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In Sight Or Hearing Vs Independence


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The new framework specifies that children must be within sight and hearing or at least within sight or hearing at all times.

Many of our old victorian buildings have toilets for children in reception that are out of the classrooms, which children manage quite happily most of the time and children also do jobs that require them to take on little responsibilities like taking the registers to the office in pairs etc.

 

Has anyone else got the siuation with toilets and if so how are you solving the problem, especially when you may be the only adult in the room if your TA is outside say?

 

Some of our settings are worried but have no practical solutions other than build new toilets or lose an adult from teaching time everytime a child wants the loo.

 

Cx

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I think it is perfectly acceptable for children to leave the classroom on these occasions. Our toilets are attached to the classroom but I think YR children are responsible and independent enough to be able to go by themselves as long as the expectations are clear. Of course, should the adults know that a child would struggle with this i.e. independence or perhaps behaviour wise then a different solutio would need to be decided on. My class take the register to the office, take messages to the office, other classrooms etc and relish the idea that they are grown up enough to do 'jobs'.

I doubt that at home these children are always within sight or hearing of a parent and neither will the parent watch the child every time they go to the toilet.

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If they are worried catma how about a baby monitor(cordless) ...we have one set up in the toilets with the monitor in the classroom (our toilets are along a corridor) the children know that if they need someone they just have to shout!! It also means we can take it outside if everyone is out. weare lucky that we have a shelf out of the way but if not a trusty piece of strong velcro would do the trick. I do feel that some supervision is needed in the toilet areas as some of these children will only just be 4 and may still require a little help. If they are taking things to the office etc are they in areas where nobody can see or hear them...even another class teacher?

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Yes, forgot - some have thought of monitors, so interested to hear what experiences of those are - and yes they are sometimes in areas of the school where they could go into other areas that are not supervised, so it does break the legislation somewhat. As each school is different in layout this varies I suppose.

 

Lucie, I agree completely and always did so with my reception classes, but in my experience Ofsted would clearly disagree. One school had a real issue with Ofsted last year, which nearly sunk the inspection, with their reception chidren leaving the space to go to the toilets and we have had the same re going unsupervised to the office with registers and that was before the new stipulation.

 

The EYFS framework is very specific about this as a statutory position so it does mean we have to do some thinking around how to balance what we would like children to do with what we can allow chidren to do within a safeguarding context.

"Children must usually be within sight and hearing of staff and always within sight or hearing." p18.

 

Cx

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would the phrasing have any argument?? must 'usually' be within sight and hearing - is different to them saying must 'always' be in sight and hearing. It's similar to the old 'specific legal requirements' and the next box of 'statutory guidance to which providers should have regard'

 

Thought I don't doubt some (Ofsted) would have none of it but I read it that they accept there may be times when this can't happen. surely they have to accept that some buildings remain that aren't purpose built; I think this is different to inspecting where clearly there is NO reason for children not to be supervised at high level - and if you did leave to supervise then no doubt you would be penalised for having less supervision in the classroom; or having to bring children back indoors so some could go to the loo.

 

Could parents be asked to toilet their children immediately before school starts?

or maybe the setting flagging it up now, in writing to O with their layout and all the considerations and options and the merits and pitfalls of each - and highlighting that this poses the minimal risk

 

tricky

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We had our OfSTED inspection at the end of November and although we don't have the toilet issue, they didn't bat an eyelid with children taking the register and our classroom is the furthest from the office!

 

Maybe it is something I need to look into but I would hate to have to change this as I don't really understand the issue?!

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I need to think more about this. At the moment we're about as far as you can get from the toilets and there's no chance of swapping rooms those nearer would be totally unsuitable for reception children and have no outdoor space attached. First thing in the morning I have no TA and send the dinner register back to the office with a post it note saying if anyone's not in school. Thsecretary returns it to me with the children so I know she got it.

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