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Taking Over A Committee Run Setting? -


hopeytg
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I currently manage a committee run setting and once again we are looking for a new chair and treasurer. It is the same struggle every 2 years and I seem to spend a lot of time cajoaling people into taking on the role. A colleague has approached me with the suggestion that we change from committee led to owing it between us but still run as a charity? - Has anyone done this and is it a nightmare but worth it in the end or is it a fairly simple procedure? I would appreciate any suggestions where I can go for formal advice but if any of you have done this your top tips would be gratefully received.

We currently run from a Parish Hall but are looking to purchase our own building to put on their land - so far Capital Funding

has not been forthcoming so we are looking at alternative ways to raise the money.

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We are in the same position, our chair is stepping down and we are in the same boat again. Parents don't seem to want to take on this role and are all working parents.

We are about to have a very busy time, we are about to move to a new refurbished room in about 5 weeks and we will need all the support from the committee as we can.

 

If any one can give any further info on how to run like this it would be appreciated.

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Hi there was a really good thread on this a couple of weeks ago . Sorry I dont know how to post a link but it was titled 'Change of ownership , how much notice do i need to give ofsted ' and it was posted in the nursery management forum - on third page of this forum - hope that helps Dizzzz

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Watching this post with interest we have this problem every year when the children leave us to 'big' school - this antiquated committee system is so out of touch with the reality of life in a busy Pre School/playgroup that it is no surprise we find it difficult to recruit committee members. When they realise they are ultimately accountable to Ofsted etc. for everything and quite often they have no early years experience or business management qualifications at all - it is one perennial struggle.

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Hi,

 

it was me who posted the other thread refered to.

 

I have almost completed the process of taking over as a private business from committee run - just waiting for the new certificate from Ofsted so fingers crossed.

 

unfortunately I am really struggling with the landowners (church diocese) who haven't noticed our pre-school being here for the last 3.5 years but now someone (me) wants to invest in a new building at no cost to them they are making things very difficult - very frustrating!

 

if you dont have premises issues, it's not too difficult although we were not a registered charity so I can't comment on the charity commision side of things. Ofsted said the changeover would take up to 25 weeks but it will probably (hopefully) have been done and dusted in a month and they have been very helpful.

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It sounds to me like you want to keep running as a non profit rather than taking over and running it as a business? I think there was something called a community interest group or something like that which someone posted about recently which is a kind of halfway house. Sorry that's all I remember but I'm sure someone will be along soon to help.

 

Speaking as chair, the things we are expected to do as a committee are really far beyond reasonable. If I didn't have a background in education anyway there is no way I could do the job I'm doing. I'm not sure what the answer is, since funding doesn't actually even cover our staffing costs. I do love the ethos of our charity run group though and luckily we have good parents who are willing to muck in.

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I totally agree.

 

Times have changed, more Mums are working and we just don't even get parent volunteers never mind Committee members.

 

I really feel the 'cart and horse' set up of Committee run pre-schools no longer is fit for the purpose of driving on the EYFS Ofsted regulated modern day motor ways full of health and safety potholes.

 

I know why these groups were set up. I know if they didn't exist some places would not have a local facility but they are so dependant on goodwill , volunteers and hours of unpaid overtime. Husbands working in businesses can't believe that they are allowed to run in this way.

i run one such setting and am a committee member on another so see both sides and it isn't good from either viewpoint but is good for the children.

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Hi,

 

yes, as Suzie says there is something called a Community Interest Company which you can google. But CICs dont have the same tax status so you would still have to pay VAT and couldn't claim it back again which is why I went with a private business - less regulation and paperwork than a charity or CIC and I can have complete control as a sole director (I know I sound like a meglomaniac but I do have the children and families' interests at heart, it just means I don't have to keep asking permission or consulting people other than people who's opinions I want - staff, parents, children).

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this sounds a great idea - we are a committee run group and a charity - and like everyome else we have so much trouble trying to get a committee and chair who then disappear after a year or two- can anyone give me further details on what to do - we are a registered charity and belong to the preschool learning alliance - where do i start?

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Hi

 

I supervisor a committee run group. The committee are excellent at fundraising but running a business forget it. and why should they?

 

I have been supervising the group for 3 years and it has been a nightmare. All paperwork is now up to date, staff great, but them found out that the committee had left £12,000 in building society account and no one could get access to it. I sorted that one after a few sleepless nights and how you know.....

 

Now find accounts now been finished for 2007/ 2008. next one to sort.

 

Found a registration certificate in the chairs file that should have been on the wall in Sept 09.

 

It's not working but I don't believe privately run groups are the answer....

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I'm sure that as a registered charity you would have to have a board of trustees, i,e a committee, or the equivalent. I dont think that a sole ownership could qualify as a charity

 

Of course I could be wrong, often am :o Unfortunately I have nothing here to check it against

Ring your local PSLA DW (if you have one) and ask them for advice. Or your EY's advisor one of them should be able to help

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i think with a community interest company it is the same you need a group of trustees and where would they come from and would they be any better or want to stay longer than committee members?? hence private company

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I have been looking into switching to a CIC from a registered (committee run) charity basically due to our long standing committee maybe having to step down due the length of time they have been on the committee! (It's not all that rosy here honest!). As someone mentioned a few posts back I found the down side everyone mentioned was the loss of VAT status but we are not currently claiming VAT back as we don't charge it to the parents (this is the explanation we have been given). Does anyone else get to claim VAT back and how? It would save us a fortune if we could!

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Just come back from a committee meeting and even more determined to get away from committee run setting - may just be the parents currently on but they only seem interested in what is best for their child - not the setting. I don't think they have a clue of the amount of work I do which should technically be done by them. Someone did mention the CIC as an option so it is a route I will look at - from the replies it is definately an problematic area for a lot of settings. Thank you for your responses they are very useful and I look forward to reading more replies.

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we have this problem every year so can sympathise... we have looked into the cic route and we didnt get very far as we were told we would have to sell off our asssetts first,this is because we are a charity at the moment,we would have to dissoleve the chairity, is this correct... it totally confused me..... i would love to know how others get on with this....

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