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diesel10
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Hi Everyone

 

 

 

Following the media again yesterday regarding mobile phones. I have again advised my staff to make sure their phones are stored the office and turned off. Also to make sure that visitors do the same.

 

They have objected to them being turned off. What does everyone else do?

 

We are due an ofsted visit soon and I am sure this will be top of their list.

 

Many Thanks

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no office so ours were in the kitchen...

 

staff were able to check them at periods during the day, and they were on... main reason was they were the emergency contact number for their own children and for one staff her father who she was a carer for...

 

yes they could have had the setting number as the emergency contact.. but with shifts and comings and goings when we tried this we ended up getting al the calls from schools etc when staff member was not there.. and in case of the carer it was important she was contactable all the time at a number that was constant, not forever changing..

 

we could not see any reason for them to be off... I did ask staff to set a ringtone which we could identify as being from the school or whatever... so we knew we had to answer it or if it could be left ...

 

Inge

 

but I did hear a comment about the fact that it need not have been a mobile phone but a setting camera... depending on how it is used and by whom.. we had a camera use policy- but it is always open to abuse if someone really wants to..

 

are you going to search everyone before they start work... some of the mobile phones are so small they are easily hidden..I had a staff member who kept hers in her bra! She said when out she knew she would not lose it!! We were open about it but are all?

 

worth thinking about...

Edited by Inge
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Our staff leave their phones switched on in the setting but they are all kept in a box on the kitchen hatch (no office) they are signed in and out each session. All schools etc have the playgroup phone number though.

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All staff and visitors must leave their phones in the office or with their personal belongings - but I dont specify them to be turned off...they have families that may want to contact them...

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I had an Ofsted a few weeks ago and it never came up. Officer didn't ask where they were or who them!!!!

She was interested on how we go about safeguarding and if staff knew what to do, and was I happy to report a child.

As I have 3 children on child Protection orders and I'm a lead professional that was all she asked don't know if that sets your mind at rest.

my staff have them in there bags and turned on, and police themselves. I'm sure if one of them took photos of the children the others would shout. they are never on their own so it would be difficult.

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Hi, we had a long discussion about this and ended up with the following in our handbook:

 

Telephone use

The early years setting provides its employees with access to the telephone for work-related purposes. However, if there is an urgent personal call that you need to make, then you are able to use the early years setting’s telephone or use your personal mobile, provided that this does not interfere with your work, nor take up an unreasonable amount of time. You will need the permission of your line manager. Your personal mobile should remain in the kitchen and away from the areas where the children play at all times. This does not apply where the Leader’s mobile phone is being used in relation to the business of the setting.

 

I spoke to the Ofsted inspector about this at my suitable person interview, she said that safeguarding around phones is as much about supervision and how the setting runs, as it is about any blanket bans. Our staff really wouldn't have the chance to take photos of children in private, just because of the nature of our buildings. I think in a premises with rooms that can be closed off, you would need to be more vigilant.

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Totally agree with the last post, my staff are allowed them for emergency use and are kept in their handbags /coats which are located on the stage of the hall building.[ This is in full view of all staff.]

I know this is an horrific event that took place, but if your safeguarding policy is adhered to there should never and i mean never be a chance for this to ever occur.

Something drastically went wrong at the setting in question. :o

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Sadly lots of things went wrong in that setting but that doesn't mean that any child is going to be safer because mobile phones aren't allowed in other settings. There as a lot more to keeping children safe including safe recruitment, training and good safeguarding procedures.

 

In terms of risk assessment I would say that although the hazard is very high level the risk is so small as to be negligible and, as others have said phones and cameras can be easily hidden about your person. Some one who is determined to take these photos will find a way regardless of mobile phone policies.

 

I would suggest that if you feel that staff should not have their mobiles on while they are working for reasons of professionalism, the image it portrays to parents, etc then that should be the focus of the setting's policy.

 

If you don't have a problem with staff keeping their mobiles on for any other reason then I see no reason to make waves.

 

As a childminder I am left alone with children with my camera and mobile phone all the time and I see no reason why the children in my care should be considered to be at increased risk because of this.

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open to abuse if someone really wants to.. (taken from Inge's post)

 

Totally agree...at the end of the day rules and laws are only effective for those willing to abide by them and let's be honest if 'they' are willing to BREAK THE LAW they ain't going to abide by a policy

 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-policy and go to the far end of everything to protect our children but I can't help feeling we are making decent, law abiding folks lives more and more difficult and wrapping ourselves in paperwork before we even open the doors on a morning.

 

Just a consideration; what phones do you take with you on outings?

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Sadly lots of things went wrong in that setting but that doesn't mean that any child is going to be safer because mobile phones aren't allowed in other settings. There as a lot more to keeping children safe including safe recruitment, training and good safeguarding procedures.

 

In terms of risk assessment I would say that although the hazard is very high level the risk is so small as to be negligible and, as others have said phones and cameras can be easily hidden about your person. Some one who is determined to take these photos will find a way regardless of mobile phone policies.

 

I would suggest that if you feel that staff should not have their mobiles on while they are working for reasons of professionalism, the image it portrays to parents, etc then that should be the focus of the setting's policy.

 

If you don't have a problem with staff keeping their mobiles on for any other reason then I see no reason to make waves.

 

As a childminder I am left alone with children with my camera and mobile phone all the time and I see no reason why the children in my care should be considered to be at increased risk because of this.

 

 

Well said Upsy Daisy...we must have been writing at the same time!

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Thank you for all your replys. Hopefully Ofsted will be able to see that we take safeguarding very seriously.

 

I think it is fair enough to ask staff to keep their mobiles in the office. After all 99% of the calls / messages are social and they are supposed to be working.

 

I take my mobile on outings because it doesn't have a camera.

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I think it is fair enough to ask staff to keep their mobiles in the office. After all 99% of the calls / messages are social and they are supposed to be working.

 

Absolutley! You just have to think 'would I be allowed personal phone calls if I worked in the supermarket or the bank?' Very probably the answer will be 'no'. So why should we appear any less professional?

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Absolutley! You just have to think 'would I be allowed personal phone calls if I worked in the supermarket or the bank?' Very probably the answer will be 'no'. So why should we appear any less professional?

 

 

I have to add that from my perspective as a teacher, in a classroom you can't take phone calls, you have to manage your life outside of the school contact hours and this is how it is.....You're in the classroom to be teaching. I can't see that not using phones in a work environment is anything odd at all.

 

Cx

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I mirror others thoughts about the fact people should be allowed their phones on for emergency contact. We have a bar area that we use in our setting which is in full view of the hall and we have a named "Telephone box" that all staff and visitors put their phones in, this is in full view so is obvious if someone goes to their phone. If someoen gets a call then they have to go out of the hall to speak xD

 

Although when we had ofsted come they refused to put their phone in there and went and put it in their car instead! :o

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Hi everyone,

 

I have found this a very interesting topic to read as it has been on my mind recently about a mobile phone policy, I have also had a parent in the setting who answered a phone call.

 

Anyway, next week I will be using the "mobile phone box" idea - thank you. I will also be writing a policy.

 

I have done a search on the PLA website and found a letter from DCSF (last nov) but still current I feel.

 

Hopefully I have uploaded it correctly.

 

 

Thanks again for an interesting thread!

 

 

X

Department_for_Children__Schools_and_Families___letter_about_use_of_technology.doc

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I wonder how these people think we managed before mobile phone, do they think we never stepped foot out of our houses in case of an 'emergency' phone call. There are always circumstances when it is just not appropriate to have a mobile phone, what about funerals or weddings, do they keep their phones switched on then?

I dont believe anyone of us works in a place that doesn't have some sort of setting phone that staff can be contacted on in an emergency. We have no landline but staff can and are contacted on the settings mobile ohone in emergencies. I would be horrified if any of my childrens teachers had interrupted their class to answer a mobile phone, can you imagine standing in line at the bank or Tesco checkout whilst they answered their mobile phone? My husband spends most of his working day in meetings, he never has his phone switched on during a meeting.

I do feel the whole point of this for me anyway, isn't because of what has happened but is because you shouldn't be answering personal phones (for whatever reason) if you are working. I really do feel it looks so unprofessional

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I have to agree with Catma, my daughter is not allowed her phone at work in her office,

 

I would be mortified if my other daughters teacher was using her phone during lessons

 

but i think no matter how many avenues we cover if some one wishes to abuse, they will find a way. we just have to very vigilant

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I have done a search on the PLA website and found a letter from DCSF (last nov) but still current I feel.

Thanks Zoe - will print this out to talk to the staff about as part of our review in the light of the Plymouth report.

 

Maz

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I just had my Ofsted inspection last week, during which the inspector had her phone on.. in my office, and received and made several calls. she left it there while she did her room and staff inspections, but that seemed to be acceptable to her.

 

My staff keep their phones in their coats/bags in the locked cupboard. they are not to use them when children are present in the room, but are allowed to use them on personal breaks. I ask that they keep them on silent during work hours whether on their break or not, but dont ask them to be switched off as they cant see if they have a missed call.

 

I think in all and open and honest communication between you and your staff is what ensures things do not get out of hand, and the staff respect your decisions. My staff are horrified reading all the articles about what happened, and are willing to cooperate, offering solutions etc. without any upset. so maybe asking them to consider what they feel is appropriate first will help and make your policy work effectively long term

 

Ali :o

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I'm the deputy and when the manager's in, my phone is switched off in my locker - if my sons's schools try to contact me they need to know I won't have recieved a phone call and they need to use the work number. People can still text me, I just won't see the text till I turn my phone on at lunch/home time. If the manager's out, my phone is on, out on the desk in the office, so if she wants to text me I can see the text straight away.

 

Elder son's school have a thing where they contact you if your child's absent without your phone call etc, and asked for email addresses or mobile numbers for preference. I replied that they need to phone my work number first as I don't have email access at work, nor will my mobile be on at work. So the order to contact us is my work number, hubby's mobile number, my mobile number in case I'm out & about.

 

If I'm on a course/at uni, etc, my phone is on, on silent. Because that's a lot easier than saying to 2 different schools 'If Johnnie has an accident/asthma attack/alien abduction, on Monday I'm at preschool, on Tuesday I'm on the 2years olds course at local Children's Centre, on Wednesday I'm at uni doing this course and these lectures...'

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Phones these days are not only telephones. I am a childminder and always have my phone with me - contains emergency info etc. I also use it as my diary and take pics and make obs directly onto it. It is also my only time-keeping piece - don't need a watch and a phone. So, on the day when I go into school to hear reading, I switch my phone off - no prob. But I can't tell the flaming time 'cos there's hardly a clock anywhere. Really difficult to tell which class I'm supposed to be at and if I'm giving each child enough reading time. Ran twenty mins early yesterday - poor deprived little mites!

 

Honey

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Phones these days are not only telephones. I am a childminder and always have my phone with me - contains emergency info etc. I also use it as my diary and take pics and make obs directly onto it. It is also my only time-keeping piece - don't need a watch and a phone. So, on the day when I go into school to hear reading, I switch my phone off - no prob. But I can't tell the flaming time 'cos there's hardly a clock anywhere. Really difficult to tell which class I'm supposed to be at and if I'm giving each child enough reading time. Ran twenty mins early yesterday - poor deprived little mites!

 

Honey

 

Be careful with the information you store on your phone. A programme I saw a tiny bit of last night was showing the information that a faudester could get if you lost your phone. They spoke to one girl who's phone had been stolen and recovered. They knew the name she called her boyfriend, her username for a forum, they had photos of her and her friends and one phone that was recovered had bank details and passwords and was in the words of the investigators 'a gold mine for a fraudster'.

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