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Pla - Is The Subscription Worth It?


hopeytg
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Hi

 

I am the manager of a village preschool and we have always been members of the PLA and used their insurance. We are currently trying to amend our constitution as we are having problems recruiting committee members and have had nothing but problems with the PLA. We are also in the process of moving into our own building and I am wondering if this is the time to ditch the PLA? - any advice please - have others moved away from the PLA?

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Guest rainyjaney
Hi

 

I am the manager of a village preschool and we have always been members of the PLA and used their insurance. We are currently trying to amend our constitution as we are having problems recruiting committee members and have had nothing but problems with the PLA. We are also in the process of moving into our own building and I am wondering if this is the time to ditch the PLA? - any advice please - have others moved away from the PLA?

We're members too and also have their insurance. Apart from reciving the Under 5 magazine and a slight discount in their publications catalogue, we don't get anything from our membership. We haven't had a visit from them in over 2 years. Would be interested to hear others' views too

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Also members and also no visits but thats partly or mostly because the city (Birmingham) set up their own DWs and took on the role that the PLA DWs had previously had. PLA lost some city funding so the DWs dont come ut unless requested. I have wondered what the worth was of being a member but at teh recent AGM I got a lot of help, at least verbally, from one of the staff.

Really not suer though to be honest, I dont see much worth to it but I'm not sure i want to be without them, they are good when you need them.

 

This is where being a typical indecisive Librian shows itself!!

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I'm kind of the same opinion. We don't have support workers and really only have stayed without them because the insurance was marginally cheaper than other companies even without he cost of the membership included. It's something we've decided to keep up for that reason for the time being but if the insurance is cheaper elsewhere we will probably be looking at leaving them. I'd be interested to hear if you make that decision and if there are any drawbacks or issues.

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We are members of the PLA and they have been very helpful.

I am the chair of the pre-school and when we had issues regarding staffing Lawcall has been invaluable.

We are also very lucky in the fact that our PDO has been amazingly helpful and is happy to come and visit whenever we need her. She really has helped to turn the pre-school around.

We do not use PLA insurance - instead we use Morton Michael.

With regards to the constitution can be more tricky getting it approved by the charity commission if its not a preapproved one from the PLA

Hope this helps

Kirsty

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Thanks for the responses - it seems the PLA offer a very different 'service' in different areas - to my knowledge we have never had a visit or any contact unless I contact them. I will look at alternatives for insurance and come back to you - regarding employment law - I found ACAS far more useful.

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we only had them because of the insurance... but if you are a member you don't have to use their constitution, we didn't, ours was different - we had out own and had it approved by charity commission..

 

Inge

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we have never seen anyone from the PLA, never get any visits. We recently had a stituation where we had to use lawcall but found that everytime we called we got someone different on the phone who gave us different information. so i'm not sure whether it is worth it or not?

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I gave up PLA subscription some years ago when I felt they were slow to help PVI's in the struggle against the government setting the hourly rate so low for the education grant funding.

 

We haven't, so far, missed being a member, they were tailing off their involvement in my area anyway and the slack was taken up by the LEA with Early Years Advisory Teachers and the like

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I heard one of the execs speak earlier this month. She was very passionate about our role and how she aims to help us by passing on information she receives from county level to the minister Sarah Treacher. I liked what she had to say, but I suppose it depends on whether your region r county are close to you to pass on your concerns.

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As a former PLA staff member I've been watching this thread with interest. Our local branch went into terminal decline when our Local Authority employed almost all our development workers, and as such members were not reaping the benefits of regular visits. It became hard to sustain a branch committee in the face of reducing LA funding as it built up its own early years team, although of course that team was staffed by quite a few ex-PLA members so we were still indirectly benefitting from that knowledge and experience.

 

As a private group I could never really see the point of being a PLA member, and so we let our membership lapse and transferred our insurance policy to Morton Michele. I can't say I've missed being a member particularly, although I really rate their publications - most especially their policies, handbooks etc which make life so much easier.

 

I know that LAWCALL is used by many people, although it is fair to say that most policies offer a similar service to its members. I also know that LAWCALL is of little benefit to employees since in any dispute, only the management/committee of the group is entitled to use it.

 

What has come across to me from this discussion is that members' experiences vary around the country and I wonder if this is linked to whether or not there is an active branch committee who can provide the services of development workers to maintain good relationships with settings?

 

I have to say that as an organisation the PLA is fantastic for encouraging people to meet their potential and for supporting groups and individuals to be as effective as they can. Although we have had no branch committee here in Windsor and Maidenhead, a group of us still meet several years on so all those values we upheld as volunteers and employees are still going strong!

 

Maz

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