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At the heart of English folk

Governing board

Governance: how the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is run

The Board is responsible for strategy direction and oversight of EFDSS.

Day to day management and direction of EFDSS lies with the Chief Executive and other professional staff.

EFDSS Members can play a part in the governance participating in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and by serving as Board members.

EFDSS is a company limited by guarantee and a charity registered in England and Wales. EFDSS’ governing document is its Articles of Association (pdf). These include EFDSS’ objectives, revised and up-dated from the original 1935 Memorandum of Association (pdf). There is provision in the Articles to make Bye-Laws (pdf).


Annual General Meeting

The most recent AGM took place on Saturday 11 November 2017 at 11.15am at Cecil Sharp House. These events are for our Members, and give you the chance to help steer the organisation through debate, questioning and voting on resolutions.

AGM Minutes 2017

The next AGM will take place at 11am on Saturday 10 November 2018 at Cecil Sharp House.

More about the Board

The Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of EFDSS and ensuring that EFDSS acts in accordance with its objectives. The Board is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the governance of EFDSS but, in reality, most aspects are delegated to the Chief Executive and staff The Board listens to and interacts with the staff, but does not, at any time, direct the staff, other than the Chief Executive.

To ensure that EFDSS is well governed and that there are no conflicting responsibilities the Board has adopted a system of policy governance set out in its Board Policy document. This defines:

  • EFDSS’ objectives
  • The boundaries (financial and otherwise) within which the objectives must be achieved
  • The relationship between the Board and the Chief Executive and how it is managed
  • The rules by which the Board governs itself, for example, standards of conduct for its members

The Board meets for a whole day, quarterly. Additionally it meets regularly with senior staff so that strategic issues can be considered in depth.

Significant items from EFDSS Board Meetings are noted in the quarterly Board Matters publication and these are made available online.

The Board has one standing committee the General Purposes Committee to monitor EFDSS performance and provide advice to the Board.

The Board approves and publishes the EFDSS Annual Report and Accounts (ARA). A summary version, Report of the Year (pdf), is also available to download.


Board Matters Autumn 2018
Board Matters Summer 2018
Board Matters Spring 2018

Board minutes September 2017
Board minutes June 2017
Board minutes March 2017
Board minutes November 2016

Board minutes September 2016

Board minutes June 2016

Board Membership

All Board Members, referred to as Trustee/Directors, should be actively interested or involved in the some aspect of the folk arts and EFDSS. They must develop an understanding and acceptance of their legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities.

The Board can have up to 16 members: 12 are elected by and from the Membership; and up to four Trustee/Directors can be appointed by the Board. Appointees need not be EFDSS Members but must be approved by the AGM following their appointment.

The Board appoints its own Chair from the elected Directors and an Honorary Treasurer from the Board as a whole. Elected members can serve continuously for six years, Appointed members for three years.

Meet the board

Find out more about EFDSS Membership


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!