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First Day Back And Already A ?


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It was our first day back today and although as Manager things should settle down for me now a bit as the administrator (previous manager) has left. However I realise it is never easy and I am looking for advice about another member of staff and her views.....basically she abhors the fact I have said the children's records must not leave the building (previously the staff took notes home to do) and at every opportunity she contests this with me...to the point she insists on contacting Ofsted to get their opinion....

I have stated quite categorically that regardles of what anyone says I don't want the records leaving and all other staff members have adapted to this way of working with no problem. The second and accompanying problem with this staff member is that one of her key children came to us from another setting and the setting kindly forwarded the records they had already made.....the other setting had a nicely presented ring binded folder - but not much evidence in the folder....but lots of ticked off criteria...they had a deceptive looking fancy file with not much going on in it other than a tick list...well the said member of staff is up in arms about this....claiming that we were told not to us it as a tick list and this setting is a Children's centre where our local FSA is situated.... she wants to know how can they get away with it? Why can't we do this as they have a brilliant Ofsted report...so sort of intimating that I am asking too much of them and that I should sort this out !

 

Well again I have stated in no uncertain terms that every setting will interpret the EYFS slightly differently and I feel we have to feel happy with how we are doing things and believe in why and how we are doing it....which I am!

I am the manager and feel it is my perogative to state this...of course I will welcome ideas and suggestions but this member of staff came in today and demanded that I contact the LA as she is not happy with the differences compared to the said setting in how we record childrens development.

 

AAArrrrgggghhhh! I must of repeated four times today that I don't really care about other settings, I care about how we are doing things! Basically I feel she has been on a crusade for a while with regard to paperwork and the change in the job and I am trying to go with it and understand that she dislikes how the job has changed but -----the constant moaning!

 

On a more positive note the other staff all seem fine and I think this term will be good.....I gues I am using the forum as therapy again after being so positive to start the term to have to deal with contention on day one! :o

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Hang on in there shirel - you know that what you're saying is right, and you have the best interests of the children at the forefront of everything you do. Just keep on repeating the message. Once you've gone round the loop a few times (note suitable vagueness of 'few' here though) she may just see things your way and have a light bulb moment and see the benefit of what you're advocating.

 

Alternatively, when you get to know her better you might casually suggest that perhaps she'd feel more comfortable working at a different group whose ethos and philosophy is more in line with hers!

 

As to the other groups, as you say their practice is of no concern to you and you're only worried about driving up standards in your group. We've today been handed the learning journey document for a child who has come to us from another (outstanding) setting. One of the comments made today was that it looked like a child's school project, and not a good one at that. The documentation doesn't point to an outstanding group, and it does make our special books look even more fantastic than I think they already are - but that doesn't mean we should stop doing it our way and adopt their methods, does it?

 

Chin up - you'll get there! It sounds as if you have the makings of a great team here, and once you get these teething issues out of the way you'll be well on the way to your own oustanding Ofsted report!

 

Maz

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I agree with Maz.

 

You don't change good practice to bad just because someone else is getting away with it!

 

How do you use the records to inform your planning? Could you ask her to suggest a format which she would be happy to use but still gives you all the information you need to plan effectively for individual children? If you make it clear what needs to be in there and she comes up with a format that covers it then all well and good. My guess is that she'll realise that you plan the way you do for a reason and back down.

 

Keep your chin up. We don't mind being therapy - we all need some from time to time.

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Youe reply to this staff member is excellent I am going to lag that one away for the futre we have had a simiular issue last term.

Anyone can TICK even some of our children could tick boxes it means nothing. Knowing the children and planning for their needs and interests is our job, and our gut instincts are generally right!

 

Stand your ground and chin up!!!! :o

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Can you tell anything at all from the ticklist about 'where' the child is, and is it evidenced by photographs, observations etc? If, as I suspect from your description, it isn't, then I wonder if you can help her to see this? What would one of your files tell someone else? Could you do some comparison 'work' at a staff meeting, and discuss it - whilst putting across the view that, as Upsy Daisy says, 'You don't change good practice to bad just because someone else is getting away with it!'

 

I too, was tempted to suggest that perhaps she'd be better off working there!!

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Thanks....the ironic thing is the member of staff keeps her key children's files really detailed, if anything a bit too much, I have said to her this may be making her stressed and she needs to find the balance i.e not a tick list and not too much information to the extent of stressing her out - I think on reflection it is 'a crusade' for her to belittle paperwork and maybe I will, like you clever people have said, suggest that she could look at other settings if she is not able to accept why and how we do things, she needs to believe in it too......you are all so supportive...thank you again... :o

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What does she 'like' about the ticklist that she could be bringing into what she already does which could reduce the amount of detail she's determined to do? Could she rationalise what she's doing by using elements of a ticklist idea? I know that sounds a bit bizarre - I can't stand ticklists myself, but I can see how it could moderate excessive paperwork if she's tending to go down that route. As you say, a tick is just a tick, but if she has other evidence, such as photographs or observations she can back up her tick with .......

 

quick edit to stress I'm just playing devil's advocate here .... :o

Edited by Cait
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Just another thought which might help you to reach a satisfactory conclusion all round...

 

Is she having to stay behind late or work through her breaks to complete records now that she can't take them home? If so perhaps this is one of the reasons she is getting worked up about things? If she hasn't previously been inclined to moaning perhaps this is really getting to her, especially if it's cutting into her time at home with her family/husband/whoever. I know as a teacher I prefer to take my work home than stay at school doing it, it's just the sort of person I am and the way I work. Even if other staff members are not having to do this perhaps the fact that she is putting in too much detail is leading to her having to do this because it is taking her more time than the others.

 

Perhaps some assistance with getting the balance right would help. Just telling her to write less might not be enough, maybe she would benefit from a bit of one to one either with yourself or another staff member who produces good, yet less detailed, records. You (or they) could sit with her for a session and show her clearly what to put in and what she can leave out. You could appraoch this in a "I'd like to sit with you whilst you do them in order to talk through the problems more effectively" kind of way, that way she doesn't feel she's being told how to do something she thinks she already knows how to do, then you could gently point out things you wouldn't include or shortcuts she could take.

 

Just a thought!

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Lots of goo advice/support already.

 

When I was owner/manager, every morning as I arrived to work I would play 'My Perogative' by Bobby Brown, FULL BLAST in my car. Why not give it a try, it always helped me enter the building with a smile. xD:o

 

Peggy

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