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What is an Annual General Meeting?

An Annual General Meeting, commonly referred to as an AGM, is a formal meeting which is held once a year. It is a legal requirement for voluntary organisations that have company status, but it is also good practice for charities to have an AGM to act as a review of the year and deal with issues such as the election of committee/board members and reviewing the annual accounts.

At First Steps Pre-school the meetings are run by our chairman and cover:

  • Opening remarks/Welcome 
  • Apologies 
  • Minutes of previous AGM (Secretary)
  • Matters arising from the Minutes 
  • Presentation of Annual Report (Chair) 
  • Adoption of Annual Report 
  • Presentation of Accounts (Treasurer) 
  • Adoption of Accounts 
  • Presentation of Leader's Report
  • Adoption of Leader's Report
  • Election of Management Committee/Office Bearers 
  • Motions to be put to the AGM 
  • Any Other Competent Business 
  • Closing remarks 
Every parent or carer who has children at First Steps is welcome to attend.

Our Last AGM - 2016-2017

Our latest AGM was held on Wednesday 8th November 2017 in The Bungalow. 

After the opening remarks, welcome and apologies, the minutes of the previous AGM were summarised and approved. This was followed by reports from the Chair, Treasurer and Leader of the pre-school, reflecting on the last year and goals for the coming one. These reports are detailed below:

Chair’s AGM Report - 8th November 2017

    Anna Jackson 

This has been my second year as Chair of the committee, and once again it has been a busy one! We have been continuing to build on the hard work of the previous few years educationally and financially and as ever, striving to become an outstanding setting.


This past year has seen a number of changes in the staffing, with Elaine and Ava leaving last academic year and Laura joining the team full time as well as Tara supporting as relief worker to cover staff absence. In addition, this term, Coreen has left First Steps after 8 years of being a key member of the team as a play worker, deputy and then leader and we wish her every success in her future. We are very grateful to Charlotte who has kindly agreed to take on the role of Acting Leader while we look to appoint a permanent replacement for Coreen, and we would like to thank her for keeping the preschool running smoothly during this potentially unsettled time.

In the past year, Hayley has completed her NVQ level 2 training and so is now able to have her own key children. She is also our bookkeeper and has been helping our Treasurer Tracey to keep the financial side of the preschool running smoothly. Hayley and Charlotte have also both passed their English GCSEs.

Charlotte has completed her Forest Schools level 3 course and we have booked for Sarah to begin her level 3 Forest Schools course starting in January. As a setting we are very keen to implement this training as we have seen the benefit that Forest Schools has on the children who take part in these sessions.

The staff have all completed a number of statutory and enrichment training courses run by the County Council over the last year, covering many differing aspects of preschool life. Over the coming year, we will continue their professional development, with a number of courses having already been booked and more in the pipeline.

This year we are excited to have all staff taking on more areas of responsibility across the pre-school and to each be focussing on an area of the curriculum, which Charlotte will go into more detail about in a moment.


Tracey, our treasurer, will be detailing our last financial year shortly. With the National living wage increasing again and workplace pensions being implemented, as well as the introduction of the 30 funded hours for many families with 3 and 4 year olds, we have been busy this year looking into what it means for us financially. I would like to say a massive thank you once again to Tracey for all her hard work and the countless hours she has spent dealing with all these issues, as well as the many others that come up. Thank you also to Hayley for her bookkeeping work to keep our finances organised.


We are very pleased with how well Tapestry has enhanced the learning and growth of your children whilst they are at the setting and how much easier it made the transition of information over to the school for all those who were starting Reception in September. We hope that those of you who have already got access to this have enjoyed it as much as we have and found that it has helped keep you up-to-date with everything going on with your child’s learning within preschool. And for those of you yet to use it, we hope that after this evening, you will enjoy using it too!

With the staff each taking on areas of the curriculum to focus on, we are sure that this will lead to lots of exciting activities and opportunities for your children and that it will help us to ensure that we are giving your children fun and exciting opportunities to play, across all of the areas of the early years curriculum.


In closing I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication and hard work to make this the setting that it is, particularly in the last half term where it could have been a bit unsettled with staffing changes and absences to cover. First Steps pre-school wouldn’t be the place it is without all of you. I would also like to thank the members of the committee for all their hard work, the time that they have given up for meetings and fundraising as well as tackling the garden and sheds! And of course, thank you to all the families of First Steps, particularly those of you here today as without you, we wouldn’t be able to open!

During the coming year we will be continuing the good work we have been doing and see the impact of the staff having particular areas of the curriculum to focus on and develop, as well as preparing once again for the possibility of a visit from Ofsted. We are excited to see what the future holds for First Steps Pre-school, and we will keep you all updated over the next few months with any news and developments related to a permanent pre-school leader.

Treasurer's AGM Report - 8th November 2017

        Tracey Kirkpatrick

         The first recommendation made in last year’s Treasurer’s report was “to seek further ways to appropriately                 spend our accumulated fund on equipment and activities”.  This is evidenced through the c.£2k spent on one-off          items such as i-pads for Tapestry, £400 on new toys and £457 on resources for Forest School, new projector              etc. 

         We also aimed to “to review staff wages, particularly in relation to increases in the living wage” and from April             2017 we have funded the increase in the national living wage to £7.50.  At the Finance meeting held in March             2017, we proposed further increases to staff pay that were subsequently approved by Committee.

         Our staff pension scheme (commenced 1st August 2016) continues to be funded by 2% employer contributions             to all staff, irrespective of earnings.  This will be reviewed during 2017-18 to reflect the statutory increases in              contributions from April 2018.

         We also aimed “to review the impact of the increase in funded childcare hours for 3 & 4 year olds from 15 to 30           hours by September 2017” and subsequently made sessions available on Thursday afternoons.  This was in part           made possible by the introduction of Tapestry.

         The majority of our income is received from Dorset County Council and this year totalled £66,638.  Our fees                 brought in £15,950. This totalled an increase of c.4% for total income.

         We also raised £776 through fundraising plus more that was directed to petty cash to fund supplies.

         Our expenditure totalled £83,955; the majority of which was staff wages and associated employment costs at              £73,305.  We have commenced paying 2% pension contributions for all staff and our forecasts indicate                       that our current income should cover these increased annual costs going forward, however, this is based on the          current level and timing of take-up of places and current staffing levels.

          The combination of increased take-up of places earlier in the academic year and the fact we have budgeted to             contain our expenditure within our annual income, has resulted in a healthy financial position and a small profit.           This is all down to the hard work of the pre-school staff.

          During 2017/18 we will need to continue to absorb the financial impact of any increases in our costs whilst                  forecasting our income to ensure this is financially viable.

         The pre-school has two Lloyds bank accounts, a current account and a savings account.  As at the end of August          2017 the current account balance was £34,653.14 and the savings account balance was £11,389.61; a total of             £46,042.75 invested in total.



i)              To forecast income and expenditure for 2017/18 and ensure all financial commitments can be met;

ii)             To continue to allocate funds towards improving the training and resources available to staff and children; and

iii)            To implement on-line banking and payments; facilitated by an improvement in the electronic banking services available to us.


First Steps Accounts Analysis



Sub Total



DCC Income






Session Fees (including vouchers)






Earned Income:






Fundraising/ donations/ interest












Other Income:












Wages & HMRC






NEST - Pensions



Staff Training






DBS Checks












Payroll Provider






Staff Costs:




Manor Park Rent & Landscaping






Internet & Wifi Installation



Bank service charges



Fire Inspection



Information Commissioner & Ofsted



Charitable Donations &Gifts



Unpaid cheque



Other Costs:




Hope Education/ Forest School



Lynx/De LageLanden Copier






Tapestry Licence & i-pads



Wainwright & Davies Engraving






Weymouth Fencing & Sheds



ArtScreen – tea towels



Oxford University Press



Fun Factory – Leaver’s Party



Tesco Bikes/ Echo Job Advert



Petty Cash



Other Supplies  - refunds



Supplies & Services:













I include with this report a copy of the First Steps Annual Accounts for 2016-17 which have been independently examined by Ian Smith; a Chartered Management Accountant and Accountant at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.       

Leader's AGM Report - 8th November 2017

        Charlotte Hillier (Acting Leader)

        Since last years AGM we have had lots of changes within the pre-school.

        Staffing - Elaine, Ava and Coreen have left us and we have employed Laura full time and Tara as bank staff who         provides us with cover for staff absences.

        Hayley has completed her NQV and I have completed Forest Schools leader qualification. Sarah is also about to            start her journey to become a Forest School leader.

        Looking forward, we have allocated each staff member a particular area/s of focus these are:

        PSED and Understanding the world- Sarah

        Expressive arts and design- Hayley

        Maths- Laura

        Communication and language and Literacy- Kimmaree

        All staff are responsible for physical development

         All staff are enthused with their new roles and are actively embracing them planning how to improve their areas         ensuring that our pre-school is the best it can be.

         Staff have also been given more roles:-

        Designated Safeguarding lead - Charlotte

        Deputy Safeguarding lead - Laura

        SENco - Charlotte

        Deputy SENco - Kimmaree

        E safety champion - Hayley

        ENCO - Sarah

        On top of this and our mandatory training, all of our staff attend enrichment courses throughout the year. We             pride ourselves on our continuous professional development and are very proud to have a staff team who are             willing to further their professional development.

        This year's transition for school starters has gone extremely well and they all seem to have settled into their                daily life at big school.

        We try to ensure that the transitions to school are as smooth as possible. We do weekly visits to the library for            our school leavers as well as being invited over to attend Caterpillar Cafe. We also use the school hall for our                performances throughout the year and have access to their Forest Schools site.

        Our new starters at pre-school have settled in very well and have quickly found their place within the pre-school.         Same goes for our existing children - most now being the older children, they have taken this responsibility in             their stride and do what they can to help the younger ones.

        Our numbers for this academic year are pleasing - we do still have some availability on different days so if you            would like to increase your child’s sessions please do not hesitate to discuss this with us.

        Out of a possible 250 sessions we offer each week, we only have 28 which are vacant. We also have a healthy             looking waiting list for the next academic year.

        We have had several parents show interest in joining us on our Committee this year which is fabulous. If you             would like to join us then please do not hesitate to discuss this with us also.

        Tapestry - we are in our 2nd year of Tapestry and the feedback has been astounding. We have a much better             relationship with our families due to the instant communication link we now have with you all. Those of you who         have not yet received your log in details please stay behind after this meeting as we have a small presentation            and a waiver we need you to sign before we can hand these out. Parents are also able to post their own                     observations which we can then link into the Early Years curriculum. We have had feedback from parents that             they don’t know what to post so we have decided to set ‘Tapestry challenges’.  These will be in the newsletters            and on our Facebook page and will give you a guide to what sort of things you could post, eg can you find a                number outside - so this could be your door number, a number plate etc. Hopefully this will then give you all the         confidence to start posting.

         Tapestry not only gives us that instant link with yourselves but also allows me to do the tracking much quicker             at the click of a button as opposed to flicking through all of the learning journeys. This has been a very valuable          resource.

        All staff have worked extremely hard to ensure they have developed good relationships with their key children’s            families. This allows us to communicate better with you about how your child is doing and if there are any                    concerns from either side, you are comfortable to speak to us about these.

        We do encourage families to come in and help for a session (or a few).  If you are able then please do speak to            us and we can arrange a time suitable.

         Finally I would just like to thank our amazing team, their dedication to their jobs really is second to none and the          hours spent at home preparing various different resources ready for the next day whilst juggling family life really          is outstanding.

        Over the last 5 weeks everyone has mucked in and taken on that little bit more than previously to help lighten             the workload for me and the general running of the preschool. I really really do appreciate all you have done and         I’m sure will continue to do throughout the year.

        I would also like to thank the Committee for their hard work and continued support and all of our families who             attend and support our pre-school with their children.     


Election of Management Committee and Office Bearers

        The following members joined the Committee:-

        Richard Stokes
        Naomi Austin

Download of 2016-2017 Accounts


Next AGM