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Jackie560

taking learning journals off site - allowed or not?

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 its a question I'm asking myself at the moment as my staff just don't have enough time to complete learning journals within the session and we are a pack away setting with the hall being used by others when we aren't there. We complete the blurb in the profiles and targets online -, but key people do take home the journals to stick in observations and photos and colour highlight the tracker sheets once at term as a minimum. . The only information on these is their name and dob - there is no info about the parents or address. Do you need to get parental consent to say staff are taking journals home to work on? Should I be getting staff to complete a declaration about confidentiality & safe storage at home in addition to the  confidentiality one they agree to at the start of employment, and should I be getting staff to log them in and out?  Also my senco does take ISP's  and SEND documentation home to update - this does contain a lot more information - any advice on how to get round this?  Thanks

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Hi Jackie and welcome, this is something I’m going to be discussing with staff, though we use Tapestry, we do still have paper LJ’s (like you staff keep a paper tracker), they also have their info from home when starting, some work bits, and a few photos, with name, DOB, we’ve always asked parents for permission to take home as a some staff want to, I’m now wondering if this is really necessary, I feel they should have enough time in setting (approx 20mins per KC a week, and I do any printing of progress sheets/photos), Senco has 2 hours a week for Sen paperwork and also uses any time when ratio’s allow, I wouldn’t allow SEN records out of the setting as much more detail on them, could you give Senco time in the setting ?

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i do think you will need to get parents permission (consent) and if they refuse you will need to make alternative arrangements for those children. I would try to keep most things in the setting and try to adjust working practice to fit. Yes you need to get all staff to sign if they are taking paperwork home and ensuring they are keeping them safe and secure and probably in a locked place! (don't know that your front door would satisfy !! The ICO will be looking to ensure you are keeping data safe to minimise the risk of data loses ...but removal of paperwork must be a trackable pathway i guess. Social services and early help carry info around all the time but they have rules about where they keep it (i know for instance ours are not allowed to keep it in the car!) ...this is tricky for me because i am one of those people who put stuff down all the time and can't remember where i've put it!O.o

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Did all this recently, you also need Ofsted permission.    They will ask you exactly how your staff will be keeping these documents safe at home, how they will be transported to their homes, what happens if a member of staff leaves and they still have the records at home, or they are ill and unable to get the documents back into the setting.   Some of these questions are simple to answer, but you do need to think about all possibilities.     Plus all of the above from other posters!    Our numbers have been lower lately so working on the journals in setting time has been o.k.   One of ways we have resolved is staff only allowed to write up observations at home if they need to, rather than taking the whole journal home with photos in etc.  they then slot the pages of observations in to the LJ's the next day.

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I think one of the key things to come out of all this is- we do far to much unpaid!

This whole thing has caused us to seriously consider how we work, and more importantly what we write-up. We do scrap books as learning journeys and they are lovely, and the parents love them..... however why are we putting so much 'free unpaid work' into them?

Legal requirements are- we keep track of children's progress.

I'm seriously thinking of offering the scrapbooks as an optional paid extra. Not sure how to work it- but with such low free subsided  funding, this is an optional extra that will go towards staff fully updating books in work time.

It was recommended that we should use a lockable portable document folder if staff need to take suff home- now call me stupid but if some criminal comes along I'm pretty sure a 'locked metal box' is going to look very interesting to just take-away and break into later.  O.o

Previously if staff have taken stuff home (but I got quite strict about not doing it  some time ago) They did sign to say they'd taken it- they would travel straight home from setting and store safety at home and it would have to be back by opening of next session regardless of staff working patterns. No photos  ever went home.

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1 hour ago, louby loo said:

recommended that we should use a lockable portable document folder if staff need to take suff home- now call me stupid but if some criminal comes along I'm pretty sure a 'locked metal box' is going to look very interesting to just take-away and break into later.  O.o

I was thinking that it would have to be one of those handcuff briefcases so they’d have to kidnap the member of staff too  

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12 minutes ago, Mouseketeer said:

I was thinking that it would have to be one of those handcuff briefcases so they’d have to kidnap the member of staff too  

:o Oh no - I don't want to lose any staff members - I'm really worried as the data my staff carry about is terribly attractive and valuable to any would be thieves......not

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Well this is the ridiculous situation of all this isn't it.  Ofsted quite happy with our explanations of security.  Seems to be box ticking as usual.   Yes I think Louby loo quite correct that while the Learning Journey scrapbooks are lovely, they have probably had their day and if all we need do is track progress there are other ways of doing it which don't cost anywhere near as much.

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Let’s face it half the parents don’t want to look at it why would some random stranger :P

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Thanks all - some of the hoops we have to jump through to satisfy the 'Big O' are laughable. 

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