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So long story, but I manage a committee run provision that is really getting me down. We aren't moving forward with the times, have no idea what is being done.

So, If as manager you felt that things were being run the wrong way from above in many ways, that stops you from managing and running the provision effectively because you are doing their tasks or can't do anything, because the committee haven't.

What would you do??

Leave and let all the hard work you have done just go to waste

Seek referral from Local Authority and tell them the mess everything is on to get back on right track


I will add that I am fully supportive of our committee, I have been on that side too and it is very hard - so please don't view my post as a critical attack on volunteers.



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sounds like you're going to have to get tough. Have you done appraisals with the staff? have you done a staff meeting and laid the law down?? is there one member of staff winding the rest up (often the case!!!) Remember that you are NOT their friend you are their employer. Hard but true ...my staff have all worked with me for a long time but they all know that if I have to I will draw a line in the sand.

If you have a clear vision of where you want to get to ...tell them/show them/train them they need to buy in to your vision and why they need to change ...everyone is change averse, much easier to stick with what you know!

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Completely agree with fm , you have to be tough , be prepared for the fall out though. As manager you are responsible for the day to day running and the committee and staff should support you in your vision. Make sure you have the justification as to why you are doing this and that whatever it is is beneficial for your setting. 

People find change hard , many committtee members don't know much about the actual policies , methods etc so may rely on you to put this across to them. 

If your passionate enough this will come across . 

Sadly as Fm said you are their employer not friend , I always made that clear that work was work and no reflection of friendship outside . Sadly any friends I thought I had are now no longer since my leaving . 

But if you can be strong and confident on what is it you want to achieve for the setting then you must do it as parents and children will recognise it . 

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Are you a PLA member? they have documents to help support you in telling the committee what they should/need to be doing, also have you an area advisor or PLA adviser that can come to a committee meeting and help explain and discuss where you are as a management team and how to move forward.

I would (and have done) written down what i NEED as a manager from them and then keep on top of them doing it, I ask very little from them as they are volunteers but they also have engaged in taking on the position so I ensure actions are followed up at each meeting. I would reserve leaving until I has tried everything as you know you will probably out run the committee as they move on, If you are contemplating leaving then what have you to loose in terms of asking for what you need? if you get it then great move forward if nothing changes or its met with hostility then off you go with plan B and move on. 

I once felt so overworked and not fully supported by the committee that I did just that and it worked well, I thought as said I have nothing to loose as I was at point of leaving anyway. 

You need to know they back you and your decisions and that they share your values and views, get it wrote down and agreed so then you can refer back to it and the staff team will follow you if they know its a united management front.  

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Thank you so much foreveryoung - your post has made me feel so much better.


I don't want to leave because we have come so far and i have worked so hard over the last four years turning things around and if i go, it will send the setting back, not because of me, but because of the committee and the time it takes to recruit.

As you say i have nothing to loose and so will talk first. I have got support of the PLA and she is providing the training you suggested but not until December.

Do you have to be tough at committee meetings to move on and get actions and decisions made or do you sit back and allow them their time - this is what I do and it stresses me out, 30 minutes later and they still haven't decided. Or 3 weeks later and the Chairperson still hasn't agreed a decision and staff difficulties are then in limbo as we wait for him to agree and then confirm! 

What do you do,if you are waiting for a decision and no-one seems to take it seriously?

Thank you

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Your first post I read as you are having difficulties with your committee? What do you need them to do?

I've worked for committee's for 10 years and the system doesn't work.  You are trying to run a business and they don't do what's asked, make decisions.  If things get difficult they walk away. If there are staff difficulties all hell breaks lose as they don't know how to deal.  So many times I have asked council advice from people I talk to on a regular basis ie development officer and committee react like I have reported them to the police!

Add a hall committee into the equation........................


I'm happy for you to pm me.  I've come across most situations in my time.


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Coming from the opposite side, I am a committee chair and the problem we have have is the manager. They refuse to delegate to the committee, take on too much and then nothing gets done. I appreciate however this must be difficult as Commitee's change and some are more involved than others.

What I have done, that is slowly starting to work, is have regular meetings just myself and the manager so everything isn't left for Commiteee meetings. We also allocated certain areas to individual members such as maintenance, hall hire, staff, administration, events. So work is so shared amongst the commitee. 

Commitee's do not know what is expected of them, such a huge responsibility and they're doing it without any training and for free. We have a hand book with job descriptions listing the responsibilities, this could be a good idea. 

Also, does your chair have appraisals or supervisions with you as manager? This could be the opportunity to highlight the issues you're facing.

I feel for both sides in this situation, good luck.

Edited by C1403
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Hi all, and thank you for your comments.

Yes I have tried to arrange meetings with my chairperson, but he has a very full on job and not around much. I am a crafter and certainly not a needy manager at all, but it is the staffing stuff that they do shy away from- this causes me problems because nothing gets finalised and yes they don't make decisions, financial or staffing and then we are paddling against the tide..........

We now have a brand new committee which is so exciting to have fresh blood and enthusiasm, but we are 4 weeks in and there haven't been any meetings or plans about their roles or the expectations. I have e-mailed all the important documents they need to be aware of and probably completely freaked them out!

Diesel10, when the committee react like that, do things gets done though? 

My worry is I would do seek advice and get someone on board and tell them everything, which would up set committee, but if it improved things and they got on with their side of the deal then that would be amazing, but I am scared it won't improve and will make relationships worse.



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My meetings are set for the year, as long as we have quorum they go ahead, the secretary takes minutes and notes actions these are then shared via e-mail afterwards, prior to the meeting usually week before I send my managers report to all which outlines my agenda and also asks any specific questions ready for decisions to be made I make it clear where decisions WILL be made if needed specific documents are attached for reading like a new policy or adapted policy, I make a point decisions will be made at the meeting so if you are not going to be present and wish for your opinion/vote to be counted you must respond via e-mail by a certain date.

My managers report by the way is more a reflective document over what has happened, points they need to be aware of with actions to be taken if any or any issues that are becoming apparent, its to keep them in the loop and knowledgeable about the setting. 

The meeting: chair goes through last meeting notes, ratification happens, action points addressed shouldn't take long as minutes have already been circulated prior to meeting. I then go onto my report talking in detail about my points i have put down, I ensure my needs are met by way of actions being agreed, this part of the meeting is mine i run it, i move on my agenda as needed. I support the committee members in their roles by for example in email I would comment on a part and highlight it "Wendy this bit is in your role, any questions" this helps them pin point things and supports them to get to grips with which bits they should be doing, I also do this in the meeting..."right Bob this is your role, accident overview report says this x,y,z any questions, for example you could ask me how we are going to reduce the number of accidents in the 3's room " if they have questions or suggest ideas its put as an action so they feel apart of it and helps them grow in their role.

If I have something I need addressing/sanctioning outside of meetings I send an e-mail to all detailing the issue then with my suggested outcome and if applicable other possible outcomes, i then put in BOLD/HIGHLIGHTED date to respond by (not like a day but more a week or so), i put i will go with majority response and if no replies I will action it as I have suggested. Its all done by e-mail so its open and transparent and a paper trail. I do this for purchases above my threshold if needed, staffing etc, only thing I don't do is e-mail all with staffing issues, I just e-mail chair and secretary to keep it as a need to know basis for details, an overview is given to the board but anonymously, again this has time frames applied and I suggest what action/s should/could be taken using policies etc to back it up.   

Every term I send an e-mail to committee member who is nominated safeguarding I do an overview of number of children on register with additional support under safeguarding, if policies etc are up to date, any implications recent cases have had on the setting, any additional support we could look at putting in place, if any persistent absentees and what we have done to encourage them to come and anything else we could do. This is all done as an overview so identification is not possible of the families concerned. This is then minuted to have happened at a committee meeting and any actions we propose from us both are discussed and action'd. 

Its getting the balance right between the committee doing their roles as an employer but yet you as manager supporting and guiding them as they can not be expected to know how or what to do unless their current skills allow them to. I view my role as that of an adviser to them, I support and guide them but yet after a few months they usually have grown in confidence and knowledge to do it more independently. 

I cover legislation in meetings, so for example one meeting if i haven't got much to report I will go through with them a piece of legislation like data protection what we do and why or safeguarding and whistle blowing reflecting on what they should do if i get reported by a staff member to the person on committee or if a staff member instead of going to me about another staff member they go to the committee. (this is noted in minutes so supports with OFSTED evidence)

Hope that helps to give you an idea of how I keep it moving, its not perfect by any means but I have taken on more of a view that I need an answer and my job is to make sure i get an answer.

Take the bull by the horns give it a go in a way that works for the setting if it works then great if not then no one can say you didn't try , get an understanding with them of what they feel their roles are and what they think you should be able to do without asking as you may find they say they thought you would do that without asking so dont see the importance of it to their role. 

Good luck


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10 hours ago, pickles37 said:

Diesel10, when the committee react like that, do things gets done though? 

No this is the point at which they resign copying in everyone they can think off. Normally when it relates to staffing matters.


18 hours ago, C1403 said:

Coming from the opposite side

I definitely can see from the other side that they are new volunteers, but as a Manager it really isn't helpful to have a new management team every year! You get used to working with people and then they move on.  Some are better then others, some fail at the first hurdle, DBS / EY2.


3 hours ago, Foreveryoung said:

My meetings are set for the year

Definitely set your time scale for meetings, each term / each month depending on how much support is needed.  At the moment I have set the second Tuesday of each term (working on 6 terms). 

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Wow foreveryoung that is amazing! Thank you so very much for your advice. I am too nice and too patient, trouble is I have tried stepping it up a bit, but my chairperson either doesn't agree, doesn't do anything and then the rest of the committee members I copy in don't say anything either.

I will try as you have suggested and I like the fact that actually the agenda follows the manager and the setting and I also like your legal and policy updates. In actual fact enforcing them to be aware and a good record for ofsted too.


Thank you


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