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Stay committee run or join the school?


flowlow
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Hi all

 

I wonder if any of you can help? we are at the moment a committee run pre-school that operates out of a memorial hall. We have excellent links with one of the primary schools which is about 100/200 yards down the road.

 

We struggle as I am sure most of us do to get parents to sign up for the committee. Although we are a fairly big pre-school for the area we also have a lot of competition in the local town. Therefore if we say without committee we shut I get the feeling most people just think fine we'll go elsewhere.

 

We decided that we wouldn't want to go onto the school grounds as we are used to the big space and autonomy of the hall and (to cut a long story short) we are instrumental in keeping the building going and wouldn't want to see it closed or knocked down. However we are thinking possibly of asking to 'come under' the school governors. The school seem ok about this but said we would need to be responsible for the pre-school finances (although treasurer is one of the hardest jobs to fill on the committee)

 

My question therefore really is does anybody have an experience of working like this? has anybody done this? and generally what are your thoughts?

 

thanks all

xx

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If you come under the school 'umbrella' will you be perceived by parents as their feeder nursery, and put of some parents who don't want their children to go to that school? Do all your children currently go to that school anyway?

 

I know Cait is seriously thinking of losing the committee status thing as we find it increasingly hard to find parents who are willing and able to do the roles. It's hard enough just getting a PTA-type of group to do fundraising etc!

 

We'll be following this thread with interest!

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We do have two feeder schools but to be honest there isn't that many that go to the other, for example last year all 24 went to the primary school we are thinking about and none to the other school, this year 20 are going to the one we are thinking about and only 3 to the other. We would have to stay in the hall, we think but we would just report to headteacher and governors rather than committee I guess. At the moment I am the manager so what would happen to my role I am uncertain I guess I would still be needed to run the place after all it would make sense.

 

Actually its not that we are unhappy with out committee we have at the moment the best one yet but about five/six years ago we had a really bad one and it made life so hard. Then the fact that every October they step down and we have to go through the process of getting to know everybody all over again, cover the same ground on why things work like they do etc.... although again the committee's we have had the for the last five/six years have been fantastic and stood for several years to give some consistency but now their children are going to school and many want to step down.

 

Also does anybody know if we place ourselves under the umbrella of the school what do we do about the charity and limited company status that we currently hold? I would have thought they would have 'to go'

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I don't know. When we originally started we were at the school, in the hall, and were told that we had to join the PSLA, which we did, then that we had to adopt their constitution, which we did, and then that we had to be registered as a charity, which we did. Apparently none of that was true, as we found out later, so we ended up with a lot of red tape that we could have done without! If we could have just been left to get on with it, we would have gone to sole trader status rather than charity, even though we would have missed out on some grant funding in the early days.

 

Your early years advisor would be the one to ask, I suppose

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We are under the schools umbrella which means we are inspected as part of the schools inspection.

 

We are in the schools building though!

 

It's a tricky situation right now as apparently although running since 2007 we mIght not have been set up properly back then (3 heads ago!).

 

What I do know is that finances have to be separate. Totally.

This is because the school can't be seen to be subsidising the early years provision.

It's also my understanding that if under the school umbrella you would be bound by the county's pay scale regarding staff pay.

 

You would have to have a committee and the manager would be on it as well as the early years governor, possibly reception class teacher and one or two parents. The governor would then take any issues forward to governors meetings.

 

As I say this is all pretty new to me and not sorted out entirely yet!

 

Hope you find out more useful info!

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Hello, I'm in the opposite position to you at the moment! We are a nursery on school grounds (separate building) and managed by the governors and have a sub committee made up from governors. A new HT was appointed last year and she decided that the nursery didn't fall into her role and therefore didn't want to have that responsibility. This opened up a bigger can of worms and the governors are now reviewing there roles and responsibilities which could mean we will have to close or look at other options.

 

I would suggest that if you join the school just ensure that all the governors involved understand right from the start what their roles and responsibilities are as far as your pre-school is concerned.

Good luck

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We are under the schools umbrella which means we are inspected as part of the schools inspection.

 

We are in the schools building though!

 

It's a tricky situation right now as apparently although running since 2007 we mIght not have been set up properly back then (3 heads ago!).

 

What I do know is that finances have to be separate. Totally.

This is because the school can't be seen to be subsidising the early years provision.

It's also my understanding that if under the school umbrella you would be bound by the county's pay scale regarding staff pay.

 

You would have to have a committee and the manager would be on it as well as the early years governor, possibly reception class teacher and one or two parents. The governor would then take any issues forward to governors meetings.

 

As I say this is all pretty new to me and not sorted out entirely yet!

 

Hope you find out more useful info!

thank for this we didn't know that the finance had to be separate but that was just the schools request as the head and admin lady is responsible for two primary schools and they didn't want the extra work load on the admin lady!

 

Am I reading you right then that we would still need a committee, as this is the main reason for trying to come under the schools umbrella than it would seem this wouldn't fix our problem? :huh:

 

Actually Mrsb this is one of my fears I am so used to being an autonomous practice and don't want to create more problems down the road. Although we would remain in the hall it seems so I guess really we would mostly be forgotten unless there was a problem or a meeting! so much to think on :huh:

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