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"an evaluation of ways in which concerns about poor practice can be reported whilst ensuring that whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned are protected"

 

A student has just emailed me the above question she has as part of her safeguarding module, level 3....I realise it is worded rather strangely and as I am about to start my planning and my head is a tad fuzzy I thought I would ask you guys for your thoughts to help me help her....

 

she wants some direction in how to answer this and all I can think to say is about mentioning that you can contact social services directly to bring attention about poor practice, provision and general mis-conduct, also Ofsted can be a port of call...and the setting policies should protect anyone that has claims made against them or the nursery as a whole. If she has to evaluate this area I would imagine she is suggesting ways in which we, as practitioners are protected and I could only think of the policy of the setting?

 

any thoughts would be gratefully accepted - I have extreme brain ache ...trying to do paperwork for nursery, attend to the family as it is the weekend, update my 22 key children files...and check my colleagues files - she has 16 key children and is likely to be off work for a long time having just lost her husband....apart from the practical side of things I have just spent a few hours with her which has completely (selfishly) set my head in turmoil...my dear friend, her children and the family totally shocked....so very sad..life can be so cruel

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I think that your thoughts about this question are enough as a starting point for your friend, she may well have to research what would be included in a whistle blowing policy. So, not wanting to 'do the work for her' this should be enough as a response to send her. and then........

 

ShireL, PLEASE forget all things 'work' related, until MONDAY, and take time for yourself to 'rest and mend' after giving your all to others.

 

So sorry to hear of your colleagues sad loss. You have been there for her, so there is no reason to feel selfish because your head is in turmoil. To 'rest and mend' will ensure (unselfishly) that you will be fit and able to offer further support in the near future. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF TO BE ABLE TO LOOK AFTER OTHERS CLOSE TO YOU.

 

 

Take care.

 

Peggy

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Peggy I am so glad you a re around....I would dearly love to take your advice but with Ofsted ever looming I cannot let my hard work go - I set myself such a workload trying to do the best I can as a manager and mostly I love it...but the commitment week in and week out as I know you know is hard. I email the parents weekly with nursery news and show them the planning for the coming week....I have to fulfil my duties....I will try to get this done and then take stock....I am sat with my two youngest children and they are watching a film, my three older children are all out and my husband is away for the weekend and so it is the best time for me to get it done....your words are so appreciated - you always say the right thing...thank you... :oxD

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Well if you can't leave it all until Monday, can you at least set yourself a schedule, plan in some quality family time and stick to it?

 

One thing I do know is that you don't need to take on anything extra at the moment. Don't be tempted to take on too much work in order to solve your student's problems. By all means give her a few starting points but once you've done that, leave her to get on with it and if necessary, remind her of your own workload (both routine and the extra that will inevitably result from your deputy's loss).

 

You need some 'me' time. A good Ofsted result is a great reflection on you and your professionalism and ability to lead your team. However if it comes at the cost of your health then it will be a little hollow to say the least. Put some loud music on, get that tambourine out and dance around the kitchen with your children for a bit!

 

Take care, lovely.

 

Mx

 

PS the question seems to be asking about the needs of the person who has had the whistle blown on their practice. Perhaps the student could try to put herself in that person's position? How can she be helped to identify what aptitudes and skills she needs to develop in order to improve her practice, and what might she need in terms of emotional support whilst the process is taking place?

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Big hugs from me too, and your certainly not selfish, i know from my own experience how hard it is to be everything to all whilst getting to grips with whats happened yourself. Peggy put it so well and i'm sure your support will go on for a long time to come.

Take care x.

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If you're selfish, then so am I.

There are days when father-in-law really tries my patience, and then I feel really guilty.

We have to remember that while we're trying our best to help people we're not saints and we shouldnt be so hard on ourselves. Guilt and worry are a toxic mixture designed to make us incapable of doing anything when we need to do so much.

 

Take care and try to find even a few minutes of time for yourself. I sometimes drive the long way round so I can be quiet.

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Peggy I am so glad you a re around....I would dearly love to take your advice but with Ofsted ever looming I cannot let my hard work go - I set myself such a workload trying to do the best I can as a manager and mostly I love it...but the commitment week in and week out as I know you know is hard. I email the parents weekly with nursery news and show them the planning for the coming week....I have to fulfil my duties....I will try to get this done and then take stock....I am sat with my two youngest children and they are watching a film, my three older children are all out and my husband is away for the weekend and so it is the best time for me to get it done....your words are so appreciated - you always say the right thing...thank you... :oxD

 

 

 

Your welcome ShireL, because as my signature says YOU'RE WORTH IT.

 

Please stop for one minute and think of this.... If you were a car your red light would be flashing, DANGER, low fuel. EVERY bit of work you do today will deplete the fuel level further. Travel in a slow lower gear and the small amount of fuel left, may take you a little further, BUT inevitably the fuel will run out and you will stop. Where will you be when this happens, at work where the children and staff depend on you? Can you really judge when you will come to a standstill? Because, like the car, it is inevitable that you will. As well as food, REST is the fuel we need too. You cannot deny yourself this important fuel or the inevitable will happen. As with cars, if we consistently run on the red, the quality of performance depletes, all the gunk of life accumulates and dredges through our system. To perform at our best we need a FULL tank of energy (fuel). Think about this, for yourself and others, plan one day a week at the very least for re-fuel. Your car never finds reasons not to refuel because there are none, neither should you.

 

Peggy

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Your welcome ShireL, because as my signature says YOU'RE WORTH IT.

 

Please stop for one minute and think of this.... If you were a car your red light would be flashing, DANGER, low fuel. EVERY bit of work you do today will deplete the fuel level further. Travel in a slow lower gear and the small amount of fuel left, may take you a little further, BUT inevitably the fuel will run out and you will stop. Where will you be when this happens, at work where the children and staff depend on you? Can you really judge when you will come to a standstill? Because, like the car, it is inevitable that you will. As well as food, REST is the fuel we need too. You cannot deny yourself this important fuel or the inevitable will happen. As with cars, if we consistently run on the red, the quality of performance depletes, all the gunk of life accumulates and dredges through our system. To perform at our best we need a FULL tank of energy (fuel). Think about this, for yourself and others, plan one day a week at the very least for re-fuel. Your car never finds reasons not to refuel because there are none, neither should you.

 

Peggy

WOW Peggy how profound is that :o It deserves a patent! I think it should be printed and displayed in every staff room of every setting.

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Thanks Geraldine,

 

Not sure about patent, I think I must have been told this analogy at some point in my past so not an original thought by me. :o

 

I am in the position to be able to reflect on how I was when I ran my preschool, at that time I was like many other dedicated early years practitioners, burning the candle at both ends.

On reflection it was akin to an obsession, an addiction and I see now that when I was working, at whatever hour, this addiction, in itself, fuelled me to continue. Preschool work became who I was, my identity, often at the expense of my family. When asked by my family, and other people close to me, to get a better work / life balance I would argue for my obsession, the addiction made me feel that I was indispensable, and that without my input things would not get done; would grind to a halt. I was blind to the reality, if I let up my work pace, if others did more, who would I be? If I had my time again in preschool work, I would strive to be more balanced.

 

When I was told I may have cancer (during a summer holiday), the very first words that came out of my mouth, to the nurse were " I need the operation done in time to recover for the September start at work". This was my first thought, work was always uppermost in my mind. It was not until the journey home, on my own, in my car, that I thought.....hang on Peggy, how can I think of work at a time like this.....what about the impact on my family, and on myself. My previous perspective was that work = me, now my perspective was life, family and health = me. A short sharp realisation that there is more to life than work. I had to start thinking about who I was outside of work, I had lost my true identity to work.

I think this is because 'passion' drives us, work became my main passion, but we all need to have passion within all aspects of our lives to be rounded, balanced, healthy people. Work / life BALANCE is so crucial. My addiction / passion for preschool was very strong, and had been how I measured who I was for over 20 yrs. I didn't have enough fuel to sustain this addiction to work, and I am a much healthier and happier person to be free of it.

For others new to the field of early years work, or to those who have been in it a long time, I would ask that they learn from my example and do their utmost to maintain a healthy work life balance, to use their energies equally for life in and out of work, and to not get caught up in the powerful addiction of work, to take time to reflect.....does this really, really need to be done today, what is the worse scenario if it isn't done.......what is the cost to me and others if I do (or don't) do it today. Who else could do it? Can I really sustain this level of work.......I HAVE NOT FAILED IF I CAN'T, I HAVE JUST RECOGNISED MY FULL CAPACITY ON OFFER, I CANNOT RUN ON EMPTY.

I have learnt that the expectations to run on empty MOST OFTEN comes from within and not from the expectations of others.

 

Ooh, went off on one there, but I have the benefit of hindsight. xD . It is easy for me to see and say these things now, compared to being 'in the thick of it' but to all who are caught up in work that they recognise is impinging on other aspects of their life. Please consider that we are all indispensable, and this is a positive, not negative, thank goodness we are indispensable because this means that we all have others around us that can do as well as us and can share the load. If people around us seem to be doing a lesser load, maybe it is because they have the balance to recognise what things can be left, which tasks are paramount and which ones are work for works sake, to feed the addiction.

 

 

ShireL, believe that work will not suffer as much as you think it will if you take time to rest. But it may if you don't. Imagine that when your tank is full you have 3 journeys to make, to family, to you and to work........save one third of your full tank for each journey, if you use more than a third for work then you will have to miss one of the other journeys out.

 

Peggy

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