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Misplaced Purse


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Yesterday a staff member rushed back to the hall as she thought that her purse may have dropped out of her.bag. She had realised this when she went to pay for her shopping. She then assumed that she could have left it at home but after searching her house high and low has not yet found it. I have known the staff present for many years. I have yet to speak to the student present on that day. Coats and personal belongings are kept in a corridor that is unaccessible to children. I feel awful for thinking this but I have never seen our student wear a coat or carry a bag but yesterday she put her belongings 9 coat and bag)with ours and I saw her coming out of the corridor yesterday during the morning but she does have the right to . She has been with us since December but I have caught her lying twice. Her tutor came to see her yesterday and she even contested the negative points that I spoke about with the tutor. It is now so awkward especially as her tutor has told me that she is with us for the whole of next week instead of just one session.

I have known the staff present on that day for at least 30 years and they often point out to me that I have left fee money on the high windowsill in the main room but as this visible to everyone I find it a good place to keep it safe from the children.

Maybe I am jumping to conclusion and the staff member has just misplaced it but she is a creature of habit over everything. Its not only the money but she had many bits of paper of importance in her purse.

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Oh, that's awful!!


I really don't know what to suggest, it's the kind of thing you hope will never happen. I will try to think of something useful to add, in the meantime, I'm thinking of you


Sue xx

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Oh dear - a really difficult one - I don't know what to suggest - perhaps you ought to have a meeting with all the staff including the student and try and get some facts together - asking who might have had access to this area - had they seen anyone coming in the area - I don;t think you will ever get to the bottom of the problem without bringing anyone else in and there again you probably won't get to the bottom of the problem either - how much was it and is it worth making a claim under your insurance, if so you may need to involve the police in order to make a claim. It's horrible I know but you may need to change the arrangements for storing valuables. We like you have all been working together for years and for money to go missing would be absolutely horrible. I hope other people would be able to add something more positive


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This is a difficult situation and I think it may help to seperate known facts from assumptions and work from there.


You need to be sure that the purse was in fact at the preschool. The owner needs to think back to the last time she used / had possesion of her purse. ( which I am sure she has a 100 times)


Ask all adults who were present that day, preferably together if they recall seeing the purse. Who was last in the cloakroom area, if that person didn't see the purse then maybe it wasn't dropped there, could it have been dropped anywhere else, in or outside the building?

Who else has access to the building once you have left?


Are the feelings toward the student a gut reaction because of other unrelated incidents, or because she is the less known of all adults? Lying and defending what she perceives as right ( negative comments to tutor) are not the same as stealing.


Unfortunately, this may be a case of reviewing practice after an event. ie: cash handling/storing, staffs' personal effects and valuables on the premises / staff cloakroom security etc. Procedures in place, prior to an event, if theft on the premises is suspected. If everyone knows these procedures there will not be a blame culture and awckward feelings when actioned.


To claim from Insurance you would need a police report number. I hope it doesn't come to this, only getting the facts straight will determine if involving police is necessary, and as others have said, it may never be solved.


I think you need to address your concerns with the student if you are working together next week. She needs to be able to give her account of what she did or did not see or do, but this should equally be addressed with everyone. All staff should also agree together the best way to maintain security of valuables for the future.


I really do hope that everything sorts out ok and that the purse is found soon.



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