Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff: child ratios


 Share

Recommended Posts

In the EYFS framework 2012 3.27 it says:

 

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

 

I'm in a reception class where the toilets children use aren't part of the classroom - they're down a corridor. How do other reception classes manage this? I don't always have an adult spare to supervise a trip to the toilet (and even if I did they're often involved in something else).

 

What about lunchtime - children ask MDS if they can go to the toilet, come in and go - even more difficult for them to have an adult come with them?

 

I don't know how we can get round this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to work in a school setting, the children used to wear a badge that said they were going to the toilet. That way staff and anyone else round the school would know who is going to the toilet and what child has left the room. They were never supervised after the first term once they were confident going by themselves. Maybe incorporate a set time where a group of children could go to the toilet with an adult? But then again, you will probably waste so much time doing so. That's a really difficult one to get round, I don't really know how you could manage it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been raised umpteen times with us as many of our schools are big old victorian numbers with toilets a mile from everywhere.

We asked a friendly inspector who said that it is a must, so staffing might need to be considered. If impossible she said do a thorough risk assessment to show you have considered every option.

Having said that I'd be interested to know what a section 5 inspector would say as it's not in the schools inspection schedule!!

If you were 1:30 you couldn't leave the classroom so the child would have to go unsupervised. Or get a portaloo??

Cx

Edited by catma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having said that I'd be interested to know what a section 5 inspector would say as it's not in the schools inspection schedule!!

If you were 1:30 you couldn't leave the classroom so the child would have to go unsupervised. Or get a portaloo??

Cx

 

If you ever find the answer I'd love to know! I personally think it's something that helps to build their independence and given that people are always talking about building independence in other areas it seems odd to exclude this. I currently have a TA for all but the first Hal-hour of the day. I also have a child that could go 3 times in that time. After Christmas my TA support is likely to be greatly reduced. I have always sent my children to the office with the register, if I have an injured or sick child I can't realistically shepherd the entire class to where there is another adult, can't go myself so send a sensible helper for them.

 

I believe it helps them develop their confidence and knowledge of the school building and other staff - essential for when they move on to other classes and there will be an expectation that they just go and it is less likely that will be additional adult support for this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on how far the toilet is from the classroom - what about a baby monitor ? you could have the base station in the classroom, the other part on a high shelf in the toilet discreetly and you could remind the children if there is a problem then they need to shout and somebody will come ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isnt that a shame? I can still remember the feeling of being really grown up when I was allowed out of the classroom on my own either to go to the toilet or to take a message for the teacher. The corridors were always different without loads of other children, it seemed really alien but in a good way. I loved it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm am going to cry - in fact I already am crying with frustration and anger over this. We have thrown and discussed this back and forth all day. Our issue is not exactly the toilets themselves as they are just outside the school office which usually has someone in it. However there is a corridor children would have to walk down to get to the toilet. The head's office and the staffroom are the only rooms on this corridor and obviously are frequently empty - hence out of sight and hearing.

 

I have suggested baby monitors - it would be an invasion of privacy.

 

I have suggested writing a risk assessment - it wouldn't work because it's a legal requirement and if one of my children got injured (e.g. falling down the steps on the way or being hit by another child in the corridor) we wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

 

I am going to be allowed to let them take messages to other classes and take the register to the office because they can go in pairs. I can't send them to the toilet in pairs because that's "asking for trouble".

 

As it stands I'm going to have to do the following things:

 

When I hear my lunchtime readers - I take them as a group but send them to get their coats and go out to play as individuals. I usually hear them in a corridor space. I'm now going to have to hear one and get them to wait until a second child is ready and send them back in pairs.

 

I'm going to have to announce the option to go to the toilet at regular intervals throughout the day (on the hour?) and take a group of children down, wait outside for them and then escort them back. If a child needs to go in between and really can't wait then I have to make arrangements to take them. at the moment I have a TA the vast majority of the day. After Christmas I'm likely to have a TA mornings only. I have a couple of BEd students in with me in two different blocks so will have extra adults then. Other than that a couple of times in the afternoon I'm going to have to march a class of 20 down the corridor to the toilet.

 

It doesn't matter that hundreds of other schools must be in exactly the same situation because "just because they're not following the rules doesn't mean we can't".

 

Please don't shout at me about the disruption to uninterrupted play, learning and my ability to teach/deliver anything. Never mind the disruption to free flow indoor/outdoor time when we have the opportunity I know all that, and my head does too but we can't see any way round it at the moment. The only way is going to be if there is any 'official' documentation/ruling which says 'except in reception classes' etc.

 

I really am crying now - this is just one of the days when I want to give up. My apologies for the rant and if you read this far, thank you for 'listening'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I so feel for you! Feel free to rant away!

Our toilets are across the cloakroom from our reception classes but are also used by all of KS2 and the door to their classrooms is not locked ( they are in terrapin type buildings!).

As we are also in Derbyshire I would be interested to see what advice the LA Advisors give about it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did the person who wrote this have any idea what they were doing?

Can you call Ofsted for clarification or would that be going over your head's head ( :blink: )

It does seem to be such a silly rule, when those of us in pre-schools are trying to teach independence only for them to lose the chance to use it when they get to reception. :ph34r:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am defeated. I can't think of any ways round this and when I think about things like the fact that we agreed that I would no longer have to regularly go to whole school collective worship or join in playtimes so that I could have a more relaxed, freer timetable, children could have more sustained play. That we are constantly pushing for more outdoor time and greater use of our big outdoor space and this will just restrict it I just... :( :( :angry:

 

In all seriousness, if I am going to have to timetable toilet visits how regularly do you think it would be reasonable to do it? Every hour/half-hour/3/4 hour? When should I start? Children come in from 8.50am and finish at 3.30pm. They are going to be taken to the toilet twice at lunchtime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good grief! How long's a piece of string??

You know they'll want to 'go' just after everyone else has been. If you make them wait, they'll wet themselves, if you take them, they'll sit and then say they dont want to go! My oldest son went to every toilet we ever went near when he was about 3 or 4, seemed to have a fixation on them.

Every half hour or so? Maybe they'll get used to it and if you have to go past the Head's office often enough and you make enough noise he might just change his mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not at all stupid Helen, sorry if I gave that impression.

You're in a difficult situation and have been left to sort it out while knowing whatever you do won't be the best for the children.

Put 'best practice' to one side, see how things go between now and Christmas and then go back to your Head with details of how the days go.

I'm sure we've all be close to tears when we have to do things that go against our own judgement. I was once refused permission to put logs in the garden because the children would get splinters! We work with what we're given ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rea - it was me not you! You didn't give that impression at all. Am just wound up and frustrated. You're right I will see what happens. In fact I told the head earlier that 'obviously I'll do what I'm being asked but that I wouldn't stop trying to find alternatives.

 

I can come up with flippant ones at the moment though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading this through it makes it obvious whoever wrote that bit in the 'must do' was not thinking about all the different buildings we work in or the restrictions we all have in all the different buildings, but were probably focusing on the child supervision angle.. Also we need to remember Ofsted do not write the regulations but are there to uphold them and ensure they are kept, so not their fault and I think they often have as much of an issue with some of the things that are so difficult for all to follow without exceptions or common sense kicking in a bit.

 

throwing an idea into the mix... the more the merrier...!

 

 

It seems the corridor is an issue if they can be heard in the toilets by the office, could a small cctv style camera be set up in the corridor to a monitor in your room, and a controlled method of knowing who is going and when so you could switch on and monitor only when a child is in or out of the room. many nurseries use webcams for parents to check during the day, would a internal one help with this as you would be able to see them , would not really be an invasion of privacy as it would not be in the toilets, can see where they are coming from with that one though.

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)