As part of the extended schools provision the Governing Body (GB) at the school where Dave is a governor has an agreement with an arts and crafts club to rent a room and provide an after-school activity for school pupils. The GB has ensured that staff are offering imaginative and well-structured activities, that they are aware of safeguarding issues and that their staff are CRB checked. One of the club's staff is a parent of the school. For a year the club has runs well and has been popular. However, during the second year, the club ceases to pay its rent. The GB lets the situation ride for two or three months because there have been friendly relations and the club is popular, and the children are learning a lot of useful skills there. Finally the GB challenges them about the rent, and, after a period of stalling and trying to make allowances, issues an ultimatum that, if they cease to pay rent, they will have to close. The GB begins to believe that the club is in financial difficulties. At this point it becomes clear that the leader of the club has no idea how to run a business. While they are excellent at the practical side of what they do they are not competent in business and have defaulted on a bank loan which they took out to set up the business.
What should Dave and his GB do? This dilemma certainly sounds a warning about being careful when setting up extended provision with outside providers. Dave and his fellow governors are right to conclude that it was not their job to get involved in what is a private business. They are also right to call on the terms of the rental contract which the club made with the school, and close the business on the school's premises. How the organisers sort out their problems with the bank is not the GB's job, since the school only provided the premises. However, the GB should also, since the parents and children involved are already distressed that a popular facility has gone, waive the outstanding rent, and part with the group without acrimony. Next time the GB makes such an arrangement for extended provision it should keep a close eye on the financial arrangements, and ask questions as soon as the rent isn't forthcoming