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Application Forms/interviews For New Committee Members?


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Hello! It's coming up to AGM time and we're eagerly anticipating the deluge of parents who can't wait to join committee - ho ho ho!

 

We're considering askign them to fill out an application form. We want to know that people standing for election are doing so for the right reasons (what they hope to give to the commitee and also what they hope to achieve personally) and also we want to find out a bit more about them and their skills. We also think it would be a more professional approach.

 

We're wondering whether we should follow the same process as we do for a volunteer who would work with the children i.e. application form with education and employment history along with interview. This would be great from a safeguarding perspective but we think it might be a bit over the top and put some people off! On the other hand we're unlikely to check that every single qualification and job is accurate...therefore is there any point in asking for this info apart from getting the usual 2 references?

 

What are your experiences? How would you feel as a new committee member being presented with a detailed application form?

 

Thanks in advance for your wisdom :)

 

TFAC

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as a committee member i would run a mile....

 

as someone who worked for a committee I also feel they would run a mile... i had issues every year getting enough for a committee anyway ending up most years threatening that i could not open if they did not do it...

 

just the introduction of CRBs caused us issues with several deciding not to follow through with their election to the committee...

 

isnt this what Ofsted forms for committee are for.. they are the ones who approve committee members as suitable.

 

Inge

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We have never had applications forms. when a parent shows interest we explain what is involved and hopefully if that does not put them off ,they will offer their services. under our constitution all parents are automatically members ofthe committee and have a right to attend meetings , it is only certain posts such as chair secreaary etc who get voted on.

 

Having sat on several committees I would certainly be put off my an application form. a friendly face giving advice and information would certainly be more helpful than a form.

 

Good luck

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In what circumstances can you see yourselves excluding a prospective committee member on the basis of an application form or interview?

 

Do you have fierce competition for the committee roles and lots of candidates to choose from?

 

Or is it just that you think it would help people decide who to vote for (in which case asking them to say a little bit about themselves at the meeting may be more appropriate)?

 

Ask yourself what information you need then decide on the best way to get find out information. I don't think it looks any more professional to ask for application forms and I would certainly have been put off.

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Thanks all for your replies. No, we're certainly not inundated with people, in fact it's just as most of you say...it's very difficult to get people to join the committee at all. Also in common with you we're worried that having an application form will put people off.

 

Although committee members aren't applying to work with the children, the more involved ones will be around and about the pre-school and will therefore become familiar faces to a lot of the children. I think we just want to make sure that we're doing as much as we possibly can to safeguard the children.....or are we being paranoid!?!?

 

Undoubtedly it would be useful to know people's skills and where those skills would be put to best use.

 

Good question Upsy Daisy - I'm not sure anyone would disclose any information that would lead us to exclude them from committee - which begs the question, why bother asking for the info in the first place I guess. Perhaps the mere fact that there is an application form would put off anyone with less than good intentions. We doubt that anyone with bad intentions woudl ever volunteer to join the committee but you never know....

 

The jury is still out at this end. your responses will very valuable in helping us to make a decision :)

 

Thanks again everyone.

 

TFAC

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I think it is great that you are considering the welfare of the children throughout this process and it is entirely possible (although highly unlikely) that someone with underhand motives could volunteer for a pre-school committee.

 

You are not being paranoid, you are being reflective which is brilliant.

 

I can't imagine an application process helping you to weed out anyone but then I can't think of anything else that would either, unless they have a conviction which is identified by a CRB check. I guess you would trust your gut instincts if you are unsure of someone's motives and keep a closer eye anyway.

 

If you feel that you need to address the issue of committee members being around the children perhaps a review of your safeguarding policy might reassure you?

 

I would be interested to hear what you eventually decide to do.

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To be honest as chair I don't have any more contact with the children than I do by being a parent, probably less in fact. I need a new treasurer and secretary and I am at the stage of begging people so definitely don't want to put anyone off the idea by adding forms into the mix.

 

We have to have CRB check anyway (had one for a volunteer post at school as well!) and I had a suitable person letter from Ofsted (not sure why) as well. Plus I'm a qualified teacher so I guess that stands for something.

 

This quote from our SEF might make you smile (I couldn't resist adding it, hope O don't take offence):

 

"One big issue for us is the changeover between committee members - sadly we do not have queues of parents waiting in line to take over and give of their time voluntarily to do such a complex job with such a lot of paperwork involved."

 

I think that says it all really :o

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Hello! Thanks again for all your input. Just a quick update: we have reassured ourselves that we're doing plenty re: safeguarding and we're ticking all the boxes. We will probably ask people to complete a short form to let us know their skills and preferences, what they like doing and what they definitely don't; we'll steer clear of qualifications and employment history.

 

Suzie - our experience chimes with your SEF. Before I joined committee I had absolutely No Clue - 3 years on I'm a bit more savvy but could never do the Chair job. You have to be Sales Manager, HR Manager, Marketing Manager etc. all rolled into one, often without any prior experience!! But that's another thread/rant! Really hope you find people for your committee. :o

 

TFAC

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