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Update!


marley
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Hi

Update..supervisor says she is never going to another comm meeting (with current comm) as she is getting so stressed out (she very nearly resigned!) and it is making her feel sick. She said it was awful. A potential new comm member turned up (was on committe 4 years ago but now has another child just started at pre-school) and told supervisor later she could not believe how horrendous it was and the way they spoke to supervisor! (supervisor currently trying to get info about our new PVI for support)

 

Apparently £6k has been spent on agency staff and there is only £1k left! They are going to put fees up by £2 per session, have got lots of interested new parents but they wont initally take on anymore children as it would mean taking on an extra staff member (me and another assistant currently job share). So children placed on waiting list but we are not convinced that the parents will hang around until another 3 or 4 other children come along.

 

Apparently a lot of parents want to get rid of parent help duties (we agree as some parents with younger siblings find it stressful and those new children that have just settled in find it confuing! currently parents have to do 1/2 per half term or pay £12) but comm said they would not pay for any extra help for tidying up so supervisor said it was impossible and not fair to expect 1 staff to put everything away in allocated time of 30 mins when it takes 2 staff 40 mins to set up. If they get rid of parent help then ive decided im off! Its just too much to do and in actual fact its all ready bad in that 30 mins before the end of ession 1 staff mmber has to start tidying in order to get it finished in time. It was bad enough when we went from 4 staff to 3!

 

Chair apparently suggested we put less stuff out...supervisor said even if 2 children just turned up the same quality of provision/reources will be out as if 22 turned up! The caretaker of WI hut always complains to us that we never hoover the glitter up/tidy up properly etc etc and we are still there often tidying up 30 mins after we are supposed to have left (not paid)! We did think about just leaving what was left and go home on time in the hope the caretaker would complain to committee..its just getting ridiculous and none of it is about the kids!

 

So all staff totally fed up now! We have been asking since May last year for copies of the policies which current comm signed to put in op plan...still not got them! Ive updated them all now (a lot in my own time as we do!) and included EYFS etc etc and given them to chair to sign..still waiting to have them all back! PLus we want a staff hand book to include all policies etc so cant do that until we get them back..these are all things the comm should be doing but thy arent doing them. We are doing them ourselves. Will it be us that OFSTED say why arent the policies in there etc or will it be the comm that gets it? We think us so we are doing everything ourselves now. Awful thing is that the chair, vice and a few others are wanting to stay on next year (even tho no kids there) and we think we may have to have them as no other parents interested!

Im thinking of contacting the PLA myself over this ..supervisor has so much on her plate! Not sure how would this look if comm found out etc etc. Have looked into sustainability grants (even tho not sure its my job to do so) and apparently it looks like Nottinghamshire stopped doing them (Sue R if you read this does this seem right? Could find no info about them but could for Nottingham city!). Will continue to look into this. Does it affet us in that we are porbably classed as high middle class area?

 

Not sure what to do for the best. I can talk to certain members of committee but even then it gets very confrontational sometimes and Im not a good one for that! they are trying to fund raise etc but not sure its going to be enough. Im just waiting to get copy of minutes to see how bad it really is.

 

Sorry for the moan!

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So sorry to hear all the problems that you face with the committee. I would definately contact the PLA!!! That is what they are there for!

 

Also could I just mention that under the terms of the funding agreement (in most county's I presume) it states that you are not allowed to charge parents for ANYthing. I mention this because you say that parents are charged if they dont help out 1/2 per half term. When I worked in pre-school we also looked into this but when I read the terms of the funding agreement I realised that it would be a breach of the contract/agreement! So check that one out as you could loose your funding for doing this.

 

Sorry I cant offer any further advice.

 

jenni

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Hi Marley, I cant offer any real advice but it would seem that only having £1000 in the bank is rediculously low. The PLA here in Birmingham always used to recommend that the bank balance always has enough for 6 weeks rent and wages as a back up against hard times.

 

It might be an idea for the staff to write a letter to the committee laying out the problems they face. Should Ofsted arrive and complain that things arent in order you can show them a copy. The committee are the registered body so it is in their interests to keep the place going and financially secure. If they had to make you redundant they could find themselves liable for unpaid rent, wages etc.

You really need to speak to the PLA. Get your DW in or arrange a time to meet so that you can all go.

Good luck :o

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So sorry to hear all the problems that you face with the committee. I would definately contact the PLA!!! That is what they are there for!

 

Also could I just mention that under the terms of the funding agreement (in most county's I presume) it states that you are not allowed to charge parents for ANYthing. I mention this because you say that parents are charged if they dont help out 1/2 per half term. When I worked in pre-school we also looked into this but when I read the terms of the funding agreement I realised that it would be a breach of the contract/agreement! So check that one out as you could loose your funding for doing this.

 

Sorry I cant offer any further advice.

 

jenni

 

 

Hi Jenny

Thats another thing they havent taken on board! I told them that 6 months ago! That they cant actually force anyone to do parent help or charge them for not doing it...do I tell them again? Will they do anything about it? If the parents stopped doing parent help the staff would suffer even more.

About the only thing they are doing is increasing fee to be in line with funded children.... so what would you advise? How do I go about telling them when thy have no money anyway!? Should i interfere?

 

Thanks again

Edited by marley
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I appreciate your concern about adding another problem by bringing up the extra payment as discussed above. I think that the advice given is true. But if it isn't addressed and the LA finds out it may be that they can remove you from the list of registered providers and remove funded places altogether. I know that has been threatened in our area as the LA said it was breach of funding contract. That would potentially leave the setting in a worse position than if they stopped making the charge immediately.

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I appreciate your concern about adding another problem by bringing up the extra payment as discussed above. I think that the advice given is true. But if it isn't addressed and the LA finds out it may be that they can remove you from the list of registered providers and remove funded places altogether. I know that has been threatened in our area as the LA said it was breach of funding contract. That would potentially leave the setting in a worse position than if they stopped making the charge immediately.

Hi Holly!

How do I find out if this is the case? I did a quick google search and it is surprising how many other pre-schools I came across that make p help compulsory and charge if you dont turn up! Is it a thing that was done years ago?

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How do I find out if this is the case?

A quick call to your Early Years team will give you the answer, marley. I think this was very popular with committee-run groups a few years ago but I was under the impression that it had stopped when the NEG was introduced but obviously not!

 

It does sound as if you are all going through the mill at the moment: and I'm sure its no comfort knowing that Ofsted will look to the Committee for reasons as to why things aren't being done. Ultimately we all take a lot of pride in our work and none of us wants to work in a setting which is unsatisfactory.

 

Good luck!

 

Maz

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It sounds like you are all going through a horrendous time.

 

Just make sure that everything you advise or tell the committee about you have a witness and record it, as although the committee are ultimately responsible, it is you that are in the initial firing line with Ofsted. If you can say "we informed the committee of this....." and then prove that you did and when, then ofsted will know you and your team did your best, in what I believe is an untenable situation, and will then be looking at the committee for answers, who in turn can't then deny that you told them.

 

Hats off to you all for sticking it out! Good luck!

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I agree with others, put it in writing and record date(s) discussed. Use advisory yeachers and PLA - their advice and conversations can also be recorded for OFSTED (when I say recorded don't mean taped!) Sorry you're all having a rough time.

Posy x

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Hi

 

I actually had a falling out with the directors over this issue! (company limited by Guarentee). They wanted to start introducing the charge for parents who didnt help last year! I had a copy of the agreement/contract from the LEA so I was able to quote from it! They did put up a fight but the risk of loosing all funding proved too much and they backed down in the end!! It really is very frustrating! The whole point of the government funding is that it is free for parents.

 

Your treasurer or whoever deals with the funding (supervisor maybe) will have a copy of the agreement. I would advise you to pursue this one! Even though it will put more pressure on staff, and like others have said, if you loose your funding altogether the pressure would really be on!

 

I feel for you, I really do. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

 

jx

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Lots of good advice already, I'd contact PLA, call an extraordinary meeting and ask a PLA representative to attend.

 

You ask, is it your place to query such things, yes in terms of wanting to provide a quality service in line with legislative requirements. How much time you spend anxious over what the committee are doing or not doing, and like in the case of your supervisor, becoming ill over the problems, is not, however, in the best interests of yourselves or the children.

State clearly in writing your concerns, what you want to see done, why and which relevant welfare or other legislative requirement the concern relates to, give expected timescales (which are manageable) for changes to be made, and maybe if you feel strongly enough about this state at the end of your written complaint that if improvements to legally required 'management' practice is not seen then you will seriously consider making an official complaint to Ofsted. Add to this that you will be available for support and advice for concerns which the committee feel they are not familiar with, or better still refer the committee to the PLA representative to get support in dealing with your 'official' complaint to them. (Have a look at your complaints and grievances policy and procedures).

 

send a copy to your PLA advisor, or speak to her first for advice in formulating your complaints.

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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Hi Marley,

I can sympathize with you ! We are going through similar problems with the committee were I work.

The relationship between the staff and committee are very strained at the moment, which is really sad as there use to be such a good one.

I know what its like having all the pressures as Supervisor I left the preschool at the end of the summer but have come back now as the deputy, I was hoping things would change with a new committee on board but it has not, in fact its got worse ! The commmitte have done very little after promising big changes and I'm beside myself with worry as we will be inspected soon and I know we will fail miserably ! I can add its not for want of trying !

We have ammended and written new policies but they still have to be adopted by the committee and I'm still waiting nearly 18 months on !

I could go on for hours.......

I'm not sure about charging parents that can't help at the preschool. We use to a long time ago but I though it was deemed discriminate against parents that worked or perhaps couldn't because of ill health I maybe wrong.

So I hope it makes you feel better to know your not alone and many groups have similar problems, my new saying is 'tomorrows another day......'

I think that you definitely need adivse and support from the PLA (if you are a member) or your Committee support worker about your finance.

I try to keep confident and optimistic that things WILL change and in some ways perhaps a visit from Mr/Mrs O will bring about that change and give everyone a big kick somewhere !

Chin up !

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Thanks Mother!

I know committees are horrendous! Im sure they are all alike too! Its good to come on here though and get others points of view/advice. Good therapy :o Its hard when its somebody else responsibility and you an see they are not doing it. Very frustrating :(

Well really must get on with sorting my college work out...something else to think about instead of stewing. xD

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