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Don't Even Know Where To Start!


SazzJ
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Sorry in advance this is going to be a long post!!!!

 

 

Since starting my post in 2009 I have repeatedly put in around 20 to 30 hours extra to the 20 I get paid at home. This is to bring the setting upto a decent standard now I don't know why I bother. I don't get paid for them despite asking and when the children are in I have to be with them so no time for admin etc hence it all being done in my own time.

 

Really reached the end of my tether and don't know what to do next!!!

 

I have ongoing issues with deputy not pulling her weight. Asked her to step down and she won't. Now discovered that my best staff member is leaving partly because of her though haven't got the exact reasons. Committee want a meeting this week to address. Dreading it as deputy takes huffs quiet easily. Also discovered other staff member is close to walking too.

 

Now I need to start slowing down and stop taking so much work home. I'm 10 weeks pregnant and can't keep up at the pace I am doing at present. I need time to relax and chill out for my own sanity but at the same time don't want to let the playgroup down. Now I was only going to take 5 months maternity leave as Ofsted is due next Sept however have decided with my partner that I will take my whole entitlement. Now I am concerned that when I return they will ask me to step down from Leader. Can they do this? So stressed over it all.

 

Just feel at a complete loss and can't see light at the end of the tunnel either.

 

So tempted to leave but no where will take me on now that I am pregnant either :o Really ready to sit and cry.

 

To top it all off I have misplaced a whole years worth of observations for one child. Can't explain how either as I never remove them off site but her file is empty. So annoyed with myself and for that reason alone I am ready to quit. I have 9 key children on top of everything else I have to do.

 

To top this all off committee pestered staff member leaving for her notice despite her not having a start date for her new job. The new appointed staff member has not even handed in her CRB yet as she was relocating and only arrived in our town this weekend. Now current staff member leaves next week and I have no staff to cover mine or deputy absences or training as we won't be meeting EYFS requirements of 50% staff being qualified to level 3.

 

Really don't know what to do other than handing in my notice.

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Get out! no job is worth that much stress, concentrate on yourself and your new baby. Its admirable that you put so much into your work but as you are that dedicated another, better one, where you are appreciated, will come along when you are ready to return to work. If you decide to stay then maybe some time without you will make your committee realise how much you do for the setting

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Get out! no job is worth that much stress, concentrate on yourself and your new baby. Its admirable that you put so much into your work but as you are that dedicated another, better one, where you are appreciated, will come along when you are ready to return to work. If you decide to stay then maybe some time without you will make your committee realise how much you do for the setting

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

This is in a way my dream job just don't think as a qualified EYP they fully appreciate me and as you said being away might help them realise that.

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Write a list of the jobs you do outside of your normal hours unpaid. Hand it to the committee and tell them you will need to hand over these jobs now you are pregnant and you're losing a valued member of staff, especially at the start when we all know how tiring pregnancy can be. As the work is unpaid they cant really argue, although I do recall reading that a contract can be taken as that which is traditionally done and is known to the employee at the time of taking the job. Do make sure your committee are aware in writing of the work you do and be very strict with yourself when telling them you are no longer going to do all the unpaid work. Tell them you are in effect working below minimum wage when all the hours are taken into account.

The committee cannot demote you on your return to work. You have to return to the same job and conditions you had before you started your maternity leave.

The observations you've lost are mislaid and will turn up in the one place you would never expect them to be, the back of the register, the art box, in a book bag... I presume you've checked through all the other obs files?

 

Dont worry about Ofsted, just make sure all the paperwork they would need to see from you as playleader is in place before you go on maternity leave. You can also have upto 10 'keeping touch' days while you're on leave so thats a possiblity if you know you're expecting Ofsted, I think it has to be agreed with the employer first though and you'd need to check SMP and how it might affect your leave.

 

I absolutely despair at the things I hear of some committees :o

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I was in a situation similar to you last year (not pregnant I might add! And congratulations!!!)

 

Something clicked in my head - and I just stopped doing it!!

 

I suddenly reaslised my own expectations on my role were far far to high....... If you no what I mean!! I found I was often doing things that didn't really need doing, I just felt they needed doing to help us improve etc.

 

I now try and limit what I do at home, and take 'hours owed' rather than money payment......... it seemed to get my point across more that way, and I do now get an offer of payment if and when I do 'extra' work. I also now get 4 hours a week non-contact in the setting.

I list everything I do at home in detail. If I'm honest I do still do odd extra bits - but I no longer feel I'm taken for granted- so if it's something 'I' want to do for the setting, rather than things that 'needs' to be done I'll happily do it.

 

Like you we were due an ofsted - and we had it (with me on my 'work to rule') and we still got good results!!!

 

............as for the deputy problem- I also have that t-shirt! Although mine just seems to have a knack of upsetting all the staff with her manner/attitude, although I must say she is a worker and is good at her job. (when she's not upsetting everyone)

 

However, what is most important for you at this time is you and your baby, and you must be sure not to get stressed. No job is worth that.

Take-care of yourself (and baby!) xxxxxx

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good advice from others... the list of jobs outside to give to the committee sounds a good strategy to start with... once you have the baby you will not have the time at home to do this anyway... so they will have to do something about it and sooner rather than later.

 

As Rea said they have to give you same conditions and role on return to work... perhaps som time away with deputy running settingwill make them rethink...

 

a reminder that they have to ensure you are able to stay open even when someone if off, the requirement is not 50% to level 3 though it is 1 level 3 and 50% of staff qualified, still may not help but they need reminding of this and show them the bit in the EYFS if need be.

 

Staff leaving is a harder one, unless they are very honest on their reason for leaving there is not much you can do , deputy not pulling her weight can be hard to sort out if she has been there a long time and set in her ways.. if they are honest and tell the committee they should then do something about it themselves...

 

You do need to slow down a bit and de stress for both of your health and well being... time to rethink the role and do the minimum to keep the setting going... take all the leave you are due, and enjoy your new life ahead.

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Do you do exit interviews? Maybe you could introduce them so when these staff leave you have something to use as a focus on how to retain staff.

If your deputy is rubbish and your plea's for her to be demoted have come to nothing you need to focus on someone you can rely on. Start bypassing her, if she complains you can remind her you asked her to step down. Another member of staff might be only to happy to take on some of her roles purely to enhance their CV even if she wouldn't be remunerated for it.

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Oh SazzJ, now I really do know how you feel. I miscarried at 13 1/2 weeks last month and it was this time that gave me the clarity to make the decision to hand my notice in, no job is worth the stress and work life balance is so important. Last year I had 12 key children and have stuck to my guns and this year only have 8 as decided not to take on new starters due to the management paperwork and instead delegated them out to other staff.

 

However, I am not in anyway saying you should walk away, all your hard work means they should pass Ofsted whether or not you are there as you're leaving the systems and paperwork in place, with photos of evidence to back it up (so even if they don't see it on the day they know you do usually do it).

 

You go on maternity leave and have to return to the job and hours you left at so your job is safe - unless you want to come back under different terms. I'd be tempted to stay until your maternity leave, you have that to look forward to and then use your time at home with your little one to work out how you want your future life to be.

 

Thinking of you and sending a huge hug xxxxx

Edited by suebear
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Thank you Maz. I know it probably would have happened anyway, I had a little girl 3 years ago and although complications at the end I taught throughout that pregnancy so don't really think it was the stress of playgroup that factored into this set up. But it has made me think about what is important to me and made me feel life is too short to be unhappy. Also, I'd spent 3 1/2 months preparing my life for a baby and had no control over losing it and here I was spending 18 months to get the setting to an outstanding only to realise the Committee could still ruin it despite whatever I did - I really felt I needed to be in control and the committee weren't allowing me to do what they employed me to do - but I could do their job for them!

Sorry rambling now, what I'm trying to say is life is hard sometimes, and it's easy to get carried away in a job and lose sight of the bigger picture. x

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Suebear, heartfelt hugs and sympathy for your loss...

 

Life really does have a way of making you stop and reassess your priorities - sometimes I wonder whether we in Early Years are all guilty of losing sight of who and what really matters when we get caught up in the desire to "be the best we can", get an Outstanding...., recently there have been so many (too many!) Posts from people questioning whether they can go on.

 

I wish I had a magic wand!

 

,

Nona

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Guest thinlizzie

sorry to hear such sad news; Suebear losing a baby and SazzJ feeling so much stress that you want to leave :o

I left a job last year as a supervisor in a playgroup due to lack of support from deputy and head teacher. I now work for less money in another setting but feel valued, supported and am beginning to regain my confidence. Staff ask me my opinion and I am happy to give it knowing that it is not going to become a petty point scoring exercise.

Sometimes a change is for the best, and you must always do what is best for you and your new family.

I wish you both a happy future.

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First thank you ladies for your replies.

 

No one has ever left so not sure if the committee will do an exit interview or not!!! Chair said she had had an informal chat with her but who knows.

 

My cover staff are not qualified in any capacity though one is a regular and fab with the children, they love her. My concern is my scan is the 18th so if my assistant does leave then I won't even be able to meet the min requirements!!!

 

A list I shall write though have a feeling I could be here a while. It's generally the smaller things that need done such as self registration photos which seem to be never ending etc as we take in all year round :o Committee will tell me to delegate I know the will but it still requires me to print things out at home first!!!

 

Have a meeting tomorrow with committee with regards to Deputy to try and address some of the issues that currently surround a lot of my stress with her not fulfilling her job!!! Really wish she would step down but our hands are tied as she was emplyed before myself and current committee and was promoted to deputy within a month as previous deputy left. I wouldn't mind but it's the assistant who volunteers to do everything not the deputy as it should be. She doesn't even fulfill her role as health and safety officer either.

 

Thank you Maz. I know it probably would have happened anyway, I had a little girl 3 years ago and although complications at the end I taught throughout that pregnancy so don't really think it was the stress of playgroup that factored into this set up. But it has made me think about what is important to me and made me feel life is too short to be unhappy. Also, I'd spent 3 1/2 months preparing my life for a baby and had no control over losing it and here I was spending 18 months to get the setting to an outstanding only to realise the Committee could still ruin it despite whatever I did - I really felt I needed to be in control and the committee weren't allowing me to do what they employed me to do - but I could do their job for them!

Sorry rambling now, what I'm trying to say is life is hard sometimes, and it's easy to get carried away in a job and lose sight of the bigger picture. x

 

So sorry to hear of your loss Suebear, sending hugs.

 

Leaving isn't an option right now for me, we need the money and my partner is not on a fantastic wage either although he is job hunting so were keeping our fingers crossed!!

 

I can't and won't keep going on the way I have. They should appreciate all I have done so far but they don't. I end up doing stuff for the committee that isn't even in my job role. I am making the decision to inform them tomorrow that I can't continue like this. I'm not sleeping with worrying about things that need done. I'm not superwoman and have a life outside of playgroup too.

 

Thank you once again though xx

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Hope your committee chat goes well tomorrow, I'm sure they'll understand. I will say though, if they don't do all the jobs you currently do, try and just bite your tongue, if things don't get done it won't be your fault. Hopefully, you will then be able to focus on you and your growing family and just do what needs doing.

 

Good luck and sleep well x

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Hi

 

Where your deputy is concerned is there not a staffing policy that you can follow? Its all about capability ie getting an action plan for her to follow, setting deadlines, offering support and then reviewing. If she is not achieving her targets ie use her job description then she can then be taken down the disciplinary procedure. To be honest I wouldnt want to be doing the deputies job without the pay whilst she is getting paid for not doing it. Doesnt seem fair.

 

This link may help you

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/actio...;type=RESOURCES

 

The only down side is that it means more work and stress for yourself. However our policy states that the committee will be the one to do this sort of thing and as chair its something Im doing with our manager at the moment. Must admit though that she is following her action plan and her performance has improved.

 

Must admit I hate to see this sort of thing. Especially when now is the time that you need her support.

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Thank you for the link Marley

 

Well todays meeting went well even though I ended up in tears at it. Blaming the hormones lol.

 

They want me to document everything and then were going to have another meeting in a few weeks to the agree an action plan for deputy to follow.

 

Got the full support of committee so pleased and they now realise what stress I am under.

 

Ohh and the observations turned up!!! I give them to mum at the begining of the summer to take home :o

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Hi

 

Where your deputy is concerned is there not a staffing policy that you can follow? Its all about capability ie getting an action plan for her to follow, setting deadlines, offering support and then reviewing. If she is not achieving her targets ie use her job description then she can then be taken down the disciplinary procedure. To be honest I wouldnt want to be doing the deputies job without the pay whilst she is getting paid for not doing it. Doesnt seem fair.

 

This link may help you

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/actio...;type=RESOURCES

 

The only down side is that it means more work and stress for yourself. However our policy states that the committee will be the one to do this sort of thing and as chair its something Im doing with our manager at the moment. Must admit though that she is following her action plan and her performance has improved.

 

Must admit I hate to see this sort of thing. Especially when now is the time that you need her support.

 

 

 

Thats a great link Thanks you I have often overlooked it but reading through this has been useful

Sue

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I am indeed feeling a lot less stressed!!!!

 

Although I know it's going to be a difficult few months I have the full support of my committee behind me who will continue to support myself and the deputy with her action plan even when I go on maternity leave.

 

I will keep you's updated but just want to thank you for the kind words and advice. It is very much appreciated.

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