Staff Development policy

Statement of Intent

Staff are Polstead Preschool’s most valuable resource, as it is only through their commitment and effort that good quality provision can be both established and maintained. We are therefore committed to providing good training and development opportunities for staff so that they are able to perform their roles both efficiently and effectively.

Preschool recognises that regular training and monitoring of professional development are important for all staff. Training is vital because it allows staff to keep up to date with current thinking and practice about both play and child development issues. Additionally, with well-trained and motivated staff, Preschool is better able to meet the diverse and complex needs of children within its local community.

Preschool is committed to providing for staff:

  • A full induction process
  • A regular system of supervision and appraisals
  • Information about qualifications and training

This will help to ensure that staff development needs and the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are being met.

Staff Induction

New members of staff will be issued with a job description and a link to Preschool policies. Staff will also undergo an induction process during the first month of their employment and be assigned a mentor to help them settle in.

As part of the induction, the supervisor/mentor will discuss and talk through everyday practices of Preschool. These will include:

  • Showing new staff around the premises, pointing out all fire exits, toilets and areas such as the staff room, kitchen and office
  • Explaining staff rotas, breaks and all aspects of the day-to-day management and running of Preschool
  • Introducing the new member of staff to their colleagues, children and parents/carers where appropriate
  • Pointing out the practical implications of Preschool’s policies and practices, including how they relate to the setting’s obligations under the safeguarding and welfare requirements
  • Staff will be asked to sign to confirm that they have read and understood the policies, particularly those relating to health and safety and safeguarding children

Staff Supervision

All staff will receive regular supervision, and a record of the discussion and decisions will be kept. We aim to foster a culture of mutual support, teamwork and continuous improvement which encourages the confidential discussion of sensitive issues.

Supervision will provide opportunities for staff to

  • discuss any issues – particularly concerning children’s development or well-being
  • identify solutions to address issues as they arise
  • receive coaching or request training to improve their personal effectiveness or practice

Staff Appraisal

Annual appraisals of all staff will review employees’ performance and potential, and identify appropriate training and development needs.

The Supervisor’s supervision and appraisal will be carried out by the Chair and Staff Liaison Officer. Other staff will be appraised by the Chair, Staff Liaison Officer and the Supervisor. The Supervisor will carry out supervision of the other staff.

Staff Meetings

There will be regular staff meetings, every Monday and Friday, for problem solving, information sharing and acknowledging work issues. These are also opportunities for staff to reflect on their work performance and review any difficulties they may be facing. Staff meetings will be a forum for objectives for Preschool.

Training Opportunities

Preschool will do all it can to support staff who are working towards improving their qualifications and training experience. All staff are encouraged to take up training opportunities to expand their professional development and ensure an up to date knowledge of playwork issues.

It is the responsibility of the Chair and the Supervisor to identify and promote suitable training courses for staff and strongly encourage them to take advantage of these. Support will be given to help staff overcome any barriers to accessing such training.

Staff will be expected to attend training courses and update their skills when requested by their Supervisor. Staff will not suffer financially for training that they are required to undertake. Our budget allocates funds for training.

Specific training courses in Food Hygiene, Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding Children, First Aid, Inclusion, and Health and Safety are recommended. Staff members must always attend such courses when requested. It is the Supervisor, Chair and Staff Liaison Officer’s responsibility to ensure that staff are kept up-to-date with recent legislation and are suitably enrolled on any courses that are necessary to fulfil the setting’s legal responsibilities.

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