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Ofsted - mobile phone


Hoolahoney
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In our policy on mobile phones we state that visitors and parents should not use their phones in the setting and put them on the office side (with ours) or away in their bags in a locked cupboard. Had a visitor recently in to see a child,so a formal visit, and when we stated this she insisted that she needed to keep her phone on her because she was expecting a call urgently. We tried to insist but she was not happy and said that Ofsted would want to keep their phones on them as they are work phones as was hers so she should not be expected to comply. It got us wondering about when Ofsted come if they would want to keep their phones on them as well and how this conflicts with our policy. Anyone had any experience or advice they can give regarding this?

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Our ofsted inspector put her phone away in the box - I actually emailed ofsted to query whether we can insist on them handing over their phones and they said the only reason they would say we couldn't is if ofsted came out on a monitoring visit after a compliance report or something similar where they may have to take photos of 'evidence'. But on a 'normal' inspection they should hand their phones in.

 

If I'd had the same situation as you with the other professional I would have maybe asked them to step outside to contact the person they are expecting a call from and give them the setting contact number?

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Its the first time we have had anyone refuse! Eventually she conceded to putting it on the office side but only under the proviso that if it went off she would need to get it immediately no matter what. its made us doubt ourselves so hearing that Ofsted should comply has reassured me a bit thankyou!

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when they came to us, we asked that their phones were put in their handbags and that the handbags were then put away in our office. There were no issues with this and when they needed to make a phone call, they took the bag and walked away to the other side of the park, well away from us.

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Our inspector left hers in Tupperware box in kitchen. We had a discussion as to why our policy is the way it is.

 

I fully believe that in this day and age in a real emergency the caller will look for the first number on a list- and not stop and think

 

'well lets look and see where xxxx will be at this day/time' We are a tem time preschool with staff working a variety of days/hours.

 

Our policy clearly reflects our decision, and the inspector read it and we discussed. The funny thing was who got the emergency phone call from their child's school?....... the inspector! She actually admitted that our system worked well.

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I would think that an ofsted inspector would actually be looking for you to query mobile phones with them? The other thing is that they use laptops to record details of their visit but they normally have cameras built in???? Do we question professionals who visit about these and is it included in policies? I dont think it is in ours.

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I would think that an ofsted inspector would actually be looking for you to query mobile phones with them?

 

Very true.

 

....But what would be better is that 'every' inspector worked on the same agenda :angry: . You can tell just by reading this forum that there is no rhyme or reason for any two different inspectors... :unsure:

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It would be interesting to hear from providers who have a setting mobile phone, e.g. if there isn't a landline in their building, for use on trips out, etc. How does the mobile policy vary to enable its use?

Ours is a really old nokia which doesn't have a camera on, it states in our policy that it is kept with the register on a shelf while we are open and if we go on trips it is used only as an emergency contact for parents or for us to use in the event of an emergency.

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Our policy states that we will always try to purchase a mobile phone without a camera. Ours is stuck on the wall with velcro so it's easily located - by adults, and hopefully doesn't end up in the box with old role play phones. We take it with us on any whole group outings.

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Gosh! I hate mobile phone policy, the thought of it puts a cold shiver along my spine.

We do not have a landline and located in the area where the good signal can be on 2G only. Our phones camera is sealed with dark colour tape and the cover put over it. It sits on velcro in a visible place but out of reach of children.

We do take it with us on outings and it will be with designated person on such occasions.

Our policy is not excluding the possibility when personal phone can be used. We have discussed it with the staff and came to the conclusion that there can be a scenario when our phone will play 'dead' due to signal/age/fault/breackage/etc in this case in emergency we will need to use personal phone. Such cases should be recorded in the register (we have a separate 'Notes' section there).

I know that all possibilities/scenarios are impossible to predict but I do not want to set such strict rules that can put children or adults at risk due to its inflexibility; "I couldn't call 999 because the phone was dead and I am not allowed to use mine".

We keep all staff,s phones in the kitchen in a clear plastic container, so that everyone can see them. Our room doesn't have blind spots and we keep the toilet door half-open when changing kids.

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I must admit that when I visit settings I am far happier when my phone is off in my bag than when it's handed into a locked box. My phone doesn't have a camera. I'm probably over twitchy because I did have need once in a setting to call the police and I really wouldn't want to have to faff getting to my phone in such circumstances, which of course are thankfully very rare. It's more that I want to be able to access it quickly in an emergency, so I tend to just ask where the nearest phone is if I am asked to hand it in. But to be honest it's very much the minority that ask.

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We have no landline and so use a mobile phone. Its an iphone, chosen deliberately so we could have a fairly decent camera to use AND email access on it. Although I must admit, I've rarely taken any photos on it. I ALWAYS (if I'm not in then my dep) have the phone on me. We have to or we wouldnt hear it. Even in my pocket with size of our hall and volume of noise we have when full I often haven't heard it ring. I do hand to another when taking children to the toilet or if I'm changing them. We have a mobile/recording device policy that is strictly adhered to and although we do not ask anyone to lock phones in boxes or offices, we do make it clear that they cannot use them in any room where the children are. Staff dont use their phones whilst working, why would they, they're working? Our policy states that parents may use them at the managers discretion. Which means they can take photos (providing no one objects) and adhering to our policy- no posting on social media sites- on outings or special days such as our nativity play. all our parents know this, they sign an image consent form stating the above. We had an Ofsted inspection in Dec, the inspector knew all this, saw me using the phone to both make and receive calls and didnt say anything. However I would expect ALL visitors to our setting to adhere to our policies and procedures and if our policy stated that all phones should be placed in a certain place then so be it.

 

We use tablets to take and post photos to Tapestry and judging by the amount of users on here so do many others. So it isnt just the use of phones but tablets as well, for those of you that lock away phones how do you justify the use of tablets for online journals (or do you just not use them at all)

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I too have to keep the playgroup mobile in my pocket. I work in ratios so can't leave it anywhere as it wouldn't get answered. I borrowed someone's suggestion of covering the camera with tape, not that I have a clue how to take a picture on it. We use iPads to take photos and videos for tapestry but they don't go home with staff, only me who uploads any photos.

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We have landlines did gave an emergency mobile but it is not working at present. I deal for that is if we have to evacuate I have means of call. Also would be useful to txt parents reminders bout forms deadlines etc.

my policy states mobiles left in office.

tablets downloaded at end of week. My mobile could be used in emergency situation only.

visitors are told on arrival that if they have mobile they need to be turned off & kept in bag. Visiting professionals are told in advance or landlines no for emergency.

I had one run in with an ep who refused to give up her phone and I will not have her back on my premises again.

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I'm glad this came up.

I was going to ask what people thought of the nursery that got downgraded for sending photos to parents. It looked at first as though they were using personal mobiles, but I'm sure I read somewhere that it was a setting mobile. This worried me because I regularly sms a picture of a settling child to parents and they are usually very thankful as otherwise they think their child has screamed for three hours. We have no wifi or landline and have an old iPhone too. It is stored on a shelf in full view (along with the tablet) and is a pay as you go phone so any unauthorised use will be immediately apparent. I as manager keep my phone in the kitchen mostly but occasionally in my pocket as OFSTED and staff children's schools have this number. I will be more stringent with this in future though and just leave it in the kitchen at all times.

We have a sign on the door which says no mobiles but do still have the odd parent coming in on the phone. I usually point to the sign and ask them to finish their call outside. We also do have parents who when their children are settling pull out a phone to while away the time so have to politely request that they go outside. Hmmm... I think I will add an item to the newsletter about phones this half term actually.

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In their inspection report it states quite clearly that 'staff used personal mobiles'. However, in the interview on GMTV the owner/manager was equally clear that it was the settings phone. So to be honest its not particularly straightforward, although a quick check on the settings phone should be able to clear that up

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  • 4 weeks later...

Our policy is that our members of staff place personal mobiles in the kitchen in a plastic box, ALL visitors without exception are told as part of our visitors policy that their mobile phones need to be left in the kitchen as well, we had our Ofsted inspection last week and told our Ofsted inspector she would have to leave her phone in the kitchen and she was fine with it, even prospective new parents that bring in their child for a familiarisation stay and play visit have to leave their phones in the kitchen, this is non negotiable and if you don't you can't come in.

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