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Hello,

 

I have a new committee this year and some of them are worried about personal liability. Does anyone have any experience of CIO

 

and the pros and cons please?

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Hi Finleysmaid,

 

I guess my main concerns having contacted Ofsted was about the amount of extra admin involved , like CRB re checking for all staff and new directors.

The changing of committee members to company directors - will this be harder to find parents to take on the role?

 

The change of ethos from being a parental involvement group to being more like a Ltd Company

 

Annual reporting etc ?

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ok crb's have not been redone(for those that are still employed)....this has been checked with ofsted 3 times and with tmg also!! annual reporting virtually the same as you do now for charities commission, parents in a way have just swopped their roles from committee to trustees (though their job roles are a bit different) You do not need to change your trustees as often (though can if you wish) so maybe more strategic (like governors) roles ie finance/maintenence etc.

It really hasn't been a big culture shock and much easier to get people to do the job because the liability is so limited

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You will probably pay more to have your books audited though - we have little enough income that our accountants were charging us less than £100 to check the books but on a less than 12 month year in 2010 (part with the old charity & part with the new company) we paid over £500 and that was with the accountants cutting it as much as they could.

 

Our culture shock part has been for the staff who were not used to thinking of the parents' committee as the big boss, more as some people who were nice to have around...

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Can I ask what the main reasons were for your group to move to CIO ?

 

Was it just to remove the personal liability of individual committee members ?

 

We have a reserve fund with redundancy money in should we ever have to close, so I don't see the immediate benefits for our group, just the extra paperwork involved in making the change and the loss as you say of having parental involvement exchanged for a corporate type. structure.

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Can I ask what the main reasons were for your group to move to CIO ?

 

Was it just to remove the personal liability of individual committee members ?

 

We have a reserve fund with redundancy money in should we ever have to close, so I don't see the immediate benefits for our group, just the extra paperwork involved in making the change and the loss as you say of having parental involvement exchanged for a corporate type. structure.

 

We were given money by our LEA to build a new building & were told that we should do that - I guess to protect the large amounts of money we had for that short time of the build. Huge amounts of paperwork, lots of money - if it's right for your setting, go for it, but think very carefully about whether it is right!

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Lyanne...you seem to have had a bad experience with this...can i just ask what extra paperwork you needed to do (having a slight panic i have missed something!) we were already a charity so that was all done. The pre-school took on a lease for the new building and we were told to become a limited company in order to limit the liability... our committee was insured for this but it does not cover you for everything and at the end of the day if someone sues you it will be the members of the committee and the manager who are persued for the costs (which may be millions if a child dies or is seriously injured) when you become a company then the liability is not down to an individual. We had also suffered from losing members because they were partners in their own (or husbands ) companies and did not want to put their homes and businessess at risk so would not form part of the committee. We also wanted to stop having to swop members every year and so the plan is to try and get trustees to commit to us for a longer period of time which would allow us the opportunity to plan more effecively for the future. My feeling is that all pre-school ought to be looking towards becoming companies as the risk of being taken to court is rising with all these no win no fee type claim companies...protect yourself or risk losing all you own! :o

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