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Supervisor Dilemia


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Hi

I just wanted some advise. I have a supervisor who i have tried to be very supportive off, but these last 6 months are starting to take there toll. Incidents are happening right next to her but she isn't seeing them. " boys were hitting each other and screamoing at each other today, she only had 5 children in the room, but she ignored them i had to come in from the other room to deal with it. I asked her why she hadn't dealt with it and she said she didn't see it. It's happening over and over again. Today we have had 3 incidents right next to her. She also didn't fill in an incident report last week when i was off when she dealt with an incident, i only found out because the mother spoke to me. Every time i say something she says, i will remember for next time or i didn't know about that, even though i have told her before..... I'm really starting to get quite worried as i'm suppose to be able to rely on her to run the sessions when i'm not in. But i just don't trust her. I have tried to be supportive, This has been going on since last christmas, she says she has problems at home and i did wonder whether she was suffering from depression but she says she is fine, i have had many meetings with her and so has my chair. I have taken alot of paperwork off her so i now feel like i'm drowning as i'm also doing the degree, I just don't know what to do. We can't go on last this, today has been extremely stressfull and i just had to let off a bit of steam as i just felt like giving her a good shake.....!!!! How unprofessional !!!!

The other staff have started to notice and want to know why she is being paid supervisors wages if she is not doing a supervisors job. They are also all complaining to me about what is happening on the day i'm not in.... She just seems so insecure when i talk to her she bursts into tears and says she can't do anything right. She says she doesn't want to drop any hours as she can't afford to loose the wages... At staff meetings i have been saying to all staff that we must watch all the children always look around the room, etc. etc not mentioning any names and she just agrees outloud that thats what we should be doing but she is the only one who isn't.... I just don't know what to do...... My chair thinks that we should now get harder with her ... It's all so difficult as we are such a small group of people working together.....I'm just not sure what to do but my patience is starting to waver!!!!

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ooh what a dilemma!!

you need to have a good chat with your chair and explain what a serious affect this could or is having with the setting. you could probably get some confidential advice from your preschool development worker. we had a similar situation with a member of staff a while back and have now brought in a health declaration form similar to ofsteds not sure if this would help as she may not put down anything especially if she thinks all is ok.

are your appraisals due? this would be a good time for the chair to discuss matters.

you and the other staff cannot hold her up!

good luck!

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Thanks for the reply, We have health declaration forms and she hasn't declared anything. WE have had appraisals last april and supervison meetings every term - we have spoken to her at these meetings but she just breaks down into tears and says she cant do anything right, or i'll remember that for next time... but she never does!!!!!

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Health declarayions are fine if the person has an illness to declare, if she's not been to the doctor then she has nothing to declare.

Why not give her a written warning over a specific incident, there seem to be plenty to choose from. Give her a time limit on when you wil review her conduct. It is to dangerous to leave her without doing something. Maybe she needs some when to tell her that maybe child care is not for her. Support her in either getting more training or she has to go. not a nice place to be or an easy decision, but sometimes you have to do it.

good luck

stephenie

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I'm afraid I agree with Steph.Your first and prime concern is for the children at your setting.You can only be supportive of staff when there is an identified personal problem, or illness, but this lady is telling you she's fine.So, she may be fine, but the children, the other staff, you and the chair aren't. If this situation continues unaddressed, you will lose the good staff you do have, and then word will get round and you will start to lose children, OR someone may complain to Ofsted.I'm afraid she should definately be given a formal written warning, with definate time limits for improvement.If it doesn't happen, then you have to go through the formal sacking procedure.Yes that's painful, BUT it's a lot less painful than having to explain a seriously injured child to a parent, Ofsted and the local press! And, tbh, I think all the tears is a clear indication that she feels she isn't coping,(Or she's canny enough to realise that crying gets her off the hook for a few more days) and knows it,maybe being asked to consider her position would actually be a releif to her?

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I'm a little confused about the organisation structure of your group - are you senior to this person or are you joint supervisors?

 

Have you been documenting these individual incidences at all, simcity? Perhaps the time has come for a serious conversation - armed with evidence of how many conversations you have had with her, and the opportunities she has been given to raise her game. If you haven't been writing things down - you must start now. Otherwise you'll have no evidence to support your case - and anything that has been discussed before will remain as hearsay unless it has all been minuted.

 

Have a good look at your disciplinary procedure - and follow it to the letter. Given that you have offered her opportunities to come and talk about any issues she may be experiencing which are affecting the way she carries out her job, I think following the disciplinary procedure may be your only option. It can surely only be a matter of time before something serious happens which will ultimately threaten your group's security - such as a child getting injured or a parent complaining to Ofsted.

 

It sounds as if you have bent over backwards to support this particular staff member - but if other people are wondering what she's getting paid for you do have a serious problem. It sounds to me as if she is in denial - either about the state of her mental health or her ability to do her job. Hopefully when presented with evidence she will begin to see that she either requires support to carry out her role due to her personal circumstances, or she is really not suited to the work.

 

Ultimately you might decide that issue for her - but you need to be able to demonstrate that you've followed your policies and procedures to the letter in order to avoid being taken to an industrial tribunal at a later date.

 

Good luck - you're in a difficult situation which is not going to be easily resolved. Let us know what you decide to do!

 

Maz

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I'm a little confused about the organisation structure of your group - are you senior to this person or are you joint supervisors?

 

Have you been documenting these individual incidences at all, simcity? Perhaps the time has come for a serious conversation - armed with evidence of how many conversations you have had with her, and the opportunities she has been given to raise her game. If you haven't been writing things down - you must start now. Otherwise you'll have no evidence to support your case - and anything that has been discussed before will remain as hearsay unless it has all been minuted.

 

Have a good look at your disciplinary procedure - and follow it to the letter. Given that you have offered her opportunities to come and talk about any issues she may be experiencing which are affecting the way she carries out her job, I think following the disciplinary procedure may be your only option. It can surely only be a matter of time before something serious happens which will ultimately threaten your group's security - such as a child getting injured or a parent complaining to Ofsted.

 

It sounds as if you have bent over backwards to support this particular staff member - but if other people are wondering what she's getting paid for you do have a serious problem. It sounds to me as if she is in denial - either about the state of her mental health or her ability to do her job. Hopefully when presented with evidence she will begin to see that she either requires support to carry out her role due to her personal circumstances, or she is really not suited to the work.

 

Ultimately you might decide that issue for her - but you need to be able to demonstrate that you've followed your policies and procedures to the letter in order to avoid being taken to an industrial tribunal at a later date.

 

Good luck - you're in a difficult situation which is not going to be easily resolved. Let us know what you decide to do!

 

Maz

 

 

Thanks for your replies, I'm her Manager. I think i need to do some hard thinking over this half term. I've just phoned my development worker and she has agreed to meet with mein half term to discuss it. I will let you know what happens.

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agree with Mazlittles comments. I'm curious, how long has this member of staff been supervisor? How long has her work performance been at this level? Has she previously shown to be capable, how long for?

The reason I ask this is because during the last 7 years at my setting there always seemed to be at least one member of the team that 'all others' complained about, I saw a pattern, once a person left, then lo and behold another person appeared less able, I wondered, is this humn nature? The next person complained about, previously was not a problem. It seemed a bit like there is always 'the' child with the 'difficult' label. Often there were 'reasons' for staffs performance levels, depression, lack of training, new responsibilities etc.

 

Look closely at your discipline procedures, and the way grievances are aired and reported, confidentiality - ie: don't let a 'label' single out an individual. Look at whether you have 'good' support structures, professional advice, as we do to parents facing difficulties. But ultimtely, standards have to be maintained, keep events in perspective.

 

I really hope that this situation can be turned around for the benefit of the children, the other staff and for the 'member of your team' who is currently finding life difficult.

 

Peggy

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