4 Identifying constraints in your setting and improving practice
4.1 Thinking about constraints within your setting
The objectives of this activity are:
to identify constraints within your setting;
to see where you might want to change your practice (or underpinning values and beliefs).
If you are a team leader, write a description of how, given an ‘ideal’ context you would like to work with other professionals. Otherwise, imagine you are a team leader and write a description of your ideal approach to working with others. Make a note of any constraints that result in aspects of practice being less than ideal in your view. Think about the values and practices in your setting relating to teamwork. How would you like to see practice improved or changed over the next two years? You might like to record your examples in a table like the one below. Aim to include at least two examples.
|Example of key issue or area of practice||Strengths||Area for development||How it could be improved and why||Values/views of good practice|
Jane, a teaching assistant, wrote the following description of her ideal approach to working with others.
I would ensure that I work collaboratively with any other professionals I come into contact with, such as the SENCO, Ofsted inspector, health visitor, speech therapist and class teacher. We would have a sharing of information, verbally and on paper, and I would ensure that they had ‘open access’ to arrange meetings with me (at times when the children were able to be supervised by another adult). My record keeping would also be a way of showing how I could become the child's key worker while they were in my setting. I would keep a log of all the documentation for the child, which would be important for their transition to another setting, or if the child has any social, emotional or educational difficulties. I would also make sure that I have policy documents to show other professionals and parents, on areas such as parent partnership. These documents would reflect practice in my setting.
Having core values and beliefs and translating them into practice is not always as straightforward as it sounds. Working as a successful team can be difficult to achieve. Empowerment of individuals is the key characteristic of successful group dynamics.