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Raising Profile Of Deputy


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Because we open such long hours, and are such a large nursery, I am lucky to have 2 deputies. One is full-time and is based on one floor of the nursery; the other works 20 hours and leads the pre-school on the other floor. Her shifts vary greatly from week to week, and she does not get out of the room much, because I want her to lead the grant times as much as possible. Therefore, if I am off, it it usually the full-time deputy who steps in as manager.

 

Anyway, I was off all of last week, and it materialises today that they found the week a bit tough. In particular, the part-time deputy said that on the day she was acting as manager, she had staff who either went against her decisions, or if they didn't like her decisions, went to the other deputy.

 

Both deputies said that one of the supervisors was very testing, and didn't respect their decisions at all.

 

The part-time deputy says that she does not feel that staff treat her like a deputy. I am SO lucky to have them both. They are both excellent staff members, very strong, and make good decisions.

 

I have talked it through with my husband and he says I need to raise the profile of my deputies - in particular the part-time one. I agree with him. How do I do this so that staff arn't just being 'told' to respect my deputies, but instead just do????

 

All thoughts are very much appreciated and welcomed.

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I'd hold a bit of a staged staff meeting, where you raise some issues, invite comments (especially those from your deputy, who you've previously primed!), and say things like, "I really like that suggestion!", etc. Build her up in front of the rest of the staff, so that they see you really value her contributions.

 

Does she have an area of responsibility, eg SEN, Behaviour Management, Partnership with Parents, etc? This again will boost her profile within the staff team, particularly if you regular feature her in staff meetings in relation to those areas.

 

When the member of staff went to the other deputy to get a different response, what happened? This sounds a bit like my children who go to their dad if they didn't get the right answer from me xD Steve and I tend to say "What did your mum/dad say?" If this is the case generally, you could get your two deputies to put something in place along those lines, eg "I'll discuss that with x and see what she says". However, if the member of staff did it sneakily, ie without saying that she had already approached the other deputy, then I think she needs talking to :o You'll need to say that this isn't how things are done, and she has to respect the deputy's decision in your absence. She is of course, able to raise any issues with you on your return.

 

I think your two deputies need to get together and decide how they are going to present a united front when you are not there. Do they get on well?

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