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Committee Run Preschools


Guest candidoodi
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Guest candidoodi

Hi

I am about to attend the first committee meeting as preschool leader. The old preschool leader still does one session and will also be attending. She suggested that I have another member of staff for support and so I get the attention if that makes sense! So I have invited another member of staff along. They have had problems with past committe but this one is ment to be nice.

Any way I have now been informed "it is not usual for staff other than the playleader to attend meetings due to the nature of things we have to discuss." Surely a committee is open and anyone can attend? I feel it is important to have at least 2 staff members including my self at committee meetings as we have the insight and care for what we do?!

I would be very interested in others views on this.

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It might not be usual but committee meetings should welcome the input of the staff. My committee always tell me to let the staff know they are very welcome to come along. If any discussion about staffing, wages, etc needs to happen this is done in a closed session. In our committee a closed session means everyone not a full committee member, so even curious parents are asked to leave.

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Guest candidoodi

Thank you for your replies.

 

I will put this to the chairperson!

 

It is such a help to vent frustration and confusion on here but to be understood!!

 

Many thanks

:o

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Hi I work for a committee run preschool and all the staff (6 of us) can all attend then if wages are discussed they do it at the end while we go to the pub !!!!! not only that they have adopted the new constitution which allows one paid member of staff to have a vote on committee.

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I agree with the other posters. In my experience of being on a committee we appreciated the presence of any staff member who was willing to attend. It just helps with organisation and communication.

 

There will occasionally be discussions which should happen in closed meetings but they are not very often.

 

If a staff member is willing to give up their time to be there your committee should be very grateful to have such a dedicated team!

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I just can't imagine our committee having a meeting and our staff not attending. Would hate to think what crazy ideas they would try to implement without us there to give them a shot of reality!! :oxD

 

I agree that there are occassionaly times when staff shouldn't be there, ie to discuss wages but generally the matter that are discussed at our committee NEED staff to be there.

 

Perhaps we are just lucky with the committee we have had Guess they are all different though.

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Well after 7 years, last night we were told to leave by the secretary as we were no longer needed for the rest of the meeting. Now I wouldn't normally have a problem with this but it was the way it was said, it really upset the Supervisor and me, it was like your not important go away !

This morning the new chairperson came in and said that from now on only one member of staff can attend and only for part of the meeting as the other half of the meeting was going to be closed.

This was apparently recommended by the County Advisor(for committees) who attended the meeting, now last year there was an uneasy atmosphere between staff and the committee and now I can see it getting worse. They didn't want to listen to anything the staff said or advised so it seems like its going to continue, its sooooo frustrating, there is no respect or appreciation for the staff.

I'm beginning to wonder why I ever came back to the setting, but thats another story !

 

Motherclangerx

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Well after 7 years, last night we were told to leave by the secretary as we were no longer needed for the rest of the meeting. Now I wouldn't normally have a problem with this but it was the way it was said, it really upset the Supervisor and me, it was like your not important go away !

This morning the new chairperson came in and said that from now on only one member of staff can attend and only for part of the meeting as the other half of the meeting was going to be closed.

This was apparently recommended by the County Advisor(for committees) who attended the meeting, now last year there was an uneasy atmosphere between staff and the committee and now I can see it getting worse. They didn't want to listen to anything the staff said or advised so it seems like its going to continue, its sooooo frustrating, there is no respect or appreciation for the staff.

I'm beginning to wonder why I ever came back to the setting, but thats another story !

 

Motherclangerx

I honestly do not know how you cope with this - I am being deadly serious here.....

 

I have never worked for a committee - perhaps I would understand better if I had.

 

I have a three parents now - funnily enough they are on the committee of the other pre-school that their children attend - who I feel are trying to 'organise' me............one is dead set on fundraising - really only because she wants to sell her own 'wares' - one whose favourite subject at the moment is 'swine-flu' - and one who is using her 'contact book' to give me instructions!!!

 

I find this quite hard to deal with ....... noticed today - as we left pre-school - they were in a little 'huddle' in the play area - maybe I'm being paranoid - they could have been talking about anything really! xD:o

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I'd remind them that we are supposed to working together for the benefit of the children. Can you speak to the adviser who told them this? It seems rather odd to me that you could have a relevent meeting with the workforce missing. I understand about the wages issue but how on earth can anything be confidential to a committee outside of wages? I'd very professionaly ask them to explain every decision they make, how it links with the EYFS requirements etc, they might then see that they dont know everything and must have staff input. Even for fundraising events I need the staff on board so we can work together on choosing the best day, if there are children with allergies, parents who have anything they can help with. I couldnt possibly do it without their input, well I could, but it'd be cr*p :o

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We hold our committee meetings in the morning during session and so staff cannot attend as they are looking after the kids, the leader does come in to give a report though and stays and has a chat about what we have discussed. Whenever we all get together to do a staff/committee meeting we end up getting drunk and getting nothing done!

 

I do feel for those of you that have difficult relationships with committees, hugs xx

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I am quite intrigued to know what on earth they think the staff will do if more than one come to the meeting. I also wonder what they could possibly have to talk about that is so confidential for half of every meeting!

 

Why don't you give this county advisor a ring yourself and ask for some clarification of the guidelines. Perhaps you could clarify a few things for this person in return about what a pre-school committee needs to discuss!

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This all sounds very odd. My colleagues and I always attend committee meetings, no areas under discussion except perhaps for wages should be held in secret. I'd do as advised previously........ring this county advisor and find out what he/she really said.

 

We have a dream committee at the moment...........helpful, full of great fund-raising ideas and leave the day to day running of the pre-school up to the trained staff who know what they're doing. :o

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Hi, we're similar to melthamum, we have to hold our meetings during session time because of child care issues. What I do as chair though is meet beforehand with our leader so she can give me a list of all the things she wants us to talk through or issues she needs decisions on. This year we're hoping to get her along to meetings by providing cover for her in the sessions. We also copy all staff in on minutes of committee meetings.

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Well according to our new chairperson the County 'committee' Advisor said "that is how committees are suppose to be run".

I am rapidly running out of patience with this preschool, I gave up my position as the supervisor the summer before because I was getting no support from the committee and you can only do so much on your own !

Can't imagine how I got roped back into coming back as the deputy, I think I was dreaming that a new committee would herald a new start. Ha ha ha !

Oh well I'll give it a few weeks if no change then I shall have to find a new job, shame really as I'm starting my foundation degree on monday and need to be in a setting.

I'm going to have a look round a new nursery which is opening up near me tomorrow they are having an open morning. I wonder if they have anything going......

 

Motherclangerx

 

Ps don't get me wrong I'm sure there are committee run preschool that run smoothly, but ours has never done so.

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I thought committees were supposed to be run in the way which best serves the purpose for which they were set up!

 

I would definitely phone this advisor and get it 'from the horse's mouth' if I were you.

 

Do they know that you are thinking of leaving? They might come to their senses a bit if they did.

 

Good luck with the Foundation Degree course.

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Is it possible that as a new committee they are unsure of themselves and believe they have to do things as they have been advised?

 

Whenever we have a dip in staff/committee relations (it happens we are all human, female and hormonal)! we have a big clear the air session. Might a non-committee meeting staff-committee social?

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The advisor is technically right that is how in that ideal world, where all the committee understand pre-school and the aims, they should run.

 

But reality check we all live in real world and many of know that committees actually need a lot of support from supervisors and managers, because for all the good will in the world they don't have a clue. Bless them, they all have good intentions - but many are mums who have had arms twisted by us to make up numbers.

 

I constantly have this difference of my opinion with my advisor and we always totally ignore her. (in the nicest possible way of course)

 

I totally believe for a committee to run effectively they need a good relationship with the staff and most importnatly the supervisor - they are employing us to run and care for their children, so they need to develop all plans etc with us.

 

I would give the committee lots of support - and emphaise they need to develop a working relationship with the staff team - so common goals are met and you ensure continuity. many of them won't be there next year and staff will need to carry on.

 

Then when all else fails - get technical, talk childcare facts, goverment targets and make your self indispensable.

 

Good luck (sorry not sure where thus early more rant came from - must go and do some housework)

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just had an agm and am quite looking forward to working with this committee, the last 2 years have been dire (with a practiacally non-existant committee)........the resigning chair summed it up when explaining to prospective new chairs what their role entailed with "the chair is the easiest job, you dont do anything" :o

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Yes I, too, am looking forward to the prospect of a 'better' committee this year Our chair has done nothing all year - well she has helped out at fundraising events but has not motivated or even organised an of the other parents to help alongside her.

 

What's most annoying is that the previous chair had built up a huge file of stuff that the committee should be doing month by month but the present chair doesn't appear to have looked at it. Her daughter is with us for another year so we are trying to ensure she doesn't stay on as chair as I am sure she thinks we have had a good year with no problems (true) with her minimal input.

 

We are due Ofsted before next summer and need to get a better committe in place!

 

Jo

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good luck with new committee calicojo, believe me i also had fingers crossed for a change, my QAA said that committee were not aware of their roles and responsibility and with the criteria for quality supplement with new single funding formula being you need a level 1 for leadership and managment being committee run that means them too :o

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Last year we had an 'organiser' who came to me after each parent's meeting and said 'we're going to do this' and for a lot of the stuff I said 'no we're not', because it simply wasn't appropriate. (selling hot dogs in a chapel - er, no) some of the things were things we'd done before and we knew them to be workable, so I let them 'fire away' and they weren't very well organised unfortunately - in fact, last christmas we ended up having one night out for staff (and one parent) and another night out for parents - which no staff attended. That was because they didn't organise themselves fast enough to get something booked in time and didn't like our suggestion of the village pub (supporting local things) so we had a lovely meal and convivial evening at the village pup and they had a pub crawl in the local town!

So this year will be different .........

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Guest MaryEMac

We have a new committee this year and so far they are asking for a lot of staff input at meetings. When we had our AGM, I had to write the agenda because the outgoing chair had no idea what an AGM was. The previous year we had no AGM and just had an ordinary meeting. Also a lot of decisions were made by the chair, secretary and treasurer before any meetings which meant that we had no idea what had been decided until the meeting. At one meeting the chair tried to tell me how to deal with volunteers and how to do inductions for them and any students. Also we were told what activities to do with the children. I was gobsmacked, so this year because we are working different hours and more staffing is needed, I told the new chair that as they employed me to manage the setting on a day to day basis then that is what I would do. I would always inform them if there were any changes but I would do what was necessary for the safety of the children and the smooth running of the playgroup. Sorry, I went on a bit but reading motherclangers post made me quite angry.

 

Mary

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I also wonder what they could possibly have to talk about that is so confidential for half of every meeting!

I have nothing much to add to this discussion about committees but if you equate me to a committee, I would just say that I don't discuss my problems and worries or future plans with staff until they are pretty well formulated in my head. And when I think about the time I spend cogitating and planning away from work, these 'discussions' could easily fill half a staff meeting a month!

 

I think it is a fair question to ask though, if working practices are being changed - and if the relationship between committee and staff is already strained, this will only serve to make people worried and suspicious.

 

And sunnyday, I do know where you're coming from - just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!

 

Maz

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest candidoodi

Thank you all for your comments it has been very intersting to hear your views. Not sure when the next meeting is but I will definitely bring up my concerns and let my voice be heard!.

Many thanks for all your support. What a fab site.

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I have nothing much to add to this discussion about committees but if you equate me to a committee, I would just say that I don't discuss my problems and worries or future plans with staff until they are pretty well formulated in my head. And when I think about the time I spend cogitating and planning away from work, these 'discussions' could easily fill half a staff meeting a month!

 

 

Maz

 

 

BUT there is a major difference between an owner manager who is qualified taking time to consider options and a committee who are unqualified making decisions about things without consulting the person who is..

 

get my drift? its ok if they are qualified to do the role but how many are? and then they go on a power trip changing things they really know very little about..

 

sorry I know of very good committees, mine always were, listened to staff and asked for advice, and allowed me to do the job they employed me to do.. but we hear of so many who are not.

 

Inge

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And sunnyday, I do know where you're coming from - just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!

 

Maz

 

That made me laugh - I thought - Crikey what was I being paranoid about - had to 'go back' to find out! :o

 

These three have now 'settled down' nicely - perhaps they have come to realise 'this lady is not up for being organised'! xD

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