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Hello, for all you managers of committee ran nursery's -

 

Who writes and reviews your policies?

 

I am having a little bit of trouble as I have suggested a new set of policies (the previous ones were out of date and up for review) I have revamped them all using the PSLA template with EYFS fancy bits on and now I am being questioned by a committee member with many queries, like she thinks they are too much information, we have too many, they have too much procedure alongside policy.....don't get me wrong I am happy to go with the committee decision on this but being manager I do believe what I wrote is what we do....I am really just gathering your input - she also asked me what the official stance on policies are, I think shw was suggesting that Ofsted would think it is all too much paperwork?

 

I personally do cover my back in everything I do...probably doing too much paperwork but that is just me and how I prefer to do it?

 

Your views will be appreciated.

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Hi, I'm doing the same as you. Actually, adopting the PSLA policies REDUCED the number of policies we had, but I've not got rid of the old ones as every now and then something crops up!

 

Ofsted was happy with the policies, but wanted to make sure that we'd not only put our name to them, but that they reflected what we really do, and questioned the staff on them.

 

I do the bulk of the work on them and then they are proof-read and agreed by the staff before passing on to the parents for their approval and acceptance.

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I too do the bulk of the work on them and then the staff review them before we put them to the committee for final approval. Don't know if you can have too much paperwork with policies - ours are 52 pages long and still the LA asks us to add in another, which I fervently resist as much as possible! I think that Ofsted's opinion is that the policies must reflect the procedures and that staff must know them, so if that means the staff write them, so be it. A committee member might not know the full procedure for everything and if they aren't attending training might not be aware of recent changes, etc. If you do have a committee member who is so involved please send them to my setting - I have lots they can do!

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Hi,

 

In line with the other replies- I write the policies in conjuction with the other staff and then are put to committee for approval.

 

Basically, they need to reflect what you do - and if the committee aren't really qualified/knowledgeable to comment (no offence meant) but it is the staff who know the statutory requirements under EYFS and OFSTED.

 

If it helps to keep it in persepective ... here's a little story.... when OFSTED previously visited, we had a parent helper in who, during sit down snack time kindly made the staff and the inspector a cup of tea... and then bought them over to us as we were seated at the tables with the children.

 

Because our policy stated that we don't have drinks in the main play room we received an action for this... however if it hadn't been in our policy it would have been OK.

 

So what I'm trying to say is... if the committee make suggestions to your policies they have to be things that the staff can and will do. Your actions have to match your written policies otherwise don't write them

 

:oxD

 

Hope that helps a little.

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Yes, thanks that really helps....basically the committee member has sent me about five emails saying that she would prefer it all to be more succint....she thinks it is too much paperwork..we have a meeting in a week so i will, once again have to stand tall and say like you say that it has to reflect what we are doing at the setting ....thanks for taking the time to reply.. :o

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The advice coming from our LA at least is that wordy is better than missing out something important. Could you get advice from the LA at all? Ours supplied a framework for all the policies to show what needed to be covered. It got pulled after a few weeks mind you because it was out of date by the time they got it through all the layers of beaurocracy (sp?)! The PLA framework was much more manageable but I imagine some committee members might consider something paid for to be trying to justify itself and so be inclined not believe it needs to be that way.

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... she thinks they are too much information, we have too many, they have too much procedure alongside policy.....

 

I agree with everyone else that the policies need to come from the staff and managment actually doing the work. The role of the committee is to ensure the polices are in place and approve them, not to actually write them themselves (have just done some training on this).

 

Also, they should contain the procedure, otherwise what is the point of the policy on its own? We've just revamped ours based on PSLA's with the coloured EYFS boxes on the front page of each linking that policy to to specific principals. To make it clear what the content includes we renamed them so now they say (for e.g) Behaviour Managment Policy and Procedure.

 

hope that helps

 

RR

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I agree with everyone else that the policies need to come from the staff and managment actually doing the work. The role of the committee is to ensure the polices are in place and approve them, not to actually write them themselves (have just done some training on this).

Also, they should contain the procedure, otherwise what is the point of the policy on its own? We've just revamped ours based on PSLA's with the coloured EYFS boxes on the front page of each linking that policy to to specific principals. To make it clear what the content includes we renamed them so now they say (for e.g) Behaviour Managment Policy and Procedure.

hope that helps

RR

 

Couldn't agree more Reader Rabbit...........about the need for the procedure. I'm not a manager but when our policies are reviewed we, the staff do this alongside our manager and then they go to the committee to get signed off.

 

I love the idea of linking them to the EYFS principles. I will pass that on to my manager if I may. :o

 

Shirel your committee member sounds as if she needs some training in policy making. We've never had a committee member get so involved in pre-school matters. Perhaps you could find something else for her to get her teeth into. You never know........she could become invaluable.

 

Good luck. xD

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When I was playleader I wrote all the policies on my own, with the secretary checking my grammer afterwards :o

Now I help the current playleader but if we have a committee member or I suppose a parent, with a particular skill we use them. One member last year was her companies H&S officer so she helped with that policy.

I do agree with others though that really it shouldnt be committee who write them unless they really understand the workings on a day to day basis.

When I was playleader the chair asked if I could keep any note taking, observations, planning for home as it didnt look good to parents if I was writing. Obviously I couldnt, but even though she was a pretty good chair, she didnt understand how we work daily.

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Thats what my policies look like too Readerabbit, I think they look great......thanks for the replies everyone....I know next Thursday I will have to battle it out but it is always better knowing that like minded peeps like my fsf friends are of the same mind.......I will let you know how it goes... :o

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Hi Shirel

 

As a new Manager, that is exactly what I am doing. Bought the PSLA policies. We are reviewing them as a staff team and making any amendments, though not making huge changes, then referring to the trustees to rubber stamp. I felt the PSLA have all the latest Acts and Laws in them and I would rather spend my time working with the children than reinventing the wheel.

 

Good luck.

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Thanks Deb, I hope it is going well for you...I seem to get over one hurdle and then there is another, but I guess that is just how it is......my chair spoke to me tonight and suggested that I don't worry too much about the meeting as they will listen to me and value what I want to underpin our practice as manager.....I still feel agitated and anxious about having to back myself up all the time - I know I know my stuff but my committee are made up of professional, successful, business people who are lovely albeit a tad intimidating - it's probably my own issue with that side of things....but I know I know best for the nursery I just need to say it loud and clear and state my case...I wish they would leave me to get on with it....let me know how it is all going for you Deb.... :oxD:(:(:( :wacko:

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Hi Shirel

 

I'm left to get on with things pretty much, which can be a bit daunting at times, especially trying to ensure we are sustainable whilst providing the appropriate staffing. Had a good first term, got a good Ofsted and 'well on the way to being an outstanding setting' in November which we are pretty pleased with.

 

Parents very supportive. Working well with them on our exciting outdoor project, I am relying on them heavily and they are coming up trumps!

 

Have a strong team and we are working very hard to reflect on our practice. I am trying to delegate more as I am working all hours and just about to start studying again, particularly trying to encourage staff to plan for their key children more. Just completing my first ever set of appraisals. Got a good feeling afterwards - just hope they have sufficient substance.

 

It has certainly been a bit of steep learning curve. I am learning to be more assertive at times to ensure that standards are maintained. Can be a bit lonely at times, have felt elated and overwhelmed on many an occasion. Survived my first meeting with the Trustees, felt like I had a bit of grilling but it was not intentional. I know they are pleased with the way we are progressing.

 

Oh and the children are wonderful. Just wish there was someone I could sound problems out with - thank goodness for the Forum!

 

Well, Shirel, hope I haven't gone on too much - don't want to hijack your thread. I've read your posts with interest and empathy!

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Lots of hugs going to you both Shirel and Deb.

 

My Manager was talking about not having anyone to sound off against the other day and in this respect she felt very lonely. She is very supportive of us staff and I had never given much thought to what she felt........I really wasn't aware of this.

 

This morning however I will give her a big hug and ask her how she's feeling and try to rally support amongst other staff to be aware at least of the situation. We've had a challenging time of late endeavouring to bring Ofsted to book for past sins (thats another story that will be told one day!!). I hope you both feel that you can continue to share your burdens with your fsf friends as I am sure we are always ready to listen and support you. :o

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  • 2 weeks later...
'I know my stuff but my committee are made up of professional, successful, business people'

 

Not sure i did the quote bit right but took it for your post shirel

 

Aren't you also professional, successful, businesslike ? I'm sure you are, as we all try to be, make sure you let everyone know that you really know what you are doing!

 

best wishes

 

Rachel

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aaw Thanks yes I guess I am...but you tend to get the feeling your not quite so professional or business like as them :( Just had a committee meeting this week actually and I have to build myself back up from it....they are so helpful, but want to scrutinise everything and on the one hand it is great to have them on board (i a financial director of several companies, 1 a PCT director, 1 an engineering director, 1 teacher, 1 hotel manager) xD but the down side is I am the professional in the early years but they are so worldly wise that they just don't understand that early years is soooooo different to any other profession, they refer to their business set up all the time to compare, I keep saying it is not like that in early years, trying to get policies passed is turning out to be a nightmare...they want the eight most important ones and feel my other 9 are merely 'over the top' - I just can't get through to them that I would rather have them in place underpinning our practice than not having them......it gets all very heated with the only one understanding being the teacher.

I seem to have to try to fight for what I want, yet I am the manager - they loose me in conversations that are soooo business like and pretty intimidating that you kind of feel your professionalism going out of the window....and the inner-shy, not-so-professionalism characteristics coming through...I know I have to just stick to my guns and I will, the whole team are behind me one hundred per cent and have adapted to my changes - it is evolving every day and I love my job......I just hate having to justify everything you do, it is my perogative to provide the best provision........when I produced a No Smoking Policy (I know we didn't have one :( ) they thought that laughable and all had a good laugh about it.......then they came round a bit and said ok lets have one if you think so....and then they had a twenty minute discussion about not putting in the sentence that said we could advise parents where to go for help to stop smoking - they really felt this was insulting! Now, correct me if I am wrong but the whole government agenda ECM is about working together, multi-agencies and therefore we as a nursery should be able to offer this support if needed, if only a phone number passed on, but my committee are made up of a very middle class section of society that think that is just for childrens centres......one member actually intimated that childrens centres are for the poorer section of society! :(:o I corrected her, saying this is a stigma and we are all under the same umbrella. I think I am working in a very priviliged area and will have to keep strong to keep up ...we have some celebrity children, some very wealthy families - but we also have a few not so well off families......I am determined to do what I have been trained to do - offer the best provision to all of them regardless of their circumstances!

 

Sorry I went on a bit, it has been a long week...I am off to work in a minute, my children are going to roller skate on the hard standing while I do some work on children's records!

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I know exactly where you're coming from we have a very good committee this time but they seem to feel their only role is to fundraise, and the business side such as policies just gets left behind.

 

we just have to be strong and keep gritting our teeth :o

 

Rachel

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