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Charitable Ltd Company V Extended Schools


Cazman
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:o

Hi all,

This is my first post and it's a bit of a ramble but it's in desperation as I am tempted to quit after 12 years ! Would just like to say have picked up loads of brilliant tips and ideas from the Forum previously but have never felt brave enough to join in. However I need to communicate with like minded people to retain my sanity!

For the last 6 years I have managed a community pre-school that was set up as a Charitable company by the Head Teacher & board of governers of the local primary school. I have never really got my head around this set up - governors were trustees and the head was company secretary but the only person who physically did anything were the pre-school staff- a well trained and enthusiastic team who were prepared to give the extra mile like we all do + some of the admin was dealt with by School office e.g taking calls about new entrants/ handing out prospectus ect. It was my dream job 'cos I just got on with what I loved doing the most- planning & organising the pre-school on a day to day basis. I have always had to report back to said 'committee' of trustees & head once a half term and regularly meet with head to discuss any issues but ultimately all paperwork/operational procedures/policy making etc down to yours truly. However a new head teacher arrived & things changed. Wanted pre-school to come under Extended Schools service, didn't want to do anything to do with pre-school, wanted final say on all decisions but didn't have any early years experience. As as far as finances go for last year the setting now comes under Extended schools service (School do deal with bank account + salaries so one less headache for me!) Today I attended last 'Committee' meeting as Head now wants all pre-school matters to go to main Governors' various committees i.e Finance, Personnel, Curriculum etc. Am completely confused- especially when one governor suggested we should model our policies on the schools or adopt theirs- & to make matters even more complicated the pre-school room (old demountable classroom) needs some refurbishment so Head teacher says we need to access some funding as he not prepared to write any bids for money due to impact of this on his time!!! Feel extremely isolated as obviously head is my boss but does any one have any experience of how a pre-school operates under extended schools i.e roles & responsibility? Help!

 

PS. Sorry it's such a long first post - its just so complicated!

 

x

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Hi,

Sorry have no experience of this but just wanted to say how hard it must be for you and that I will be thinking of you over the next few weeks and really hope that you manage to sort this all out.

 

It is so hard when you get a chnage of head teacher or things alter and I guess it will take time for you to sort things out. Do you have a local PLA or LEA adviser who can help you through this transition? Might be worth giving them a ring.

Nicky Sussex :oxD

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I'd get in touch with the Preschool Learning Alliance and your Early Years team ASAP. Surely they can't pull the rug our from under you like this - did you have some sort of constitutional arrangement before that can now be waved at him? Looks like he wants to have his cake and eat it too!

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Don't give up hope is what I can say!!!

 

At some poiint the Head would/ should realise the benefits to having the pre school under his school wing and by the same token he will then have to share responsibility!

 

He sounds as though he needs to be reminded that early years are a vital part of the schools responsibilities if they have them and surely if he has taken it on as extended school then it IS partly his responsibility.

 

Our Head has been great as we were 100% LA nursery and then in the review we lost half of it and set up privately in the afternoons......... our governors do have a say in things but truthfully they haven't impacted much!!!

I go to the Head with any problems and feel confident he would help regardless (unless I caught him in a bad mood!!!!)

 

Seek advice but I truly believe if your boss has taken you on as part of extended school then he will take credit for your good work, as part of "his school" so essentially he has to treat you as part of his school!!!!!!!!!!!

 

OK I rambled and am not sure any of it made sense!!!!!!

 

Good luck. x

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Hi Cazman and welcome to the Forum, although sorry you're joining in such a difficult situation! :o

 

It sounds as though your biggest problem at the moment is your isolation - where previously there was a support structure in place and roles and responsibilities were pretty clear, you've now been left in nominal charge of something with no rules and no means of sustaining your setting. That's a horrible place to be left in. Everyone needs some framework to work in - even your dynamic, change oriented head teacher would be completely stumped without the school governors and others giving him his overall objectives. And you can bet that he has a much clearer support network than he has provided for you.

 

It does sound like you need to access some support from professional organisations around you. Are you in touch with any advisory teachers from your Early Years/Childcare organisation at the local authority? And are you a member of the PLA or another professional organisation?

 

It seems to me that the obvious step is to persuade/coerce your head and or governors to take you seriously enough to sit down and put together some formal roles and responsibilities for you as the nursery manager. They need to be able to give you the information you need to do your job - and that includes giving you a budget to maintain your nursery (if they're taking the revenues and paying the salaries then they obviously know if the nursery is making money or not, if it has a financial long term future or not and therefore what their intentions are. You don't have access to any of that, and as the manager you should at least be included in any discussions about the future so that you can make certain judgements - ie whether or not it is worth while applying for funding...).

 

But it's all very well saying you need those things. It sounds as though you're being brushed off by the governors and head teacher at the moment, for whatever reason. So you need the support mentioned to force them to take the time to talk to you as a member of their management team. In the first instance I'd try to find some of that support - and don't be afraid to ask for as much as you need. Too often people are afraid to admit they don't know how to do things - don't know how to apply for funding - don't know how to negotiate changes in terms and conditions - don't know how to plan budgets. But there's no reason you should know how to do these things if you've never been asked to do them before, so don't pretend you can manage.

 

Good luck with the next few days and let us know how you get on! xD

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I think your best bet is to contact one of the officers from the Extended Schools Service; every LA has one, I believe. The Training and Development Agency for Schools have produced a document outlining what the ESS is all about, and you can find it here

 

It will give you a bit of an idea about the proposed structures of the ESS. However, LAs go about the proposals in very different ways and some are much further along than others! When you track an officer from the ESS down, I'm sure they will be able to explain to you how the service operates in your county (or at least how they hope it will ope rate!)and what your role and responsibilties could be.

 

Another avenue open to you would be to find out about your Local Delivery Group for the ESS. This is a network of schools who work together to provide a coordinated approach to meeting the needs of your community, eg breakfast clubs, after-school clubs, childcare, health services, support for parents, etc. If you were to find out which LDG your school was in, you could start to make links with those schools, see if they provide childcare, how they do it, etc.

 

Good luck, and do let us know how it goes; I'm sure you're not the first person, or the last, to experience these difficulties in transition from one set-up to another. :o

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I can't really add to the excellent advice already given, Cazman but wanted to welcome you to the Forum!

 

I hope your bravery in making your first post has been suitably rewarded by the knowledge that although you feel pretty isolated at the moment, we're all here to listen to you when you feel a rant coming on!

 

Take care

Maz

 

PS Is it my imagination or is that the longest thread post Steve has ever made?

 

PPS I just noticed that Cazman is an anagram of MazCan... :o

Edited by HappyMaz
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I can't really add to the excellent advice already given, Cazman but wanted to welcome you to the Forum!

 

I hope your bravery in making your first post has been suitably rewarded by the knowledge that although you feel pretty isolated at the moment, we're all here to listen to you when you feel a rant coming on!

 

Take care

Maz

 

PS Is it my imagination or is that the longest thread Steve has ever made?

 

PPS I just noticed that Cazman is an anagram of MazCan... :o

 

Hi all

 

Thanks for all the excellent advice & it feels great to know there is support out there! Have contacted EY's Advisor + PSLA & both getting back to me. Am a bit wary of contacting Extended Schools Officer as Head Teacher says he has already consulted her re. organisational set up, so don't want to overstep the mark! Staff have all agreed we're just going to keep doing what we do best- provide good quality childcare etc & try to access some funding ourselves to improve the setting. Have arranged for a Business Support Manager to visit us in next few weeks to sort this out so watch this space.... Now I just need to complete my Early Childhood Studies degree in July & then it might be time to move on!

 

Thanks again

 

Cazman

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I am not very up on extended schools really but your comment about being wary over contacting the extended schools officer for fear of stepping on toes rang bells with me.

 

My pre-school is currently involved in a possible tie up with a children's centre and the people who have been involved in the discussions have little idea of the regulations for the pre-school, yet are almost making promises on our behalf. Without going into detail (for confidentiality reasons and because its all just too ***** complicated yet!) I have had to make contact with the people commissioning the children's centre as everyone assumes that everyone else "knows" the rules and regulations. If you have doubts over what you are being asked to supply or any concerns at all do speak up for yourselves. You will be amazed at how many "professional" have little understanding of issues not directly in their sphere of experience. I have used the term "I wish to clarify" to avoid saying "don't listen to them - they don't know what they are talking about"! Good luck.

Edited by Guest
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