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After my first ever performance management discussion- i've been told that i should train and support the two nursery staff who work with me. One is a GTA with no expereince of early years excpet the three years in our nursery working under my supervision. The 2nd member of staff is an ATA with 10-12 years experence in KS1 and reception (old type) but no early years qualification or nursery expereince as a Nursery nurse. I have pointed out to managemnt that nurserry is not just 'playing' and the need for qualified staff who understand and realise the need for certain routines within the setting. Neither staff has expereince in observational techniques etc but the ATA has refused to go for any training and canoot be made to go as the school recruited her despite not having the required early years qualifications?

my issues are too many to list but I have started going through the the 'areas' discussing learning opportunities and discuuing the Foundation stage curriculum once a week for 1/2 hour after nursery hours. All of us are partime staff.

Now, if i am asked to do this as part of my performance management, will i not need dedicated time for it?. shouldn't the nursery staff be paid if they have to stay in theri own time. This kind of training will take time and effort on my part- shouldn't this be recognised by SMT?

PS> we are due an OFSTED in the near future

Your comments and advice please.

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Hi Leo,

Your SMT need some training in how to run Performance Management meetings, don't they? :o

They are not an arena for them to pile on more work regardless of your views, but to discuss YOUR wishes for future professional development, and how THEIR wishes coincide with yours. Further agreement on how these two points of view can be amalgamated, and joint planning to put this agreement in place should then follow. That's how we do PDPs in our setting, and it works well.

However, now yours has been done, there are clear issues here that need resolving quickly. My immediate thoughts are:

1) Request another meeting asap, stating you have concerns about the previous one and now you have had time to reflect you would lke a further opportunity to discuss things.

2) Make a list of the main things you are worried about. I'd agree with you, you should take on nothing else unless you are given the time to do it, (or are offered a financial incentive, maybe)

3) I think your setting needs some kind of induction training programme for unqualified staff. Do they have such a thing for any other year groups or support staff? Perhaps we could get one going on this site (you've given me another idea for stuff to do over the summer!) If there isn't anything in place, I think you could legitimately ask for time to write one and put it into practice.

4) Does the ATA have a performance management meeting? Can it be raised that she attend courses? The SMT should be pushing for constant training of staff, no matter how qualified and experiences they are....everyone can learn more, can't they? I'd definitely discuss this with them

5) We had an Ofsted recently and the inspector was impressed with our induction programme and support of staff, (both trained and untrained). Ofsted view the correct treatment of staff as crucial to maintaining high standards and retaining dedicated staff in all types of setting.

 

I'm sorry to hear you are being pressured to take on more work with no recognition or guidance....we'll help all we can :)

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Hi leo -

Sorry to hear you're having a few problems! Hopefully they're the sort that can be sorted out with a bit of negotiation along the lines Helen mentions above. I just have a couple of other queries/points:

 

I'm sure you've mentioned this before but I can't remember what sort of setting you're in. Was it a Foundation Unit style setting - attached to a school? And also what your formal position is?

 

That would make a difference to how vigorous you could afford to be in your negotiations. The objective in all these kinds of situation is to resolve it to the satisfaction of all - if you have a particularly ruthless management team who don't have to answer to anyone outside their setting, the first thing might be to consider how much you want to keep your job! :o

 

If, however, you're in a larger maintained setting, there are 'proper' ways of doing things, which the SMT will need to adhere to. Even then, the objective remains: Get it sorted out amicably. All the things Helen mentions above can be done in two different ways - as a bolshy worker who knows his/her rights and isn't prepared to be trampled on, or as a committed member of a team who, in order to do their job effectively, needs to be given the time and resources to do it.

 

I'd strongly recommend the latter approach! :D

 

Don't know if this is applicable, but it would be interesting to know exactly how you fit into the organisation and what the organisation looks like?

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Thought I'd posted a reply to this earlier, so don't know where that disappeared to! xD So can I remember what I wanted to say?

 

Leo, you sound very dejected. But you are right, Performance management should not be like that, although I have no direct experience as in my school it always seemed to get shelved, but thats another story! I have had training in its implementation though, as a member of SMT! and performance management should exist to support you and recognise your needs not be a tool by which to trip you up. :o

 

I agree with everything that Steve and Helen have already said but it sounds to me as if you might need other support. You should consider contacting your union, if you are a member and if not get signed up now. I am not a militant person but my recent experiences have led me to believe that we all need that support and you just never know when you are going to need it.

All the unions have guidelines for performance management and you should at least look at these, via their websites. Although you need to realise that some articles may be member only!

 

You will survive Ofsted if you are confident and knowledgeable, which you will be when you feel supported.

 

Good luck. :(

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Hi leo, first of all dont panic. Easy to say I know. Really sound advice there form Helen Steve and Susan.

As a PM team leader myself, we had to cover all of the legal obligations as part of our training. There are guidelines to conducting PM interviews that the school are obliged to follow. If you havent seen them, let me know and I will see if I can dig mine out for you.

 

First, the school cannot impose a target on you, and I do hope you havent signed anything yet. You are supposed to get either 7 or 14 days to reflect before you agree to anything. They can and often do set whole school targets (ours was reading this year) but will usually have this as part of a wider SDP, and will be putting resources into this.

 

Your leadership and management target which is the one I assume you are talking about should come from your action plan which I know you have spent some time writing. And it should be negotiated. So your Head can say......' I see that you would like xyz to attend some training, have you considered the possibilty of in house training as you are aware of their needs'. They can't say 'I want you train your staff'. You have the right of refusal, and if you havent signed anything yet, go back and talk to your Head, and log the meetng in your PM folder (if you are not given one, make one). You also have the right to log objections if your Head wont listen to you. This will help you at the end of the process when you have your review meeting, you can say, 'we met on such and such and I stated then that this target is umanageable.'

 

Second, the school is obliged to put into place the things you need and this should also be written down. If it helps I can send you our proforma. If this deosnt happen, and you dont meet your target, you are not held responsible for that. So I didn't meet one of my targets this year because the training we agreed I would need just didnt happen. We have carried it forward, the reasons for not meeting the target were logged and that was that. So it isnt the end of the world if you dont meet a target.

 

Third, the targets are not set in stone. If you have agreed to them now, you can still go back next term and say that you want to modify them. I had to do this this year because one of my team changed her subject responsibilty half way through the year. We made new targets and logged the reasons for the change.

 

Finally, keep a record of everything. So the things you have already done constitute training. If you are doing this weekly, keep minutes. they dont have to be long, just dated and what you covered. Record all meetings with your Head or team leader. If things really do go pear shaped and you feel the need to get the union involved, you have a complete record of events.

 

On the other issue of your staff refusing training, your Head can insist that any member of staff attends training, and this should be written in their contracts. If your Head is insistent that they cant, then this is another issue for you to log in your folder.

 

Please dont spend the summer worrying about this.

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