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Any Pvi Going To Pull Out Of Funding


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Hi,

 

I'm the Head of a Nursery attached to an Independent Prep school and we have our own issues in this sector concerning the NEG and I was wondering if anyone else is having the discussions I'm having with the Head of School.

As an Independent School, we have always charged fees appropriate and comparable with those charged for the older pupils in the school and these charges were always acceptable to the clients who chose our nursery for their children. (Parental choice?)

 

We have recently upped our entrance age from 2yr 6mths to 2yrs 9mths in order to not have to undergo an Ofsted Inspection for care in addition to the Independent Schools Inspectorate inspection, and although we did have an OFSTED inspection in June where we were deemed Outstanding in all areas, the report was removed from the Ofsted site as we no longer belonged there, because we were exempt (one has to wonder at the logic of all this).

 

Even though we are not under the direct observation of Ofsted anymore, for some reason we are still accountable to our Local Authority because our parents use vouchers.

 

The whole school is open for up to 36 weeks a year and none of my staff want to work 2 more weeks than the other staff members for the same money and the Bursar is not going to increase our salary.

 

With all this in mind, the Head is looking to opt out of the NEG and I was wondering if anyone else is having this discussion?

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I'm afraid I don't really understand enough about how independent schools are inspected enough to comment. I must admit I thought that Ofsted were the statutory inspection body for the EYFS - whatever the type of setting and that this was inescapable. So that's something I've learned today! :o

 

However I thought that the whole problem with the Kent providers was that they couldn't opt out of the Nursery Education Grant funding because the parent is entitled to 2.5 hours of free education for their child every day. In our case, even if we to opt out of the funding and charge whatever we felt was appropriate, we would still be linked to our Local Authority because they have a statutory duty to ensure that there is enough sufficiently high quality early years provision in their area. So I'm not sure it would benefit my setting that much - although our parents are fairly affluent, I'm not sure their loyalty would stretch to giving up their free entitlement for the privilege of attending our group!

 

I'll be interested to read what other members have to say on this!

 

Maz

 

PS Have I welcomed you to the Forum? If not: a big welcome from me! xD

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As Maz said I am not very clued up on the Independent School inspections either. xD

 

I do know that as a PVI preschool we would not be able to afford to pull out of the NEG funding even if we wanted to!! It is our main income and without it on offer I am sure we would loose all our parents to places that do offer NEG. :o

 

I don't see how the Bursar can not increase the wages to 38 weeks if that is what is being claimed for/being worked?! Do you have to offer 38 weeks to claim the funding, in our LA we used to have to claim the weeks we were open for but then I don't have anything to do with claiming funding any more? :(

 

I hope you can resolve your issues. Sorry I wasn't much help though!!

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I don't see how the Bursar can not increase the wages to 38 weeks if that is what is being claimed for/being worked?!

Ooh I forgot about this bit. If your parents want you to open for 38 weeks and the business decides to do this (always supposing the staff can be persuaded) I'm not sure the Bursar can withhold payment - not without renegotiating their employment contracts anyway! I can't really see what the Bursar's argument for refusing to pay extra money: the parents would be paying for the extra weeks and so generate extra income. But then my position might just betray my lack of understanding about how independent schools are run and funded, as I said.

 

As I understand it Shiny, settings don't have to open 38 weeks to access the funding - certainly some in our Borough don't currently.

 

Maz

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Even though we are not under the direct observation of Ofsted anymore

 

Jocalvert, are you not Inspected by Ofsted under your registration?

 

The way I understood it was that every setting has to be registered, and therefore is Inspected by ofsted under their registration criteria.

To be able to register every setting has to follow the EYFS.

It is not statutory to offer funded places. ( or to therefore accept funding from the LEA, along with additional conditions)

 

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to ensure adequate provision and quality childcare and education is available. I'm not sure whether this is for all children regardless of funding of places or just for children eligible to funded places.

 

I think that whether a setting decides to receive NEG or not is informed by the settings business model, I suppose, irrelevant of whether they are in the private or voluntary sector.

 

I'm curious will you be asking parents what their thoughts are on this matter?

 

Peggy

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Yes in our area too we only claim for the weeks we are open UP TO 38 weeks. If we open 36 we claim for 36, and we don't have to pull out of the funding agreement because of this. I know that our LA word the contract in such a way that seems to imply we have to offer 38 weeks or not access funding but when we challenged them they backed down. Incidentally our argument for not opening 38 weeks was because our parents did not want it (parent management committee set the holidays).

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All very interesting reading - I've nothing useful to add to what has already been said!

 

However, can I be cheeky and link another question to this.....the head of our Children's Centre would like to offer the NEG sessions over 48 instead of 38 weeks a year and have 4 instead of 5 per week, giving the staff more time to keep up to date with assessments, planning, etc. etc. on the fifth day each week. Has anyone got any useful knowledge/experience of this or any thoughts on the matter?

 

Sorry to hijack your post jocalvert! :o

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All very interesting reading - I've nothing useful to add to what has already been said!

 

However, can I be cheeky and link another question to this.....the head of our Children's Centre would like to offer the NEG sessions over 48 instead of 38 weeks a year and have 4 instead of 5 per week, giving the staff more time to keep up to date with assessments, planning, etc. etc. on the fifth day each week. Has anyone got any useful knowledge/experience of this or any thoughts on the matter?

 

Sorry to hijack your post jocalvert! :o

Well I'm no expert Wolfie, but I'm sure the Government offer is 12.5 hours of free nursery education per week, for a maximum of 38 weeks. I'm not sure that what you're describing would fit that commitment. A job for the LA advisor, I'd say! xD

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All very interesting reading - I've nothing useful to add to what has already been said!

 

However, can I be cheeky and link another question to this.....the head of our Children's Centre would like to offer the NEG sessions over 48 instead of 38 weeks a year and have 4 instead of 5 per week, giving the staff more time to keep up to date with assessments, planning, etc. etc. on the fifth day each week. Has anyone got any useful knowledge/experience of this or any thoughts on the matter?

 

Sorry to hijack your post jocalvert! :o

 

Our contract states 'a maximum of 12.5 hours per week of free funded early education, whivh may be delivered flexibly, up to a maximum of 5 hours in any one day. This entitlement should normally be spread over 38 weeks, minimum 33 weeks, per year.

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Sorry Wolfie, b

ut that would probably not be possible.. certainly not under the current funding rules..

I know our LEA would not allow it.. they are the ones to ask if you could actually get the funding for the extra weeks...

even less hours a week we can only claim for the 38 weeks.. any more and parents have to pay.

 

Inge

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We have a couple of groups in our area that are open for just four days per week. They do still get NRG as this has always been deemed to be 'out of their control' (in halls used by other groups on 5th day) however it has still been over the 38 weeks & I do know that our EY's have told them that this situation cannot continue when we go to 15 hours (2010)

We are open to the children for approx 37 weeks (+ usually 1/2 odd days) per year. Staff work 38 weeks but we always calim for the 38 weeks. I clarified this with the head of our EY'sin the beginning and expalined that we would need 6 days per year to sort/clean/prepare etc, etc and she has always been more then happy for us to do this.

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We were told we could only have 3 days per year for 'training' days so we have to do cleaning/sorting out in the holidays, although we are still paid for them. :o

 

We took 5 days the first year we moved and were told that we couldn't claim the full 38 weeks funding as we hadn't met the 190 days expected!! xD

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You are really lucky in your areas being able to claim for days closed for training. We decided to close a day last year so all five of us could go to a one day course together and had to pay the funding back for that day.

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Yet another example of how things differ from LA to LA, bit like the amount we are all funded as well. Our EY's take the view that some things are out of our control (for example we are closed one day next month as the church needs to prepare for its Xmas bazaar) she said this was no different to closing for a polling day.mShe also takes the view that cleanng and preperation of equipment is vital to the smooth running of the group.

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How lovely your LA sounds! It is nice to hear that some settings are valued and that the LA understands that all the required work cannot take place within set hours.

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You are really lucky in your areas being able to claim for days closed for training. We decided to close a day last year so all five of us could go to a one day course together and had to pay the funding back for that day.

 

We had to close for a day this term to do training we'd asked to have in the summer holiday (EYFS in our setting, all staff had to attend) and were told we have to add a day onto the end of term to make up for it. Liaison teacher checked our term dates to make sure we were doing it too.

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