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Achieving Sole Access In Church Halls


Alison
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we use a large sunday school room attatched to a church hall just lately there has been maintenance work being carried out in the church hall we asked the church to inform us when workers would be around during session times so that we know to expect them and have been told "no, because it doesnt affect you"

 

but it does because we have to answer the doors to let the person in it means there is a stranger on the premesis who we dont know and is not police checked (we can lock doors the prevent access to the children but this is not ideal)

 

also on days when maintenance is being done we cannt use the carpark for out door play, which can mean we set up toys and equipment at 9.30 and then the plumber turns up at 10 and we have to go inside

 

I am so fustrated and I dont feel its unreasonble to ask for a phone call just to say "the plumber is coming to day" so we know that we cannt use the car park for out door play

 

we are technically a church group and so dont have any formal tenancy agreement.

 

how do other settings manage access for maintenance during session times?

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Hi Alison, we are also in a church hall the same as you. We currently have a great church warden whom will let us know if any one is coming for maintaince work etc. The warden will escort the person at all times. This has not always been the case and for many, many years I had been banging my head against a brick wall regarding "stranger danger" church key holders would just wander in and out as they pleased and become quite disgrunteld when challeneged or asked to sign the book. Then a very sad event happened to the minster of the church and child protection issues where in every ones mind. This was a church issue not a playgroup issue. Beacuse every one was then made aware of safty issues every person whom enters the church has to sign the church vistors book, then sign in our book in the setting even if just collecting or returning keys.

 

Is it common knowledge that you use the car park every day? You should be given notice if you can not use the car park this is only good manners after all. What prevents you from being outside when maintaince is being done any way? We don't have a suitable out side area at all as our car park is on the main high street of our town so not suitable.

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My understanding is that when building work of any kind is being done in a public building the builder has to do a risk assessment which would include user groups I would have thought as there are H&S issues. The Church's Public Liability Insurance would not pay out if there was any kind of accident due to negligence if this has not been done. Could you meet with whoever is the responsible person there, Church Warden or Vicar and just explain your concerns?

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we too hire hall, and any work to be done is usually when we are closed, or as recently with broken windows they arrange for someone to let us know approximately when they are coming usually between a few hours and if they will need access.,( lots of vandalism this week, Six windows broken on 3 different nights!Apparently kids seen with hammers just smashing them - for fun? unable to catch or identify also happening to local coaches in overnight coach park ) Mostly though done when we are not there.

 

May be different as we have rent book etc and pay for use of hall, although they are very flexible allowing access during holidays etc for free if no one is using the hall, gives us time for big cleaning!

 

we have though drummed in child protection to them and others using the hall, and always say it is a requirement set by Ofsted and we would not be able to open if we did not follow standards set!

 

Inge

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theres some interesting points I can take to the church stewards and ask them about risk assessment and insurance uuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmm (not that they will listen!)

 

I didnt think it was unreasonable to ask the church to notify us when people needed to visit but they have taken this that I want them to ask our permission to enter "their building"

I told the church that other preschool groups in the same situation insist on all visitors by appointment only which Im sure alot of groups possibly do but they told me I had no right to ask

 

I dream of having my own premisesis.......... :o

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Can you just refuse to let them in? We have a cafe close by and I used to direct any work men there untill we had finished our session. It was up to them if they went but as I was paying rent for the sole use I kind of had a running battle wirth the church hall committee lady and wouldnt let them in. :D

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I rent a scout hall and I have a 'tolerated' relationship with the scout leaders. :o

However, I normally get a call to say if anyone will require access whilst the preschool session is running, ie: fire extinguisher inspector, photocopier repair etc.

 

Maybe you could let the church warden know that you would like to be informed because you are planning to do daily outings and may not be around to let anyone in. xD

 

 

Peggy

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Guest DeborahF

I think maybe if you discuss the implications with regard to your Child Protection Policy and Procedure you should be in a very strong position with any negotiations here, whether you have a formal tenancy agreement or not.

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We used to have this problem until we moved premesis. Our new lady is lovely and always lets us know if anyone absoltely has to come in and will avoid it if they can, however I would make a point to the person in charge that Ofsted can come in at any time and if they were to catch you with someone in the hall doing work then it could mean that you are closed down - this would mean that they would no longer have their steady income from your rent money!

 

Debs

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