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Staff Taking Learing Journeys Home, Against Setting Policy


Alison
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we are a pack away group and found completeing learning journeys during session time impossible so we used to take them home but as of september we agreed that they shouldnt leave the setting I allocated a time at the end of sessions allowing each member an hour per week none contact time to go and fill in the learning journeys, but no one wants to stop behind a minute longer than their normal session.

 

I did however take mine home at the very start of term to ensure they were fully up to date (I asked the parents permission first) and another member of staff who was returning from maternity leave took hers home once over night to get up to speed on her key group which was my suggestion. however I have spotted that our other key worker has also been taking her learning journeys home on the sly I had suspected it and today asked her where her folders where and her eyes went straight to her bag and she tried to change the subject it was the middle of a busy session so it wasnt appropriate to take it any further at the time then at the end of the session she managed to slip off home while I was too busy to talk to her further

 

part of me wants to give her what for on monday but I feel she will just say everyone else is doing it why cant she? Im trying to consider the best way to challenge her on monday, she can be very rude and my deputy (who is fed up of this staff members attitude in general) feels enough is enough and wants this to be a disaplinary matter and part of me agrees but Im not sure where to begin.

 

I wanted to pick peoples brains.... I do remember seeing a similar topic a while ago but couldnt find it when I did a search

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This staff member may have a point if she uses the 'everyone else is doing it' defence because clearly the policy isn't being adhered to by everyone. The reasons for breaking the policy might be good ones, but she won't be interested in why or how it was done - if she knows that other members of staff have done it then she will reason that it is ok for her to do the same.

 

She may well have a case for claiming that she is being singled out if this is turned into a disciplinary matter if she knows other people have been allowed to take theirs home, for whatever reason.

 

I couldn't quite understand about the non-contact time and whether this happens during the session? I'd have thought not, because of your comment about staff members not wanting to stay any longer than their normal session time. Is the setting effectively expecting staff to work an hour's overtime each week to do their paperwork? Have their contracts been changed to this effect?

 

It is difficult to know what to suggest without knowing your group and the people involved, but before you consider any disciplinary action I think you should be very clear of your position especially if the staff member is likely to react badly because it may just all blow up in your faces!

 

Hope you get it sorted - maybe a quiet word reminding her on Monday that trackers are not to be taken home will suffice?

 

Maz

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If it's against setting policy, then NO-ONE should take them home, including you? Otherwise, if the policy isn't working, perhaps you should all sit down together and discuss WHY it isn't working and how you can work together to improve the situation? Is there any possibility that staff can have non-contact time during the sessions to complete them? If not, you have to come up with a workable alternative. If they were going home prior to September, what has changed now...................is it a Safeguarding issue? If so, that's fair enough, but you then have to lead by example and not take your own books home? If everyone understands that it is designed to protect THEM from possible allegations of abuse ( having photos, personal information about the child, etc), especially in light of recent high-profile cases, then they're more likely to come on board. However, if they really can't stay behind for an extra hour,especially if they also have to pack away equipment, what are you going to do then? You might find you will have to find that time during session, which isn't ideal, but might be the only way to deal with it.

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If you have wording in your policy that states this surely it should apply to everyone.

Why don't you ask your staff member WHY she needs to take them home.She may have a good reason. Personally I would rather update mine at home and observe children while I play with them making short notes. I feel that I can't take mine home and expect my staff to do otherwise.

I have complete trust in all my staff.

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One of the ways we got round this, was to allocate time each session on a rota for staff to have time out, not easy i know, but we have 10 staff that work directly with the children and are managing it. Was difficult in the beginning as we had a backlog of info to collate but now staff are up to date its working okay. We also try to include the children in this process so they take ownership of their lovely journals too.

Not sure if this is feasible at your provision but maybe worth a try.

Certainly need to lead from example, it does seem a trifle unfair that some are able to take them home and some not. Don't fully understand the rationale behind that decision.

Hope you get it sorted out amicably, they are supposed to be fun to do. xD:o:(

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thanks for that its helpful hearing other peoples take on the situation and I am glad I hesitated yesterday before making a big issue of it

 

I think as a team we need to go back to the drawing board to work out the best way to keep the learning journeys up to date we made the desision to not take learning journeys home as a safeguarding/data protection issue. I must admit I prefered to sit in the comfort of my own home to complete the learning journeys but in this day and age I dont feel that we should take these documents home any more

 

 

To be honest it was the way she was sneeking the folders home rather than being honest and telling me she needed to catch up that I was finding most annoying and that when I asked her about it she didnt own up or make any kind of excuse Im kind of hoping that she realises Ive noticed and she takes the weekend to ensure everything is up to date and puts them back in the cupboard on monday when she thinks Im not looking I dont know if she will say anything but I do need to say something to her about the issue of sneeking and going behind my back maybe I should discuss during supervision rather than making a big issue.

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would echo what others have said about this - if this is the policy then everybody needs to stick to it, to remain clear and valid as to the reason it's in policy in the first place. As for the sneaking the LJ's behind your back might there be an issue about confidence in her own skills, it's hard to catch up with paperwork etc. when you are constrained by time and possibly feel you may be 'judged' by others. Some people just like to have a bit more time to maybe double check areas that observations fit into etc. and may need reference books etc to do this, which can be hard when you are in setting. I suggest it's brought up in supervision, just to get her 'take' on it, to me it sounds as if she may have some confidence/esteem issues i.e. the defensiveness and attitude to being challenged ? :o

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To be honest it was the way she was sneeking the folders home rather than being honest and telling me she needed to catch up that I was finding most annoying and that when I asked her about it she didnt own up or make any kind of excuse

Ah well I can identify with that one - if people would just tell you what the problem is then you can deal with it. Things like this can easily blow up into a huge confrontation when a little word at the beginning can solve a lot of heartache! After all if you knew she was a bit behind you could have put some extra support in place. Maybe all she needs is to know how to handle the situation in future, irrespective of what you as a group decides to do about the policy.

 

Good luck!

 

Maz

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