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Pre-school potentially deceiving everyone

(24 Posts)
nannycaz Sun 13-Jan-13 21:07:32

Hi everyone not to sure if this is in the right place but wasn't sure where to post this looked through the other categories and it didnt really fit

I used to work in a pre-school that run as a charity, although i know of a lot of fiddling the books etc that goes on.
Obviously with them being a charity you can go on the charity commission to look at the accounts.
When looking on here i noticed that myself, other staff members and parents etc have had there names put down as being at meetings and electing the commitee for the pre-school. None of these meetings actually ever happened its all made up and nobody else knows there name has been used in this way. They have to elect a committe to run as a charity, so they fake one so that the same people can have their names as being on the commitee nobody actually gets a say and its all false.
There is a lot more that actually goes on but to much to go into, this is the main issue bothering me at the moment.
Should i do anything? should i egnore it? is it actually an issue or not
Dont no what im meant to do.
Thankyou

nannynick Sun 13-Jan-13 21:30:11

Does anyone want to be on the committee? They may be having trouble getting anyone to be on the committee, as if things go wrong the committee members are liable (least that's my understanding of how this type of charity works).

Maybe they don't have enough people willing to attend meetings to make Quorum and maybe the charities document says they need to have an AGM but struggle to get enough people to attend.

Maybe they should contact the Pre-School Learning Alliance for advice.

SkiBumMum Sun 13-Jan-13 21:37:26

You could ask the Charity Commission for advice.

nannycaz Sun 13-Jan-13 21:46:58

They have never asked for anyone to be on the committee never asked staff, mentioned it to parents etc
They dont want anyone else to be on the committee other than the manager deputy manager and a couple of other close people, this being the reason that meetings are faked so that they ensure that they stay in their position if that makes sense.
Maybe I should forget about it and not let it worry me anymore

MrAnchovy Mon 14-Jan-13 08:00:55

Making a false record of meetings is a serious matter and anyone that is doing that should be brought to account. However if you are no longer involved in the pre-school you are probably not in the best position to do that. What do the current staff members and parents think?

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 08:04:23

no one elsa knows about it and know one knows i know at the moment

baremadness Mon 14-Jan-13 08:08:07

Regardless of the committee situation how are they spending the money. I have seen people put a lifetimes worth of effortinto getting people to form committees with no success so they just give up. But the money is still spent how it should be.

TheJanuaryProject Mon 14-Jan-13 08:34:31

When you say that it is run as a charity, do you mean that, a bit like private schools, it has charitable status?

Charitable status creates tax exemptions for schools. I would get in touch with the Charity Commission and leave them to look into it.

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 08:39:40

they say there a charity and they tell the parents that this means there running not for profit and they do fund raising to get money .. there is lots that is not right about what they do and i only know now but to much else to go in to

MrAnchovy Mon 14-Jan-13 08:41:45

If you are aware of specific instances of "fiddling of the books" you should report it to the police and to the Charity Commission.

You said that records on the Charity Commission web site name people as attending meetings that did not take place (although records of meetings of the charity are not required to be filed so this would be unusual). Do you think these people may feel the same way as you do?

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 08:51:54

i dont no thats why i was unsure if i was worried about nothing and whether everyone does it...all the staff are down as being at the meeting possibly half the parents and a couple of the managers family members...apparently i proposed the manager should be the treasurer... they have everything on the charity commision dont no if its all needed or even if they n public can see it... they include reports. meetings. fund raising activities. training that staff are doing.. generally how the setting is etc..

ZuleikaD Mon 14-Jan-13 15:07:48

As others have said, refer it to the Charity Commission and leave it to them.

baremadness Mon 14-Jan-13 16:30:46

Why dont you casually ask if you can be on the committee

DIYapprentice Mon 14-Jan-13 17:30:52

nannycaz - I am on a community nursery committee, and everything we do is completely above board, and we all put a lot of time and effort into it. Committee members of a community nursery are not supposed to be employees, while not absolutely prohibited, it must be shown that they do not get any financial benefits from being on the committee. Anything that involves them, they are supposed to leave the room.

PM me if you'd like, and I can give you an idea about some of the legalities. I think it is important, actually.

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 18:14:34

Thats interesting DIYapprentice, there are 4 members on the committee, 2 that are employed, one being the chair, one i have never heard off, and then the treasurer is the manager

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 18:23:37

It never actually ocured to me until now but is there the potential that they may not operate paye as they should in order to cut costs? It has only just been pointed out that pay slips are incorrect as the manager who is also the treasurer does them on a computer at home and prints them off on normal paper they are not the sealed kind of type you would normally get if that makes sense?
Or is this allowed and im thinking to much lol

DIYapprentice Mon 14-Jan-13 18:47:45

As long as the information is on there, I don't think they have to be sealed, as long as other people don't see the information.

Did you see the accounts which were lodged with Charities Commission? I know that it's really hard for us to keep the nursery in profit, and we have to do a lot of fundraising so I'm confused what they get out of this, actually. Unless they are breaking other rules regarding fees (which i guess is quite possible if they are running it in this way)

Goldmandra Mon 14-Jan-13 18:57:36

WHo are the trustees of this charity? They are ultimately personally responsible for ensuring that the charity is run ethically. I wonder if the people listed as trustees know that there have this position.

If you are listed as a member of the committee there is a possibility that you could end up implicated in any other dodgy practices which come to light.

You need to contact the charities commission, raise your concerns and ask them to remove your name from their records.

This may well be a case of practitioners cutting corners to make running the pre-school easier and less time-consuming but it also may be more than that.

A treasurer paying herself as manager sounds unethical to me.

DIYapprentice Mon 14-Jan-13 19:08:26

Godmandra - For playgroups/nurseries the committee members are usually the trustees. That's how they are run.

Members are 'members' of the nursery, and are therefore entitled to vote in the committee members at the AGM. Depending on the Articles you can have other special members (in our case it is usually committee members whose children have left the nursery but are still on the committee until the next AGM, or stay involved until their next child goes to the nursery).

Goldmandra Mon 14-Jan-13 19:11:33

Godmandra - For playgroups/nurseries the committee members are usually the trustees. That's how they are run.

That is exactly my point. It is possible that parents have been registered as trustees without their knowledge. I would not want to be placed in such a position. This needs investigating ASAP.

Trazzletoes Mon 14-Jan-13 19:21:49

I work for a reasonable sized firm (200+ employees) - at this and my previous job at a similar sized firm, my payslips have been a4 pieces of paper. There is no requirement for payslips to have that funny hole-punched seal round the outside. I believe they should still be sealed in an envelope though - don't know whether that's a requirement...

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 19:48:09

None of the parents are down on the accounts as being on the commitee etc, but are down as being at the meeting and being involved in electing the actual committee and putting the treasurer forward etc

ReetPetit Mon 14-Jan-13 20:15:43

sorry if this sounds silly but how do you know the parents werent at the meetings?
are you sure you werent at any of these meetings? informal ones maybe?

nannycaz Mon 14-Jan-13 20:53:46

Yes i do no for sure.
They even write the date on the charity-commission submission that the meeting took place. The dates are always at the end of term when the 6 of us staff members ( as thats all there is) stayed behind for nibbles and drinks... so definitely no meeting

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