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admissions question! HELP!


finleysmaid
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SO ...about 4 years ago i had a complaint to ofsted  from a parent. It was unfounded and quite honestly ridiculous but i spent ages in the inspection talking about it and it caused an enormous headache ...this was just the final straw with this family! (wont go in to details !!)

anyway this morning the father walks in and hands me an application formO.o ....i cannot have him back , i would rather resign as would 2 other members of staff! sounds petty but he made our lives a misery. Can i LEGALLY refuse him a place? anyone any ideas???????

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I don't think there is any legislation that forces you to accept the application form. I'm willing to stand corrected, but I'd think it's entirely up to you whether or not you're 'full' :ph34r:

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I'm with Helen, I phoned funding my county once to ask if I had to accept a funded child as they'd left their previous setting under a cloud and the setting had warned me, I was told it was my setting I could choose who we do or don't give places to, as Helen says play the 'full' card, you have to wonder about the neck of some people don't you?

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Be careful though Finleysmaid, in case he knows other people and you subsequently give 'his' place to someone else!  Could you be honest with him and say you don't think you are the right place for his child, given past experience?  Or would that open a can of worms too?

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5 hours ago, finleysmaid said:

SO ...about 4 years ago i had a complaint to ofsted  from a parent. It was unfounded and quite honestly ridiculous but i spent ages in the inspection talking about it and it caused an enormous headache ...this was just the final straw with this family! (wont go in to details !!)

anyway this morning the father walks in and hands me an application formO.o ....i cannot have him back , i would rather resign as would 2 other members of staff! sounds petty but he made our lives a misery. Can i LEGALLY refuse him a place? anyone any ideas???????

Gee whizz fm - what a bl**dy cheeky s*d - so he caused you untold grief and now he expects you to take another child - grrrr

I would tell him that you can't work with him, pure and simple

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I've myself been curious about this before. I personally don't see any reason why you couldn't refuse admission but i'd be honest and say why that way there is no way they could then complain you said you're full and then someone else joins causing you a new headache!

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I agree, I think you need to be upfront and honest.  Thank him for his interest in your preschool but say that you were surprised to receive his application due to the total breakdown in your relationship a few years ago, and obvious irreconcilable differences.   Ask why he feels that your setting is the place for this child.  It may be that it was a previous partner who was the driving force last time and he is in a different relationship now.  

Let us know what happens, won't you?! 

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thanks guys for all your comments. I had a 'chat' with him this morning (with a witness!) i have indeed told him that i think we are not right and that i cannot see how we would give him the best service. I have told him that the staff will find it difficult to work with him, I have told him that we currently have no spaces. He stood there with a 'smile' on his face and said it was a long time ago, that complaints were healthy and that he still wanted us to take the application as we were the nearest to the school and his wife would find it easier! ARGG! have just compiled a letter to lawcall to see what our legal position is. I tried for 6 months to be pleasant to him at school with no response...i have seen him or his wife every day they both ignore me until this today. I am so cross i cannot think straight . I do think the only way to get round this is to say we have no space but i'm bound to get caught out on this one!

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I'm afraid I would simply tell him that I don't want him there. I have done this before and as far as I'm concerned there is no legal position. I'm running the setting and I am under no obligation to offer a place to a family that have previously been difficult and upset staff. There have been two occasions when people I have turned down have complained to the LA and when they have contacted me I have told them the same - I will not provide a service to anyone who has been unreasonable or been rude to staff in the past. 

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8 hours ago, GFCCCC said:

I'm afraid I would simply tell him that I don't want him there. I have done this before and as far as I'm concerned there is no legal position. I'm running the setting and I am under no obligation to offer a place to a family that have previously been difficult and upset staff. There have been two occasions when people I have turned down have complained to the LA and when they have contacted me I have told them the same - I will not provide a service to anyone who has been unreasonable or been rude to staff in the past. 

DO you not fear that they will upgrade this to a complaint? If i do not have a policy in place to protect us (and i can't at the moment see how i can do this) then could they not take you to court?? i cannot risk putting the charity at risk because of one person.....however the same will be true if i accept the application.

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I suppose you could contact Ofsted to explain the history and why you don’t feel It would be appropriate to have them back ? It’s then already on record if they do make a complaint (out of interest have you all seen/voted on stopping malicious complaints to Ofsted?)  follow your gut Fm ! 

Edited by Mouseketeer
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interestingly my husband is coming from the staff stress point of view and their ability to sue the company for stress related conditions. I think i am going to have to pay for some specialist advice on this as whatever he is he is not stupid and will use his knowledge to get what he wants:(

I'm sort of wondering whether the Ofsted complaint issue is less of a problem because it's about admissions...although i'm sure he could raise a complaint about something!

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I have the exact same issue - parent made a complaint to Ofsted 2 yrs ago and was found to be unfounded, horrendous stress for all the staff etc. She spoke to my deputy and asked if she could put her daughter on our waiting list , deputy quite rightly said the mum would need to speak to me directly to which she replied 'Oh I don't really want to talk to Helen'!! Anyway she rang and left a message so I rang back and said that although she would be welcome did she really think we were the right setting considering the previous complaint - she then turned that round saying 'well the member of staff has left now so there is not a problem' - I pointed out to her that her complaint was also about my management skills and I had not changed so she said it was clear that they would not be welcome.  I repeated they would and would put her on the waiting list as we are currently full, which is true, and if she wanted the place she would need to call back. Not heard from her since and she is bad mouthing me at the local school and has apparently threatened to make another complaint to Ofsted - not quite sure what she can complain about.  I recorded it all. 

I agree we should not have to take families who have previously caused problems - at  the end of the day they are our businesses and any other business can refuse a customer.  I am amazed at the cheek of these people they really have no idea of the distress they cause - which I did point out to her.

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2 minutes ago, hopeytg said:

 

  I am amazed at the cheek of these people they really have no idea of the distress they cause - which I did point out to her.

I also did this....but he repeated that complaining was healthy...not for me was my reply!

Funny how he couldn't remember the details...yet they are etched on my memory (which at my age is a miracle:D)

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Oh I feel your pain.  Years ago we had a very difficult parent, the spoilt foot stamping sort!  She caused nothing but stress and upset during her time with us.  To make matters worse her mother was an Ofsted inspector, something which she tried to ram down our throats at every opportunity.  We all breathed a sigh of relief when the child went to school.  Unfortunately two years later she enrolled her daughter!  Like you I did not want her in the setting but felt unable to turn her down.  I think I would have the confidence to now though.  Other businesses have signs that say abuse to staff will not be tolerated and could result in refusal of service, maybe this is the road you should go down.  Stick to your gut feeling and refuse admission.  Just think what the effect will be on you and your team if you don’t.

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On 10/03/2018 at 08:41, finleysmaid said:

DO you not fear that they will upgrade this to a complaint? If i do not have a policy in place to protect us (and i can't at the moment see how i can do this) then could they not take you to court?? i cannot risk putting the charity at risk because of one person.....however the same will be true if i accept the application.

Absolutely not - what could they take me to court for? It is not a crime to refuse to provide a service to someone who has caused a nuisance to the organisation before. Our organisation is also a charity and I would never put it at risk but we have the right to refuse to serve someone, just like other organisations. Also, I would never take someone who had previously upset staff as their feelings matter and it is important to show them their value to the organisation - which is much greater than that of one rude parent. No, I have absolutely no problem telling people when they are not welcome. 

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Let us know the outcome Fm, I’m very close to a meeting that is going to go along the lines of ‘maybe a different setting would be better suited to meet your demands’ (not that I’d wish them on another setting)it’s one petty thing after another when they don’t get the answer they want whether not paying fees due to their holiday or not believing the 48hr sickness policy means them and then thinking they should have other days to make up for that, I’m always wondering ‘what next’.

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3 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

Let us know the outcome Fm, I’m very close to a meeting that is going to go along the lines of ‘maybe a different setting would be better suited to meet your demands’ (not that I’d wish them on another setting)it’s one petty thing after another when they don’t get the answer they want whether not paying fees due to their holiday or not believing the 48hr sickness policy means them and then thinking they should have other days to make up for that, I’m always wondering ‘what next’.

Maybe, when they were children, these parents were never told "No" !  9_9>:(

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6 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

Let us know the outcome Fm, I’m very close to a meeting that is going to go along the lines of ‘maybe a different setting would be better suited to meet your demands’ (not that I’d wish them on another setting)it’s one petty thing after another when they don’t get the answer they want whether not paying fees due to their holiday or not believing the 48hr sickness policy means them and then thinking they should have other days to make up for that, I’m always wondering ‘what next’.

Feeling your pain Mousie

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9 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

Let us know the outcome Fm, I’m very close to a meeting that is going to go along the lines of ‘maybe a different setting would be better suited to meet your demands’ (not that I’d wish them on another setting)it’s one petty thing after another when they don’t get the answer they want whether not paying fees due to their holiday or not believing the 48hr sickness policy means them and then thinking they should have other days to make up for that, I’m always wondering ‘what next’.

That must be really wearing. Trouble is, other settings will have similar policies in place so they will probably stay with you - they probably already know they are pushing the boundaries - some people will just keep doing it. 

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12 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

Let us know the outcome Fm, I’m very close to a meeting that is going to go along the lines of ‘maybe a different setting would be better suited to meet your demands’ (not that I’d wish them on another setting)it’s one petty thing after another when they don’t get the answer they want whether not paying fees due to their holiday or not believing the 48hr sickness policy means them and then thinking they should have other days to make up for that, I’m always wondering ‘what next’.

I have done this in the past and then basically told them to shove off that day...the relief was palpable! Maybe also the this is the way we do it here.. comply or bog off! or the one I've done most...do you want Johnny to be here then you need to fit in with the ethos that we follow conversation!

 

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I think also it is something that your local authority LA support team should be helping you with. As others have said, if staff are not treated appropriately then you should be able to reserve the right not to offer the service (as pubs and shops do). However, you need to be careful that you are not perceived to be discriminating against the child because of how the parents have been with you previously, I think you are wise to take legal advice regarding this. Statutory requirements state that the setting and parents must work together and if you feel you are not able to do that then you would be in breach of the contract you make with the parents to provide the service and that is another point to discuss from a legal basis. I might be wary of saying you are full - if that is shown to be untrue then you might have created a problem for yourself. If you tell the truth and say you feel unable to meet the conditions of the contract which would be in place then you might be able to refuse, from a basis of fact. I would definitely speak to Ofsted and keep them informed as you go along. I would also, whatever the outcome, send Ofsted a copy of your notes and conclusions when you have worked out what you are going to do - I would also cross-reference that against the previous complaint so that Ofsted see them as connected. 

Good luck, let us know how you get on

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