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Access To Learning Journals


jazzy1
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Good morning! first post, so be gentle with me :o

A colleague came back from a course this week stating that she had been told by the trainers that under no circumstances should the learning journals leave the premises, even with the parents.

Now, we have only recently changed our policy on this as we had realised that some parents werent getting access to it - working mums etc and our SIP had said it was ok.

I'm afraid we do also take them home (i have 12 to update - I just could not possibly do them at work - I would never leave the place....) but I do understand thats not ideal and probably not advisable but I try to keep it to a minimum.

I'm wondering if other settings do?

Anyway, more worried about this new 'advice' that we shouldnt even let the parents take them away. I thought that was half the point, the partnership with parents.

Does anyone know if they are actually the parents property? Also, surely there are Data protection issues if the parents insist they want to take them?

Can anyone help? I wouln love to go back to my manager on monday with some clarification.

Many thanks in advance xD

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Hi and congratulations on making your first post! :o

 

I'd like to think that I'm always 'gentle' xD

 

I can only tell you what we do.......in our area the Learning Journey folders are considered to be the 'parent's property', our parent's get to take them home and add to them at least once per term.......

We (me and my staff) also take the folders home to update - I have complete faith in my staff that the folders will be 'safe' with them......and I'm eternally grateful that they are prepared to update in their own time - they are offered 'non-contact' time during pre-school sessions but they prefer to take them home - I do, however, insist that folders are always brought back into pre-school daily, just in case a parent wants to look at one or I might want to or we might want to add a piece of work or share the folders with the children.......

 

What sort of training was it?

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We were told by our early years advisor that we should not take the folders home as although i trusted my staff, someone else in the house could have access to them so we now do them at work but in our own time i.e. afternoons off, before work and we are paid an hour extra per keychild per month as some recognition of the time spent. However, we do let them go home with parents, after taking out all the registration documents etc as we like parents to share the journey with us and contribute. But I guess thinking about it anyone else in their house could have access to it as well so whats the difference. I will be interested to hear what others say and whether there is anything documented by OFSTED etc regarding taking folders out of the setting

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We encourage parents to take them home each term to look at their childrens lovely work and see obsevations and progress reports - we were told to get the parents to sign to say they have them as we expecting a visit from ofsted and they may choose a child to focus on and want to see all their paperwork, I do let staff take them home to update but insist they are at Pre School each day.

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We are the same as Sunnyday, but I do know they are not supposed to leave the premises, but hey, we have to live with workable situations and as long as they are back at pre-school should a parent or and Inspector pop in I am happy.

 

They are the property of the parents in my opinion and they have every right to take them home and show their families and talk to the children about them and choose photographs from home to put in them if they want to.

 

A big warm welcome from me to the Forum

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we did the same as others , staff taking home if necessary but bringing back on daily basis , this is not ideal. I ts tates in the EYFS that records relating to individual children should only be accessible to those that have a right or professional need to see them , and setting should report progress and acheivements to parents throughout the EYFS , there is no specific rule to say they should not be taken from premises - if you really wanted to safe guard yourselves then get each parent to sign when they remove from premises , as there is no other info on other children in there ,it should not be a problem, once they are in parents hands it is their responsibility .

if staff take home and they end up in different hands then that is a safeguarding issue

Edited by lashes2508
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Good morning! first post, so be gentle with me :o

A colleague came back from a course this week stating that she had been told by the trainers that under no circumstances should the learning journals leave the premises, even with the parents.

Now, we have only recently changed our policy on this as we had realised that some parents werent getting access to it - working mums etc and our SIP had said it was ok.

I'm afraid we do also take them home (i have 12 to update - I just could not possibly do them at work - I would never leave the place....) but I do understand thats not ideal and probably not advisable but I try to keep it to a minimum.

I'm wondering if other settings do?

Anyway, more worried about this new 'advice' that we shouldnt even let the parents take them away. I thought that was half the point, the partnership with parents.

Does anyone know if they are actually the parents property? Also, surely there are Data protection issues if the parents insist they want to take them?

Can anyone help? I wouln love to go back to my manager on monday with some clarification.

Many thanks in advance xD

We consider our LJ's to be part of the partnership...and they belong to the children as they are about them. Parents are entitled to take the LJ's home...because for some parents coming in to see them is unworkable due to work etc. To work in partnership we should be flexible and support parents in their access to material. I can understand that of course there will be parents/carers who take them home...only for them to disappear into a black hole but again with good partnership and record keeping this shouldnt be an issue...we log ours when they go out and monitor their return.

 

One of the huge issues with record keeping like this is in fact that we are making judgements and statements about young people over which at this age they have no say (technically abreech of their human rights!) after all the health service gives parents the child's (red book) health record to keep at home and take from place to place and if this can be the case then surely our LJ's must be equally flexible?

 

On a cynical note I would say that either this is because your trainers are afraid that some people maybe writing comments which might later be subject to litigation or more likely are worried that someone might steal the nurseries format for LJ's and nothing to do with partnership with parents.

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Hi all

We let parents take them home but staff have to work on them in pre-school as our EY advisor saidthey should not be taken home by us. Consequently the committee are now having to pay someone to come in 48 hours per half term to cover staff so that they can spend 30 mins on each key child folders. This means that they will only be updated that once.

 

We are very limited with space and still have to find somewhere where staff can do their folders.

 

Not yet started this so will let you know when it does..problem is now finding someone to do the 48hrs...has to be very flexible.

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Same as others, LJ's belong to the child and the parent and they are encouraged to take them home. Staff take profiles home to complete if they don't get done in their keyperson time (1.25 hours). I'm grateful that they are prepared to do that and until they get sufficient time to do them in the setting they will continue to be able to do so.

 

We are often told you can't do this and you can't do that by advisors. I think we need to consider what is workable in our own settings and go with that.

 

Welcome to the forum by the way and congratulations on your first post!

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Jazzy1 welcome...i'm not surprised you thought you should check this info...as you can see there are varying answers! I think you have to go with what is right for your setting...i'm afraid i just dont understand the safeguarding issues. My staff take the learning stories home, they only take pre-approved photos with them, the childrens details are not with them, there is no data sensitive information that goes home...teachers take marking books home...what's the difference?? as to parents not having them...i try to encourage mine to use them at the setting but if asked i would have no probs sending them home as long as parents are aware of how 'special'they are and how long they take to complete!!!!

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really appreciate all your welcomes and replies and am comforted that this may be just a case of common sense.

All your replies show me that journals should be going home, if required with parents and this seems good practice - not bad.

Incidently, we do sign them out and make the parents aware they are responsible for them as they are important documents but did recently remove the personal data sheets with DOB/address etc from them.

I wish assessors/trainers would get back into settings to see whats workable rather than rashly tell us how to do things.

However, it would be nice to have some official guidelines on this - lashes2508 interesting you pointing out there is no specific rule stating they cant be taken off premises.

Thanks again everyone :o

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I agree with the posts above about the workability (is that even a word?) of systems. We have a similar system to a lot in that staff are allowed to work on them at home, but have to ensure their safe keeping. Parents can (but never do!) take them home to share with family, and we also use home setting diaries which go home a lot. These are supplementary to the learning journey files but we consider them to be an integral part of them.

 

My other comment was about the fallibility of trainers/assessors delivering courses. We had a staff member doing a level 3 course and the tutor threatened to report us to Ofsted for allowing staff access to their phones during the session. We had discussed this extensively in the setting and with our committee and a policy had been agreed which the staff were not in breach of. Unfortunately the tutor felt that she knew best and her opinion was that it was against the rules. The hardest bit was explaining to the staff member in question that the tutor who was meant to be teaching her might have got it wrong. this is not the only experience of this type of thing I've had, although it was the most extreme, and I do realise not all tutors/assessors are like this. Had she asked the student to reflect on the use of phones, etc I would have felt it was appropriate but the way it was she accused the setting of breaking the law.

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It's funny how the EYFS not in schools is different to schools. In school generally (in my experience) the records are the school's records and parents have the right to access them but they don't "belong" to anyone outside the school in that sense. Sometimes they are sent home at the end of the year, but often it is the annual (and required) parents report which is an amalgamation of what's in the record which is what parents receive. And with 30 reception and 52 nursery records in the past I always took them home as it would be impossible otherwise. This was never questioned.

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I work in a school nursery and our LJ's are taken home by the parents as and when they request them (which to be honest is not very often). Although I understand the concerns about safeguarding, we see the LJ's as a vital role in the parents and partners element of the EYFS. There is nothing in the LJ's except material that concerns their own child so why should the parent not have access to the LJ if this is the case?

Have you reviewed the contents of your LJ's, do they contain images/documentation relating to other children? if so maybe in future if you want them to go home only information concerning the individual child should be put in?

 

Sometimes the world goes a little OTT, there needs to be a considered balance and one that suits both parents and the setting. I have seen some lovely LJ's where parents have contributed comments and photos at home.

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Staff have already argued the point with supervisor that there is nothing in the LJ that would be a safeguarding issue (have even said to leave scrapbook at setting and just take home the profile). They even say that the administrator who has lists ofchildrens name, DOB off site on her pc and lists etc is worse, that teachers take books home to mark etc. However the committee has said no we cant take home and thats the end of it. Its a shame really as some staff are now only doing what they are paid for which is 1hr per half term and for 8 children this is impossible. They are saying that if they can take home do in own time then they would spend the time on them. Some staff are doing them anyway and coming in in own time. So consequently some LJ up to date others not.

 

This situation has been the thing that has caused the most friction between staff and committee. Supervisor dreading if OFSTED come and pick up one that is not up to date but if they speak to staff about it staff have said they will tell them exactly as it stands and that they are not paid to do them.

 

Hard isnt it?

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I always took my key children's home to update much to the horror of my husband as I always left a scattering of glitter wherever I worked (he's tidier than me :o )

 

We had time in the setting too but if you really want to have time to think and write comments that are more than a bullet point this process can be really time consuming.

 

As others have said, we encouraged our parents to take them home and contribute to them.

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Welcome to the Forum jazzy1 and congratulations on making your first post!

 

I think the important thing here is to ask why the adviser/tutor holds this point of view? Everyone needs to be challenged from time to time, and no-one has the monopoly on what is considered best (or good) practice. :o

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...teachers take marking books home...what's the difference??

 

 

A very good point! I work in KS1 so any books I take home to mark are usually full of photos of things the children have been up to. Sometimes I worry that these advisors don't live in the real world, although of course there are many good ones out there!

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Yes, this is a really good point about school teachers taking records home. Is there a difference and if so why?

I think the assessor claimed it was just a confidentiality issue. I will get my colleague to ask her again when she goes this week and if shes brave, challenge her :o

Quite clearly none of us can work like that and dont think its good practice NOT to send LJ's home.

Thanks again folks xD

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Well to play devil's advocate here, I guess there could be a confidentiality issue. Once the learning journeys leave the setting the registered person has no real control over how they are handled or treated. There is no direct control over who is granted access to them, or the suitability of those people who may see them.

 

However we have to trust the judgement of our colleagues, and ensure that our policies and procedures are based around workable good practice which promotes confidentiality.

 

Now if s/he was talking about how unfair it is that practitioners need to take learning journeys home in order to get their job done, with little chance of being paid for this extra work, then that's another matter... :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my first reply so...here goes. In my setting we have been advised that they should not leave the setting. All personal information except name and photographs have been removed as they are stored all together where parents can access them. I agree you have to go with what works for the setting but we generally have enough key worker time to keep ours up to date. We would also accommodate parents requests to come in at a different time to view them but they are not going home as I know they would not be returned by some.

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we have been told by our EY consultant that Learning journeys should not be going home with staff , and if they are then Ofsted need to be informed ! if we were to take any childrens information home we need to risk assess our homes and ensure all info is kept in a locked cabinet and is worked on away from anyone who is not part of the setting.

I can see thier point to a certain extent -as i have visitors in and out all the time (as do my children and hubby) and if i had childrens files etc on the dining table 'mid -update' then i cant guarantee no -one else is looking at them.

 

we do let parents take them home if they wish -tho they dont always return them promptly.

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we have been told by our EY consultant that Learning journeys should not be going home with staff , and if they are then Ofsted need to be informed ! if we were to take any childrens information home we need to risk assess our homes and ensure all info is kept in a locked cabinet and is worked on away from anyone who is not part of the setting.

I can see thier point to a certain extent -as i have visitors in and out all the time (as do my children and hubby) and if i had childrens files etc on the dining table 'mid -update' then i cant guarantee no -one else is looking at them.

 

we do let parents take them home if they wish -tho they dont always return them promptly.

 

The trouble is, by that logic the parent's homes would need to be risk assessed asd who knows what other people are going through a home?

Why would it be different for a parent to have unfettered free access but not the professional who is actually the keeper of the record.

 

what if the parent left it on a bus? Does that constitute a breach of data security regulations??

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but the learning journey belongs to the child / parent -if a parent were to take it home and leave it out for anyone to see , or leave it on the bus , the its their responsibility. If i were a parent i wouldnt be happy if a member of staff were to loose my childs learning journey, or take it home for anyone to look at .

 

The parent is able to control who they show the information to -if they want Aunt jenny to see it, but not uncle Henry -they are able to ensure only aunt Jenny see's it. If the staff take the LJ's home -then the parent has no knowledge of who is seeing it -and is therefore unable to have any control of who is looking at it.

Edited by fimbo
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we have been told by our EY consultant that Learning journeys should not be going home with staff , and if they are then Ofsted need to be informed ! if we were to take any childrens information home we need to risk assess our homes and ensure all info is kept in a locked cabinet

 

 

I sometimes wonder about some of the infromation we get from our advisors....where did they get this from? what evidence have they produced for you to say this is the case? I do think that we need to ask these questions and stop taking all this 'advice' blindly....

sorry rant over :o

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I sometimes wonder about some of the infromation we get from our advisors....where did they get this from? what evidence have they produced for you to say this is the case? I do think that we need to ask these questions and stop taking all this 'advice' blindly....

sorry rant over :o

Move over finsleysmaid - my turn for a rant!

 

There is absolutely nothing in my children's Learning Journey folders that would be of interest to any visiting 'oddball'......

 

I absolutely agree that we need to challenge some of these directives.....a good question is "where is that written, I'd like to read about that myself"

Edited by sunnyday
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