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Reforms To Committee Leadership?


Guest Spiral
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Guest Spiral

I was just wondering whether the prposed adjustments to the EYFS would enable committee leadership to firm up and devlop further.

 

It's just a thought, but I've recently been discussing a great many issues with colleagues from other settings within our County and it seems a number of us have similar problems (mostly to do with gaining committee members, retaining them once they know the weight of the roles as well as the committee supporting us, the staff).

 

Through these issues, it does seem that the managers are willing to take on many of the responsibilities as they are aware of the importance of them being done well and fast ( for instance it was so daunting when I was on a committee and I had to prepare for Ofsted to interview me as the named registered person).

 

Thinking broadly, the funding may need to change as well, due to the amount of responsibility already placed on senior staff, yet the pay being non reflective.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on how this could change for the better of the settings?

 

Just bouncing ideas around and frustrated at the lack of of support from the main groups who impose the formalities (PSLA, Charity Commission etc).

 

ps. for those of you who are committee members and are dedicated, supportive and generous with your time WELL DONE!

 

Spiral

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I don't think anything will change - it's all down to the charity commission and charity law, which doesn't change overnight. Just remember, though, that it is not the PSLA who impose the formalities - they just have to work within charity law, the same as any voluntary organisation - they might advise on what is correct, but they don't impose! and if you are not getting the support from them it is probably because their funding has been cut (as it has been in many areas) and they are not able to support in the same way as they have in former years. I think the PSLA has been very supportive over the years to settings who have to work in a very difficult way, constrained by charity law.

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Tickell review discussion

 

eyfs review

 

tes report on review

 

 

not that any is to do with committee and running of the groups, mainly Charity law which is the reason they are run the way they are.. and have to be.. along with Ofsted regulations to follow.

 

PLA are not ones which say how we have to run things or set any rules, in fact they are the ones who have made a lot of sense of the rules we have to run by and help the groups realise the implications and help them in this.

 

as to more money to help.. not the way things are... funding hardly covers running costs of most groups and with all the things which constantly go up but are not factored in ( Min wage, holiday entitlement, nat ins employer contribution) makes the funding worth less and less each year. This responsibility has been taken up by many staff for years..

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Sprial - I agree with your comments - we have tried to move from a committee (which we struggle to fill) to 3 trustees, I have been manager for a while and make the majority of decisions but still have to run things past committee, but trying to get the few committee members we have together is nigh on impossible. PLSA were absolutely no help at all - they wanted all of our assests if we changed our constitution - The PLSA has assests in the millions so I don't think their funding cut is justifiable for lack of support - sorry but I get annoyed when we are struggling to pay the minimum wage to staff who do a bloody good job. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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what you have to realise is that the local PSLA is not funded by National PSLA directly and relies on local authorities for development worker's salaries. Our local PSLA have been fantastic support and have lost their funding for development workers and will no longer be able to support settings. This is really sad and it will be interesting to see how things will be in the future without their support. As for PSLA wanting to take your assts - that is what it says on the constitutution, which was adopted by your setting!

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PLSA were absolutely no help at all - they wanted all of our assests if we changed our constitution - The PLSA has assests in the millions so I don't think their funding cut is justifiable for lack of support - sorry but I get annoyed when we are struggling to pay the minimum wage to staff who do a bloody good job. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

 

Well they can only take your assets if your constitution says they can, does it? if it does then this is only because your setting adopted it.

I dont think they have assets into the millions either, your local PSLA is funded by service level agreements from you LA not from National PSLA. Many LA's have cut this SLA or dropped it altogether which is where the funding cuts come into it.

 

Quite honestly I cannot see any difference being made to the way we run- we have to abide by the CC rules and they dont look set to change at all- under the PM's 'Big Society' they look set to do anything but.

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Apologies for ruffling feathers - I was not even aware there was a local PSLA we have certainly never had any contact from anyone other than the National Office - and they certainly have a lot of money in the bank - perhaps they should use some to support the local association - it is clear to see on the Charities Commission site.

RE the constitution we have tried to adopt a different one which does not allow them to have our assests but there are so many restrictions and 'hoops' to jump through with Charities commission etc even our solicitor has hit a brick wall.

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I was under the impression that in order to chnage your constitution you had to have ameeting to agree it. Its your constitution even if it is borrowed from the PLA and so you can change it.

If I was you I'd phone the CC and ask them, they are very strict in my experience but also very good at clearing things up for you.

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You can't change a PLA constitution in any way without permission from the PLA. The National, Divisional and local branches of the PLA are all having to make people redundant - the reason that National may have alot of money in the bank is because it is a very large organisation, but that doesn't mean they have spare money- the fact that they are having to make redunancies is evidence of this.

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quite right you cannot change PLA constitution... but you can choose to adopt a different one which complies with the C.Commission , even if you currently have PLA one no reason not to have the appropriate meetings and choose to adopt a different constitution...

 

we did that and was ok... just lodged the new one with CC and our assets went to a local charity if we closed... such a long time ago now cannot remember where we got one to use as a model but it was perfectly legal.. and we were members of PLA . Think the key was to have one the CC were Ok with.

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the pla give you a MODEL constitution ...that means that you should be able to adjust to meet your needs as long as they agree and that the result is still legal, We have in the past changed the time that a chair could be in the job(this was many years ago).

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Guest Spiral

Sorry guys, I know it's a can of worms.

 

The difficulties we have experienced primarily come from the difficulties in gaining committee members and ensuring they are then happy to remain when they realise the weight of being a trustee. . . OR hoping they would reduce the pressures they have caused within the setting.

 

Currently, within our setting, there has been lots of additional stresses as they would like to prioritise their own children, criticise the staff and managers etc. YET, we have on the odd occasion had the most amazing people who have really made it work and they are the most special of people.

 

My major concerns are that there are so many issues and concerns stemming from a system that doesn't work - not only for those with early years, but other groups such as voluntary organisations (local footie, youth groups etc). The revision of the EYFS could open a narrow gap and certainly could at least reflect upon the system, maybe providing a voice?

 

I think the PLA does a fab job, but at some point there must be a united voice for the masses, because the system itself is failing many groups - similar to the initial reasons for the movement which led the PLA to develop way back in the 60's. However, having one group who provide model constitutions and interprets a great many aspects could be a little narrowing perhaps?

 

When will the government get together with the PLA and the LA advisors and air it out, planning a way forwards that ensures we feel protected and able to develop our workforce, ensuring we can afford to pay properly and reward training etc appropriately, yet also trying to protect when committee's go a little wrong and providing security for the staff and managers. Surely this would have been a great time for the ball to start being slowly rolled!

 

Spiral

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But that's partly what the PSLA have done in the past- it's largely thanks to them campaigning that we are now funded for 38 weeks of the year, same as maintained schools,- when the funding first started we were only given 33 weeks per year.

if it hadn't been for them doing examples of a constitution, then many small groups would have had no idea what to do or where to go to find one- many moons ago when it was first decided we should all become registered charities.

As Inge has said it is only a MODEL constitution- we dont use it, we have our own. It is in the main based on the PSLA one BUT we dont give our assets to them if we fold and being an RC group our admissions are slightly different. We have amended it twice though and it was as easy as anything.

So PSLA wont take your assets if you change it, unless your constitution says it can & if it does then it isn't a psla one but if it is then they will take it all on;y if you close. But you can adopt a new one. I'm not sure when they the PSLA started to become the bad guy, they really aren't and they certainly dont make the rules that we are governed by. If you have no local branch then that is probably because your LA wouldn't finance them or preferred to use their own Dev Workers

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Guest Spiral

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, it certainly hasn't been intentional.

 

The concerns I have are not being thought up, they have been experienced not only by myself but a great many others.

 

My LA advisor has concerns too - in fact I haven't met anyone from my LA who doesn't feel worried about the committee system in general.

 

Of course we have adopted the PLA constitution and changed the bits we need to, that is a huge part of adopting, but it still remains that there needs to be clarity.

 

The Charity commission have some of the most complicated rules and they are not reflected well in practice. Maybe theCharity Commission sould host some open discussions where we can vent some of the concerns with representatives from our the LA's and the PLA..I'm sure both of them would have some very well structured questions that would leave the Charity Commission really thinking about how their systems and the laws around them can cause issues and concerns.

 

I have not launched an attack on the PLA and I apologise once again if that is how it reads,

Spiral.

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Spiral, please dont apologise, you haven't any need to and certainly haven't offended.

I didn't think you were attacking PSLA and in part do agree with some of what you said.

I would far rather not have committee run groups. I honestly dont feel there is any place for them now in todays society. They were great years ago when most children had families with one parent not working. But now trying to find enough people who have the time to give the right sort of commitment year after year is almost impossible. This is to say nothing of the legalities. rules and responsibilities.

I think the problem with the CC rules are that they are made for large charities as well as groups like ours and really one size just doesn't fit all.

Once again, no offense was taken and I think it's great that we can have different opinions and air them- wouldn't do for us all to think the same would it :o

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i do understand where you are coming from spiral and over the last decade my group has changed considerably in order to deal with these issues. My committee are now much more like governors of a school...the running of it day to day is up to me as their'headteacher'. We have from this week become incorporated in order to lessen the effects of liability. We now only need 4 trustees and are still registered with the CC. The reason for doing this is because we are due to take on a great deal of financial risk by moving the pre-school to new premises. The lease can now be signed by the trustees and the risk to them will be greatly reduced. We split our management group from our fundraising group 3 years ago and this now works much more effectively. The problem i find with a lot of groups (like ourselves) is that traditionally we have just gone on doing our stuff but the business side has not developed at the rate needed to cope with changes in funding etc. Pay will always be an issue. :( Why do you think that the review might change things? and what complicated rules from the charities commission are you particularly concerned about...being part of this system has changed very little about the way we work...am i missing something? as to the pla we are still members but have no links in this area (havent had for years), they offer little in terms of relevant training and are useless at answering their phones xD but i will still continue to support them as a voice for sessional pre-schools which have different issues from some of the full day care nurseries and perhaps a different ethos.

sorry probably rambling had a rather wierd week :o

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