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Who writes policies?


MegaMum
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Hello

 

We have a new 'parent committee' who have just had their first committee meeting, and it was the first time in 8 years as Pre-school Leader that I was not invited to the meeting.

 

I received the minutes on Friday and one of the topics raised, was a parent had been charged a late fee for being 15 minutes late and she was very cross about it. She had e-mailed all the parents complaining saying she had never been late before, which was not true. This policy has always been in place but rarely implemented. Last term however a lot of parents were dropping their children off between 9:15 and 10:00 - we open at 9:15 and they were collecting late, so I implemented it on two occassions, one for the parent 15 minutes late, and one that was 25 minutes late.

 

At the meeting, the committee decided to refund the 'complaliner' the money and change the policy so it is now down to the committees discretion if a parent is late whether they get charged, and if they are charged they can appeal and either the chair or treasurer can reverse the decision. I am just wondering what everyone thinks about this? I have always understood that staff have an in put with policies - and as this specifically effects us having to stay later etc, I now have staff who are very unhappy with this change. It seems the new parent committee are for the parents and not the preschool. What rattles me, is we have just had our Quality Review, where everything including Policies were scrutinised and we received Outstanding, now the committee want to change things.

 

They have also decided to open a Facebook account, again no consultation with the professional staff illiciting their opinions, which the secretary will operate (this terrifies me as they know nothing about the EYFS, Ofsted regulations, child protection etc etc).

 

Any thoughts?

Carol

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hi, im just wondering what your set up is. I know for me as the manager of the setting I form part of the registered person along with the committee members. But I have a legal responsibility for the day to day running of the setting as the registered person.

 

Is your registered person with ofsted just your committee? Or does it include you as the leader?

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yes. Next time any parent is late, phone the chair and tell her SHE has to come in to look after the child/ren concerned, because you're off home. OR, they need to pay you triple time for overtime. Policies only work if everyone is on board and agrees with them. I would suggest that you ask the committee for a meeting with you and all staff, so you can agree a way forward. A late fee is very common practice, so they need to look at this again. It's about supporting you, as staff, but also being fair to parents and children. It is NOT fair, when some parents take the p.........

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We've had right nonsense with this policy, worked well for ages until chair got a charge ( just used to give benefit of doubt if others still getting ready to leave but if all had left and we were ready to lock up again then they went in the book - £5 charge) but then committee wanted to change it to £5 for 1 to 30 mins late and not getting that if they were late they may as well be 30 mins late as 1 for same charge, so now it stands that first late incident is recorded but not charged next is charged in 15 min periods at, we also put up satellite clocks so no one could argue about time....but to be honest it still isn't very effective, and always the same parents late with the same old excuses, would also be interested to know if anyone has a system that works.

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Ok the business is theirs you need to advise them of the issues that this may cause and the effect that it might have on the business. Record everything so that you cannot be blamed in the future. They need to know that if parents are late that it will cost the business XXX (two peoples time for 30 minutes etc!!) they hopefully will then see the error of their way and that if this became a regular occurance what a detriment to the finances it would be. As to the facebook page give them your policies relating to this (highlight the areas needed) and ask them to contact your LEA advisor before taking it further . Aak them what will happen if someone puts something detrimental on there/ or posts a private photo of their child/ how will they deal with complaints through this medium and what happens when someone posts something that you do not want on there?

All you can do is advise...they are your boss...it will be their problem if something happens and you need to tell them this!

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HI Thanks for replies... what is a satellite clockk? We have also been accused of opening 10 minutes late.... which of course is not true! I am the nominated person - but quite frankly thinking of handing it over to them as they now have become the experts. Let's see how well they get on then! The problem is, we stay after the children leave to tidy up and set up for the next day, so it is very convenient to be late as we are still there. Of course this makes us stay later to finish our work.

 

Any views on the Facebook issue?

 

Thanks for your advice!

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Sorry just saw your reply Finleysmaid. I haven't got a policy on Facebook as I have never allowed on before and it has always been respected. I have a social networking policy for staff that have accounts, but that is different. Do you have a Facebook policy you could share with me please?

Thanks

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Guest tinkerbell

I'm in a school not a nursery so I may be talking rubbish ,Our afterschool charge a late fee if parents are late and a parent has ' abused' this system thinking it was ok to be late and pay the fine (professional woman, money no object) ,the headteacher had to tell her it wasn't fair for 2 staff to stay after 6pm to look after her child as they had to get home to their families....it has stopped .Also do your staff have it in their contracts to stay after their official hours?x

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Gosh I would not like that position at all. On our committee we have all staff members, the administrator, a handful of parents and the schools early years teacher. Policies are written by the staff and then adopted by the committee, I think your committee are out of order and you all need to sit down together and get it sorted before it gets out of hand.

As for Facebook Personally I loathe it and think it is a breeding ground for gossip and have had cause in my last newsletter to remind parents about their responsibilities when talking about pre-school issues on the site. But I know our fundraising group use it quite a lot and with success. If it was up to me the thing would be banned forever!!!

I hope you get sorted, let us know how it is going.

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not a committee run setting so don't really have that perspective but surely everyone should have input in to the policies; especially you as the nominated person as you have the grass roots/shop floor perspective!

 

Have you asked them for all their contact numbers and in which order they are to be contacted in should a child be late in being collected? :P There's nothing like a change of policy being speeded up when someone else is being directly affected!

 

 

How would they feel (as I'm guessing they are all parents on the committee) if staff began to wander in late!

 

I understand you stay behind anyway to clear up - but you then are late in getting that done - do you receive additional pay - Have you asked them where your overtime is to be recorded - and at what rate it would be paid!

 

For those repeat offenders surely they are 'over-claiming' their entitlement (we are at the nit picking stage now!) has your committee addressed the action for this?

 

thank them for their minutes...and then fire back - there are so many questions you could go back to them with that will really get them thinking - especially if you add in the dreaded Facebook issues! Have they actually read the EYFS?

 

You must feel it's now 'them' and 'us' if it's the first time in 8 years you've not attended a meeting

 

Be strong, polite but firm!

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We're a committee run playgroup. We adopted the PLA policies and tweeked them to suit us. Staff and committee write them together, its no use leaving them to parents who probably have no understanding of the issues.

To be honest our staff write a lot of them these days, they go on the training days and so know more about current thinking behind each one.

As chair, I would never impose a policy onto the staff, its their working conditions and they need to be kept happy. I do give them ideas and templates usually from here about various things but leave it up to them to decide if its workable or not.

The late fee is in our policy but we've never had to use it. We have reminded late comers of the policy though and thats usually all they've needed. I suppose a late fee could be turned over of there was a good reason, sudden emergency on the roads or with another child, but I would expect a phone call for this to be explaiined!

I have recently started a facebook group for our setting, its a closed group so the person has to apply and be accepted, same as the FSF one. We have a social networking policy which covers everyone who uses it, it lays out the basic rules and behaviour we expect. We also have this pinned to the facebook page.

 

Welcome to the Immanuel Pre-school Facebook page.

We hope you will find the information useful and motivating. Please read our

Community Code of Conduct

1. Immanuel Pre-school aims to create a platform for sharing and discussing articles and ideas relevant to Early Years. We want people to express opinions on all contributions. However we will not tolerate personal attacks on our contributors or community members. We welcome positive and constructive comments, but we will not entertain cyber bullying in any posts.

2. Threatening and offensive language has no place in real life, nor does it have a place on the internet, and in particular, our Facebook page.

3. Any language deemed to be threatening or offensive will be removed. We will not tolerate sexism, racism, homophobia or any other form of hate-speech.

4. We reserve the right to remove content posted by anyone which the Committee of Immanuel Pre-school deems to be defamatory or anything which is bought to our attention.

5. Remember your privacy and security on Fcebook or any other internet site is your responsibility. Immanuel Pre-school Facebook page is secure please adjust your own privacy and security settings if you wish to remain private to all but your own friends.

6. Remember, if you wish to talk about your child the proper place for this is in Playgroup not on this Facebook page. This is not the place to discuss individual children.

We reserve the right to remove contributions from the community which violates this Code of Conduct. We believe that this does not impede on your freedom of expression. The welfare of our community is of paramount importance to Immanuel. All our contributors are volunteers, and should not be treated as though they take a salary.

We advise that if you feel strongly about a particular issue, you consider carefully how best to phrase what you want to say. The written word is not able to convey tone in the same way as speech. While we accept that this is obvious, it is a sad state of affairs that a considerable amount of people forget this before they publish their views on the internet.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Andrea Green

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Please, Please, Please, if you are not in a union, join one now!

 

I didn't and I am now paying the price, as our committee started off like yours sounds like its doing and now 18 months later I am in all kinds of trouble with no support back up at all.

 

They are trying everything to get rid of me and I have had verbal and written warnings for fabricated issues ( does being 15 mins late because of talking to a parent before playgroup about their child warrant a warning?), anonymous complaints to ofsted, more 'anonymous complaints' from 'parents' against the group, it goes on and on.

It has broken dowm completely between me and the committee and the staff all feel totally demoralised. I have been there a very long time, love my job and the setting and this is just the worse it has ever been.speechless-smiley-040.gif

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What union do you suggest as I think it is maybe time ?

 

I just gave the chair a letter, raising my concerns about changing policies and Facebook. She engaged me in a conversation I didn't want to have - hence the letter, and became quite annoyed saying they hadn't changed the late fee policy they were taking each late pick up on a case by case situation. She said they agreed to the 15 minute complainer being refunded as all the parents said she was never late (not true and these are parents are her friends!). I said if they were refunding her they had to refund the other person who was 25 minutes late, who happens to be Asian. She said no, they weren't refunding him. I said there was a strong case for disrimination and to be very careful, I didn't agree with them and there needed to be a Universal policy for all or none at all. She stormed out, came back in threw the letter back at me unopend and said she was resigning and taking her child out of Pre-school!! Unbelieveable. I just can't believe what we have to endure and I am sure I am now the worst thing going. I just wish we could get rid of committee run pre-schools. Times have moved on, our jobs have changed and it can't be that lay parents are allowed to be our bosses when they know nothing.

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What union do you suggest as I think it is maybe time ?

 

I just gave the chair a letter, raising my concerns about changing policies and Facebook. She engaged me in a conversation I didn't want to have - hence the letter, and became quite annoyed saying they hadn't changed the late fee policy they were taking each late pick up on a case by case situation. She said they agreed to the 15 minute complainer being refunded as all the parents said she was never late (not true and these are parents are her friends!). I said if they were refunding her they had to refund the other person who was 25 minutes late, who happens to be Asian. She said no, they weren't refunding him. I said there was a strong case for disrimination and to be very careful, I didn't agree with them and there needed to be a Universal policy for all or none at all. She stormed out, came back in threw the letter back at me unopend and said she was resigning and taking her child out of Pre-school!! Unbelieveable. I just can't believe what we have to endure and I am sure I am now the worst thing going. I just wish we could get rid of committee run pre-schools. Times have moved on, our jobs have changed and it can't be that lay parents are allowed to be our bosses when they know nothing.

 

now would be the wrong time for you to ask her if she would like your job then! :ph34r:

 

you must feel worse than ever - her reaction says more about her than it does about you though if that's any consolation!

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'Voice' has been recommended as having good support for staff. unfortunately for me they cannot take cases on that preceed the membership. my friend joined a couple of years ago at a conference, how I wish I had done too. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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You need to call a meeting of all committee and staff. The chairs resignation needs to be recorded and someone needs to take over the role for now. I would also put a letter out to parents informing them she has left and for the time being who their point of contact should be in her place. I'm saying this I case she chooses to lay blame or spread gossip.

Get everything documented and then remind the rest of the committee what their roles are, the officers and the others. They are not there to impose their own ideas but to help the setting grow and continue. As your employers they have responsibilities to you, they should be ensuring you have everything you need to do your job and that includes workable policies and procedures.

Are the rest of the staff aware of the events? You need them to support you but don't take emotions to the meeting, be professional and objective.

I agree with your comment about needing to do away with committee's, we are so much more than playgroups run by mom's these days but Unfortunatley you need the committee behind you in order to change.

Edited by Rea
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