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Hi there,

 

I'm really baffled about this one.

 

We've recently moved onto a school site (lease the building) and the head teacher has asked us to limit the number of sessions that the children have access to for the week to the free funded sessions only (5). Seems they aren't happy with us having full day care and for children to access our full week's sessions-they wanted us to be a traditional "playschool" with some morning or afternoon sessions and no lunch clubs -this isn't financially viable -especially with the cost of the lease!

 

this baffles me as at present we have 46 children, this will decrease when the biggies move on to school and those that are smaller will usually increase their numbers, but if the head teacher isn't happy I'm concerned.

 

Has anyone any advise for us please?

 

By the way - there's no such thing as a playschool anymore-how infuriating they are calling us that!

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are you a threat to the schools future plans to provide the 3hr entitlment ? Is your school planning on turning into a foundation unit that will start taking children accessing 3yrold funding have seen this happen sometimes. hope you get to the bottom of this, have you approached the school govenors?

whats wrong with the word preschool we are a preschool playgroup it aptly describes what we do, oh well better get back to my cave with the rest of the dinosaurs.

sue

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Hi Cirhossa

 

If this was not a condition of you getting the premises I would say no and show the head the figures to back your decision.

 

Does not seem very fair to impose the limitations on you when all you do is lease from them. As for what you should be called just remember "sticks and stones" and then tell them what you will be. Like Sue said ask to talk to the governers along with the head.

 

Good luck

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We also lease a room in the community centre on school grounds. We are a separate business from the school and would consider it rather rude for the head to 'tell' us what to do. We also call ourselves a pre-school playgroup and are very proud of it. Hope you get it sorted soon. :o

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:o WE run from a rented building within the grounds of a primary school and run 10 sessions per week and five lunch clubs. the school have been really accommodating and we have a good relationship. Could you not sell it to them that the more children maydbe the higher intake for their school!!!

This has proved its point at our setting as since we have been there (1yr last week) the school has got its 1st year this year of a complete full intake into reception class 60children and 30 of them have come from us!!!!.

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Look at the conditions of your lease and then very politely say no. Use your advisors to support you in your decision. Quote government guidance (10 year strategy) as to the suggested provision for early years.

Yours is a salutory story of how it is tricky moving onto school premises.

stick to your guns!!!

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in fairness Cirhossa was objecting to the term PLAYschool'..............we're PRE schools now, and nothing wrong with that term.

 

anyway, back to your original question.............................i fail to see how the head can object to how you run the group, so i would just get on with what you want to do.

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Guest Wolfie

I would also politely say no unles it's in the conditions of your lease - you should have compete autonomy in how you run your group. It might suit them, for some unknown reason, but you have financial viability to consider plus meeting the needs of the families and community you serve and that HAS to take priority. Have you asked them WHY they have made this request?

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Hi cirhossa1, xD nice to hear the move is now completed and lets just hope your query will just be an initial settling in teething problem and is quickly sorted out. :o

 

What does the lease say, does it stipulate hours of opening / access?

How has the headteacher formulated this request, A chat with you or via the committee?

 

If just a chat I would ask the head to write to the committee, explaining that these decisions have to be considered and voted on by the parent committee, then all the arguments for and against can be clearly recorded and submitted to the head. Tell her the time scale is urgent for this meeting as this would need to be done prior to end of term funding claims and to enable parents to have time to plan their childcare for September.

As you say considerations are viability, plus the requirement to offer flexible 15 hrs education funding, the parents needs, possible staff redundancy's (included the costs this incurrs) if hours are reduced, etc.

 

If the details are not clear in the lease then may I suggest that following the committee meeting a request is put to the school/LEA to amend the lease to state clearly hours of access to the property to ensure that this type of request doesn't crop up in the future, say with a new headship for example.

 

Good luck, let us know what happens.

 

Peggy

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Thank you so much for your support -felt like I was in a sinking ship!

 

basically my treasurer has been discussing this with the chair and the rest of the committee haven't been involved! Hmmmm, so I've told them to have a meeting with all members, if they want to entertain the idea they should ask the parents and they can have the casting votes.

 

If the school succeed in capping the number of sessions parents can have, I'm afraid I will resign, I can't be a part of a monopolised group and I won't be responsible for overseeing such a large number of children who will inevitably attend for one or two sessions and other parents unable to return to work or to have time out.

 

It is a shame, yet I feel strongly that the school cannot push us around like this.

 

I'm sick to my stomach of the caretakers being rude, the head telling us what to do and my committee trying to smooth it over by giving in!

 

I'll let you know what happens next....wish me luck, I'm in for a bumpy ride!

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Guest Wolfie

I too wish you lots of luck and admire your strong stand on the position - the school shouldn't be able to dictate to you like this! :o Please let us know what happens.

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Oh cirhossa1, I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way, you have put a lot of your time and energy into this move (even though you have other worrys to deal with).

You've done the right thing to say it should be a committee vote, if it comes to it you are in your rights to call an extraordinary meeting if your request to have this on the agenda is ignored. Give PLA a ring for advice.

 

Apart from this issue, situations such as caretaker etc is maybe a bit about everyone dealing with change, some respond better than others and time, patience and clear communications are the way forward, please keep in mind the positives.....and please for your own stress levels try not to take these ideas being suggested as a personal affront, I'm sure it's more about lack of knowledge and ignorace of all the facts of such ideas rather than a deliberate attempt to 'override' your position. (I'm trying to be positive for you)

 

Don't forget you have my number, if you want to meet up give us a ring. :o

 

Peggy

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