1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

child sitting on teachers knee

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Pow, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. But, just before I do that I am going to assure you that my policy won't let anyone do anything illegal.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The point is thumbie what you said you would do in the event of a complaint by a parent would be illegal not what your staff had done
  3. In that case the policy will make clear what action will be taken if a complaint is made by a parent so that staff know. I'm not a designated person so don't know the procedure if a complaint is made - I've never seen reference to it in any of our school policies, but I've only just started at the school so before you jump down my throat, I guess it is probably there somewhere.
    The point I was making about the complaint was that you would be causing a lot more stress if you didn't have written guidelines for staff and one of them had a complaint made about them, than if you had a written policy. If you have a policy, then if they have acted within the policy and not against it they have the confidence of knowing that what they did was regarded as acceptable by the school establishment.
    And this time, I really am going.

    Have a good weekend.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think that will already be clear in the school Safeguarding policy which you seem to be ignoring
    A complaint against a member of staff will cause stress no matter how many policies are in place or how innocent that person knows they are and it's naive to believe otherwise
  5. Oh heck, you jumped down my throat.
    I haven't read the safeguarding policy at the school I started working at 2 weeks ago, and in my supply teacher life nobody has come forward with even an induction pack (despite long term placements) to give me information about any school policies, even the behaviour policy, in the last 4 years. Any information I have needed I have had to seek out, usually to be greeted with puzzled looks.
    I would have found it very helpful to have - not a massive file full of verbose over-egged policies- but a simple handbook with the essential bits I needed to know,such as a quick summary of what was considered, for the style and ethos of the school, the appropriate forms of physical contact (do people kiss nursery children? Is it OK to pick up a child having a tantrum in the bathroom doorway?) - the sort of simple policy we have been talking about.
    I can assure you that, despite not having read a safeguarding policy in the last 4 years, I am aware of my own responsibilities, in my humble non-designated person status, when child protection issues raise their unlovely heads.

  6. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I can see both sides of the arguement, though wouldnt want a policy.
    I work with that NN Hedda so can quite see where you are coming from. My needy NN picks a child every year showing extreme favouritism, constantly sitting child on knee, spending hours reading 1:1 with said child to the complete oblivion of everyone else, even if world war 3 is going off next to her. She is a nightmare and myself and the EY coordinator are constantly having to address this with her.
    I am not a naturally touchy feely person, mainly due to my upbringing, though I am starting to thaw over the years! However I do sit children who are upset on my knee and give them a cuddle. If a child wants to read a book on my knee, I admit I tend to sit them next to me on my large teacher chair, though this is more because of my knackered knees and so I can keep an eye on everyone else and make a quick move if need be. I think I would continue to comfort children this way upto the end of KS1 as long as it was physically possible. I work in nursery.
    I must admit that my NN asks for a kiss at christmas and the end of year when a child gives a present and this makes me uncomfortable. This is mainly because I know some kids, particularly our rough and tumble boys dont like kissing people. Many of our children do offer a kiss and I always either let them kiss my cheek or I kiss the tops of their heads.
    As a funny aside, my nephew who is in year 1 has just come back from living in france, where primary students kiss their teachers on the cheek in the continental way as they leave at the end of the day. His new english teachers faces were a picture when he did this at the end of his first ever day in an english school.

  7. Our policy (w Australia) is that as long as the child initiates it that's OK. It is a very tricky one for a man in Early Years though largely because of prejudice. My former male EA was very careful in this area. The kids loved him, and he enjoyed their company too but was mature enough to avoid being put in a vulnerable situation. I always let the EAs and any trainees know that I am informing them of what might be misconstrued and it is for their own protection that they are aware.

    As for NNs being needy themselves, I can understand that too, but 'favouritism' can make life difficult. Often those being cuddled are the ones who need it least, sadly.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Actually thumbie by law all staff in maintained schools (I'm not sure but would imagine it aplies to other settings) must have attended Safeguarding training and be in possesion of a certificate at least at level 1. The training will give you a very accessible and legal outline of what and what is not acceptable when working with children and will provide you with essential knowledge about how to keep children, staff and yourself safe and free from allegations - the certificate lasts 3 years and must be current.
  9. Well I have worked as long term supply in maintained schools for the last 4 years (1 year in each) and have never been given such a certificate although I have attended child protection training each year. This training has made it clear what I should do in the event of a child disclosing information, showing signs of injury or neglect and what those signs are. It has not covered what it is acceptable for staff to do in terms of physical contact, beyond the obvious (don't hit/ bite/ kick anyone) except some waffle about making sure you not alone with a child when you have to change them. The advice has varied between making sure the door is open in the room you are using to making sure someone is standing beside you. Generally the person offering the solution hasn't got much of a clue about early years environments and staffing. Trying to explain what these are like meets with blank looks. So we have just done our best to make sure noone is out of sight when changing a child (sometimes this has involved bringing all the children who are playing outside back into the inside area). I remember physical restraint being mentioned at one such meeting and the headteacher saying that you put your hands between two children are fighting just so long as you don't push outwards?!
    I would say there is definitely confusion despite your faith that everyone is getting an accessible and legal outline at least every three years.
    While there are guidelines about teachers' powers to touch children these tend to be about extreme situations - restraining etc. and they tend to refer to things like reasonable restraint etc which begs so many questions. They do not give concrete examples and they certainly do not give guidance about some of the issues that have been mentioned on here, which are in that fuzzy area between definitely OK and definitely out of order. Surely this is the area that needs local decision making in the form of a simple policy.
    Msz, it's about that fuzzy area of everyday school life, not the extremes that are instinctively known. A policy would define what is acceptable within an environment that already works with a general safeguarding awareness (and policy), and make it relvant to the early years setting and the special circumstances of that within the larger school institution.

  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It is an OFSTED requirement to provide the certificates of attendance
    I would say creating an unoffical policy you are in danger of creating more confusion and if you are still unsure you should consult your head or CP teacher.
  11. It would be interesting to hear from others their viewpoint on training they have had, whether they are aware they have to have a certificate, and whether the training has helped them in day to day decisions in an early years setting. And is 'safeguarding' synonymous with 'child protection' - anyone?
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare.

  13. Interesting to know, too, what constitutes an official or unofficial policy. Just believing that everyone knows, by instinct, about what to do in those simple little situations that arise in early years (not the easy clear cut issues), seems pretty unofficial to me. This thread is full of examples of people thinking different things. For instance I would never kiss a child, yet some think that's an everyday OK.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter


    An effective safeguarding children policy and procedure must be
    implemented. This must include the procedure to be followed in the
    event of an allegation being made against a member of staff.
  15. So child protection training doesn't count on its own? The plot thickens.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The statutory requirement

    Government guidance on training for education staff
    The most recent education guidance document Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (HM Government, 2006) is guidance within the terms of sections 175 and 157 of the Education Act 2002. This means that it has statutory force. It stipulates the main responsibilities of staff within all educational establishments as being to provide a safe environment for children and young people by:

    a. preventing unsuitable people from working there

    b. promoting safe practice and challenging unsafe practice

    c. identifying children suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and acting appropriately, by identifying grounds for concern and acting appropriately, and contributing to effective working in partnership with other agencies and organisations.
    The document goes on to specify who should have training

    * New staff should have safeguarding training as part of the induction process.
    * Staff not having a lead child protection role (which, it explicitly states, must include the headteacher, where this person is not the designated senior person) should receive such training at least every three years.
    * Designated senior persons should have training every two years and, in addition, should attend multi-agency training.

    * Temporary staff, which should include supply teachers, and volunteers need to have child protection briefings.

    What kind of training do staff need?
    Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education also refers to the responsibilities on local authorities and other agencies to provide training, as follows:

    * Local authorities should ensure that induction training for all staff includes a child protection element.
    * They should also ensure that refresher child protection training is available to all staff every three years, and to designated staff every two years.
    * The local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) should provide training in inter-agency working which designated staff should attend.

  17. OK. But this is not what we have been discussing, is it? The discussion is about formulating an agreed policy about what it is acceptable for adults to do in regard to physical contact in an early years setting. I think the misunderstaning might be my fault for asking what you would do if a complaint was made, when, it seems, you would have specific stuff to do regardless of agreed contact practice within your school. Fair enough. But that says nothing about what adults can and should be doing about physical contact in everyday situations in an early years setting.
    People talked about hugs, kisses, sitting on laps etc. So if a parent complained about an adult sitting their child on her lap you, as designated person, would have to report it on (I am assuming). Maybe the adult would have to go through some sort of proceedings. However, it is unlikely to happen over something as simple as a sit on the lap. So lets assume that a complaint would not be made. Meanwhile, maybe a child is being placed on a lap when they should be distracted from their distress and comforted through other strategies. The lead adult is uncomfortable with it and brings it up for discussion. It is decided that sitting on laps should be avoided unless the child initiates it, and then it should be brief. A policy is formed. A policy is written down so that it is recorded and available for reference.
    I think we've gone full circle, but the journey was interesting. At least I know I have to go and find out about getting certificated. [​IMG]

  18. Even better, I don't have to be certificated.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If you think not I suggest you read your school policy and the statutory documents.
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    you are temporary?
    I wouldn't be writing policies without speaking to SMT and the school Governors

Share This Page