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Advice on school invoicing the PTA for caretakers time

(22 Posts)
Mercedes Tue 30-Nov-10 19:54:04

When your PTA holds a fund raising event for the school is it normal practice for the school to charge the PTA for the caretakers time?

Our school has asked us to invoice us for this and I'm a bit bemused as the money we've got to pay it will mean less for the school in other areas. It seems an unusual approach to take.

they're also asking the pTA to take on legal liability for emergencies in the school during fundraising events. Am I being over sensitive when I feel they want to discourage us?

Cyb Tue 30-Nov-10 20:00:39

Yes our old caretaker used to charge quite a bit for opening up the school, hanging around to make sure no probs then locking up.

it might be for insurance purposes?

Fayrazzled Tue 30-Nov-10 20:01:58

Is the PTA a separate legal entity to the school then?

2gorgeousboys Tue 30-Nov-10 20:03:01

Our Headteacher (or other senior teacher) opens and locks up when we have a PTA event on.

As they are attending the event it is no additional work for them to open/lock up.

Mercedes Tue 30-Nov-10 20:05:38

We are a separate organisation but they've never charged for this before. When parents are giving up their time for free I would have thought the school could cover their own costs.

schoolsecretary Tue 30-Nov-10 20:16:15

it may be that the Council won't pay his overtime... what with all the budget cuts and so they are trying to ensure the caretake gets paid for his extra hours, he can't be expected to do it for nothing. I don't think they want to discourage you, but belts are being tightened within councils and schools are being hit. Maybe a word with the head will clarify everything.

MrsDaffodill Tue 30-Nov-10 21:23:48

Yes both are normal.

You should have public liability insurance. If you join the NCPTA (well worth it anyway) you get this included in your membership.

Simbacatlives Tue 30-Nov-10 21:26:21

Are you a pfi school? In some the head can't open the school even if they wanted to as the contract stipulates it must be the caretaker etc

Ingles2 Tue 30-Nov-10 21:34:10

Definitely have to get insurance through the NCPTA,..
our last school was sued after a boy knocked out his front tooth at the Valentine disco,
but have never heard of the caretaker charging for his time.
Not sure I'd be that happy about it, even though I totally understand it.

Mercedes Tue 30-Nov-10 21:36:23

We have got insurance but as an(unpaid volunteer) I'm a bit wary of signing a form that says I'm legal responsible for all that happens including the mishaps.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 30-Nov-10 21:41:17

So how would taking on the legal laiblity work - presumably through some insurance scheme - but what if it wriggled out of paying, would the PTA members be liable? Don't think I would have gone within a mile of a PTA asking me as a volunteer to take on legal responsiblity. Was hard enough work doing the fundraisers.

PatriciaHolm Tue 30-Nov-10 22:22:30

We've never had this - our old caretaker used to help out loads before he retired and this was never suggested.

A2363 Tue 30-Nov-10 22:28:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admission Wed 01-Dec-10 20:00:06

Somebody has to pay the caretaker, but this should be detailed in the school charging policy.
For outside organisations using the school facility then the fees must represent a fair cost to the school, including the caretaker. If it is an organisation like the PTA then usually the school lets them have the facilities at zero cost. As others have said they are hopefully there raising money for the school!
Insurance is a must and any PTA that does not go to the NCPTA is just being silly, it is comprehensive and cheap in comparison with other such policies. Whether I would be signing up to something that says you are legally responsible for all the mishaps i am not sure about and my first point of call would be the NCPTA insurance people to see what they say about it.
This sounds like someone trying for the belt and braces version.

Talkinpeace Wed 01-Dec-10 22:37:46

I was PTA and a governor
Governors are allowed to lock and unlock and covered by both insurances
job done!

cat64 Wed 01-Dec-10 22:50:18

Message withdrawn

Feenie Wed 01-Dec-10 22:53:43

"Governors are allowed to lock and unlock and covered by both insurances"

Not necessarily - they aren't in our PFI school.

Talkinpeace Fri 03-Dec-10 17:39:47

Feenie,
I believe it. The whole PFI system is a financial disaster for schools. They have responsibility but no control.
Then again its the same in Hospitals, tax offices, pretty much everywhere the merchant bankers stuck their greedy little PFI fingers.

Feenie Fri 03-Dec-10 18:48:29

That's true - there was a huge stand off between the PFI company, the caretaker and the school today. It's not his/their job to spread grit, dig us out of the carpark or make our site safe apparently!

We won this time though. grin

happypiglet Fri 03-Dec-10 18:57:43

Not sure about care taker bit- our school never charges us...as you say it just uses money we would otherwise give them any way...
But in terms of insurAnce the NCPTA insurance (which you get automatically with membership (which by the way is currently at a very discounted rate for brand new joiners £25-45 per annum depending on school size)) is well worth it. As of 2011 it will include Trustee Indemnity Insurance which protects the Trustees of PTA (us effectively) from personal liability.
I went to a roadshow for Governers where a spaeker fromt he NCPTA was giving a presentation so this info is very up to date.
Please call them.

darleneconnor Fri 03-Dec-10 19:15:39

When I was on the Parent Council (Scottish equivalent of amalgamated board/PTA) we got charged £40 to have a school room for 2 hours for our meetings. To hire the hall for a disco etc was £120. We were told that this was for janitorial costs. I assumed it was a mandatory, council-dictated policy. hmm

At the time I did have my suspicions that the head was 'at it'.

spanieleyes Fri 03-Dec-10 19:30:38

We don't charge, but then the caretakers wife is on the PTFA!

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