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Committee without a secretary can it be done?

(12 Posts)
Ripeberry Tue 14-Jul-09 16:31:24

After lots of cajoling on my part and our Committee Chairman the remaining committee members (5 of them) say they do not want to be secretary.
We follow the Pre-School Learning Alliance constitution and i read that a Committee can still function with at least two officers and the total 'quorum' should be 5 members.
So seing that we have two officers already (Chairman and Treasurer), then maybe all the other members could automatically be made secretary?
What do you think?

bumpybecky Tue 14-Jul-09 16:45:00

I think they're trying to pressure you into staying! It's not your problem though. It's up to them to sort it out Walk away and DO NOT feel guilty.

As a purely theoretical point though, are you sure about the constitution? I've got the PLA model constitution 2008 in front of me and it says...

5.2 The minimum number of Committee members shall be 5 and the maximum shall be 12, together with a further 3 co-opted members. The Committee shall consist of:

a) a Chair, a Treasurer and a Secretary (the Officers)

and blah blah blah

Ripeberry Tue 14-Jul-09 16:54:57

When we had problems last AGM, i wrote an e-mail to the Charity commision and they said that the committee could form WITHOUT a Chairman if it meant we had to close.
I imagine the most important role is the Treasurer. They are just trying to make me stay i know that, but last year's AGM was so stressful i can't go through another one in 2010 when the Chairman and Treasurer will be leaving!
I want to get on with my own work now and studying for an NVQ3.

bumpybecky Tue 14-Jul-09 17:13:00

I'm a treasurer who is the only one on the committee currently actaully doing anything for preschool.

Did the charity commission mean no chair was ok just as a temporary thing? I find it hard to believe they'd be OK with it long term. Also it's not the CC that you need to worry about really, I know charitable status is important, but you can still run as a preschool without it (I know this - we've come close to losing ours shock )

I'd be more worried about Ofsted though. It would be interesting to know what they'd say.

It's still not your problem though Reading again the model constituion says...

5.11 At the first committee meeting following the AGM at which the newly elected members of the committee are elected they shall chosee from amongst their number the members who will act as Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.

I take that to menas as long as you've got enough committee members, the AGM is OK, so you can stand down (YIPPEE!!). It's then up to them at a later date to work out who does what

Ripeberry Tue 14-Jul-09 17:25:55

Yay! That's what i thought wink. I've got to do a resignation letter though, to make it all legal.
Hope you get someone to take over from your role soon smile

misshardbroom Tue 14-Jul-09 22:57:07

This is going to happen year after year if you don't make a stand!

I would interpret the constitution in the same way as you, but you could always phone your local PSLA office (or do you have someone like a Childcare Development worker at Sure Start??) for clarification.

I've spent this evening at a forum for preschool managers and supervisors and there was a lot of talk about how committee run preschools will end up being phased out in favour of being set up as not-for-profit companies because with all the legislation and responsibility, it was unrealistic to expect volunteers to do it in any sort of consistent way.

Food for thought, anyway!

bumpybecky Tue 14-Jul-09 23:54:57

I completely agree with changing to not-for-profit companies. Did they discuss how groups could switch though?

we started to look into it, but as far as we can work out the group would need to completely close down, sell all equipment, give surplus funds to the PLA and then later restart. Where do you get the funds to buy all of the stuff you need? we've got contingency funds too that would be lost if that's what we did.

Expecting Mums to run these things is a ridiculous system. It needs to be done by professional managers rather than stressed out busy volunteers

misshardbroom Wed 15-Jul-09 07:12:55

No, all the chat about changing to not for profit companies was amongst preschool supervisors and administrators, not any sort of formal presentation.

So is that how you have to do it, the bit about giving surplus funds to the PLA? We'd be royally screwed if we did that because we've got tens of thousands in savings.

Mayron Wed 15-Jul-09 21:31:52

I know this is going off the thread a little but really interesting comments about 'not-for-profit' run pre schools. Could this be the way forward? There seems to be more and more work required to be done by voluntary committees and staff are also doing so much in their own time too. It's reassuring to know that there's so many other committees out there going through the same kind of problems but how long will voluntary run pre schools keep going for?

Back to the secretary thing, we have a named secretary on our committee but to be honest her only role is to take notes at our committee meetings every term. I guess i'm chair/secretary rolled into one!

katiestar Fri 17-Jul-09 23:20:16

But a charity has to have at least 2 trustees who carry the can ? Usually chair & treasurer.Have you got 2 trustees ?

I find this a bit surprising as a pre-school in a neighbouring village has had to close after 40 years because of lack of committee

littlerach Sat 18-Jul-09 17:22:31

we looked into it too (as I was stepping down and nobody wanted the role) but it would have been ridiculous ot start up again as PLA would hav etaken all our miney and resources.

Ripeberry Sat 18-Jul-09 19:30:19

We will still have a Chairman and Treasurer.
All the old committee are staying on (5 of them), but they just treat it as a night out [grr].
In 2010 the two remaining officers are leaving at the same time (they think they are), they really don't realise how difficult it can be.
I'm leaving as my youngest and last is going to reception, i've done it for too long and you can just guess that if i stayed on, it would be ME who would have to become Chair as i would have the most experience.
It's a total catch 22 situation!

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