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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I will give you some facts before my question.I am a founding

Customer Question

I will give you some facts before my question. I am a founding member of a free school. We set up a charitable trust. There are 4 original members and 2 invited members. I was not part of the committee who wrote, advertised and selected staff to teach. I am an experienced teacher and wrote the section on education for submission to the DfE. I applied for a teaching post, was interviewed and subsequently employed as one of the first teachers. Two original members became employees, one as project lead and myself. We are now no longer governors as we stepped down. My role remains the same but my colleagues's role changed on opening the school. However, she took on a new role as business manager, with no experience and no new contract. Currently she is on gardening leave as there were many errors resulting in financial mismanagement, ie no systems and over spending. We are now in a position where our temporary business manager is putting proper systems in place and trying to save money where he can. It is clear that my colleague was out of her depth in this new role and we are certain that the only issue was lack of experience, leading to bad decisions and not misappropriating funds for personal gain. As I am no longer a governor, I am not privy to all that is planned behind the board doors. I do know that my colleague has taken the summer off and may well be waiting until she has been employed for 2 years, which I understand is a vital period of time. We are still paying her full salary. I had previously been told that I am NOT a trustee but a trust member. Q. Is there any difference? If so, what are my responsibilities as an employee who remains a trust member/trustee? Q. If we should become bankrupt, how will my responsibilities manifest themselves, will I then be associated as a bankrupt myself? To be clear...I have not been directly or officially involved in any discussions surrounding our financial circumstances, nor in any of the discussions surrounding the dismissal of my colleague. I do know that, despite being a founder member and member of the trust she is not prepared to go quietly, whatever this means? In short, what do you advise for me? M

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Is there a trust document?
Is it a registered charity?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes there is and yes we are.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Were you formally removed as a trustee of the charity?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I am still a trust member. I have been told that there is a difference and that I may be a trust member but not a trustee. The other 4 trust members are governors of the school. I stepped down from this role once my employment began. The remaining trust member is now being removed due to incompetence. She began the new project, prior to opening as project lead, then on opening assumed the role of business manager, but was not effective and made mistakes.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
I need to do some research as insolvency of charities is quite complex.
I will write a response and revert to you asap so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me until tomorrow.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your input and I am prepared to wait for clarification. Meanwhile the governors who are all also trust members have daily conversations , leaving me the only trust member not involved in any duscussions which may severely affect the future of the school.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex, this site is not serving too well at the moment. I have just received notification that I said I wasn't satisfied with your service. I haven't actually responded yet as I'm waiting fir your reply...I will write back to customer services to explain....I still would like a clarification re my post and question please.
Maureen

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