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Our key workers get a set amount of time per week depending on the amount of children they key work


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My key persons are paid one hour per week to keep records up to date and we have a planning meeting altogether each week where next steps etc. are discussed and added to the planning board.

Staff may write up observations at home and in the setting they can have time inside alone, while the rest of us are in the garden , to stick in photographs, write up reports etc.

I would suggest making sure that they are not making more observations than are needed or if it's all a huge problem think about switching to an online observation system like Tapestry when it is all done within  normal working time.


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We try to give each of our teams (3) a day a week (one morning +one afternoon, not across a lunch time) each to share between the team members.  This only changes if there is staff sickness or holidays. We always have our manager out of numbers, our apprentice out of numbers and also one member of staff out of numbers - this means that the release time is generally available. If the manager needs to cover in a room she uses the time to do peer obs or team teach or try out a new system so she is not only covering the release but also moving practice forward.

The team leader organises how the release time is allocated according to the team priorities. Staff on release work in nursery in the office but pop out to cover breaks etc. Generally team members don't work at home, the team leaders sometimes need to work at home to catch up but they clear this with the manager  in advance and an agreed amount of time is set and the time is paid as overtime. So, for example, my toddler room leader might have a 2 year check to do and will coem and say 'it'll take an hour' - we will agree that's reasonable and then we expect it to be finished and we will pay an hour.

My manager has an afternoon a week at home doing paperwork, paid as part of her regular hours. My deputy also has some paid 'homeworking' time so that she can catch up on paperwork in the evenings when her children are in bed - this means she can work a school day 'hands on' but still effectively work 'full time'

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