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Advice needed re safeguarding, ofsted and EY


taffygirl
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Hi All,

 

My friend has a nursery and one of her staff, who is also her partner, was accused by a a child under the age of 3 of hitting him and shouting at him. He was suspended immediately by my friend and LADO etc all informed. Parents then made an ofsted complaint. Ofsted came out and no actions founded for the setting. They then decided that they needed a professional meeting with Early Years (who was also the safeguarding officer), LADO, SS and Ofsted and my friend. She had no one to represent her or support her. They decided that he could return to work on office duties until Ofsted has interviewed him due to an unfounded allegation (which he was not even named in) at a different setting. He is refusing to come back to work at the moment even in the office and I can't say I blame him. Another parent made a complaint to Ofsted saying he was in the building on Monday (he was at home) and this parent potentially has links to the other parents as no one else knows what is happening.

 

Early years are refusing to help support her at the moment. A formal complaint has gone into ofsted about the inspector (who is on holiday) and the LADO can't get hold of her counterparts in another county even though my friend was able to get hold of him within 10 minutes of the leaving the meeting!

 

We've exhausted all ideas of where and whom to go to? Anyone else had experience or knowledge of this - and more to the point who is there to support us in matters like this?

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It's a very difficult situation, clearly. There are some things I don't understand (what's LADO, and what's another setting's problems got to do with any of it? Was he a member of staff there, too? Why has there been a complaint about the inspector?)

However, if I were your friend I would ask the child's parents to come in for an update. (I'm assuming the child is still attending?) Then I would be clear about the staff member being suspended until Ofsted have interviewed him, ask them for any further input, and stress very strongly that all of this is confidential and must not be shared. Document and everyone sign a summary of the discussion.

 

Do other members of staff know? Do they need to?

 

I would then phone Ofsted, and ask for the name of the inspector (it would probably be a CIEP= Compliance, Investigations and Enforcement Professional) who is dealing with the case. Then get in touch with him/her and try to bring forward the interview date so that the matter can be resolved quickly.

 

This incident may trigger an Ofsted inspection which might well be a positive thing; if the setting comes out well, then that will allay fears that everyone is gossiping about this and that their reputation is at stake as a result.

 

Your friend needs to put this in a box, so to speak. Act on it, put it aside whilst the cogs turn at Ofsted, and try, hard as it is, to provide the children and families with excellent early years practice.

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I'm not sure I understand.

If Ofsted came out and made no actions, were they declaring the accusation to be unfounded? If so, what was the purpose of the meeting? Why did your friend feel she needed support if the meeting was about safeguarding, presuming it was if the safeguarding officer was there? If the allegation was unfounded why can he only return to work in the office? Why is an allegation at a different setting being bought into this especially if he was un-named? What did the Ofsted inspector do that warrants a complaint being made? As I see it, the inspector visited, asked for a meeting regarding safeguarding and then said the guy could work in the office for now.

Have I missed something?

In any case, your friend should be able to ask the LA for clarity on the matter.

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