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hi

 

Could someone help me please. We are a committe run pre-school and would like to know how long we can run without a chairperson, as our chairperson stood down last November, even though we have elected a new secretary and treasurer but have no luck finding a chairperson. We get this every year such a pain.

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I am not sure about the legalities surrounding this. Are you a registered charity? I know that a number of years ago we were told that as a minimum we could operate with 3 office bearers only on a committee but take from that that you really need to have a chairperson!

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I understood that you need to have a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary and at least two other members. Are you a member of the PLA? We have similar problems each year. This year we sent a letter to parents and had to threaten parents with closure becuse we didnt have enough members - ten parents came forward. We had our AGM and then had to call another one stating that if no one came forward we would close. Under our contitution there is no alternative. We did not want to close.

 

smiles

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yes we are a registered charity, i know that we do require a chairperson but I cant just shut the pre-school down because of this.

 

I'm really sorry but I'm afraid you have no choice as at the moment you are operating illegally. As a registered charity you are bound by law to follow your constitution and therefore would need to have a chairperson. This sort of thing is quite common amongst voluntary committees - usually as Smiles says, once the parents are aware that the only other alternative is closure someone comes forward. Good luck. :o

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You need to have a chair, this has happened to us on many occassions, we basically stood at the door announced that the pre-school would close until further notice until someone volunteered to be chair and it is illegal for us to open. We were told by our early years advisors that we are not allowed to open without a chair... someone always comes forward........ good luck with it....

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thanks for your comments. Looks like I'll be standing at the door threatening closure than. I will draft a note again to all parents first, although I've done it twice but nobody listening, hopefully someone will come forward. I must look into seeing if we can change to a non committee, every year is such a pain.

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thanks for your comments. Looks like I'll be standing at the door threatening closure than. I will draft a note again to all parents first, although I've done it twice but nobody listening, hopefully someone will come forward. I must look into seeing if we can change to a non committee, every year is such a pain.

 

 

Trying to get rid of your committee would be another nightmare.............your worst nightmare!!!

We have looked into this and keep doing so every time we have a challanging committee (many times!)

I have read a thread about how to do it on here but can't find it at the mo. I'm sure someone else will find the link.

In our case (a charitible run pre-school, constituted to the PLA) we would have to sell up, the PLA would disperse our resources and we would have to set up again in a private capacity I suppose.

In this case it really is better the devil you know!

Good luck and I hope you find someone really soon. :o

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When doing the letter give the date you would close on if no one comes forward..... worked very quickly for us once they realised there was a closure date!

In fact we gave ours as the day following the AGM if no one came forward at that meeting.

 

Are Ofsted aware of this they should be informed, we were able to run without a Chair fro 2 months when one resigned in July at beginning of holidays and needed time to get another... They said it was Ok as a temporary measure for one of the other officers to 'double up' , but we did have a total committee of 6 at the time.

 

Always a pain but we now have managed to find someone locally (not a parent) willing to take on the job longer term, which has helped with this for us. Our constitution does allow for this , it is not a standard PLA one. (All our equipment etc goes to the local school if we close.)

 

Inge

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We have had to threaten closure recently giving the following day as the date for closure, almost an annual thing! Having been a chairperson myself I know it can be very daunting.

 

We now have joint chairs, which apparently is OK with 'higher powers' and a strong vice chair as nobody wanted to take on the role on their own. Seems to be working very well at the moment (although we are only a month into it), sharing the workload, and different people have different strengths and interests. Could that be an alternative?

 

Good luck.

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Hi

The PSLA will allow you to buy the resouces back. Then once all the details are sorted out you can close on a friday and reopen as the new preschool on the monday. It will just take a bit of hard work and hassle and then you are free. I have to say I have not had to do it myself as there are three of us that own our preschool but one close to us changed over. They haven't looked back.

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I'm still alittle confused how this works. How do they calculate how much you have to pay. As a pre-school we have been doing lots of fundraising and have just replaced loads of equipment, seems strange to have to buy it all again - i do like the idea of not having a committee though... it's a struggle every year.

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I did speak to ofsted and explained the situation that we didnt have a chairperson as we had to send some paperwork back to them and it needed to be signed by the old chairperson, they didnt seem to say much about it and said from now on all information would be sent to me.

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It is not Ofsted who would require you to have a chairperson - as long as they have someone who is designated as manager the heirachy of that is up to each setting. However, if you are a registered charity then you are legally bound by your constitution which is where you are breaking the law.

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However, if you are a registered charity then you are legally bound by your constitution which is where you are breaking the law.

I'm in a private group so I don't have to worry about committees and such. What would be the position if a child or member of staff had an accident during a session which was being run illegally ie without a chair? Presumably the insurance policies would be invalid if the group was operating outside the terms of the constitution. Could an individual be held legally liable?

 

Its a worrying thought...

 

Maz

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I'm not at all sure about this Maz. A group can operate without being a registered charity so whether it has any impact on Insurance isn't clear to me. I would always check just to be on the safe side though - insurance companies will do anything to wriggle out of paying up if they can!

 

When I said they were operating illegally I was referring to their charitable status which may be in jeopardy if you don't follow your constitution.

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When I said they were operating illegally I was referring to their charitable status which may be in jeopardy if you don't follow your constitution.

I was just wondering if given that the constitution which is designed to govern how the group runs was not being met whether the individual liability of remaining committee members would be affected.

 

I wonder if changing to a charitable company status would affect this but again I don't know anything about charity groups, although I do know that there was a big push from the PLA for committee run groups to do this a while back.

 

Its a bit of a minefield really, isn' it?

 

Maz

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yes, as I understand it (experience=bitter/old group!) the individual members of the committee become personally liable if things are not being run as per your constitution. ( It can leave them and the staff in terribly vulnerable positions, so do be careful!)So, yes, get yourself a new chairperson as quickly as possible!

Edited by narnia
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Just posting updates on how our pre-school is going without a chairperson.

 

had major committee meeting today, explained to parents that the pre-school is runny illegally and have to be closed on Monday. But thank god threatening to close did seem to work, so we are not properly ran, new chairperson until October, when it all starts over again.

 

Anyway thanks for your comments, its nice to be put on the right track and know what is right and wrong.

 

Cheers

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We are a charitable committee run preschool and always have the same problem gwetting committee members - we do take out extra insurance cover via the PLA to cover our committee liabilty so new members arent frightened off.

smiles

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  • 1 month later...

It is the most annoying thing having to have a committee. There does need to be some more thought put into it by the powers that be!! It's fabulous when you have a long standing good committee behind you. But terrible when you don't. Committees usually comprise of unqualified parents who haven't got a clue how to run a preschool. They and we spend months getting used to each others roles and responsibilities, and there and our way of doing things and then it all changes and we're back to square one with another new committee. It is sometimes infuriating. Surely there is another easier way??

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sorry to go on but....on the subject of having to close a preschool because there is no committee/not enough members. When u r in that desperate situation is it best to force parents who don't really want to be on the committee into roles that have a huge responsibility with them and that make such a huge difference to how the setting is run and to the preschool team as a whole?? It's all wrong!!

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we have had to treaten to close too in the past :o had problems again this year present chair leaves next month but she has put forward the notion of having a named chair and deputy so 2 could job share (it did work 2 mums have come forward!) xD

 

... will let you know how it works out!!! :(

Edited by hali
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It is difficult from both sides, look forward to the day someone comes up with an easier solution.

 

We now have joint chairpersons and a vice chairperson, who between them share the load, according to their particular and obvious strengths and I must say it is working extremely well, they are 3 very pleasant people.

 

Hopefully they will get something back from their time and commitment in the way of new skills and even one day choose a career in childcare - that's what I did!

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hi good luck

but have to say I'm a deputy and know for a fact that you have to have at least 5/6 people inc relevant ones tp stay open. Yes you wuold have to close if you don't have these.

 

My setting had similiar situation my supervisor stood on our door step and stated that if we don't have committee members we would have legally and unable to remain open if no parents helpers step in etc.

 

We called an emergency meeting and it turned out positive with selected people and we were able to remain open success. It worked so be brave and do this and wish you luck horrid it is but its paramont for the safety of the children.

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