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Taking tablets to upload to Tapestry from home?

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We're an existing setting using Tapestry, and our staff take tablets home to upload pictures and created detailed obs. We had Ofsted in for a re-registration interview today as we're changing to a CIO, and the lady told us that despite having parental approval and staff policies in place, we cannot allow staff to take tablets home because of the photos contained on them. My gut feel is that this inspector is personally against it, but that we're not breaking any of the rules by doing it this way! However, the committee have now said with immediate effect we have to do all obs onsite. Really looking for some concrete evidence to support my view that providing the necessary permissions and policies are in place, that this is allowable. Thanks in advance! 

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Good morning Mother_Goose,

Your gut feeling is certainly correct, we raised this ourselves with Ofsted's Sean Harford HMI National Director, Education. I have included our full Tapestry protocol document here (also available in the Tapestry resources section). I have put the pertinent paragraphs from the document in this post.

In April 2016 the FSF wrote to Ofsted to gain clarification for providers about using Tapestry in their settings. We asked them whether Ofsted had a view about the use of Tapestry as some members had had mixed responses from inspectors. 

We received the following response:
“The early years foundation stage does not preclude the use of online learning journals, neither does it say that a provider’s insurance must cover this. Therefore, it is for each provider to decide for themselves whether or not to use online learning journals, and if so, to have covered this in their policies and procedures. Providers also have to meet their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998, and register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) where they choose to hold and store information about children electronically.
Under the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ providers are required to have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children. These policies and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, and cover the use of smart phones, tablets and cameras in the setting”
Sean Harford HMI
National Director, Education 
9th May 2016

In July 2016, I then wrote again seeking clarification about whether staff can take on their Tapestry Journals at home over the weekend and if so, did this constitute 'storing records off site'

We received the following response:
Thank you for your email of 10 June 2016. 
You ask for clarification on whether the requirement in the 'Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage' to secure prior agreement from Ofsted if providers wish to keep records off site, is based on a permanent arrangement, rather than a temporary one. Although the requirements do not specify the length of time providers can store records off site, I can confirm that these arrangements are used primarily by settings that operate from premises where there is no access to secure storage, such as pre-schools operating from a shared building.
Taking records home for the weekend does not constitute off-site storage in this context and providers do not need permission from Ofsted to do this. However, providers should ensure that, in doing so, they meet the requirements of any other relevant legislation such as the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.
Yours sincerely
 Sean Harford HMI
National Director, Education

I would therefore say, that Ofsted's view is that yes, staff can work at home on journals - and there is an implicit understanding of what a journal contains. It is for the setting to ensure that all the relevant policies and procedures are in place - and the protocol document covers these for you.

I hope that helps





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