INFORMATION AND RECORDS

Whistleblowing

 

It is important to Westside Pre-School that any fraud, misconduct or wrongdoing by employees, or people engaged within the organisation’s business, is reported and properly dealt with to the highest possible ethical standards. To achieve these ends, it encourages freedom of speech.  We therefore encourage all individuals to raise any concerns that they may have about the conduct of others in the early years setting or the way in which the early years setting is run.

 

The word ‘whistleblowing’ in this Policy refers to the disclosure by workers of malpractice, either internally or externally, as well as illegal acts or omissions at work.

 

Whistleblowing relates to all those who work with, or within, the early years setting, who may from time-to-time think that they need to raise with someone in confidence certain issues relating to the organisation.

 

We recognise that effective and honest communication is essential if malpractice is to be effectively dealt with and the organisation’s success ensured.

 

Whistleblowing is separate from the grievance procedure. If you have a complaint about your own personal circumstances, you should use the normal grievance procedure.

 

Westside Pre-School has a range of policies and procedures, which deal with standards of behaviour at work; they cover Discipline, Grievance, and Recruitment and Selection.  Employees are encouraged to use the provisions of these procedures when appropriate. There may be times, however, when the matter is not about the personal employment position and needs to be handled in a different way.  Examples may be:

 

  • Malpractice or ill treatment of a child by any member of staff, including senior staff

  • A criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed.

  • Suspected fraud.

  • Disregard for legislation, particularly in relation to health and safety at work.

  • The environment has been, or is likely to be, damaged.

  • A breach of a code of conduct.

  • Information on any of the above has been, is being, or is likely to be concealed.

 

 

This list is not exhaustive.

 

If you have a concern about malpractice within the organisation, then you should use the procedure outlined below.

 

  • Report any concerns to your line manager. If this is not possible, then report your concerns to the pre-school manager.

  • All employees and those involved with the early years setting should be aware of the importance of preventing and eliminating wrongdoing within the organisation. You should be watchful for illegal, inappropriate or unethical conduct and report anything of that nature that you become aware of.

  • Any matter you raise under this procedure will be investigated thoroughly, promptly and confidentially, and the outcome of the investigation will be reported back to you.

  • You will not be victimised for raising a matter under this procedure. This means that your continued employment and opportunities for future promotion or training will not be prejudiced because you have raised a legitimate concern.

  • Victimisation of an individual for raising a qualified disclosure will be a disciplinary offence.

  • If misconduct is discovered as a result of any investigation under this procedure the early years setting’s disciplinary procedure will be used, in addition to any appropriate external measures.

  • An instruction to cover up wrongdoing is itself a disciplinary offence. If you are told not to raise or pursue any concern, even by a person in authority such as a manager, you should not agree to remain silent. In this event you should report the matter to the pre-school manager.

 

 

Role of Trade Unions

Westside Pre-School recognises employees may wish to seek advice and be represented by their trade union(s) officers when using the provisions of this policy and acknowledges and endorses the role trade union officers play in this area.

 

Complaints about the most senior person in the organisation

If the concern is about the most senior person in Westside Pre-School, this should be made to Ofsted, who will decide on how the investigation will proceed.  This may include an external investigation.

 

The Investigation

Any investigation will be carried out under the terms of strict confidentiality i.e. by not informing the subject of the complaint until (or if) it becomes necessary to do so.  This may be appropriate in cases of suspected fraud.  In certain cases, however, such as allegations of ill treatment of a child, suspension from work may have to be considered immediately.  Protection of children is paramount in all cases.

 

If the result of the investigation is that there is a case to be answered by any individual, the Disciplinary Rules and Procedure will be used.

 

Where there is no case to answer, but the employee held a genuine concern and was not acting maliciously, the pre-school should ensure that the employee suffers no reprisals.

Only where false allegations are made maliciously, will it be considered appropriate to act against the whistle-blower under the terms of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.

 

The Law

This policy and procedure have been written to take account of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which protects workers making disclosures about certain matters of concern, where those disclosures are made in accordance with the Act’s provisions.  The Act is incorporated into the Employment Rights Act 1996, which also already protects employees who take action over, or raise concerns about, health and safety at work.

 

Useful documents/websites:

Ofsted – whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

ACAS – www.acas.org.uk

Public concern at work – www.pcaw.co.uk

Provider records

 

Policy statement

We keep records for the purpose of maintaining our business. These include:

  • Records pertaining to our registration.

  • Landlord/lease documents and other contractual documentation pertaining to amenities, services and goods.

  • Financial records pertaining to income and expenditure.

  • Risk assessments.

  • Employment records of staff.

 

Our records are regarded as confidential based on the sensitivity of the information, such as with regard to employment records and these are maintained with regard to the framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.

 

 

Procedures

  • All records are the responsibility of the manager who ensures they are kept securely.

  • All records are kept in an orderly way in files and filing is kept up-to-date.

  • Financial records are kept up-to-date for audit purposes.

  • Health and safety records are maintained; these include risk assessments, details of checks or inspections and guidance etc.

  • Our Ofsted registration certificate is displayed.

  • Our Public Liability insurance certificate is displayed.

  • All our employment and staff records are kept securely and confidentially.

 

Legal framework

  • Data Protection Act 1998

Human Rights Act 1998

Record keeping Children’s records

 

Policy statement

There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.

 

This policy and procedure is taken in conjunction with the Confidentiality Policy and our procedures for information sharing.

 

Procedures

We keep three kinds of records on children attending our setting:

 

Developmental records

 

  • We use a secure online interactive record system for recording and storing children’s photos and observations. Parents are able register and access their child’s learning story.

  • These include observations of children in the setting, photographs, video clips and samples of their work and summary developmental reports.

  • A copy of the child’s learning story are kept in the cloakroom and can be freely accessed, and contributed to, by staff, the child and the child’s parents.

 

Personal records

  • These include registration and admission forms, signed consent forms, and correspondence concerning the child or family, reports or minutes from meetings concerning the child from other agencies, an on-going record of relevant contact with parents, and observations by staff on any confidential matter involving the child, such as developmental concerns or child protection matters.

  • These confidential records are stored in a lockable file cabinet and are kept secure by the manager within the pre-school office.

  • Parents have access to the files and records of their own children but do not have access to information about any other child.

  • Staff will not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child's needs.  Staff induction includes an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in the role of the key person.

  • We retain children’s records for three years after they have left the setting.  These are kept in a secure place.

 

Other records

  • Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.

  • Students on recognised qualifications and training, when they are observing in the setting, are advised of our confidentiality policy and are required to respect it.

 

 

Legal Framework

  • Data Protection Act 1998

  • Human Rights Act 1998

  • Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

 

Further guidance

  • Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)

Payment Policy and Procedure

 

Parents/Carers who pay fees to Westside Pre-school will be given an invoice at the end of each calendar month for the following month.

  • Invoices will show sessions booked and how the monthly payment is calculated, payments are due in advance.

  • If your child’s attendance fees are entirely paid by Nursery Education Funding you will not receive an invoice automatically, but you can request an invoice at any time.

  • Payment is due by the 7th of each month, in advance, invoices can be paid by cash, cheque, internet banking (bacs) or childcare vouchers - please ask at the office for more information.

  • If you chose not to pay your invoice by the 7th of the month you will incur an administration charge of £20.00 (twenty).

  • One full calendar months’ notice must be given to change a child's sessions to allow us to maintain staff ratios.  Each case will be assessed individually and is subject to availability.

  • One month's notice and full payment will be required to withdraw your child from Pre-school.

  • Payment of fees must still be made if your child is absent for any reason, for example, illness or on holiday.

  • If you are late collecting your child without prior notice and/or without good reason you will be required to pay a fine of £10.00 (Ten Pounds) for every five minutes after the collection time.  You will be fined every time you are late.

  • A £15 fee will be charged for any cheques that bounce and thereafter future payments MUST be made in cash.

  • Extra sessions should be paid for on the day booked unless otherwise agreed by the Pre-School manager.

 

 Should you fall into arrears? -

  • The arrears will be discussed with the manager and full payment will be requested, all communications will be recorded.

  • If you unable to pay the full amount a payment plan may be set up.

  • If the payment plan is not followed, a warning letter will be sent, and arrears will be due by the end of that week along with payment for the next week’s fees.

  • If fees are still not forthcoming, then your child will be unable to attend their pre-school session until full payment has been made or an arrangement with the manager has been agreed.

  • Unpaid outstanding fees will then be sort through the Small Claims Court.

 

 

PLEASE SPEAK TO THE MANAGER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES.

Parent- Carers and Visitors Code of Conduct

 

Abusive Behaviour

 

Westside Pre-School takes the security and well-being of its children and staff extremely seriously. We operate a zero-tolerance policy regarding any form of physical, verbal or mental abuse by a member of staff, students, volunteers or parents/carers towards a child, employee or indeed another member of the public connected with Westside Pre-School.

  • If a member of staff, student, volunteer, parent/carer or visitor becomes abusive in any way towards a child, another parent or member of staff, they will be asked to leave the premises immediately

  • If their behaviour continues after leaving the building, the Police will be call

  • If their behaviour continues and they refuse to leave the building, the Police will be call

  • A detailed account of the incident will be recorded, and serious consideration will be given to their future involvement with in the setting.

 

Professional suitability 

Westside Pre-School wants all users, parents/carers and their children to feel safe and secure within the setting. 

  • All employees and volunteers will undergo several suitability checks including a police criminal record check, now called a DBS.

  • All new employees, students and volunteers will undergo an induction period and will not be given unaccompanied access to children until proved suitable

  • All new staff will attend safeguarding training.

  • Staff will not be left alone for an extended period with individual children or small groups

The layout of Westside Pre-School, flexibility in routine and constant staff movement will ensure no one is left in a vulnerable unaccompanied situation

 

 

Parental involvement

 

Policy statement

We believe that children benefit most from early year’s education and care when parents and settings work together in partnership.

 

Our aim is to support parents as their children's first and most important educators by involving them in their children's education and in the full life of the setting. We also aim to support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.

 

Some parents are less well represented in early year’s settings; these include fathers, parents who live apart from their children but who still play a part in their lives as well as working parents. In carrying out the following procedures, we will ensure all parents are included.

 

When we refer to ‘parents’ we mean both mothers and fathers; these include both natural or birth parents as well as step-parents and parents who do not live with their children but have contact with them and play a part in their lives. ‘Parents’ also includes same sex parents as well as foster parents.

 

 

Procedures

  • We have means to ensure all parents are included – that may mean we have different strategies for involving fathers or parents who work or live apart from their children.

  • We consult with all parents to find out what works best for them.

  • We ensure on-going dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families.

  • We inform all parents about how Westside Pre-school is run and its policies through access to written information and through regular informal communication. We check to ensure parents understand the information that is given to them.

  • We inform all parents on a regular basis about their children's progress.

  • We involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children - either formally or informally - and ensure parents have access to their children's written developmental records.

  • We provide opportunities for parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of Westside Pre-school.

  • We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.

  • We provide information about opportunities to be involved in Westside Pre-school in ways that are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language.

  • We hold meetings within the pre-school that is accessible and appropriate for all.

  • We welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take.

  • We inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and check to ensure these are understood.  All parents have access to our written complaint’s procedure.

  • We provide opportunities for parents to learn about the curriculum offered at Westside Pre-school and about young children's learning, at Pre-school and at home.

 

In compliance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage the following documentation is in place:

  • Admissions policy.

  • Complaints procedure.

  • Record of complaints.

  • Developmental records of children.

Grievance Procedure

Westside Pre-School recognises that from time to time employees may wish to seek redress for grievances relating to their employment. In this respect it is the pre-school’s policy to encourage free communication between employees and their manager to ensure that questions and problems arising during employment can be aired, and where possible, resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of all concerned. To this end, the following procedure should be adopted where an employee has a grievance arising from their employment, except were the matter constitutes an appeal against a disciplinary decision which should be taken up in accordance with our pre-school’s separate discipline appeals procedure.

 

Procedure

We will endeavour to help staff resolve promptly and effectively any complaints, difficulty or grievance they may have regarding any aspect of their employment. We always aim to settle all grievances fairly and as soon as possible while maintaining confidentiality. This also applies for any grievances a staff member may have about another staff member they work with and it is required in writing so it can be dealt with accordingly. When a staff member has a grievance the staff member will follow steps one and two.

A written report will be kept of any disciplinary or grievance cases dealt with and the outcome in the pre-school.

Step One

In the first instance the manager operates an open-door policy where you can ask to have an informal discussion.  The grievance is normally resolved at this point.

Step Two

If the problem is not resolved to the employee satisfaction, it should be submitted writing to the manager, who will forward the grievance to the pre-school directors. The directors will consider the grievance and notify the employee of their decision within fourteen days of receiving the grievance. The employee will be given the chance to have their say before a decision is made and may be accompanied by a colleague or a friend if they wish so. Notice of this should be given before the meeting if a member of staff is asked to accompany the worker, as they may be down to work, and cover will have to be arranged for them. The directors will discuss the grievance and the employee will receive a reply within 14 working days. The decision will be final and binding in the matter, there is no further internal level of appeal.

During this process you are encouraged to seek external advice from your union or ACAS.

Disciplinary Procedure

 

Westside Pre-School prides itself on having a strong, committed, and professional team of staff who work together well in harmony to provide good quality child care where priority is given to creating a happy, caring and stimulating environment that is safe and secure. However, should an Employee breach any protocol within the Pre-School the following procedures will take place:

 

  • This procedure sets out the action which will be taken when disciplinary rules are breached.

  • The procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal consistently with disciplinary issues.

  • No disciplinary action will be taken until the matter has been fully investigated by the Employer.

  • At every stage the Employee will have the opportunity to state their case and be represented or

  • accompanied by a fellow Employee should they wish.

  • The Employee will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary penalty.

 

Disciplinary procedure. 

Stage 1 – Oral warning

  • If the conduct or performance is unsatisfactory, the Employee will be given an oral warning which will be recorded their individual staff file.

  • The warning will be disregarded after 3 months of satisfactory service.

 

Stage 2 – Written Warning

  • If the offence is serious and there is no improvement in the Employees standards, or, if a further offence occurs, a Written Warning will be issued.

  • This will include the reason for the warning and a note that, if there is no improvement after 3 months a Final Written Warning will be given.

 

Stage 3- Final Written Warning

  • If the conduct or performance is still unsatisfactory, a Final Written Warning will be given making it clear that any recurrence of the offence or other serious misconduct within a period of 3 months will result in dismissal.

 

Stage 4 – Dismissal

  • If there is no satisfactory improvement or if further serious misconduct occurs, the Employee will be DISMISSED without notice.

 

Gross Misconduct

  • While alleged Gross Misconduct is being investigated, the Employee may be suspended, during which time the normal sessional rate will be paid.

  • Any decision to dismiss will be taken by the Employer, only after a full investigation.

 

We consider the following issues to constitute gross misconduct:

  1. theft or fraud;

  2. ill-treatment of children;

  3. assault;

  4. serious bullying or harassment;

  5. serious insubordination;

  6. serious failure to comply with policies, procedures and legal requirements that safeguard children;

  7. bringing the organisation into serious disrepute;

  8. malicious damage;

  9. gross carelessness which threatens the health and safety of others;

  10. deliberate damage to property;

  11. being unfit through use of drugs or alcohol;

  12. serious breach of the early years setting’s and statutory policies; and

  13. Bribery.

  14. Inappropriate use of social media websites.

 

This is not an exhaustive list.

 

Employees of Westside Pre-School must disclose any cautions of convictions of both themselves and those they live with that may affect their suitability to work with children.  This includes any open investigations.

Appeals

If the Employee wishes to appeal against any disciplinary decision, they must do so within five working days.

The Employer will hear the appeal and decide the case as impartially as possible.

 

Grievance Procedure

It is our Pre-School policy to ensure that any Employee with a grievance has access to a procedure which can lead to a speedy resolution of the grievance in a fair manner.

 

Step One

In the first instance the manager operates an open-door policy where you can ask to have an informal discussion.  The grievance is normally resolved at this point.

 

Step Two

If the problem is not resolved to the employee satisfaction, it should be submitted writing to the manager, who will forward the grievance to the pre-school directors. The directors will consider the grievance and notify the employee of their decision within fourteen days of receiving the grievance. The employee will be given the chance to have their say before a decision is made and may be accompanied by a colleague or a friend if they wish so. Notice of this should be given before the meeting if a member of staff is asked to accompany the worker, as they may be down to work, and cover will have to be arranged for them. The directors will discuss the grievance and the employee will receive a reply within 14 working days. The decision will be final and binding in the matter, there is no further internal level of appeal.

During this process you are encouraged to seek external advice from your union or ACAS.

Complaints Procedure

Statement of intent

Westside Pre-School believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and will give prompt and serious attention to any complaints about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most complaints will be resolved quickly through an informal approach. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.

Aim

We aim to bring all concerns/complaints about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone involved at the earliest opportunity. We aim to investigate any concerns/complaints straight away or in some cases within a minimum of 21 days.

 

Making a complaint; -Stage 1

Any parent/carer who has a concern/complaint about any aspect of the setting's provision must make their complaint to the manager.

The manager will do everything possible to ensure complaints are resolved promptly, amicably and informally. 

 

Making a complaint; Stage 2

 If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent/carer must put their complaint in writing to the manager.

  • The manager will investigate the complaint thoroughly speaking to everyone involved. 

  • When the investigation into the complaint is completed, the manager will meet with the parents/carers to discuss the outcome

  • The setting stores written concerns/complaints from parents/carers in a separate folder in a locked cabinet in the office.  

Making a complaint; Stage 3

  • If the parents/carers are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation an external mediator is invited in to help settle the concern/complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice

  • Parents/carers should have a friend or partner present.

  • A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.

  • A written record of the discussion is made as well as any decisions or action to take as a result, all parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.

  • When the mediator has concluded the investigation, a final meeting between the parents/carers, the setting manager and the external mediator will be held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator's advice is used to reach this conclusion.

 

 

 

  • A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made.  Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it.  This signed record signifies that the procedure has been concluded and is kept in a folder in a lockable cabinet in the office.  

The role of the Office for Standards in Education, Early Years Directorate (Ofsted).

 

Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaint’s procedure. In addition to this, if there is a possible breach of the setting's registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as they are the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the EYFS Welfare Requirements are adhered to.  

             

              The contact details for our Ofsted regional centre:

 

Address – Piccadilly Gate,

                   Store Street,

                   Manchester, M12WD

 

Email - enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

 

Telephone -0300 123 1231

Admissions

Policy Statement

It is our intention to make Westside Pre-School accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community regardless of their ethnicity, religion, disability and social background. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

 

Aim

At Westside Pre-School we ensure that children are happy, confident learners who can develop their individual talents within a safe, caring and stimulating environment. 

 

Methods

In order to achieve this aim, we operate the following admissions policy;

  • We ensure that the existence of our setting is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community.

  • We ensure that information about our setting is accessible, in written and spoken form and, where appropriate, in more than one language. Where necessary, we will try to provide information in Braille, through signing or through an interpreter.

  • We arrange our waiting list on a first come, first served basis. However, in addition to this, we may consider the vicinity of the home to the setting and if there are any siblings already attending the setting.

  • We keep a place vacant, if this is financially viable, to accommodate an emergency admission.

  • We describe Westside Pre-School and its practices in terms that make it clear that it welcomes fathers and mothers, other relations and other carers, including child-minders.

  • We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it treats each child and their family, having regard to their needs arising from their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, social background, religion, and ethnicity or from English being a newly acquired additional language.

  • We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it enables children and/or parents with disabilities to take part in the life of the setting.

  • We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that our intake is representative of social diversity.

  • We make our Equality and Diversity policy widely known.

  • We consult with families about the opening times of the setting to ensure we accommodate a broad range of family need.

We are flexible about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families, providing these do not disrupt the pattern of continuity in the setting that provides stability for all the children.

Call us:

Mobile:

079609 19578

Landline:

01795 533743

Find us: 

West Faversham Community Centre

Bysing Wood Rd

Faversham

ME137RH