Suitable People

2.1 Employment

(Including suitability, contingency plans, training and development)

Policy statement

Little Sandhurst Nursery Group meets the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that our staff are appropriately qualified, and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with statutory requirements.

Procedures

Vetting and staff selection

  • We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection.
  • All staff have job descriptions, which set out their staff roles and responsibilities.
  • We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, age, marriage or civil partnership. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by our imposing conditions or requirements that are not justifiable.
  • We use Ofsted guidance on obtaining references and enhanced criminal record checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service for staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. This is in accordance with requirements under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) for the vetting and barring scheme.
  • We keep all records relating to employment of staff and volunteers, in particular those demonstrating that checks have been done, including the date and number of the enhanced CRB check.
  • Staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children – whether received before, or at any time during, their employment with us.

Disqualification

  • Where we become aware of any relevant information which may lead to the disqualification of an employee, we will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children. In the event of disqualification, that person’s employment with us will be terminated.

Changes to staff

  • We inform Ofsted of any changes in the person responsible for our setting.

Training and staff development

  • Our setting leader and deputy hold the CACHE Level 3 NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development and a minimum of half of our staff hold a relevant CACHE Level 2 Certificate or an equivalent or higher qualification.
  • We provide regular in-service training to all staff – whether paid staff or volunteers – through the Pre-school Learning Alliance and external agencies including Bracknell Forest Early Years.
  • Our setting budget allocates resources to training.
  • We provide staff induction training in the first week of employment. This induction includes our Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy. Other policies and procedures will be introduced within an induction plan.
  • We support the work of our staff by holding regular supervision meetings and appraisals.
  • We are committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation and best practice.

Staff taking medication/other substances

  • If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, we ensure that they seek further medical advice. Staff will only work directly with the children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children properly.
  • Staff medication on the premises will be stored securely and kept out of reach of the children at all times.
  • If we have reason to believe that a member of staff is under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that may affect their ability to care for children, they will not be allowed to work directly with the children and further action will be taken.

Managing staff absences and contingency plans for emergencies

  • Staff are encouraged to take their holiday breaks when the setting is closed. Where staff may need to take time off for any reason other than sick leave or training, this is agreed with the manager with sufficient notice.
  • Where staff are unwell and take sick leave in accordance with their contract of employment, we organise cover to ensure ratios are maintained.
  • Sick leave is monitored and action is taken where necessary, in accordance with the contract of employment.
  • We have contingency plans to cover staff absences, as follows:

We have a dedicated member of staff who can come in at short notice to cover absence due to sick leave.

The member of staff responsible for organising the cover at short notice is Karen Allen.

2.2 Student placements

Policy statement

Little Sandhurst Nursery Group recognises that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education provided by early years settings. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years qualifications and training. We also offer placements for school pupils on work experience.

We aim to provide for students on placement with us, experiences that contribute to the successful completion of their studies and that provide examples of quality practice in early years care and education.

Procedures

  • We require students on qualification courses to meet the ‘suitable people’ requirements of Ofsted and have DBS checks carried out.
  • We require students in our setting to have a sufficient understanding and use of English to contribute to the well-being of children in our care.
  • We require schools placing students under the age of 17 years with the setting to vouch for their good character.
  • We supervise students under the age of 17 years at all times and do not allow them to have unsupervised access to children.
  • Students undertaking qualification courses who are placed in our setting on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios.
  • Trainee staff employed by the setting and students over the age of 17 may be included in the ratios if they are deemed competent and responsible.
  • We take out employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance, which covers both trainees and voluntary helpers.
  • We require students to keep to our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy.
  • We co-operate with students’ tutors in order to help students to fulfil the requirements of their course of study.
  • We provide students, at the first session of their placement, with a short induction on how our setting is managed, how our sessions are organised and our policies and procedures.
  • We communicate a positive message to students about the value of qualifications and training.
  • We make the needs of the children paramount by not admitting students in numbers that hinder the essential work of the setting.
  • We ensure that trainees and students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years training, which provides the necessary background understanding of children’s development and activities.