Woodlands Preschool

Telephone - 01449 614470

woodlandspreschool@outlook.com

Lavenham Way,

Stowmarket,

Suffolk,

IP14 2BZ

Becoming a Pre-school Trustee

Although there are no specific qualifications needed to be a member of the board of trustees, you may find the following information useful to help you decide whether or not you have got what it takes to be a trustee.

The role of a board of trustees

The main functions of the board, as outlined by the government are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the pre-school.

  • Holding the managers to account for the performance of the pre-school.

  •  Performance management of staff.

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the pre-school and making sure its money is well spent.

  • Ensure the setting meets all the legal requirements to operate as a childcare setting and registered charity. This includes:-

  • Contracts of Employment and Employment Legislation.

  • Health and safety

  • Safeguarding

  • Ofsted Regulations (EYFS)

  • Equal Opportunities Legislation

  • Income Tax, VAT

  • Lease for premises

  • GDPR

  • Flexible working rights

  • Maternity Leave

  • Sick Pay

  • Service Agreements

  • Insurance

  • Risk Assessments

  • Attend all meetings and Sub- committee meetings.

  • Confidentiality is maintained at all times.

 

The day to day running of the pre-school is not the responsibility of the board of trustees, this is a common misconception. The running of the pre-school is the responsibility of the managers, the board of trustees do not have a input into the educational development and any systems that are carried out within the setting.

 

 The qualities and skills that trustees need:-

  • A strong commitment to the role and this includes dedicating your time regularly during each the school term and throughout the year to carrying out your duties

  • Have the ability to analyse, and a willingness to learn

  • Good inter-personal skills

  • Appropriate levels of literacy in English (unless a governing body is prepared to make special arrangements), and sufficient numeracy skills to understand basic data

  • The skills to understand the particular ethos of the pre-school and its implications for the way it is governed.

  • To carry out the role to the highest standards.

 

Reasons to prevent you becoming a Trustee

You cannot become a Trustee if you are:

  • Under 18 years of age.

  • Disqualified under section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 because for example, you are an undischarged bankrupt or have an unspent conviction for an offence of dishonesty or deception.

  • Have had a safeguarding concerns raised against you.

 

Meetings and Sub-Committee Meetings

 

Board meetings

 

The legal minimum number of Board meetings in one academic year is 3; it is the same for the Sub-committees. However due to the amount of policies and procedures that have to be reviewed and ratified over the whole year, Board meetings are held every 6 weeks. Sub-committee meetings need to be held before a board meeting to ensure that the information that is being fed into the Board meetings is accurate, up to date and most importantly correct.

 

Sub-Committee meetings

 

Sub-committees are reviewed on a regular basis and a chair of the Sub-committee will be appointed at the start of the academic year. It is their responsibility to ensure that Sub-committee meetings are arranged with an agenda and held and is in line with Board meetings.

 

Open meetings

 

An open meeting is open to all parents/carers and does not involve business discussions and decision making. An open meeting is a informative meeting for parents/carers, it will display what the pre-school has been up to in the last year, to receive feedback and suggestions.

A trustee is automatically disqualified if they have not attended any meetings for six months and not tended apologies for acceptance; the secretary will write to that trustee stating the dates of the board meetings and sub-committees meetings missed, and that the board of trustees may resolve to remove them from the board.

 

A board of trustees will also look to make sure that their trustees have the expertise and experience:

  • In analysing performance data

  • In budgeting and driving financial efficiency

  • In performance management and employment issues, including grievances

  • To work constructively in sub committees:-

  • New Building Project

  • Personnel and Staff Liaison

  • Publicity and Marketing

  • Health and Safety

  • Publicity and Marketing

  • Safeguarding

  • Business plan

 

Below is a summary of roles and responsibilities for Key Officers:

 

CHAIRPERSON

  • Be the ‘Nominated Person’ for the group with Ofsted.

  • Ensure that the recruitment, induction, training and appraisal systems for all new staff and volunteers are carried out.

  • Line manage the Childcare Manager.

  • Conduct the annual appraisals of Childcare manager

  • Keep order at meetings, conduct voting if required,

  • Hold the casting vote.

  • Delegate tasks to other trustee members.

  • Act as spokesperson for the setting where necessary.

  •  Handle unresolved complaints.

  •  Work with the accountant to ensure that financial stability is maintained

 

SECRETARY

  • Prepare and circulate agendas in advance to give trustees the opportunity to prepare for meetings.

  •  Arrange venues for meetings

  • Take minutes and keep written records of meetings.

  • Ensure minutes are circulated to trustees and staff, and that a copy is available in the setting’s Operational Plan (ensuring confidentiality)

  • issues are recorded and circulated appropriately

  • Assist the Chairperson to maintain trustee records, including Ofsted EY2/EY3 forms and DBS checks.

  • Maintain an up to date list of trustee members and contact details

  • Ensuring that policies and procedures are reviewed by the board of trustees.

 

TREASURER

  • Work with the board to ensure the financial stability of the setting is maintained.

  • Support the Committee in making financial decisions by providing cash flow forecasts and information for annual budgeting.

  •  Work with the business manager to set a budget.

  •  Review annually, with the Board, fees and staff salaries, taking into account national living wage rises, employment legislation and staff qualifications.

  •  Ensure all money from fundraising is banked as soon as possible.

  • Ensure end of year accounts have been independently examined (in line with Charity Commission requirements)

  • Ensure bank mandates are updated for new signatories

  •  Ensure petty cash system is set up for trustee expenses and ensure expense claims are paid on time.

  • Ensure trustees are aware that they can be reimbursed for expenses incurred while carrying out their roles as trustee members/officers

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

 

  • To support the roles of Key Officers as required

  • To attend board of trustee meetings and sub committee meetings.

  • Be familiar with the setting policies and procedures and legal frameworks (Ofsted)

 

All new trustees must complete a DBS check and an EY2 form before they can attend any meetings.

 

Legal structure

 

The board of trustees are a unincorporated Association charity:-

The board of trustees is registered as a charity and is governed by a constitution. It does not make a profit; the assets of the charity are used to further the charity’s objectives and will not be shared with its members. A trust or an unincorporated association are unincorporated legal forms, this means that the charity does not have its own legal personality. The trustees are personally liable when they enter into any legal relationships with third parties (Ofsted and charity commissions).

Your personal details will be registered with Ofsted and the charity commissions; this will be in the public domain.