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Fsf Newsletter April 2017

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Welcome to the April edition of the FSF newsletter


Hopefully your term has gone well and you are all now enjoying the spring flowers and a little bit of sunshine. At FSF HQ the garden looks beautiful and we have enjoyed some team lunches outside (albeit with our jumpers on!). We have been busily working away making sure that you don't miss out on important news. If you click to follow the 'Keeping up to date' thread and set your notification preferences (drop down box under your name on the FSF home page, choose 'settings') you can be sure to be told about all significant items that we put on the FSF site: and then you'll never miss a thing!

There have been several new documents released since our last newsletter. The Early Years Minister announced in March that there would no longer be a requirement for all Level 3 quailified staff to hold a GCSE in Maths and English. This announcement was part of the press releases surrounding the new Workforce Strategy document. There has also been an update to the Statutory Framework document. The updates here concerned the new requirements for paediatric first aid and the updated guidelines regarding safeguarding. If you would like to discuss any of these announcements you can find the thread in this FSF area: Statutory and Guidance Documents.

FSF and Tapestry news

The FSF team are pleased to say that we will be visiting the Nursery World North show on 5th and 6th May in Liverpool. We would be delighted to meet some of you there. We will be proudly showing off our online Learning Journal Tapestry. If you are thinking of trying Tapestry in your setting then come and have a chat and see what it can do for you to save you time and money. We are always working to improve and develop Tapestry, we are currently working on improving the observation, assessment and analysis functions of the KS1 and 2 areas. If you are thinking of taking Tapestry through your whole school then come and see us and find out what we can do for you now!

We have started working on the Welsh Foundation Phase Framework and we are keen to find beta testers who can try it out and then feedback to us to help come up with ways of presenting the data. You can contact us from here.

LA Scheme

We'd like to welcome back members from the following authorities, which have renewed their LA subscription. Members from these authorities need do nothing; their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed:
For their third year - Rutland
For their fifth year - Central Bedfordshire
For their seventh year - West Sussex & Cornwall
For their twelfth year - Suffolk & Birmingham

If you work for any of these authorities and do not currently have an LA membership scheme in place please click here for more information

New Content

We've been very busy this half term writing and commissioning articles to extend your knowledge and to challenge your thinking. We have brought you details from two masterclasses held at the Nursery World South show. Kate Cahill reported back to us from Dr Rose Drury's seminar "Working with multilingual children in the Early Years'. We also shared with you our notes from the 'Self-regulation Masterclass'.

Anna Ephgrave wrote for us about planning next steps if you are using an 'in the moment planning' approach. Her article 'Planning next steps in the moment' generated lots of interest on the FSF. We have also written an article to help you review the way you observe and assess children following an observation. There are two articles, one for those using Tapestry and one for those who are not. You can find both pieces in the 'Teaching and learning' articles section of the forum. Most recently, we have written an article explaining Ofsted's complaints procedure following Rebecca's inclusion on a step 3 complaint panel. You can read that here.

Last term we offered you the opportunity to be on the front page of the FSF website. We were delighted with the responses we had and now we would like some more contributors. So, if you have been inspected since January and would like to share your news with us all then please: send us a jpeg copy of your logo, a link to your inspection report, some details of your setting - type, size, history etc, a written piece about the day(s) of the inspection (so that our readers know a little of what you went through: who came, for how long, the preparation you did once you have received the pre-inspection call, the questions asked of staff during the day, anything that went particularly well or anything that didn't go well). If you can send it all to me, Rebecca, I will contact you and see what we can do to help you celebrate! I look forward to hearing all about your success.

From The Forum

Mythbusting - Ofsted want to know!

On Monday FSF met with Gill Jones (Ofsted's Early Education Deputy Director) and one of the conversations was about Ofsted's new 'mythbusting' campaign.

Gill is very keen to hear from us regarding the myths surrounding inspections; we said we would help. So, on this thread please - what have you heard that may/may not be true? We will make sure that they are all received and hopefully we will be able to provide some clarity for everyone.

Helen and I put our heads together and came up with the following to start you off: You have to have a display of British Values in your setting. If you can't access your SEF then Ofsted have 'frozen' it because the inspector is reading it. Finally, if settings near to you are being inspected you will be 'done' soon as well.

Delicate issue

I have a 4 year old girl who had been extra cuddling with one of the boys in the classroom. I had spoken with them, that a soft and short hug was fine now and then, but no extended/long hugs were necessary... the same for kisses on the cheek. We spoke about respect towards each other's bodies and what is age appropriate. Yesterday, the same girl, I caught her touching a boys private area and he did the same. It was then that it came out that she had kissed another boy on his lips in previous days. I spoke with both of them. Later in the afternoon I see her do it again (touching and laughing about it). I was firm and said "No" and I wrote a note to her parents as they do not bring her nor fetch her. They leave home at 6 am and return around 8 pm from M - F. She has changed au pairs several times in the past years... 3 this school year and at least 2 last year. She has big tantrums now and then. We have dealt with this part by using "Take a Break". It was at the same time that she had a new lady taking care of her and things seemed to be better, but this week she is back with behaviour issues. I hope they spoke with her, otherwise we need to have another meeting about this new issue (touching and kissing).

What suggestions can you give me on how to deal with this with her, her classmates, and also when speaking with her parents? Thanks in advance!

Fee increases and 30 hours

Our funding is being cut by 7.5% from 1st April in order to fund the 30 hours offer. (A bit previous if you ask me, 30 hours starts in September!)

I am in the process of looking at increasing our fees but if I put them up by 7.5% this will price us out of the market I think.

I read on another site that some settings are going to start charging for snacks, wipes, etc but this isn't the right way for us and, to be honest, wouldn't bring in enough income anyway.

I wondered what others are doing?  Are  you increasing fees or not offering 30 hours?  Or perhaps you are lucky and are not taking a cut in funding!

If you are increasing fees, have you decided by how much?  Will it help recoup the money you will lose from under-funding?

Qualification Query

My deputy supervisor who has worked in the setting for almost 20 years does not have GCSE equivalent English or Maths. She did an NVQ Level 3 in Child Development to enable her to progress to deputy about 10 years ago. Have I understood correctly that the new EYFS (2017) means that she can no longer be counted as a level 3 employee in ratios?

Is there any way around this can anyone think? She will probably retire in the next 5-6 years and I know she would not wish to go back to school!

Any thoughts?

Thank you

I can't do it child!

Wise FSF forum people I need your advice. I have a three year old boy, going to school this year. I am really concerned about his negative approach to things. All I hear from him is I can't do it, regardless of what it is. Yesterday I had a group of children make a pirate ship in the role play, so I provided some blank treasure maps for them to draw on, the others excitedly began to mark make but he just said "I can't do it". I stood by him and drew on mine, narrating as I went, explaining that he can do it any way he wants. He also watched the others, which ranged from scribbles to recognisable drawings, but then screwed his up and walked away. It's even when playing with open ended resources, if anything is suggested the first thing he says is I can't do it. I have tried praising him for all the little things that he does, I am constantly reinforcing that he is amazing but nothing is helping. It's really sad to see such a young child thinking like this, I have never come across it before to this extent. What can I do to help him?


Hi All, I have recently taken on the role of Committee Chair at a Committee run provision. The staff in the setting have been there for a number of years, and the supervisor has been in that role for what will be 20 years next year. I have worked in a number of roles through the years mainly working alongside the education sector. When I received the 'Committee Information Folder' it contained pretty much zero information that was useful and I have had to start from scratch getting a lot of it. Asking the Supervisor has been difficult and every time I ask I get a look of this isn't my job - but I don't know who else to ask. We have major issues with finances, document retention and safeguarding. We have students, an apprentice and a regular volunteer who has development delay and they had never been asked to produce DBS checks. I raised this in our last committee meeting, and asked that we have the number of the certificate and date on file. Bearing in mind that the meeting was two weeks ago, I still haven't been given any further information and I know that the regular volunteer and apprentice still haven't produced any information at all. To make matters worse, a parent was employed for the Summer Term last year and no DBS check was made at all, she continued to volunteer and that check has only been completed in the last 3 weeks because I provided the resources for it to be done as soon as I found out. To make matters worse, the information that was on the file for the staff was not the DBS certificate number or date, but the original application number with 'E0'. They were applied for 3 years ago, and now the supervisor cannot find the certificate information. The Safeguarding policy that has been signed off previously by the Pre-School Supervisor (not the committee and a whole other issue) states that appropriate checks will be made prior to any role starting placement, employment and volunteering. - This is to me a clear breach of that policy. Having spoken to the PSLA about all of the issues surrounding the pre-school, they have advised that if a lack of information continues I should threaten disciplinary action. When reading the Disciplinary Policy 'serious failure to comply with policies, procedures and legal requirements that safeguard children' is a category of Gross Misconduct - would this fall under that? I've ruffled a number of feathers coming in and trying to do 'the right thing' and all I get back is 'well the last chair didn't tell me we needed that', or 'I've been on safeguarding courses and I've never been told that' I know that the supervisor has never had an appraisal, and the committee has never existed as it should because it has pretty much been lead by the supervisor.

Any advice that you can give would be gratefully received!

Parent wants copies of accident forms

Hi all

I have a parent who's recently been given PR and he's been in today to look at his child's accident forms. We had a conversation and I showed him records, then  he demanded copies for his records/ investigation! In all my years I've never had a parent ask for copies. Am I obliged to give them? I don't have a problem with doing so but need to know if I should be.


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