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Hello everyone, I'm new to the Foundation Stage Forum but very happy to be here.

I need your advice and experience to help me. I'm finding it really difficult to complete all of my managment paper work in my half day management time a week. As a result I come home most evenings and complete it all then. For example: timetables, rotas, FSU action plans. Concerned that I will burn out soon though xD How much management time do other Foundation Stage Co-ordinators or Senior teachers get? :o

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I don't get any at all and my HT tells me that management time is outside directed time. I don't think she is right and I'm ringing my union today, as like you I just feel completely burnt out. Thank goodness it's Christmas with time to sleep! :D

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As I'm a Nursery Nurse, not a teacher, I can't really comment on your immediate situation, but want to offer support!

 

I think we all have far too much paperwork these days, it's no easier for Senior NNs, or whatever setting you happen to be in. When I led a Pre-school it was the same (if not worse, because no one else wanted to help out, they weren't paid enough!!). I continued to take everything home with me until earlier this year, when my Manager got really cross with me, she almost started searching me on the way out! Her point was that I was far more use to her in the Nursery doing what I did best, than working myself to death in the 'wee small hours'. If the paperwork was that burdensome, she'd find me a bit more non-contact time somehow!! I suppose I'm fortunate that I have a Manager like her, she also helped to stop the niggles and spats at home because I was always too busy for a life!

 

I know that's not been terribly helpful, but I do understand where you're coming from, please take care, it's so easy to be swamped!!

 

Sue :D

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My Head has asked me to build some non-contact time into my timetable, but hasn't given me any guidelines on time. Its really difficult fitting the time in

- I was going to have 2X45 mins.

I would be interested to hear how much time others have too.

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I have to put a bid in for the year ahead for any time I want for any subject.... I currently have five subjects plus Early Years co-ordinator(small school, with 2 NQTs - well one just completed her NQT year) ... but it works out at less that half a day a term. :o

I have finally decided I am not going to work a;ll the holidays... just to catch up.

 

 

Will watch this thread with interest.

 

Have a good rest everyone

 

L

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Thanks for all your replys, it makes for depressing reading!

But I do know of some settings where Foundation Stage Co-ordinators or senior teachers have as many as 3 days release time to do all that is needed to run an excellent setting. I think I'm going to start job hunting!! :)

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Hi Oli, I am like you a foundation coordinator, which I job share and we dont get any time specific for managmenet.

We have introduced PPA for all teachers this year, but we dont get any additional time for managemenet, only subject managers get this. We dont even get time for phase meetings.We did last year, in fact we battled lng and hard to close early one afternoon a month to meet with the whole satff, but this was abandonned this year.

 

So like you we do it all in our own time. With a team of 12, I would say I do significantly more managing than teaching, and we have had many a headache over the how-do-we-fit-it-all-in.

 

The simple answer to that is.... you dont. I am guessing that you are new to the job and that creates its own pressure, as you want everything to be just right.

 

I would focus on your action plan, concentrate on the tasks in that, and your performance managmenet, which with any luck will match you action plan anyway (?). Your rotas and things should not need doing again once done unless there is a major crisis. Dont make major chnages to the way you work, but build them into to future action plans. So for example if you can see that you need to tweak your planning, write it in your next action plan (we do these termly although I much prefer the annual aproach) and do it then. Accept that you cant change everything in one go. If you are required to or it helps, write a long term (we have to do this) 5 year vision, which then acknowledges that you cant do it all now.

 

I hope that makes some sort of sense. If not get back on this. there is a lot of experience here so at the very least you wont be alone in your trials and tribulations.

And, make sure that you get a rest over the holiday, that is really important to.

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As ex FS coordinator, part of my non contact time remit was also to participate in the other classes in Reception which I was more than happy to do if I was to moderate profiles etc!

I had half a day a week, initially a morning then an afternoon. There was always more to do than time allowed and of course the paperwork came home! But the classroom work I wanted to do was also often squeezed out by my other role as Literacy coordinator which included also maintainence of the library!

 

I was only given 1 management allowance for this and many other coordinator jobs I saw advertised had 2.

 

My replacement, who is also SenCo has a much reduced teaching timetable!

 

Good luck, Oli & Jacquie.

 

Magenta-- all teachers will soon be entitled to PPA time under the workload agreement and if you are managing an area you need more? 45 minutes will pass very quickly and I suspect unprofitably.

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Thanks for your replys and Mundia you are quite right.

I was a NQT last year and a FS co-ordinator this year, my feet havn't touched the ground yet.

September 2003 I accepted the post as nursery teacher and completly turned the practice around. This year I have attempted to spread the good practice into the reception class by fully intergrating the two classes and creating a FS unit (a larger task than I had suspected!! :D ).

I am ok at prioritising my management time, I know what the next steps for the unit are. But then something else comes up and takes over my time, for example, I was ment to be creating an autit of our provision but got sidetracked into writing letter stories to support phonic knowledge. MUST STAY FOCUSED!!! :)

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i am the nursery manager of a private day nursery i donn't get any time though out the week to management tasks. to help with my work load i do shifts in a 8 week block any staff changes i work out as they come up found this easier. i also do rotas for cleaning outside inside on a 4 week rotate that i keep in place and rotate around thesse each week. which helps staff know where they are going to and they can help with planning and resouceing alot easier. there is to much paper work out there nad not enough time to fit this into.

I think the only way we can reduce our work load is to have time to do long term planning and medium term planning. which i dont think i will get any way :o

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I too do not receive any management time as yet but I have got all my planning in place and we have a rolling programme of topics which we repeat. This means we also have a good bank of resources to use. As all the planning has been done in my own time I have put a copyright on all my planning documents as it is my Intellectual Knowledge. Ofsted were very interested in this, I told them if I left my post I would be taking ALL my planning with me. It also won't be available if they replace me with with unqualified staff. As a teacher with over thirty years experience I am very expensive in their eyes and I am watching my back.

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Hi,

I am a Reception teacher, with responsibilty for managing the FS, (only 1 class, me), and I liase with the Pre school which is in the room next to me. We get on great and try and do some work together.

I have just been appointed to the management team on point 1 with a brief to oversee all paperwork relating to SDP, Self evaluation, school assemblies and dinner duties amongst other things.(maths Coordinator) I have'nt had any time yet and have been told that if I want time I am going to have to use my Teaching assistant, which I do not agree with. My 2.2 hours in Sept 2005 for ppp will have to be managed like this too.

To wards the end of the term it was made clear to me that the FS has let our children down and they are not achieving in Sats as they should. I have boiled ever since. I have been told I must do lit and numeracy asap to improve standards. I was really glad of the break as I too was burnt out and still can't see an end in sight or where to go next. We are a small school so can't share with anyone in my school. Sorry to be so depressing.

Abi

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Not at all Abi, that is exactly why the FSf has become a lifeline for many people such as yourself, especially those who feel isolated for whatever reasons.

 

I have worked in small school and also had the jack of all trades hat on and it isnt easy.

I think in your positiion I would do 3 things.

 

1. have a really good break over the holiday, switch off ( i know easier said) and enjoy yourself with family/friends/whatever.

 

2. Reflect on what the head has said, and check through your data form last year to see if there is any truth in what they are saying eg how did the children progress on the profiles? Was there evidence to say that they were underachieving? If there are issues for you, (and we all have them), acknowledge them and look at ways of improving practice.

 

3. When you return to school ask for a meeting with your head to discuss their reasons for laying the 'blame' at your door? They must have evidence for this to suggest that the FS is the root of the problem. There is ample evidence out there which Im sure other members can kindly point you to showing that formal literacy and numeracy hours in reception do not necessarily lead to better SATS reuslts in KS1.

 

Do let us know how you get on.

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Abi I work in a small school our Y1 teacher blames the lit and numeracy strategies for the poor progress of children at key stage 1 as do many. We too have been told to use our classroom assistants to relieve us - giving us time for PPA but as a staff we all said this would undermine our position after all if they can take over the class for a couple of hours they will then be asked to do it if we are off sick too.

So as a staff we are sticking to our guns we refuse to plan either for our PPA time or allow our planning to be used by anyone other than a qualified teacher.

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Thanks Mundia and Mimi for those replies I have considered what to do, my Head is very manipulative and is in a total state of panic. We have just lost our deputy to a secondment and we don't think she will be back. She was y6 teacher and taught Literacy for the upper juniors. The head has said that she pulled the children up by the boots straps and now that she has gone we will not do well. At the moment we are one of the top 100 schools in the country and 4th in Cheshire. We are expecting a bit of a dive this year for the first time in years. So he is panicing and that is affecting us. I find it a very depressing state of affairs and not sure what to do. I know if I could I would leave but at the moment that is impossible.

Abi

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Abi I also work in a school which comes high in the league tables - our key stage 1 results are not wonderdful but by Yr6 the children have made excellent progress, this is accumulated over their time in school. We do not rush them and we do not start formal teaching too early, our yr1 and yr2 classes still have role play areas. Children leave the infants full of confidence, with enquiring minds.

But children who join our school later, after the foundation stage do not achieve the higher attainment levels as those who have been in our foundation stage. Our local authority were able to track our children right through secondary school and on to university. It might be interesting if you could do the same for your children.

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i would be interestred in seeing how this PPA time is sorted out in schools. A couple of schools near us have decided that only teachers will be used or staff with special expereince in certain subjects- music and ICT and they will also be proved into a propotionate PPA/housekeeping time.

 

The school i worked in went the other extreme and decied that they would not replace me but 'upgrade' my nursery assistant- expereinced but unqualified and get in a TA in her place. I felt this undermined my own position bec it meant that it didi not need a teacher in nursry- this swap was never done in recpetion as 'they do some learning' there against 'only playing'.

 

I got the LEA consulatats involved and they pointed out to the school that waht was being done was illegal and thr 1:13 ratio could not be used if to cover unquaified TAs. School has stopped doing this now but have burried their heads about PPA time or ewven planning towards it. In sept2005 schools will have to respond to it as it will be mandatory and not some concession given managemnet.

 

I'll get off my soap box now.

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Good Luck Leo hope you have you got support from the rest of your staff. My NNEB has said that they couldn't pay her enough to take on the extra responsibility.

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My nneb's used the planning(in fact they helped write the planing) although they are not qualified teachers and they did everything i did in a class. I have been more than happy to leave them in charge. If I was covered by a supply for any reason they were in charge anyway as the supply would generally not be able to get up to speed fast enough. Equally so did my LSA's in reception. They taught groups effectively and managed the whole class with the same level of input as I could. They were professional in their work despite being "unqualified". If I left activities they were done the way I wanted them done. This was because we worked together, I shared everything with them and they were included. I didn't feel undermined, I felt supported to do the other parts of my job which otherwise would have been done after school or at home.

Some schools are going to have to use non teaching staff if they are to deliver PPA. Some understanding of the big picture and the constraints on budgets despite the govt's additional funding may be required here. It could be a case of cutting off noses to spite faces? Just an other point of view

 

Cxx :o

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hi catma

get your message but i guess what upset me was that everyone else in school except moi was getting supply cover when they went on courses or were ill. Classroom TAs wsere not used for cover in those classes and i guess it is the feeling that children in nursery need less rahter than more care. after all they were 'only playing'. :o

i think the gudelines for the foundation stage does specify that chidlren in this age group need people who are qualified to work in that stage.

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Hi Leo, I wasn't just replying to you!!! It was a response to the whole thread

 

But, it isn't always possible i suppose to get the perfect cover so its finding a practical solution.I've had supplies turn up who've destroyed the room!! Qualified teachers huh!!

 

In my case the rest of the school had their PPA by doubling up LSA's from the parrallel class. The LSA's had all been consulted and the groundrules for their deployment were agreed with them.,e.g. no PE sessions, classroom ready for them etc. Sure it may not have always been active teaching but in the older classes children would do things like finish their drafted work. In R and N they would carry on as usual! I had 1 day a week management time as DHT which was covered by the full time supply employed to cover me, 3 ast's and the senco so the school could not afford more supplies on that basis. We have to remember the extortionate costs that supply agencies charge too. :D:o

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I think the subject of PPA will come up frequently over the next 12 months on the forum, that it probably deserves its own thread. Perhaps once we get the holiday out of the way we can start one.

 

Abi, i do hope that you are using the holiday to have some rest and peace. Its amazing how some time away from school makes you see things in a different light.

You may find that this is just a blip your school is going through and that it will settle in time. With a deputy away, it can put a lot of pressure on Heads if there is noone to fill their shoes and especailly if they were really good. If you have nothing to worry about in your phase, then sometimes you just have to get on with doing what you do best and leaving him to worry about other things. If he gets a replacement for your seconded deputy things may get better.

Looking for a nother job must always be an option if you are really unhappy and a number of members have recently resigned unhappy posts for a number of reasons. Only you can know if that is the right move for you. But it may well turn out to be a storm that you can ride.

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