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Help, I Am Sooooo Upset!


Shiny
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I had a great morning at work today, one of those that reminds you why you work with young children, everything went according to plan, children had a brilliant time in the rain, our potatoes are growing well, most children focused on an activity they were enjoying and learning from, hand over went smoothly and then a relatively quick tidy and thorough clean. xD We were just setting up for monday when the phone rings, our chairperson informs us we have had a letter sent to her house regarding a complaint to ofsted about the setting!!! :o

 

It states a complaint has been made re:

 

Lack of staff on a specific day!!

Children without personal files?!!

Staff don't interact with the children!!!

And there is more but I can't give to much information.

 

I can't believe this, I am very upset.

 

What I don't understand is one of the allegations is very serious, but we haven't lost any children/families except 2 that moved out of the area, we have had no complaint in the preschool to either supervisor or committee, we have a waiting list, a host of happy parents that have been with us for years with different siblings, lots of new parents who have recommended us to friends etc!!!

 

I am totally at my wits end!! I don't know what to do or how to handle this situation. It has shook me to the core, so much so I am considering handing in my notice and not returning in September.

 

Any words of advice would be appreciated!!

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Oh Shiny, I feel useless to say something that will make you feel better. Just felt I had to write and give you my support and say I am thinking about you. I am sure someone will be along to offer you guidance soon, mrsW.x

Edited by Guest
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Oh dear Shiny, I really feel for you. Have been there myself and I know just how distressing this is for you all right now.

 

The letter from Ofsted will give explicit instructions about what you have to do now (or rather your registered person). That would most probably be to carry out an investigation of the allegations made against you, and to report back to Ofsted within a certain period. They may also ask to see relevant policies which you'd then need to send in with your report. Once all this is done they'll either ring you for more information, or they'll write to you telling you what they propose to do about it. In extreme cases I guess they might visit you to put their minds at rest that all is well at your setting.

 

Whilst all this is going on you need to do the difficult bit: carry on as normal and try to rally the troops. If you don't know who has complained about you then this can be difficult because it is so hard not to take a complaint of this nature personally. Deep in your heart you know that you're a good practitioner working in a good setting for the benefit of the children and families you serve but I know how demoralising and confidence sapping this kind of episode can be.

 

Get support for yourself - if you're a PLA group then I'd suggest your Chair contacts Lawcall for advice. I also found Ofsted very helpful when I rang them for advice about what to put in my report. The man I spoke to was calm, kind and reassuring - if you have any questions at all I would give them a ring on the number on the letter. Also contact your early years people: they will be familiar with how these things work and will be able to support you through the process and help you reflect on all aspects of the complaint and help you see what a good job you're doing.

 

You'll probably find you can't think of anything else, and will want to talk about it all over and over trying to make sense of what has happened. Its natural to do a bit of that but once the report is written and you are sure that none of the allegations have any basis in fact, this shouild help you to move on.

 

Please don't make any hasty decisions about your future based on this one complaint. It is a nightmare, but you can get through it if you all support each other and try not to get things out of proportion - it is difficult I know (seven months on for me and I still have my paranoid moments). I didn't think I'd get through it either but I did, with the help of my fantastic staff team and colleagues who kept reminding me that I'm doing an OK job.

 

Take care Shiny: try not to beat yourself up over this.

 

Maz

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Oh my goodness Shiny you poor thing - I really don't know what to say.

 

Do you recognise any of these complaints as being valid? Could Ofsted have contacted the wrong setting?

 

It makes no sense to me that anyone would complain to Ofsted before complaining to you - I don't know how this works - do Ofsted divulge details of just who has made the complaint.

 

How very distressing for you, I'm so sorry.

 

Take care

Sunnyday

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Oh Shiny, how awful for you, I too have unfortunately had experience of 'malicious complaints' :o

 

However much we know we are doing the right things and that the 'complaint' will not be upheld, it still HURTS, very badly. :(

Nothing we say will take this hurt away, but think on that for some unknown reason some (thankfully the minority) people do this to others. Don't even take it personally (but of course you will), it isn't. The most difficult thing is to understand why a person could do this, there is no answer.

 

You will question What did I do wrong?, you didn't, so this leaves you feeling vulnerable and powerless because there is nothing you can do to change the possibility of this happening again, and also powerless to prove your integrity and wrongful complaint.

 

Does the letter state what will happen next?. I would assume a visit from Ofsted, they will have to have 'evidence' to disprove facts, ie: registers showing ratio's were correct, learning Journals etc. Subjective complaints are harder, the Ofsted person will make a judgement by looking at any other complaints, Inspection reports, 'atmosphere' during visit. I am sure they know how emotionally distressing this is for you and take this into consideration.

 

All I would say is that once the visit is completed ask the Ofsted person for a date to expect a written conclusion to their investigation. I had a complaint of hurting a child made against me which hung over my head for over a year, I had to chase up ofsted for 'closure' so that I could 'move on'. This is a difficult part of the process as well because for subjective issues they will not say it didn't happen, just that they couldn't conclusively prove it did. xD

 

I think maybe the committee should discuss whether / how to inform parents of this complaint and how it is being dealt with, I personally think by being proactive rather than reactive in these situation is better, let parents know the facts, thus 'squashing' any 'rumours', which s we all know can get totally out of hand.

 

Please, please, don't consider leaving, I know this is a horrible, horrible experience, but they are few and far between, you will find that parents will support you through this, plus staff and committee should all be there for each other, don't let this vindictive person win by letting her stop the children having you with them.

 

If there were just one or two 'items' of complaint I'd maybe suggest a possible misunderstanding, lack of communication, but the list you give (plus more) including serious accusation leads me to believe it is a malicious complaint. Most parents now are confident and knowledgable enough to be able to voice concerns at the setting. To 'build up' a list like this and not say anything to staff is very unusual, so the person doing this must be 'trying' to cause a big impact.

 

Let us know what happens, and big hugs to you, to help you through this, because although it doesn't feel like it now, you will get through this, bruised and hurt but also with a sense of value from all the people who will support you and let you know how much they really do value you.

 

Peggy

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Don't know what to say that can help, but I am sure that we are all thinking of you and hope you make it through this. I agree not to make any hesitations just yet, see what happens next. Take care of yourself

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So sorry for you Shiny! This happened to me too and like you my first thought was 'Why should I bother?' but six years later I am still here!

It's just a shame these people feel the need to hide behind the mask of anonymity and haven't the guts to reveal who they are. I actually received a visit (no notice) but have to say the two inspectors were very fair and the matter was resolved very quickly - I really felt they were on my side and I am sure you will find them supportive too. Like Maz says, no way should you take this personally, get together with your staff, see it through as a team and keep focus on the fantastic job you KNOW you do!

 

Good Luck

Valp59

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Poor you, lots of love being sent your way.

Great advice already given. Last week I was devastated too - posted on here and received lots of words of wisdom and support - so hope you too can be eased by the comments from people who's thoughts are with you.

Some people are complainers that's for sure and Ofsted will be able to see by the evidence you provide them - either verbally or by a visit - that the complaint is unfounded and it will not be on your report.

You'll feel differently as time passes but hope you can find the strength to support you over the next few days.

Such a shame that it spoiled such a brilliant day too but you know they'll be others

best wishes to you x

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oohhh shiny - I do feel for you. At times this job stinks, hugs and kisses from me too x x x x

(the fact you are so upset shows how much you care, your children need you)

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Oh how sorry I am to hear what has happened to you. I too have had a similar experience which a complaint. It was a nightmare to go through, but Ofsted were very fair and it became clear very quickly that it was malicious. It does leave a nasty taste though.

 

I hope you can do something special tomorrow so you can keep your chin up.

 

Thoughts are with you.

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Guest MaryEMac

Just wanted to add my support Shiny. I know just how you feel as a complaint was made against me last summer. It was not upheld but it was still made and luckily I had good support from the chair, my staff and the head teacher of our feeder school.

I know it is hard but try not to dwell on it too much this weekend and go in on monday ready to deal with it. Sending virtual hugs.

 

Mary

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I had a great morning at work today, one of those that reminds you why you work with young children, everything went according to plan, children had a brilliant time in the rain, our potatoes are growing well, most children focused on an activity they were enjoying and learning from, hand over went smoothly and then a relatively quick tidy and thorough clean. xD We were just setting up for monday when the phone rings, our chairperson informs us we have had a letter sent to her house regarding a complaint to ofsted about the setting!!! :o

 

It states a complaint has been made re:

 

Lack of staff on a specific day!!

Children without personal files?!!

Staff don't interact with the children!!!

And there is more but I can't give to much information.

 

I can't believe this, I am very upset.

 

What I don't understand is one of the allegations is very serious, but we haven't lost any children/families except 2 that moved out of the area, we have had no complaint in the preschool to either supervisor or committee, we have a waiting list, a host of happy parents that have been with us for years with different siblings, lots of new parents who have recommended us to friends etc!!!

 

I am totally at my wits end!! I don't know what to do or how to handle this situation. It has shook me to the core, so much so I am considering handing in my notice and not returning in September.

 

Any words of advice would be appreciated!!

hi shiny we too had a complaint against us last year - it was unfounded-the ofsted lady that came in to visit and talk to us was lovely she took a report asked questions ,took notes then said she thought we had acted properly -she had no problems -she did give us a few ideas on how to improve -please try not to worry - i know its easy to say - we did - but hopefully the lady you see is as lovely as the one we saw. have you spoken to your development worker for support and advise - she will be there for you - they can help you - and please remember we are also here for you. Edited by blondie
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Virtual hugs from me too. There's been some great advice for you here from people who have been where you are now and got through it to be stronger than they were. You CAN do this, we are all with you.

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Hi Shiny

 

So sorry to hear your news. Draw comfort from your family and friends this weekend and be sure to keep

in the front of your mind why we do this job - it's because we care! I truly hope you will soon be looking back on this

very stressful time with peace of mind that you do a fantastic job looking after the most precious possession of so

many parents who trust and believe in you.

 

take care

dottyp x

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as others have said... the letter will state what to do next...

 

evidence everything ..to show it was unfounded....

 

and they do often visit for a chat... to see evidence even if you have sent it in, and to speak to someone... but that said they have always been fair..

 

as you may have guessed .. been there.. done that .. got the t- shirt... 4 times ... all unfounded... And unless the person actually acknowledges it.. you may never know who...

 

sounds awful.. 4 times.. but i was in an area with what out LEA termed as 'needy parents',

 

take a breather, time to get over the shock , and get this sorted before taking any decisions about your future,

 

this job sucks at times :o

 

Inge

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Really feel for you Shiny. I've also been on the receiving end of a complaint, it didnt get as far as Ofsted, but it left me feeling totally unappriciated, useless and a failure. But, like you I had a lovely set of parents, a waiting list, people being recommended to us and happy, happy children. Thats what counts in the end Shiny, not someone who has nothing better to do with their time.

Take heart in the fact that you're not alone, more of us have been in this situation than you would think. Try not to worry too deeply about it, you cant do anything until Monday and then you'll need to be fresh and ready to sort it out.

((( :o )))

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Oh Shiny! :o I have nothing more to add to what everyone else has said but just wanted to lend my support too. It is so awful when something like this drops on you out of the blue and even worse not to know who exactly has made the complaints. I am sure that OFSTED will view it with a certain amount of suspicion since the person in question has not made a single complaint to the setting nor removed their child. It seems obvious that there is a certain amount of vindictiveness or trouble making involved. xD

 

Look after yourself and don't forget that here you are amongst friends. xx

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Shiny, I just wanted to say sorry to hear what is happening to you - it is tough as well that its happened just before the weekend - I know whats its like to dwell on issues over the weekend when there is more time to think. Just take care of yourself I am sure it will begin to sort itself out next week for you xxx

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I haven't got any wonderful words of wisdom like many others, but I did want to show my support and let you know that that I'll be thinking of you and sending lots of positive thoughts and vibes your way.

Karrie x

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hi shiny sorry to hear of your troubles my thoughts are with you

 

Ofsted will take into consideration that this person hasnt followed the complaint proceedures in coming to you first

if the complaint was made annonymously then they tend to hold less credibility to start with!

 

Ofsted will possibly make a unanounced visit to check that there is not substance in the complaint but they are well aware that anyone can make a malicious complaint annonymously for many reasons and they have to assess the validity of the complainer as well as the complaint Ofsted know that most genuine complaints contact the setting first.

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You seem so lovely and obviously caring. OfSTED will see this without doubt. Some people are just born to whinge and particularly when someone is good at their job!

 

xx

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Hi Shiny

I dont have any advice to offer you but wanted you to know that im thinking of you and im so sorry you have to go through this, hang on in there

take care

Jojom x

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Hi Shiny,

No further advice to add but just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and will especially think of you tomorrow as you go back to work and have to put on "the brave face" to show all parents that you can carry on and that you believe in what you are doing.

 

Take care and love and virtual hugs to you

Nicky Sussex :oxD

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