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New Post As Manager, Where To Begin?


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Hi everyone


Just wondering if any one has any ideas, tips or suggestions.


I start a new post soon as manager of a nursery which isnt doing to well, they have recently been inspected as unsatisfactory by care commission and re due HMIE in the very near future.


Does anyone have any tips on how I should approach things when I start? What to tackle first etc


Cant wait to get started, just hope I havent taken on too much.

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Looks like you have chosen a very appropriate username then!


Can't really advise you, but would say start with an action plan, developed both by what you see to be unsatisfactory and what your inspection reports confirm are unsatisfactory.


Try to attack one or two items at a time, in order of priority. Remeber that change takes time and you can easily become overwhelmed trying to do everything at once. Use your action plan as an aide memoir...and just keep plodding on!!

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I'd agree with that!

I always found the key to Ofsted was to know what I needed to change and know how I was going to do it and maybe a time scale of when I hoped it would be done.

It can be quite exciting knowing you can change things, just make sure the staff are with you or it wont work as well.

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Action plan is a good way to start, after looking at reports and setting to get a feel of what is happening already.. or not happening.


get staff on board is a hard one but they too need to be involved in changes , take some ownership or become part of the process of improvement.. it can be hard to win over and make changes of some staff who are not feeling involved or have been doing it one way for a long time and see no need to change no matter how much you say, ask or give advice..


make a list of what you would like to change, what has been recommended or must change and choose one or two as priority... action plan with a time line of what should happen by when and by whom... make it realistic, don't try too much at once so it becomes overwhelming.



It took time to become in need of an overhaul and will take time to change things... don't rush in and try to do too much at once... take time to see what is already working.. there must be some good points to take note of and build on ..

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Hi there grafter. Im guessing you might be in Scotland?


Fist things first, do you have an advisory service, in my LA, we would be supporting an inadequate setting through all the process of improvement.

Second, what is the time frame for re inspection?


Ok, as eyfs66 said, look at the report and think about what has been said you need to improve. Sort out which things are simple to achieve, sort them out and do them, keeping a record what you have done and when.


If there are things that are longer term actions, see if you can arrange them into themes eg resourcing; routines; staff interactions; welfare issues etc. Then with the staff, establish what needs to be done and how you are going to do it. A development plan will be needed, detailing exactly what you are going to do and by when. Include review dates. Its important if you want to make a lasting improvement, that the staff own it, and that you consider what the impact of what you are planning will be.


Unless all the staff have left (which happens!), you will be working with a team of people who may be struggling with the inadequate, or may not even agree with it. You will need to bring them together, at the same time acknowledging how they may be feeling and empathising that there is hard work ahead. As you are new to the setting too, you will need to get to know them too. Spend some time finding out what they see as the issues... get a flavour for what has been happening.


Keep some sort of evidence folder showing your improvements.. if the environment is one of the key issues, then before and after pictures are a good idea.


Good luck, it sounds like a challenge, and certainly something to get your teeth into.


Let us know how it goes.

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Thank you so much everyone for the quick and helpful replies.


All the advice given has been wonderful and I have just downloaded the inspection report to start an an action plan in response.


I was thinking of having one to one sessions with the staff when I start, just a wee informal chat with each team member, to get to know them and also to find out any issues, ideas suggestions they may have, do you think this would be good or would if maybe put the team under pressure?


Thanks again for all the tips and advice, it will help so much, and no doubt as the weeks/months go on, I will be here bugging everyone for more help haha.


Thanks so much again everyone x

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I know the feeling but with hard work and beleive in your convictions you will succeed. I took over a popular setting 7 years ago but one that didnt have planning in place, little policies but had a willing group of staff and supportive parents.


we worked hard went on any course that was going signed up for projects and so on and we have just got outstanding from ofsted so it can be done


have clear in your mind whats important, where you want to be by July and where you want to be inx amount of years down the line because change really doesnt happen over night


As already said slow small achievable steps


observe the children needs and the staff, decide what needs altering, it might be the whole room!

planning and so on


break down areas give the staff responsibility with giudance on how to change areas


before you make changes have everything else in place


write it down on an action plan so the powers that be can see your vision


Gosh have fun good luck, keep us posted


visit other good settings with an open mind

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Lots of sound advice already given. Personally I think it would be a good idea to have one to ones with staff but if you do that, make sure you speak to everyone and don't leave anyone out. It can be time consuming but to my mind a way to get a feel for each team member but if you don't get round to everyone it doesn't work.

Consider getting them to think of one thing the setting does well and one thing they would change if they could.

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I would agree, 1-1 with the staff definintly helped me to get a feel of what issues there were, and where people's passions lay.


I would however start with a meeting stating what HAS to be changed with immediate effect, such as safeguarding issues, explaning why, and asking them all for suggestions as to how. You will probably find many of them know, and weren't comfortable with how things were that led to the results, and will be pleased to be offered a chance to change things in these areas. Follow this meeting up straight away with the 1-1's as close after as possible, and I think you will set the tone well, that you have been bought in to make necessary changes and some HAVE to be made, but you intend on working with the staff and hearing the staff's viewpoints rather than just dictating. It is necessary to use several different management styles a lot at the start of your time, but then it will settle down!




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