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Help! pre-school committee and staff nightmare!

(28 Posts)
Ripeberry Tue 17-Mar-09 16:54:56

I think you all know about my trials and tribulations with our pre-school and our leader being off for a week because her child was ill and now last week because she was ill.
Well she is back and out of the blue i got a request from another school for a reference for OUR leader.
Basically, she has been applying for other jobs and i'm really upset about it.
She says to me that i must not mention it to the committee and i won't BUT i've told her that there is NO WAY that i'm giving her a personal reference, she will have to get it from the committee.
I'm really angry at being put in this position and she says that next week she will give notice once she gets offered another job.
But i'm holding some of the cards as the interviewers want references BEFORE doing an interview.
Its tearing me apart!

MelonCauli Tue 17-Mar-09 16:57:20

Sorry but I don't see why she cannot apply for other jobs. It is usual in education to have refernces before interviews also. How could she help her child being ill and also herself being ill.

You sound like a nightmare employer to me.

compo Tue 17-Mar-09 16:57:40

I honestly don't get it
Why wouldn't you give her a reference?
If she's not happy there then surely it's best for everyone that she gets a nw job. Once she gets a job and hands in her notice then she can tell the committee and you can start the recruitment process surely?

Lulumama Tue 17-Mar-09 17:04:19

she is clearly not happy and wants to leave

you trying to stymie her cahnces of her getting anotehr job are going to backfire, as she will leave anyway and be angry with you and if she stays she is going to be angry with you

do the reference, and find someone who wants the job

i don;t know the ins and outs of what you have been going throuigh but this knee jerk reaction of yours won;t help anyone

do not deny her a reference, that is just mean spirited, and will only serve to make teh situation a lot worse

Ripeberry Tue 17-Mar-09 17:08:22

I'm not denying her the chance to leave! You can't make anyone stay at any job.
I know she has an interview today, but even then she sat in front of our chairman and said she was happy.
In a way i do hope she gets a new job that is nearer to her home and can support her better than our small committee (took ages to get ANYONE to join last October and we almost closed then!)
She deserves better but what would you do as a committee member? Keep quiet until she makes an announcement or tell the chairman?
And on top of it all the children love her lots sad

compo Tue 17-Mar-09 17:13:47

It's up to her to tell anyone else, all you can do is advise her to speak up

compo Tue 17-Mar-09 17:15:36

and tbh when Ive been looking for other jobs I've always told my current job that i'm happy
it can take ages to find another job so it would be shooting yourself in the foot to tell everyone your plans to leave
maybe she thinks of you as a good friend and that is why she confided in you, and also the need to tell someone for a reference

sad that you might find it hard to find someone else thougj. What about the other nursery assistants, would any of them be prepared to train up?

Ripeberry Tue 17-Mar-09 17:20:52

I don't know if any of you are on a committee but i'm duty bound as a committee member to be transparent in all my dealings as if anything is done to harm the pre-school i could get in trouble.
Its just that she's asking me to lie to the committee which is not something i'm prepared to do as i have to live in this community.
I really understand Compo what you are saying, maybe that is why other schools try and get references before interviews to find out the real reasons for people leaving.

compo Tue 17-Mar-09 17:22:33

I don't think not mentioning it is lying though

Ripeberry Tue 17-Mar-09 17:24:21

I wish i could resign as well! But i'm not allowed to until the AGM or unless i move away. I've been on committees for 4yrs and this has been the most stressfull ever!
Just remind me NOT to join the PTA! grin

compo Tue 17-Mar-09 17:24:54


Ripeberry Tue 17-Mar-09 17:26:51

Thanks for your wise words compo. The chairman was with me at the meeting today with our pre-school leader and he said "Anything else?" It just felt like i was lying.

WhoTookMyMemoryStick Tue 17-Mar-09 17:48:15

Ripeberry I remember all your previous threads over the last few years as I have been in a similar position in the past. After being treasurer of a failing pre-school for 3 years (over five years ago), I have managed to resist any urge to join the PTA. grin Never again.

TBH you do not owe any debt of loyalty to an employee over the chairperson. The reason you feel uncomfortable about this is because it is wrong. Email your chair and the playleader to say that the correct procedure is for the chair to be informed and that it is out of your hands. Wish her luck in the future. Move on.

You have my complete sympathy.

cktwo Tue 17-Mar-09 20:03:40

I echo the above comments. You need to be honest to your committee and the staff member. Inform the Chair and let him deal with it.

Mayron Wed 18-Mar-09 06:51:26

Ripeberry - I can really understand how fed up you must be. Being on a committee is hard work and takes up alot of your own time. I'm sure you have your own problems that you'd rather be dealing with! I think you should tell the committee - off load it and you'll feel loads better. She should not have put you in this situation - asking you to keep it from the committee (they all employ her). Do the reference and tell the committee you've done it.

misshardbroom Wed 18-Mar-09 09:55:40

I'm with Mayron on this one. Don't accept all the responsibility for it. As her employers, it's reasonable for you to provide her with a reference.

Prepare the reference.
Email the committee telling them you have been approached for it, remind them that you are (collectively) her employer and that this is a reasonable request.
Inform her that you will provide it on behalf of the committee, and in their knowledge.
Send her a copy of the reference by email, cc'ing the committee so they can see what you've written.

End of.

misshardbroom Wed 18-Mar-09 09:56:50

smile Sorry if that sounded a bit harsh, it's just that I'm in a very similar position to you as regards getting it all dumped on me, and I've decided the only way to reduce the stress is to refuse to let it happen. smile

chaliepud Wed 18-Mar-09 22:27:24

I have been on a pre sch comm for the last 6 yrs (3 kids). U can resign at any time unless of course your constitution states otherwisem which would be odd as people have to resign for a number of reasons, health, work committments etc, but tbh committees struggle as it is and it wouldn't achieve anything. Personally I would tell her my responsibility was for the committee and running of the pre sch,no one person on the committee should be responsible and therefore I would,at your next comm mtg, raise the subject and allow the committee to make a unanimous decision.

misshardbroom Thu 19-Mar-09 11:47:00

yes, I have to admit the bit about not being able to resign baffled me slightly, they can't put a gun to your head and make you do it, you don't get paid, do you? I can understand feeling some moral obligation, but they can't actually make you do it. grin

scarletlilybug Thu 19-Mar-09 11:52:33

You can't resign unless there is someone else to take your place on the committee. Otherwise, if a pre-school got into lots of trouble, the whole committee could resign and there would be on-one left to be responsible for the pre-school.

I think you should tell the committee what you know about the pre-school leader, and tell the leader what you are doing, and why.

I don't agree with circulating her reference amongst all committee members - references should be treated as confidential, IMO. If she wants a "job" reference, rather than a personal one, ask her to take her request to her line manager (Chair?)

Ripeberry Fri 20-Mar-09 17:08:04

She wants a "job reference" so i've asked the school that was contacting me for the ref, to speak to the pre-school leader for the details.
It would have been much easier if she had been offered the job THEN asked for a reference.
Last September the whole committee DID resign! just after they roped in a new mum as the treasurer and tried to get me to be chair!
The other committee members did not even come to the AGM as their kids were going to reception and i can't even do that this year as i have to take the minutes!

Ripeberry Thu 26-Mar-09 21:55:18

Well she's done it! Handed in her resignation to the Chairman today and will leave on 24th April, which means that she will be in next week (hopefully) and the week just after the Easter holidays.
That means our holidays are going to be in turmoil as we need to find a replacement ready to start and i was looking forward to some time off angry.
But maybe this will be a turning point and we can get things sorted.
I just feel sorry for the kids and the upheaval they will be going through sad

toomanyprojects Thu 26-Mar-09 22:38:44

can't help but send sympathies - we have had to recriut twice this year.

Burstingattheseams Tue 07-Apr-09 21:46:24

Ripeberry - take this opportunity to increase the amount of notice your leader must give - 4 weeks is rubbish. we ask for a terms notice from ours.

littlerach Thu 09-Apr-09 11:05:47

Yes, we aks for a term for playleader, a month for everyone else.

WE spent all yera recruiting last year, it was v stressful.
We also found that there are very few Level 3 staff looking for work.

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