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Hi all,

Hope you are all well and coping with the recent lockdown.

I'm in a school nursery 3-4yos. Today, for the first time in many years we had a hair cutting incident - not drastic, thank goodness but, of course, the child of the trickiest parent in the class!!!

I feel a bit stupid asking this, but does everyone else have scissors available in their workshop area for children to access without always having direct supervision from an adult - e.g. adult in room but not necessarily next to scissors at all times? 

Of course, we've had the usual questions - why weren't they supervised? Why have they got scissors? etc - starts me seconding something we've done for years! 

Thanks in advance

Green Hippo x

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HI Green Hippo, 

Not a stupid question at all! There will be others here who are much better qualified to reply, as I haven't worked in a setting for a little while. But when I did, I recall we had scissors available and accessible to children in our continuous provision (similar age to your children). And as you say, there would always be an adult in that room, but not always glued to the scissors at all times. 

It is so tricky when an incident like this happens! Do you/did you feel able to talk with the parent about any risk assessment around scissors and other tools, or how children are introduced to them and shown how to use them safely, or how the team will support this group of children with scissors and tools moving forward? Or how important it is for children to self access and learn to use tools independently with appropriate and proportionate adult supervision? 

I hope this helps a little bit. 

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I only had this happen once in 20 odd years in practice.   Two little girls, one whose parent took exceptional pride in her child's hair, the other a lively little girl!  You can guess whose hair got cut!     Considering over that period of time many children role played "hairdressers" often and there was considerable kit available to them it never happened again.   Many is a time an adult would play along too, so  - maybe because they had so much play equipment they didn't go looking for the real deal and/or  the adult reminded them not to use real scissors occasionally, because scissors were always accessible.   We obviously got into the habit of explaining scissor safety and where and how they were to be used, but basically, the children were not closely supervised in that respect.   We were in a large hall, at least 3 members of staff on, and up to 20 children.  

I should think from your review what happened, and your risk assessments you will find what you do is sufficient to put it behind you.

Don'tcha just love a bit of realism😆

 

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Thank you for your reply. It has massively kicked-off today. Probably the toughest day of my teaching career. 

Could I just ask what scissors you use. We have normal school safety scissors but are considering whether we should have the plastic ones with metal blades inside? 

 

Thanks x

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Thank you for your reply. I have tried to talk to the parents but she has dramatically overreacted and won't accept any explanation.

We work within ratio 1:13 which I personally don't think is right but that's the ratios we're given. We cannot be next to the children all the time but taking away resources is not the answer.

 

Thanks again

Green hippo

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No help I'm afraid - we had the normal safety scissors - red handles.   The plastic ones with blades inside I have used but they are not always up to the usual jobs and children struggle enough with cutting I think, they deserve a reasonable tool.

The hair will grow - the parent will eventually calm down and dare I say it - it will become family folklore about "that time when".     Just ride it out Green Hippo, try to reassure where you can.   

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17 hours ago, green hippo said:

Thank you for your reply. It has massively kicked-off today. Probably the toughest day of my teaching career. 

Could I just ask what scissors you use. We have normal school safety scissors but are considering whether we should have the plastic ones with metal blades inside? 

 

Thanks x

Oh poor you - it has happened in our setting too (many moons ago)

I have the ordinary child scissors and they are freely available and no they are not directly supervised

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20 hours ago, green hippo said:

Thank you for your reply. It has massively kicked-off today. Probably the toughest day of my teaching career. 

Could I just ask what scissors you use. We have normal school safety scissors but are considering whether we should have the plastic ones with metal blades inside? 

 

Thanks x

As Sunnyday says- hair will grow, and  mum will eventually calm down. Stay strong 💐 xx

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oh dear i think everyones feeling unsettled and this may be part of that.....i had a parent moaning about their child going home with their shoes on the wrong feet and their jumper on back to front....he had done it himself for 10 minutes ...i wasn't going to change it!

We have had this a couple of times one hair incident and one jumper. I can't currently have scissors out completely freely as my little ones with ASD have no danger awareness. Once i have taught them how to handle them/carry them/store them then i will allow more access but you have to look at your cohort. Is she likely to do it again? if so then maybe for your own sake you should remove them to a safe place/shelf and monitor use. You need sharp scissors...please don't use awful ones (she'll only get them stuck in her hair!) Tricky to give any advice as to how to handle the parent as i don't know them but it is something children do and we've all had it at some point (or will do!!) don't stress too much about it these times are the ones that make us better practitioners. ....once forgot to tell a parent that her toilet training child was in pants....she found out in the middle of town...angry phone call!🤪

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Thank you all so much for your replies. This particular parent is extremely difficult and irrational. She was banned from the playground at her previous school!! 

Anyway, we are trying to move forward without promising anything we aren't prepared to do. 

It's been a very tricky term!

Thanks again,

Green hippo xxx

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