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School run nursery- advice please!


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Hi.

 

I am hoping someone can help me with this little query!

 

From September our maintained nursery will close and the whole nursery day will run "privately"

Currently only the afternoon sessions are private.

 

We have just been told that the private sessions were never set up properly!

 

We have been running since 2007 and have had an Ofsted for just the private sessions (may 2008) and then 3 Ofsted inspections where we were inspected as part of the school because legislation changed and because we were run by the school we didn't need separate registration or inspection any longer. These were Feb 2009, October 2011 and October 2012. ( school was in notice to improve for the last but one inspection hence two so close together!)

 

Not at any time have we been told things weren't right!!! In the inspection on our own we got outstanding and goods!

 

But we have had a change of Head and Governors and everything seems to be a bit of a tangle!

 

My question is if anyone else is out there in a nursery run by the school but is providing private provision what do we need to be doing differently?

 

Finances are separate.

Staff contracts will change to meet the all day private provision.

OFSTED will be notified in writing regarding the change to our early years provision

 

The committee? Well up until now there hasn't been one!! Is this what we need to sort?

We now know this has to be done whereas previously it was just governors we have been told I should be on the committee as manager, and a governors and a couple of parents.

 

Is this why someone at county has told the Head we aren't doing it right?

 

Awaiting your thoughts!!

Please x

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Do you actually have a governing document ie articles of asosciation or a constitution? What sort of organisation are you, charity, sole trader, company? If you give some more info, then I'm sure someone here will be able to help. Just a quick word of warning however: if you are totally changing your governance, then Ofsted could decide that you are changing from 1 type of governance to another, and may require you to re- register....

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That document would be your starting point on how you will/can continue... if you stay with using the same one,assuming there is one, it will be following the regulations set out in it, this should say how many on committee, who they can be, meetings, how often, etc .. if you are dissolving what is there it will need new document and you will probably need to check with Ofsted about if you will be classed as new provision, or just able to extend the hours from part time to full time..

 

​running separately from the school there will also be things like the room hire.. rents , policies and procedures.. H & s, documents , insurance and all the things that go with running an independent setting.. School policies etc that you may have been using will no longer cover you..

Finances will be separate so will need to be able to do the books, wages etc.. and remember to include things like holiday pay, national insurance employers contributions, in any calculations about the running costs.. and ideally build up a redundancy fund just in case it is needed in future..

 

This is usually the other way around with schools wanting to take over the nursery and preschool, not let it go..

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I would assume if you are registered with ofsted for your 'private' provision then they already have your details and so a re-registration should not be necessary ...although they may charge you more (do you know what level you pay at the moment?) Who is the registered body? You say you are not set up properly ...who has told you this ? presumably they have some knowledge!! When you say your money is seperate who is it paid to? are you set up as a company already?

 

Sorry lots of questions......need more info to get to the detail i think!!

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Ok hopefully here's some more info, though not sure if it will help!!

 

In 2007 we lost our afternoon maintained nursery provision because our numbers into reception were cut and county didn't feel we needed two sessions of nursery daily.

 

Because of this decision, that we did fight against (and lost!) our Head at that time decided opening privately in the afternoon would in fact offer some flexibility for parents and allow for more nursery spaces. We also opened Afterschool club.

 

So since September 2007 morning nursery has been maintained with myself and a teacher and the afternoons I work and manage with a level 3 NNEB . I have gained my EYPS in the passing years.

 

So we registered as an early years provider did all the paperwork etc had separate policies etc and got our certificate in April 2007.

We opened in the September.

We had an Ofsted in May 2008 for the private provision alone where we got goods and outstandings.

 

From September that year legislation changed and the provision was no longer separate to the school we came under the school umbrella because it was run by the school for the school.

Under this umbrella we have had 3 inspections.

 

Numbers of children have dwindled and in the past 3 years we have had our head leave, a seconded one come in and then a new one appointed.

Nursery hasn't been high on anyone's radar and but suddenly someone has looked at money and wages etc and decided that the only way to keep our nursery provision open is to close the maintained sessions and elongate the private bit of the day.

 

So basically the teacher loses her job in nursery (though can move through to school) and I manage all of nursery.

 

Because all of the provision will be "private" from September my contract and my staffs contracts will need to change to reflect that we work for the governors not county anymore.

 

I think that when it was originally set up privately all funding and money's coming in went into the school account but in a sub division of it. The staff such as me got paid from that account too.

 

But we have never had a committee just us reporting to the head and governors.

 

I am thinking that because of being totally private the governors need to form some sort of company to run this provision and its here that I can't find who to ask! There isn't just one way for it to work and I keep asking various questions to be told it depends how the governors run it!

 

The early years governor who is new is very enthusiastic but too new to the school and the role to know much to help!

 

Our Head wants the nursery to stay as much a part of the school as possible. He only wants to separate the finances for money coming in and wages going out. He doesn't want the nursery charged for rent etc.

Ultimately when there is a profit made the school will be able to benefit from it so it doesn't make sense for the school to lay loads of charges on us their nursery!!

 

As a little note here, from Sep 2007 till March 2012 the private provision made £55000 and the seconded head spent it all. The old Head who left very suddenly had kept this money aside for a time when numbers were low etc in the private provision, and she the seconded head spent it all.

Yes it was spent in school yes they had the right to do that but to leave us in a financial mess is ludicrous.

Whilst it was schools money the lack of forethought is in my own personal opinion criminal.

 

Anyhow, does any of this help anyone out there??!!!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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ok the way i see it the school has been running you as a subsiduary of the school. Now they must make a decision either to keep you or leave you to set up the company on your own....they can't have it both ways!! They are mucking about in the middle and they cannot continue like that! If they want the gains they need to take the pains! :blink:

So

plan 1....they keep you and run you as part of the school the money is paid into their account and they employ you and the staff

or

plan 2 ....they allow you to become the manager and you take responsibility for the day to day running. The accounts are separate and the money stays in the nursery account

They are messing about with your contracts here...your length of service will be difficult to work out ...but it seems to me that you have been employed by the school all the time. If they want you to take over then new contracts will need to be drawn up. Personally i would go with setting up as a separate enterprise (company!!) with some of the governors as trustees but you in charge of the business (of course i don't know your circumstances) They don't need to charge you rent but you would need an agreement just in case you or they need a get out clause!

Do you have a business do you think...could it sustain itself?

Hope this helps a bit....i may have got the info totally wrong ! :ph34r:

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I agree with Finleysmaid...

​if they want it as a private business, then they cannot expect to gain anything from the profits/income like they have been doing in the past.. they should be totally separate from the school and only used for the private setting, not for the schools benefit.. if they want to gain from the benefits they should continue to employ you etc.

they cannot have the income /gains if they are not willing to take the responsibility . as a private setting it should be just that and any income sued solely for the benefit of the setting. The school should have no say about how it is spent or get any benefit from it..


I do not see It a simple easy task to do.. lots of legalities... is there an lea business advisor any more.. or perhaps contact the PLA for help they may have a business advisor to help.. it is much more complicated than you carrying on, getting a committee and a separate bank account.. There is a lot to untangle..

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