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Advice please.


Jeany
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Really could do with out this at this time of year, any help would be appreciated.

 

So, we have a small water heater that heats hot water it packs up, still under warranty so have to get hold of the people that fitted it. This was on friday 30th, couldn't get through leave message. Staff aware it is broken and I am trying to sort it. Finally get to talk on Monday they can't get anyone out till following Monday so basically we will have 1 week no hot water. All our water is mains fed so all fresh. No staff mention it again, get home on friday to letter from ofsted staff member as gone to them and complained about no hot water, but as also said we have mice in kitchen, (we did 4 weeks ago) laid traps etc, none now for 3 weeks. This call was made on the 4th Dec. Staff member is proving to ba a bit of a problem and I don't know what to do next.

 

Sorry for incoherent rambling but really quite stressed by it all.

 

TIA

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Oh Jeany

 

I don't know that I have any really helpful advise - but I didn't want to 'read and run'.......

 

How completely, amazingly disloyal of your staff member - I am truly shocked that he/she would do this......

 

Presumably you can boil water in kettles for this week.......I know that's not ideal but I can't really think of another way round this........hopefully someone else will be able to.......

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Ditto Sunnyday - I would be furious that a member of staff had gone behind my back to Ofsted when said staff member was aware of the situation. Are there other things that said staff member is disgruntled about as this seems to be a very OTT tack to take?

 

Have you thought about getting one of those urn type things as a temporary measure so that you have constant hot water available during this blip in services?

 

Argos do an 8ltr one for £45 at the moment.

 

I take it mouse issue has been sorted and source of entry found and made safe so that shouldn't be an area of concern - seems funny that said member of staff didn't want to report this to environmental health when so v. keen to go to Ofsted.

 

Have you thought about using the now required staff supervision route to open some sort of dialogue with the member of staff to get to the bottom of what is going on?

 

Maybe a supervision form with headings that include such areas as :

Workload (amount, time, duties etc.)

Concerns/team issues (worker relationships; rota’s; new ideas; areas of work etc)

Any other areas for discussion

 

could start the ball rolling and give you an opportunity to ask a direct question such as "Could you tell me why you chose to report the loss of hot water to Ofsted when you were aware that the problem was being dealt with"

 

Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns so to speak and get whatever it is bugging this member of staff out in the open

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Oh Jeany

 

I don't know that I have any really helpful advise - but I didn't want to 'read and run'.......

 

How completely, amazingly disloyal of your staff member - I am truly shocked that he/she would do this......

 

Presumably you can boil water in kettles for this week.......I know that's not ideal but I can't really think of another way round this........hopefully someone else will be able to.......

 

I feel a complete mix of upset, shock and being completely honest sheer anger. This is a staff member that we have really bent over backwards to help, but as time goes on elements of her personality are becoming apparent that are really not attractive traits. I should add that Ofsted have just said these are things that need to be looked at but no need to tell them etc. We were inspected 3 weeks ago and the outcomes was very positive (not been published yet ;-). Mind blowing, all I want to do is prepare for xmas parties, concerts etc.

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Ditto Sunnyday - I would be furious that a member of staff had gone behind my back to Ofsted when said staff member was aware of the situation. Are there other things that said staff member is disgruntled about as this seems to be a very OTT tack to take?

 

Have you thought about getting one of those urn type things as a temporary measure so that you have constant hot water available during this blip in services?

 

Argos do an 8ltr one for £45 at the moment.

 

I take it mouse issue has been sorted and source of entry found and made safe so that shouldn't be an area of concern - seems funny that said member of staff didn't want to report this to environmental health when so v. keen to go to Ofsted.

 

Have you thought about using the now required staff supervision route to open some sort of dialogue with the member of staff to get to the bottom of what is going on?

 

Maybe a supervision form with headings that include such areas as :

Workload (amount, time, duties etc.)

Concerns/team issues (worker relationships; rota’s; new ideas; areas of work etc)

Any other areas for discussion

 

could start the ball rolling and give you an opportunity to ask a direct question such as "Could you tell me why you chose to report the loss of hot water to Ofsted when you were aware that the problem was being dealt with"

 

Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns so to speak and get whatever it is bugging this member of staff out in the open

 

Thank you. Yes mouse problem sorted it. We only ever caught 3 over 3 days, entry hole filled and we left traps in place just in case (they are in kitchen area, under cupboards.

I think the supervision route is a good idea, thanks. So hard to think straight when emotions are involved. Sadly as time goes on I think this is just a character trait, she frequently makes comments in an attempt to get other staff 'into trouble'. The thing that saddens me the most is that I feel like all trust is broken, we have worked really hard to build a team. Everyone is included in decisions where ever possible, constantly asked if there is anything that they want to discuss etc. I now feel like everyone will suffer as I will be guarded.

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I feel a complete mix of upset, shock and being completely honest sheer anger. This is a staff member that we have really bent over backwards to help, but as time goes on elements of her personality are becoming apparent that are really not attractive traits. I should add that Ofsted have just said these are things that need to be looked at but no need to tell them etc. We were inspected 3 weeks ago and the outcomes was very positive (not been published yet ;-). Mind blowing, all I want to do is prepare for xmas parties, concerts etc.

 

Sue's advice re. staff supervision is really good - I know that I could not let this go 'unchallenged'.......I don't understand her 'motivation' for her actions - did she hope that you would have to close and she would get some extra 'time off'?

 

I'm so pleased to hear of Ofsted's reaction - there is a publication 'When to inform Ofsted' - I don't have a copy on my lap-top - wonder if it would be worthwhile for you to obtain a copy........

 

Pleased to hear that your recent inspection went well for you!

 

Enjoy your parties, concerts etc. :1b

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I don't really have any other advice than has already been given. I am also very shocked to here that a staff member would do this to you.

 

Personally I think I would have to ask her what she was expecting to gain out of doing this when she knew the situation was being addressed. Does she have any other underlying issues with the group or at home?

 

I have has similiar things go wrong with the buildings in the past and I know the stress that alone can cause.

 

Try not to let her spoil your christmas fun!!!

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I cant think what she expected to gain from this!

I'd ask her right out what her motivation was, why she thought it was necessary to inform Ofsted when you were clearly keeping staff informed and had the matter in hand.

Did she think Ofsted could magic up a repair man?

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I think you have to tread very carefully here Jeany - I'm not sure that this member of staff's actions can be said to be 'whistle blowing' in the truest sense, but I know that whistle blowers have protection in law. Might be worth checking that out fairly soon.

 

I do think you have every right to challenge this member of staff: as others have said I can't see what her motivation was for approaching Ofsted. At the very least she needs to understand the possible consequences of this on the setting, on you and on the other staff members who work for you. She owes you an explanation as to why she couldn't raise her concerns directly with you - from what you say you go out of your way to consult your team and keep them informed with developments.

 

I'm not sure whether you own your group but I think I would have found it very difficult to work with someone who had taken this sort of action against me and my group. I would also find it difficult to understand how the staff member could continue to work in a setting for which she felt so little loyalty and compassion.

 

I could understand it if there had been a major issue concerning child protection or inappropriate practice that she had repeatedly drawn your attention to but continued to be worried and dissatisfied with your actions. Then she might have felt no option but to complain to Ofsted.

 

However clearly this is not such an issue, and I'm very pleased that Ofsted have taken the stance they have. Sometimes they can provide the only sane and rational commentary on a case like this! Good for them.

 

Sue's advice is good - she's probably right that something else is going on underneath the surface which you're not aware of. Best find out before things get much worse.

 

Will you have to record this as a complaint now, given that Ofsted have been involved? Also, what does your staff grievance/complaints procedure say? Is there any mileage in going through this formal procedure so that a record is put on her file? At the very least I think maybe you need to revisit this procedure with your staff so that they know how to proceed if they have a grievance in future.

 

Good luck to you - I hope you get it resolved quickly and can continue with your Christmas preparations. Let us know how things go!

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Thanks you everyone.

Whistle blowers are only protected if they whistle blow because they believe there would be a cover up if they went to appropriate person.

I am really struggling with how I can trust someone that as done this. I have to record in my complaints log stating the actions that I followed to rectify. Well I had already put everything in place prior to the complaint so that's sorted.

The other thing I have to consider is how I approach this with staff, because I do keep staff informed on all day to day stuff I feel they should know about complaint, not necessarily where it come from (although it don't take a genius to work it out).

This girl does have issues out of work and I can only assume that these lead to this strange behaviour.

I really am struggling to see how we can move forward if I lack trust how can I leave her alone with the children etc, I know that may sound a little melodramatic, but I operate on a would I leave my children with this person and if not then I shouldn't leave other sin her care and if I didn't trust someone they would not be left with my children.

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I agree with everything you say, Jeany.

 

As a precaution, I would make a note of everything I'd said to staff both about the mice and the hot water situation. That way if she ever claims she was acting as a whistle blower you'll be able to prove that she could never believe there would be a cover up.

 

I think I'd talk to her first to see what she says, and then decide about what to tell the staff. I don't envy you at all - what a position to find yourself in. :(

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Sorry I haven't got back sooner. Nothing much really to report. Carried out supervision during which staff member said she hadn't any issues was happy at work and she just thought OFSTED would help. I made her aware of my concerns and will be repeating supervision in January. I got her to sign everything we talked about and have put it on file. Other bits and pieces happening suggest she may be heading towards a personal melt down. Things she is mentioning about personall life etc. I will be watching like a hawk and keeping an eye for anything that rings any further alarm bells.

Thank you all for your support.

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