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Suitable Person Interview


marley
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Hi

I have done a search and found info from many of you that are managers and have been through this but only suzie seems to have gone through one as chair.Is there anyone else.

 

Our chair told me today that she received a letter from OFSTED saying that they had repeatedly tried to phone her on such a date (she said she was in!) but that as they could not contact her they have referred this to an inspector to set up the suitable person interview. Now she has only been in the position for 5 months has no childcare experience and I am supposed to be taking over at next AGM. Whereas I think i may be ok Im not sure what they will ask of our chair. What things should i suggest she sort out for interview?

Im thinking our action plans (old and current), our training action plans. She is aware of certain things but nothing to do with EYFS, SENCO etc. Can she have eg me in with her at interview or not!!!????? As she says if they find her unsuitable then she just goes!

 

Temp manager has said she too received one of these letters!

OFSTED have recently sent back the chairs CRB saying that they need to do a more detailed one??? All this when in 6 months time she is resigning. Do I as next chair have to go all through this again?

Just wish I could help her.

So if anyone can tell me what the difference is between chair suitable person interview and manager interview??

 

Thanks

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Hi, From the horse's mouth, here goes.

 

My interview felt as though it was as in depth as a manager's one would be. It took an hour or more and felt very comprehensive. At the time I felt it was intrusive and inappropriate to be asking a lay person some of the stuff she asked me.

 

What seemed to happen is that it was based around the EYFS, i.e. she went through the areas from the EYFS booklet one at a time, she started with learning and development, how did I ensure full coverage, etc. Then she covered children's welfare, child protection, health and safety, safe recruitment, etc. etc. Then she asked me some very personal questions about myself! I did feel that if I hadn't had an educational background and over a year in the post, it would have been impossible for me to answer a lot of the stuff. I also felt that if I wasn't as (dare I say?) 'dedicated' as I am, the interview would have been enough to make me quit.

 

Overall, it was less about the setting and more about the EYFS.

 

My advice to your chair would be to say that she would refer to her leader/manager on any questions where she is unsure. They simply CANNOT expect volunteers to have that level of knowledge as standard.

 

By the way, they are pretty incompetent at setting these up, the woman kept chasing me while I was on holiday and even then it took her ages to actually agree a date. Then she didn't send me the promised letter reminding me about the interview, she's lucky I actually bothered to turn up!

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Hi Suzie

Thanks for that. It just seems ridiculous to me to be asking someone who doesnt work in childcare these questions. If they really want this to continue to be a volunteer position surely they should just accept that we are all CRB and are doing our best for the children! Chair will just as you say have to say that she trusts the manager to ensure learning and development is done etc and she could also refer to our new polcicies and operational plan!! I think ialso read somewhere though that someone had asked the oFSTED inspector if they had ever failed anyone on the interview...no! So what a waste of time!!? I can understand the manager having these interviews but not the chair! At my previous pre-school the chair has been there 3 yrs never had one, and at my current pre-school the chair has been there 2 yrs never had one!

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I imagine the chair has to have one because she is the employer of the staff, so should know what they should be doing. But, after saying that, I've never had a SPI as chair and I havent known any of the previous chairs to have one either.

Seems its another example of inconsistant Ofsted.

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Our Chair 3 years ago had to do one, it came about because we were Ofsteded and she said it needed doing, she told me to prepare the chair by giving her our policy book and to have it by her side, when the interview took place.

She had a totally different experience to Holly, it was over the telephone and took about 5 mins, she asked about Safeguarding and recruitment.

Maybe it was a lot easier as she had just inspected us and saw that everything was ok, but I agree with Holly it would be enough to make most people run a mile with just the thought of it.

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Hi

 

I had an interview last year as a new chair.

 

It went into quite a bit of depth and covered areas like RIDDOR, H&S, complaints procedures, etc. In particular, she was interested to know a what stage information and control was passed from the preschool staff to the chair. If I remember correctly it lasted over an hour. So my experience was similar to Suzie's.

 

Unlike Suize however, I don't have a background in EY care and had only just joined the committee. Luckily I had recently spent quite sometime looking at the procedures.

 

The inspector was very friendly and helpful, so while thorough it did not feel like an interrogation.

 

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I was the first chair to have this interview at our setting.

 

Cheers

 

George

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