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Arrgh Its Happened Again!


marley
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Hi all

Well, went in voluntarily today to try and do some obs as part of my diploma course (did it on non work day so i could give it all my attention!) and guess what....

 

deputy has left!

 

I cant believe it! Im sure some of you remember that we have done without deputy since July, struggled to get a new one, had agency and then recruited again oct half term. Well she phoned chair and isnt coming back...not working notice or anything! She has been given a difficult time by the commitee (xmas week a nightmenare as supervisor off and only me and deputy in and she refused to open until other qualified agency arrived (im still in training!). Committte really got at us both (we ended up calling OFSTED and they said we could not open plus neither one of us first aiders as only just managed to get on course in Feb!). Committee kept pushing us both to open and we refused due to safeguarding. At this point she did walk out but they talked her back. I think she only came back until she got another job (which apparently she has). That xmas week also saw myself run the whole of the xmas party as deputy and supervisor off ill and committee managed to get 2 agency staff in to help!

 

Its a nightmare! Comm still hadnt given the deputy a contract so they havent got a leg to stand on. Supervisor has booked holiday for week at end of Jan (boy does she need it) and is now worrying about that its 2 agency in, the other assistant mon-wed and me thurs-fri. We both think this will be a nightmare for the kids. I have taken over before and can cope ok with support but other assistant is not confident (has never done any real activity on her own etc). what an absolute mess. Just as we were begining to get things sorted.

 

If only I was allowed to do the job eh? Would make it so much easier!

 

Im still in shock. Convinced this might be the last straw for the pre-school. Last months minutes of meeting showed that they are not getting enough in fees to pay our wages and they have put a full stop on spending until money was recouped from paying 3 months of agency...now they are going to have to pay more agency costs. Numbers are really low too

 

Not sure what I can say to supervisor. She feels so frustrated with it all and is also stressed out doing this and trying to do a degree herself. Is there anyone she should be contacting to help her out? We are currently wiothout PVI tyeacher as last one has just left so we are waiting to hear. Any advice please?

 

Thanks

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Oh Marley how awful for you and your supervisor can you not get your LEA involved and cant remember if you are in the PSLA???? - if you are get in contact and get some help. You and the supervisor cannot sort this mess on your own and committee are obviously not helping! hope you can get some help - take care hun :o

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Poor you - I agree that the PLA might be able to help.

 

I also feel just a bit sorry for the committee when you mention that the fees are not covering the running costs. You seem to have used agency staff for a considerable time and it seems to be difficult for you pre school to sustain these costs. It is a very tricky issue. You need staff to run the setting but there are also budget restraints and implications.

 

Have you consider asking you LA if there is a contingency fund for sustainibility. They may be able to help your setting over this difficulty. Also could you advertise for your own bank staff to avoid the burden of the costs of agency staff. Could any of your parents (possibly teachers) help in an emergency?

 

Sorry you have probably thought of all these.

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This is awful! Definitely get in touch with the PSLA - do you have a local branch too? Local Development Worker. Looks like your Committee need some educating as they seem to be the crux of the problem!

Well done to you for holding the fort - and what a good job you went in!

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Did you know that if you are working towards a L3 qualification you can be emplyed as Deputy (or Supervisor) as long as there is an action plan in place to prove that your are working toward a L3 and when you complete it. I once worked in a Children's Centre where the SUpervisor of the pre-school sessional was working towards L3 and Ofsted where happy with this. Worth giving them a ring to see if that kind of scenario is still acceptable

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I used to be a Teaching Assistant so all my qualifications were for older children. I took over managing pre-school & did L3 at the same time. Had Ofsted in before I finished it (June 08) & they were happy with it as I had a personal development plan showing my progress & also got my NVQ assessor to fax over proof I was on the course. Hope this helps

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I also took over as deputy when working towards my Level 3. I had to open as supervisor three weeks into my course!! Not an ideal situation but necessary at the time. :o I had 2 years experience at the setting though.

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Hi all

Thanks for the support and advice!

Apparently before EYFS i could have been considered for deputy job but now you have to be qualified. Already been through this scenario when we were last looking for deputy. You have to have level 3 for supervisor at least level 2 for deputy and half of all other staff in training. Well on a daily basis there are only 3 of us!

PLA would be a good idea but the lady we have we have not worked well with (in fact we along with many other local pre-chools refuse to have her in as she is in noway supporting, just critisising and very rude!)

Only ray of hope is that we may have found someone. Our last agency girl we had for 2 months and she left agency to go work at a nursery. She doesnt like it there and may consider coming to us if the terms are right so chair is talking to her. Fingers crossed everyone!.

 

It all boils down to certain members of the committee. The way they spoke to the deputy and myself was awful and argumentative. Thing is they change year after year (i have been with 2) and they are no different. At xmas thay really tried to sya the deputy and i were in the wrong and there were 5 of them against 2 of us (they were arguing in front of the parents and children...not on!) There wasnt any support there at all. I tend not to take these things to heart (as I know we were in the right and did what was right for the children as well as for us) but think the deputy couldnt handle it. Qualifications aside we were not first aid covered...one committee member said that it didnt matter as deputys first aid was only 1 month out of date!

 

Unfortunaltey for our group with only running with 3 staff and one always being unqualified if ever the supervisor or deputy is off then agency is needed (or bank staff...we have been advertising but noone has even applied). Plus the new EYFS tightening up on qualifications.

 

Will keep you informed!

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You have my sympathy - our pre-school found itself in dire financial problems but the PLA were brilliant. They provided a mentor to support the staff and a mentor to support and guide the committee. She helped them through the maze of funding and grant applications. There is a sustainability grant that the group can apply for but the committee will need help in putting the application together. All I can suggest is that you keep pushing for help - go to national PLA level if you don't think your PLA people are doing as much as they could. You should not have to deal with this on your own.

 

It sounds like you are stuck in a nightmare - hope that things get sorted out soon.

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Hi

 

Thanks for advice...going to look at that sustainability grant.

 

Just got £200 from local councillor for new outside toys...saw his column in village magazine and wrote him a lovely (but begging email!). Couldnt believe my eyes when i saw his reply...so reallly chuffed!

 

Plus the old agency girl has accepted the job...so only had to have this week with agency deputy and then last week in Jan with agency cover again...ho hum!

 

Was talking to one member of committee this morning who was saying that if this girl hadnt accepted the job then the fact that the pre-school would have had to have 2 agency staff to cover supervisors holiday would have meant the pre-school closing for the week as they couldnt afford it! Not quite sure if im right about this but im sure they would not have been allowed to close given that LEA funded children need to attend a minimum number of weeks for us to get their funding...is this correct? Nearly had this argument with comm before...we have inset days the same as our local primary school (convenient for us and parents) but school shut 1 day due to flooding. Comm thought we should shut too but i said we couldnt given that not all our parents also use the school (aso thinking for reason above). Anyway we opened it was just very quiet that day!

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I really would emphasize the need to get help. If finances are so tight then your setting is in a financial crisis and staff and committee need help. The PLA is your first call. You realy do not want your setting to close.

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Marley - regarding emergency closure days as you mentioned above, our LA has us detail the days we are closed and deducts this from the next term's funding. We are allowed to claim up to the maximum amount of funding but not more, and as long as we make it clear to our parents that other settings might offer more weeks. It does vary from LA to LA though.

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Marley just want to sympathise, I do feel for you. My deputy only has a level 2, but is working towards a level 4 and Ofsted deemed her suitable.

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Marley,

 

Most LEAs allow you to claim for weeks open,up to 38 weeks.. with usually a set number as maximum each term. so closures like the one suggested would be Ok

you would have to declare you were closed to LEA and they would deduct any funding overpaid, from next payment usually..

but we have been asked for a return of money if it is the end of their financial year .

 

Inge

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