the education, social and general rights of the ISSU membership in that region. 5.2. To organise and provide channels of communications between the NCS and the National Student Executive Council. 5.3. To co-ordinate the work of the ISSU Representatives. 5.4. To recruit new members for the ISSU. 5.5. To implement, uphold and accept policy decisions as determined own by the Annual Assembly and the National Student Executive.


1. The ISSU provides for the establishment of 4 regional councils of schools, as part of the Regional Council of Schools Network: 1.1. The Connaught/Ulster Regional Council consists of counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon Sligo, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan. 1.2. The Dublin Regional Council consists of the city and county of Dublin. 1.3. The Leinster Regional Council consists of the counties of Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. 1.4. The Munster Regional Council consists of the counties of Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. 2. Members of the ISSU automatically become members of the ISSU council of schools in their ISSU region. 3. The 4 Regional Councils of Schools will be chaired by its local ISSU Regional Officers. 4. It is the role of the ISSU Regional Council of Schools to represent second-level Student Councils in their region, and develop a constructive forum for local issues; and through this prioritise issues to bring to the attention of the ISSU NCS.


1. The ISSU provides for the establishment of former executive panel, to provide continuity guidance to the active National Student Executive. 2. This panel will be open to all past elected officers of the NSE, and will be returned following the election of a new NSE at annual assembly; 3. This panel will meet at least twice a year; 4. Members will work closely with the NSE promoting the core values of the 5. Membership development and continuity planning will be key roles of this panel; 6. This panel may only steer and advise the NSE and so not take direct role in the formation of policy of the ISSU, except where it is in conflict with this document; 7. The current Honorary President will Chair meetings; 8. The current President and Deputy President have a seat on this panel, however do not hold voting rights; 9. Past NSE officers who are serving a further term in office, cannot form part of this panel until active term in office is complete; 10. The MAC will oversee the work and development of this panel in line with their constitutional remit.


1. Policy of the ISSU can be set by the Annual Assembly, or by the National Council of Schools. 2. Member schools may submit motions to the Annual Assembly which may be approved by a simple majority vote. 3. Policy proposals which are approved by the ISSU NCS are brought to the attention of the ISSU National Student Executive. 3.1. The ISSU NSE must then devise a strategy on the development and the implementation of the recommended policy. 4. The MAC by agreement may submit a policy to the National Student Executive for review prior to proposal to an Annual Assembly. 5. The NCS can appeal a policy. To do so, a proposal must be made by an ISSU member school, seconded by a member of the National Council of Schools, and passed by a vote of the NCS. 6. Any policy which is in conflict with the ISSU constitution shall not be valid. This shall be the sole decision of the MAC. 7. Student Industrial Action. 7.1.1. ISSU recommends against Student Industrial Action which takes place during school hours or which would result in students being absent from school in order to travel to participate in the Industrial Action. 7.1.2. No forms of Student Industrial Action may take place without written approval of the NSE and the MAC.


1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed at any meeting of the National Council of Schools to be brought to the Annual Assembly. 2. The amendments shall take effect within 7 days of the Annual Assembly unless a lesser period is stipulated in the motion moving the resolution.


1. Procedures for the Annual Assembly 1.1 At the beginning of the academic year, the NSE shall decide on the date of the Annual Assembly. Any Special Assembly must be held not less than three weeks and not more than four weeks from the date it is called. 1.2 Each member school shall be entitled to two voting delegates. Visitors may be invited by the NSE to attend the Annual Assembly. They shall speak only at the invitation of and express permission of the NSE. Visitors shall under no circumstances exercise a vote. 1.3 The quorum of a meeting of the Annual Assembly shall consist of one half plus one of the total of the number of delegates registered as in attendance at the Annual Assembly provided that one third of the total number of delegates entitled to attend the Annual Assembly are registered as in attendance. 1.4 Member schools may submit five motions each to the Annual Assembly. All members of the NSE may submit three motions. 1.5 Constitutional Amendments require a two-thirds plus one vote of a quorate Annual Assembly in order to be passed. All other motions need a simple majority vote to pass. 1.6 The Annual Assembly programme shall be prepared by the General Secretary, who shall act as the Director of the Annual Assembly. 1.7 The NCS, in consultation with the Regional Councils of Schools shall set such deadlines for submission of motions as it feels necessary, bearing in mind the need for these motions to be thoroughly discussed by member schools. 1.8 The Agenda for the Annual Assembly shall be based on: Formal Business Report from members of the NSE on their work Elections Motions

2. Procedures for the National Council of Schools 2.1 The quorum shall be half plus one of all members. 2.2 Meetings of the NCS shall be convened by the President with at least ten days notice given to all members for ordinary meetings. Emergency meetings of the NCS may be convened within one week of the written request of any two members of the NCS. The quorum of such emergency meetings shall be one-third of all members. The agenda for ordinary meetings of the NCS shall be based on: Minutes of the previous meeting Formal business Any other business An agenda for each meeting shall be sent to each member at least five days before the date appointed for the meeting.

3. Procedures for Regional Councils of Schools Meetings 3.1 The quorum shall be 20% of all member schools in the Region. 3.2 The agenda for ordinary meetings of the NCS shall be based on: Minutes of the previous meeting Formal business Elections Any other business 3.3 Member schools shall be entitled to two voting delegates at each meeting in their region. 3.4 Discussions shall take place under the same standing orders as are in place for the Annual Assembly.


1. Elections at Annual Assembly shall be the responsibility of Elections Subcommittee which shall be chaired by the General Secretary, and other members nominated by the NSE and approved by the MAC. Elections Subcommittee shall determine regulations for conduct of election campaigns. 2. Elections at Regional Councils of Schools meeting shall be administered by the ISSU President. 3. In all elections, electors shall mark their ballot papers and the count shall be conducted according to the provisions of the Electoral Act (1992) of the Republic of Ireland. 4. Candidates and/or one representative thereof shall be entitled to attend the count in respect of the office for which they have been nominated. 5. No person may stand for election to an officer position who has ceased to be a second-level student, except where they are an outgoing member of the NSE. 6. Candidates can only submit one nomination for the NSE through order of preference where their 1st preference nomination shall appear on the ballot paper. 7. Candidates for all elections must be nominated in writing by at least one member school not less than seven days before the election takes places. 8. No more than two current students of any member school may contest the NSE elections. 9. Complaints relating to the conduct of a count of votes in any ISSU election must be made by a member school or a member of the NSE and shall be addressed to the Elections Subcommittee within 14 days of the count to which the complaint relates. The result of the count to which the complaint relates shall not become binding until all complaints have been resolved. Elections Subcommittee, having fully considered the complaint received, shall recommend a course of action to a meeting of the NCS to be held within 14 working days of receipt of the complaint. The NCS can accept the recommendation of Elections Subcommittee, or direct that the election be declared invalid and a new election shall take place. 10. Election proceedings cannot take place when there are less than one half plus one of registered voting delegates present in the case of the Annual Assembly, or 30% of member schools in the case of Regional Councils of Schools’ elections.


1. The business of the Annual Assembly and the Regional Councils of Schools shall be conducted in accordance with the following Standing Orders: 2. The time of assembly and adjournment shall be fixed by the NSE. Any delegates with the support of 10% of delegates present may on a point of order call a quorum count. In the event of the meeting being inquorate, the Chairperson shall adjourn that session until the meeting becomes quorate. The Chairperson shall have general responsibility for ensuring that discussion is conducted in an orderly fashion and that speakers are not interrupted except as provided for in these Standing Orders. 3. Every motion, amendment or report shall be proposed by a voting delegate. 4. No member shall speak more than once on the same question (unless it is a report) except the mover of the original resolution who shall be allowed the right of reply to the discussion immediately before the vote is taken. 5. If an amendment is carried, the mover thereof shall become the mover of the amended substantive motion. The following procedural motions may be moved: A. A motion that the question be now put; B. A motion that the question be not put; C. A motion that the question be taken in specific parts; D. A motion to refer (or refer back) the matter to a specified later time or other organ of ISSU; E. A challenge to the Chairperson's ruling; F. A motion of no confidence in the Chairperson. 6. Procedural motions shall require a seconder, and cannot be proposed during a point of order or during the act of voting or during a speech. 7. The proposer of any procedural motions may speak to it for one minute followed by one speaker against it for one minute. The proposer of the substantive motion shall have priority in speaking against procedural motions except in the case of procedural motions (E) and (F) where the Chairperson shall have priority. The motion shall then be put to a vote without discussion. 8. When procedural motions (E) or (F) is proposed the Chairperson shall immediately leave the chair until it is determined. If procedural motions (E) is carried the Chairperson shall rule in accordance with the procedural motion. If procedural motions (F) is carried, the Chairperson to whom it relates shall not take the Chair for the remainder of the session.

9. The Chairperson may refuse to put any procedural motion if one of similar effect and related to the same subject matter has been defeated within the previous fifteen minutes. 10. If procedural motion (a) is carried, the Chairperson shall allow the proposer the right of reply before proceeding to the vote. 11. Only one procedural motion may be proposed at any one time; amendments may not be proposed to procedural motions. 12. A point of order shall take precedence over all other business except the act of voting, unless it relates to the conduct of the vote. It may be raised by any member provided they raise the point immediately and states that they are rising "on a point of order" and specifies the matter to which the point of order relates. A point of order shall relate only to the procedure adopted or to the conduct of the meeting. 13. Points of information may be raised by any delegate who states that they are rising on such a point, and such delegate may be heard if the speaker gives consent. Points of information shall be limited to 15 seconds, such time to be taken from the time allowed to the speaker at the microphone. 14. The method of voting shall be by show of delegates' cards, each delegate having one vote. If a delegate is temporarily absent they may deputise their vote to a registered observer from the same member school provided that such a person does not thereby exercise more than one vote. 15. Suspension of standing orders may be used to facilitate business which is not on the agenda and that can only be introduced by suspension of Standing Orders. Standing Orders, other than this order and Standing Order number one may be suspended upon a motion to that effect being passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Such motions shall require a seconder, shall state the purpose for which it is sought to suspend Standing Orders and the maximum period for which they are to be suspended, and shall be put to a vote without discussion. They may not be proposed while a member is speaking on a point of order or during the act of voting. Only that business for which Standing Orders are suspended may be discussed during the suspension.


1. The ISSU believes that all young people have a right to be safe at all times and to have the opportunity to fully-participate in all aspects of the activities that ISSU provides. The ISSU has a responsibility and duty of care to protect any child (anyone under the age of 18 years) that may be at risk, who comes to the attention of the organisation. With this in mind, with an ethos of openness and honesty ISSU endeavours to protect anyone under the age of 18 years who is at risk and comes to our attention. 2. ISSU will comply with legislation and common best practice regarding child protection, Garda Vetting, and other such related areas.


1. There shall be two advisory panels: an education advisory panel, and an equality and welfare advisory panel. 2. The function of each advisory panel shall be to assist and direct the chair of each panel in their area of work, and to communicate developments in each area to the ISSU membership. 3. These panels shall be chaired by the relevant officer as outlined in the ISSU constitution. 4. Each Regional Council of Schools shall nominate two members from their region to each of the advisory panels. 5. Each Advisory Panel Chair shall be entitled to nominate up to three other individuals of their choosing to their advisory panel, subject to approval by the NSE.

ISSU Constitution 2014