A Day of Positive Change – Developing Safer Professional Practice

Well, there was no sign of the residual effects of the ‘Christmas Quality Street mist’ with the Early Years Practitioners and Managers I worked with to-day! An intimate gathering of 10 delegates, all extraordinarily focused on our subject for the day, ‘Allegations against Practitioners and Development of Safer Professional Practice’. By mid-morning we were deeply engrossed in how Dangerous/Risky practitioners or Managers might conduct themselves:

  • With children and their families
  • As a member of a team
  • With regard to guidance, supervision and management
  • In how they present in terms of attitude, dress and behaviour
In this process, we compared this conduct with that of ‘Safer/Reflective’ Practitioners and Managers.
As it happens the Early Years Development Team in this particular South London Borough had taken the innovative move to distribute the Plymouth Serious Case Review to all settings in the previous month. We made regular reference to the ways in which the ‘Z’ Nursery, (as it was referred to in the SCR) provided the ideal environment for ‘K’, the Practitioner to sexually abuse children in her care, unchallenged.
I was particularly impressed with how thoroughly delegates applied themselves to understanding the National Guidance framework. This includes the Early Years Foundation Stage, Welfare Requirements, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 and the London Child Protection Procedures 2007. Small groups unpicked key parts of the Guidance themselves and just before lunch, fed back to each other on the messages for implementation into the Early Years Setting’s Safeguarding Policy, the procedure for responding to allegations against Practitioners and practice on the ground.
My delight, as always, was seeing the key messages applied to practice into the afternoon session. It was so obvious that all had fully understood what the setting’s Manager should do in their role such as:
• To gather information during the initial stage
• To liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer (or LADO)
• To work in clear and collaborative partnership with Children’s Social Care and on occasion, the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team.
An absolutely fab day guys, thank you! I left the venue feeling confident that these Practitioners and Managers were going to influence positive change within their respective settings.
Catherine Rushforth

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