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Pe changing room supervision. In or out?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sweetpea 2, May 29, 2018.

  1. sweetpea 2

    sweetpea 2 New commenter

    In a girls pe lesson while the students were changing we have recently had one serious accident of a student falling off a bench and students fighting. However, we are also receiving complaints from parents about staff being in the changing room and their daughters feel uncomfortable. This safeguarding issue has put us in a very difficult situation. Our policy of pop in and pop out at the start and end of lessons has suddenly caused us problems.
    Has anyone else come across this issue and can you offer some advice on how we can resolve the issue.
    ultimatedingbat likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    H & S must come first - how you ensure a safe environment is up to the school, but not having supervision (by members of the same sex as the pupils, of course) puts the school at risk of legal action, I'd say.
    pepper5, Rivermill and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You have to keep them safe. Someone will have to be there. Parents don't like it? They can remove their kid.

    In general though?

    I believe there should be sufficient cubicles for every person. Or have 15 and take turns. Those who had no objection to changing in the communal area could use that. It might cut the length of the lesson. Too bad.

    But disorder in the changing area? Supervision throughout. No alternative.
    pepper5, Rivermill and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Whatever you do you can't win but it sounds like what you are doing is right. Explain the problem to the Head and follow their advice. Any future problems from parents, refer them to the Head.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    pepper5, knitone, Lara mfl 05 and 2 others like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Obviously you don't sit there gazing at them.

    You take in a clipboard or tablet or book and DO something whilst reminding them constantly to shut up and get changed and not witter on and badmouth each other. Coz they're obviously given to that or there wouldn't be a problem in the first place!
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    For swimming changing, I can understand the girls' reluctance to have a member of staff hanging about, but I'd still suggest you are in the changing room, though they ought to be in cubicles from about year 3 onwards.
    For all other changing...tell them to wear a vest and proper pants (which are bigger than many of the shorts around this year) and they'll be fine!

    But seriously, just be around nearby and intervene in arguments before they become fights.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Given the overcrowded nature of many primary schools, some of the suggestions from the NSPCC are just not practicable. The school I do interventions at has the boys changing in the classroom, the girls outside (there are no male members of staff). There is no other space. The teacher stands in the doorway between the two to supervise.
    pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and sally90 like this.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Perhaps there should be no PE until the facilities are improved to allow PE to take place...
    pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and nomad like this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Primary provision is pretty bad. Well, VERY bad. I think every child should have privacy.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Many primary schools were designed and built in the days when PE just meant stripping down to vest (everybody wore them, even in the summer) and underpants (or enormous bottle-green knickers for the girls) and then either skipping clockwise around the hall to "Music and Movement" from the BBC or going outside and swinging Indian clubs around.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    That's true @nomad

    I was one of those kids. I started school in 1960 at the age of 5 and I wasn't very keen on the system then. I was a very reserved only child and it's one of the reasons I often cried off doing PE. Or just wouldn't go to school!
  14. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I remember those.:p They were as big and made of thicker material than some womens summer shorts are now.
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    15 years ago, for Y6 swimming with communal areas I used to stand outside each changing room in turn making "encouraging" noises. The girls needed hurrying up but at times the boys needed firmer intervention. I'd warn them I'd be coming in if they didn't quiet down and then would knock loudly, announce my intention and then march in and sort out the agro.and retire. Most unsatisfactory. The pool were supposed to provide a male to supervise the room but they didn't always.
    pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I never learned to swim because I wouldn't go to school those days. No way was I taking my clothes off in public. So I only learned to swim when I was nudging 30.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  17. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    A couple of years ago my Year 5 son was assaulted by a Y6 child in the changing rooms. Hit in the head and called a b**tch without any provocation. Taking the matter up with the Head, it turned out that Y5s were routinely left unsupervised by staff with older children, sometimes Y8s. My son was pretty shaken up and began to dread PE. If the Y8s weren't mucking around, they were moving others' stuff and swearing. The Head's response was to suggest that my son got changed in the disabled toilet if he didn't feel safe. Apparently they operated an in/out policy - except it appeared way more out than in.

    I told him my son wouldn't be doing PE until the kids were properly supervised and he wouldn't be changing in any toilets thanks - he had the right to feel safe in the changing room. As a teacher myself I would never leave kids unattended, especially with older children present.

    Still makes me cross thinking about it.
  18. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Do not take a tablet into an area where children are changing!!

    It will have a camera built-in and you will open-up a whole other (and bigger) can of worms...!

    I always found that repeatedly hollering 'shut it and hurry up' through the nearly closed door did the trick just fine...
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ooooh! Good point @Pomza

    Silly me. Just coz I never use the camera on my iPad! You're SO VERY RIGHT!
    pepper5, Pomza, mothorchid and 2 others like this.
  20. The-Gaffer

    The-Gaffer Occasional commenter

    Look here's my take on it as a PE teacher with 15 years experience of teaching in some very tough schools. The only time I'm not in the changing rooms is when I'm carrying the valuables tray into the office. If we had lockable doors I'd be last out & lock it behind me.

    You need to explain to the parents that it's your job to be in that classroom (yes I called it a classroom on purpose) to keep people safe

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