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May Have Got My Manager Into Trouble


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HI all,

 

I brought an incident to my managers attention about two staff members who were on the tennis court (our garden if you like) with the children and the gate was open and it had not been noticed by the staff. As i approached the tennis courts the staff were sat on the bench with one child, the other 11 were playing.

I (as the deputy) told them they needed to count there children as the gate was open and also that sitting on the bench was not acceptable, unless doing it in play with the children. the first member of staff i spoke to was very dismissive ' yeah, we are going inside in a minute anyway', the supervisor told me the same. i asked them several times to count their children but they did not. I told them this was not acceptable and i would be making the manager aware of this.

 

I went straight inside and told the manager. i told her that i felt they had been very dismissive of me and had not grasped the seriousness of the incident. The manger said she would speak to them.

two days later i asked the manager if she had spoken to them and she said she hadn't. but she would do so that day. at about 4 pm that day i asked her again if she had spoken to them, she hadn't (and one member of staff had gone home by then). she did speak to the other member of staff but very informally in the staffroom whilst she helped her tidy up.

 

i do not feel that she got the seriousness of it again (the member of staff) as the staff room was the wrong forum for a meeting of this sort (i walked into the staff room during their meeting and deemed it to be informal).

 

The manager was on annual leave last week, so i was not really able to raise it with her again - but ultimatley i don't feel the whole situation was dealt with well at all.

 

this week whilst i have been acting manager another incident arose concerning the same staff member. i spoke to HR and they asked if we had any other concerns. I mentioned the tennis court incident and they asked how it was dealt with so i explained. i also explained that i felt it had not been dealt with thoroughly by the manager (this is where i feel i got her into trouble). HR said i needed to share this with her boss, or they would have to. so i have shared it with her boss. he asked me if i got on with the manager (which i do) - i guess i wondered if i was being malicious. We have just had a refurb and it has been very busy, so i am sure it is only busyness that prevented her from dealing with it..... but still it wasn't dealt with appropriatly.

 

my managers manager has told me not to worry, but this is easier said than done when my manager is going to feel like i went behind her back. My Managers manager also said i can not discuss with anyone in nursery - but i am not sure if i am able to give my manager a heads up on monday or if i am best to leave it.

 

i work in the office with the manager and i don't want our relationship to be starined because of this - but i know it may be.

 

 

my questions to you are:

 

do you think i am making a big issue out of nothing over the tennis court gate being left open and it not being dealt with by the manager

 

should i tell the manager that i have spoken to her boss about this.

 

what would you guys do, i am so worried

 

Dawn

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I'd say you were right to be concerned about the gate being left open. It would be so easy to lose a child especially if the staff were'nt actively engaging with the children.

I'd tell the manager that while dealing with an issue in her abscence, you'd had to relate to her manager the detials about the gate. You didnt intend to cause trouble but as far as you were aware the matter hadnt been dealt with at that point and you'd had to say so.

She'll most likely be a bit annoyed that you told on her, but if you get along well, she should be able to see you were doing your job and really couldnt have ommitted to tell the details of the gate incident.

As you say, she may well have been too busy to give it her proper attention, but thats for her boss to decide.

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Dawn, didn't want to read and run, but as I type my guests are at the door so will be brief.

You did what you thought was right so you were true to yourself-you felt it was a safeguarding issue -if your manager didn't she should have explained her point of view to you thereby opening up an opportunity for a discussion between you as to when/how /what you both felt was important/how you interpret welfare matters/policies, etc.

In your freedback to your manager on Monday you will have to mention contacting HR presumably? So she will have the facts before they contact her-what she does with them is up to her.

Keep it professional and avoid personalities -and try not to worry

Posyx

PS And you will get loads better advice so feel free to ignore mine!

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Hi Dawn,

 

I agree that this was a safeguarding matter and as such I think you dealt with it correctly at the time. Your Manager had plenty of time to deal with it, as well as your reminders so I consider it unlikely she just 'forgot', however busy she may have been. The thing with being in charge is that along with the glory when things go well comes the unpleasant stuff such as this. You were quite right to mention the incident to HR while you were acting Manager as if the second incident was in a similar vein there may be a need for disciplinary actiuon - the children's safety is, as we all know, paramount. Quite apart from the non-interaction aspect of sitting on the bench; maybe one was ok (with child) but not both!

 

At the end of the day your Manager has put herself in this situation by failing to follow up on the incident, which has probably given completely the wrong message to the staff. You have done nothing wrong so, as Posy has said, just give feedback on the week to your Manager. If anything is said you will have to make it clear that you really had no option but to mention the tennis court incident when directly asked by a superior. If you had not done so you would have implicated yourself as well!!

 

Hope all goes well,

 

Sue

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As others have said, I think you did what you needed to do, and your manager will need to take this on board.

 

It seems to be though, that the real issue was about the staffs' attitude rather the actual leaving of the gate open. I don't know the inns and outs of the set up, eg if the gate goes directly out onto an open road for example, but I feel that if the staff had said 'oh no I didn't realize' and quickly got up and shut it, you would probably have responded differently. Anyone can make a mistake and if it was a first time, then a word and reminder would probably suffice, and the staff member would take this on board. But if these events are not taken seriously by colleagues, and possibly by your manager, then this is another ball game.

 

Hopefully, your manager's manager will deal with this, and the members of staff will be spoken to properly. There may a training issue if there are several similar events happening.

 

It may also be something you wish to raise with your manager eg in supervision, that you show a united front to the staff when such issues arise, so that colleagues can see that you both take these things seriously.

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It may also be something you wish to raise with your manager eg in supervision, that you show a united front to the staff when such issues arise, so that colleagues can see that you both take these things seriously.

And that you have authority to deal with these issues, and that you have the confidence and support of your manager 100%. I wonder how they would have reacted if your manager had raised these issues with them? I doubt that they'd have shrugged it off so quickly?

 

If your manager is upset at your raising these issues with her manager, then she will need to reflect on whether she should have taken a different course of action when you first mentioned it to her. This is a matter for her to resolve in her own mind, but as others have said, you did what you needed to do, and sometimes that is not an easy path to take when you're swimming against the tide. Well done you.

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Hi Dawn

Some really good advice as always. Personally knowing where the children are in my care is number one priority and if that involves making sure a gate is shut - it will be shut - my worst nightmare is a child wandering off.

 

I would give the manager a heads up on what happened last week, so that she is prepared, and explain that it was not your intention to drop her in it but that you did what you felt you should.

 

I would also ask for an opportunity to discuss the matter further after the dust has settled.

 

Try not to worry too much, I hope you have a good day on Monday.

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