Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Ratios


 Share

Recommended Posts

This could be long so I apologise, but I am stressing myself out, so I hope it makes sense. I have recently moved settings within my company and I am really struggling as in the room I work the ratios are not being maintained. The management have the ‘it’s always been the same’ attitude, but that is not good enough for me and I’m not sure what to do about it.

 

Last week in the room there was myself and another qualified member of staff until 1.30 then from 1.30 I get an unqualified member of staff who is frankly no more than a pair of hands.

 

This is an example of the children I had last week:

 

2 - two year olds

12 - 3 year olds

 

leaving me 2 children over. Maybe I could have coped with this but we also have a before and after school club attached with no additional staff, by 3.30 I had an additional 7 children aged between 3 and 10. Admittedly some of the younger children had gone home, but at tea time I still had 15 children aged between 2 and 10.

 

As you can imagine, it means there is never any non-contact time available, so learning journeys are well out of date.

I know I said I am not sure what to do about it, which is not true, I hate being ‘used’ and being expected to turn a blind eye to statutory regulations, but I am not financially in a position to leave, so where do I stand? Ultimately who is at fault? Am I as responsible as management for knowingly allowing it as a qualified member of staff? :o

 

Footychick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Footychick

 

I'm sorry you are in this awful situation. You sound like a committed professional and you know you have to do something to put an end to this bad, unlawful practice.

 

Could you give a bit more detail about your management structure?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would make sure you make your concerns known in writing to your management so that you can show you have raised the issue and expect them to do something about it.

 

The risk you run is that if challenged by Ofsted management will simply blame you and say that you didn't inform them that you were over numbers. Ultimately it is their responsibility as the registered person(s) but it is inevitable that you will be caught up in any investigation or complaint. On the plus side, I would imagine that if Ofsted did come to investigate, the records would clearly show that this has been an ongoing issue and not an isolated incident.

 

I really sympathise with what you say about your financial situation and the impact on this on your decision about what to do, but I would just ask you to think about how you'd feel if a child was injured during a session as a direct result of there not being enough adults in the room? From reading what you have said in your post, you know that something needs to be done, but are understandably concerned at what will happen to you if you take it further. None of us would condemn you for that, and I think poor management that takes these risks rely on these conflicting emotions in order to continue to get away with shoddy practice.

 

You can always blow the whistle and ring Ofsted and see what they say. I believe you can do this anonymously but I can't be sure - perhaps the Ofsted website can give advice? Maybe this is something to do after you have secured a new job?

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, Footychick. My heart goes out to you. It can be very hard when your co-workers and superiors don't adhere to your own high standards. The children in your care deserve so much more than your setting is prepared to give them, and you deserve to be supported in your desire to ensure that they receive the high standard of care they need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could be long so I apologise, but I am stressing myself out, so I hope it makes sense. I have recently moved settings within my company and I am really struggling as in the room I work the ratios are not being maintained. The management have the ‘it’s always been the same’ attitude, but that is not good enough for me and I’m not sure what to do about it.

 

Last week in the room there was myself and another qualified member of staff until 1.30 then from 1.30 I get an unqualified member of staff who is frankly no more than a pair of hands.

 

This is an example of the children I had last week:

 

2 - two year olds

12 - 3 year olds

 

leaving me 2 children over. Maybe I could have coped with this but we also have a before and after school club attached with no additional staff, by 3.30 I had an additional 7 children aged between 3 and 10. Admittedly some of the younger children had gone home, but at tea time I still had 15 children aged between 2 and 10.

 

As you can imagine, it means there is never any non-contact time available, so learning journeys are well out of date.

I know I said I am not sure what to do about it, which is not true, I hate being ‘used’ and being expected to turn a blind eye to statutory regulations, but I am not financially in a position to leave, so where do I stand? Ultimately who is at fault? Am I as responsible as management for knowingly allowing it as a qualified member of staff? :o

 

Footychick

 

Hi there

I'm just going to be devil's advocate because I'm not 100% sure about this but.... I thought that if you had a mixed age range the ratio's could be worked out so you had 8 3 yr old's and the other member of staff had half the ratio of each age range, so 4 3yr olds and 2 2yr olds, if that makes sense, so in effect you would not have been over your numbers, before 3.30 at least!

I think the other issue is the level of competancy staff have, you mention the afternoon staff member being no more than a pair of hands. The EYFS clearly states that staff should be competant and its up to management to have evidence of their ability through appraisal, training etc etc. However the ratio's are MINIMUM requirements and no setting can aspire to quality on minimum staffing levels - what happens if you need the bathroom??!!

I aggree that you should put your concerns in writing to cover yourself and to let management know you think it's unprofessional and unacceptable, point out thr risks of accidents etc..... and do parents know the ratios??

I think you can whistle blow to Ofsted without giving your name.

 

Good luck, it's very hard trying to improve the quality when everyone says' this is how we've always done it' I dont think you are alone in this!

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there

I'm just going to be devil's advocate because I'm not 100% sure about this but.... I thought that if you had a mixed age range the ratio's could be worked out so you had 8 3 yr old's and the other member of staff had half the ratio of each age range, so 4 3yr olds and 2 2yr olds, if that makes sense, so in effect you would not have been over your numbers, before 3.30 at least!

 

 

mixed ratios.... this has been discussed several times and I have had it clarified by Ofsted in the past..

 

You can mix ratios but not in the way you describe... with 2 yr olds you need 1:4 so with 2 in the room you would be also able to allocate 2 x 3yr olds to the same person... but no more.. the 2yr olds must be kept in ratio of 1:4 not half a person as you describe..you cannot split a person in half.. you can only allocate the lowest ratio needed to them woudl be the same if only 1 2yr old .. still only 3 3yrs could be allocated to that person to remain in ratio.. this is not new.. but certainly been since EYFS came in and I am sure it was before..

so in this case

 

2x2yrs + 2x 3 yrs = 1 adult

 

8x 3 + 1 adult...

 

leaving 2 children over ratio...

 

I suspect they have been using a points system to calculate the ratios which is why it is incorrect... but they probably really do believe they are in ratio at this point..

 

this is a constant issue which regularly returns....

 

think others have given good advice about put it in writing.. how you understand ratios should happen and why you are unhappy at current situation...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We use a points system to work out ratios with mixed ages.

 

Firstly are you QTS or EYPS qualified? If so you can take up to 26 3 and 4 year olds with one unqualified member of staff so you are never out of ratio

 

Our system gives points to ages:

Under twos = 3 points

Two year olds = 2 points

Three four year olds = 1 point

 

If you are NVQ 3 qualified together with your unqualifed member of staff you can have 16 points ( 2 x 8)

 

In the situation you describe in the afternoon you have:

2 x 2 = 4

12 x 1 = 12

 

Total = 16 so you are in ratio

 

However once the after school club come in addition you are out of ratio and I believe you require another NVQ3 qualified member of staff.

As the only qualified member of staff in the room it is your duty to inform managment you are out of ratio. If you are expected to do it regularly then that is a flagrant breach of the law. you should put your concerns in writing to cover yourself and ideally get them to put their instruction to you in writing. I appreciate your concern for your job but how employable is someone held responsible for breaching the legal ratio requirements? If you get no joy my advice would be to inform Ofsted ( or perhaps get someone else to ). Make no mistake you will be blamed unless you can prove otherwise and verbal instructions are not proof.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Androyd

 

We've had a few discussions about this in the past and it was generally felt that the points system does not work.

 

As Inge points out, above, the 2 year olds must be maintained in a 1:4 ratio (as confirmed by Ofsted) so the 3 and 4 year olds can be added to the 1:4 ratio but the 2 year olds cannot be added to the 1:8 ratio.

 

I visualize a box! In one box I put the 2 year olds, and add 2 more 3 and 4 year olds. In another box I put 8 3 and 4 year olds, and the 2 remaining 3 and 4 year olds go in another box, with room for either 2 more 2 year olds or 6 more 3 and 4 year olds. So you would need 3 members of staff in this example.

 

With regard to the safeguarding issue, excellent advice to put your concerns in writing to cover yourself but more importantly to protect the children within your care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

at some time during your day you are left with one unqualified person helping ? i thought that leader had to be min L3, with 50% remaining staff being qualified -therefore if you are left with just one member of staff they must be qualified as they make up your 50% ?

if its just you +1 how do you manage for toilet breaks etc ? does this then leave the un qualified person on their own in the room with the children ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I just checked and indeed the fact that you only have one unqualified member of staff is a problem although you need to consider staffing across the setting. Who else is on the floor and working with children at these times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had exactly the same issues when I took over a setting, but I was manager reporting to the committee I'm not quite sure where you are in the structure of things. Basically I went to Ofsted and asked for their advice and for once they were very clear and very supportive.

 

In a mixed age setting you start at the bottom and work up. All 2 year olds must be in a ratio of a maximum of 1:4 at all times. (this is in Eyfs) 3 year olds can be part of this 1:4 ratio but a 2 yr old CANNOT be part of a 1:8 ratio.

 

Then we had to put a risk assessment and an action plan in place stating how we were addressing the issue of ratios and staff qualifications/training in the short term and long term to ensure the children were safe.

 

Good luck x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)