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struggling with committee members - move from charity based?


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Hiya,

 

new to the forum hello :)

i am currently chair of a pre-school and struggling with commitment from current committee who step down this year and struggling to get new committee for next year.

 

i was looking last night and seen that we could change the constitution (local lea tried to make out we cant but read on here we can) so was thinking i will change that to say we want less % of family members. - has anyone done this? i know it has to go to charity commission for approval - anyone else?

 

I also read last night.stupid oclock this morning about moving to community based business?, or business with charity status?

- sorry titles are wrong it was 3am when i was reading.

how do we look into this properly? anyone got any advise? is this worth doing?

 

thanks

 

gen

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Welcome to the forum.. there are several who have managed the change in one way or another, so hopefully some will come along and give more information.. I know it was often a long process.. but worth all the effort..

Changing the constitution may be the way to start... I know several groups now have staff as committee members, not in officers roles but as other committee members . Not sure if it is worth considering.

It is all a real difficulty these days with so much that needs doing it becomes more and more difficult to get people to help.. and to be honest it is a much harder job than most imagine. Particularly when most have no real knowledge of the way things should work, all the rules and regulations involved and I hate to say it ,but some thinking they know more than the people involved in the day to day running and not listening to those they employ with all the expertise they have. Ok, not all are like that but have been in some really bad committee situations over the years...

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I have had many similar issues over the years. This is a fundamental flaw of voluntary management committees as they have the responsibility for good governance and compliance but often don't realise what is involved and the reality is that the staff know much more about the operation of the setting. Many constitutions state that committees must be made up of a certain percentage of users but this brings a conflict of interest and realistically, many parents interest in settings only extends to how it affects them and their child.

 

My advice to you would be to approach your local council for Voluntary Services as they can advice you in some detail about legal structures, constitutions and how to move forward with any proposed changes. Their services are free and they are very experienced in this area.

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We are a charity run playgroup and have recently changed our consitution so that staff can be on the committee, although they cannot hold officer roles. It means we do have some consistency each year but we still find it hard to fill the key roles. We agreed it at a committee meeting, then changed our constituion and updated the Charities Commission. It was quite an easy process and we had help from the PreSchool Alliance.

 

We are also looking for other ways to run as a charity but not have the stress of appointing a chair, secretary and treasurer each year. Sadly most parents work now, so they have less time to commit to joining a committee.

 

I will watch the post with interest!

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I think that this is a really common problem that gets harder every year and with each AGM. We are a charity run pre-school. We spend the month before our AGM 'blackmailing' parents to join. We have to explain that without a committee we would have to close down. The down side of this is that they join but don't actually do anything because as others have said - lack of knowledge, sometimes lack of motivation or simply lack of time. We have had to vote staff onto the committee over the past couple of years to deal with the fact that we replaced our building. Very steep learning curve but thats another story! Our treasurer has been with us for several years but according to our constitution she will have to step down soon. We hold alternate committee meetings during the day and the evening to accomodate everyone. We have been considering changing our status although much more research is needed before we make that decision. I believe it means re-registering with Ofsted etc and not sure how it would affect applying for grants and funding etc.

I will also be watching this post with interest. ;)

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thanks everyone

we have the leader agree last night to join the committee, i have changed the constitution to say basically " we will try get parents" isp i have also removed the clause on length of time because of this reason lol.

 

we now have 5 for next year and tbh i am happy to keep it at that because like you all say they dont do anything, or dont understand and cant make decisions,

tbh i think i have a good set up with the leader, i come up with my crackpot ideas she says yeah or nay and visa versa and we decide as a pair want to go to committee with for approval but in reality we have made the decision and just want a signature - its madness!

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