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Recruitment fortunes?

Recruitment fortunes?

With recruitment within early years remaining challenging and the industry becoming an employee’s market, I thought this month’s article I would like to have a “tongue in cheek” look at the top 100 reasons given for failing to show for an interview!

Not family fortunes, but ratio fortunes!

I am sure all providers and managers have a story to tell………..

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that took the trouble to message and contribute. 

Below are the top ten results:

Grandmother/close family member / close friend suddenly passed away 30%

Accepted another job 22%

Grandmother/close family member / close friend suddenly fell ill 10%

Clashed with a funeral 10%

Decided location was too far 8%

Wrong Nursery 8%

Other reasons 6%

Had to leave the country suddenly due an emergency 4%

Did not have money for travel. 2%

My particular favorite is a young woman missing an interview because she decided to stay in for an Argos delivery (thank you Mat at One call Education.)

On a serious note; Not all applicant applies for and agrees to attend an interview only to then fail to attend for reasons given……..I would be surprised if say 30% of applicants had a sudden bereavement!

So what is going on?

Is it the shortage of candidates to vacancies arising to a employees market?

Does Early years in particular suffers a fluidity in the work force?

The answer is yes and more. Our early years teachers are coveted to perform a huge service in the education and welfare of our youngest and yet, due to the framework, cost and budget huge demands put upon them.

Why not contact us to see how we can inspire, motivate and cultivate a culture within your business to allow for better recruitment, retention and job satisfaction?


Flat Earth theory; what has this got to do with safeguarding and the prevent duty?

Flat Earth theory; what has this got to do with safeguarding and the prevent duty?

I am sure we all agree, YouTube is a massive huge platform for delivering a wealth of information and social content. But my goodness, there are some bonkers theories. One of the most bizarre is the flat earth theory (a fact, depending on who is advocating.)

The theory (for whom are not initiated,) centres around the belief that the earth is not spherical in shape, but is actually flat. Covered in a dome which contains the atmosphere. The top of the dome is referred to as the firmament. The sun and the moon (depending on the flat earther) are actually not in space but rotate within the dome. They are of course a lot smaller than we are led to believe.

The add on doctrine is that space does not exist, stars do not exist but are points of light in the firmament…..and of course lets not forget,   there is a wall of ice around the edge (which the flat earthers refer to as the south pole) that stops everything slipping over the edge.


This is not a new idea to explain our natural world: As far back as the old testament, our planet was assumed was flat and a model put together in order to explain how our natural world fitted within this model.

This was how our ancestors made sense of the world around them.

The purpose of this article is not to debunk the flat earth theory; centuries of observations, empirical data and science have created a better understanding of  the universe and its order.

What is of concern, is the growing movement; according to national geographic, survey an estimated 6.5 million Americans now believe the earth to be flat.


There are many champions of this growing movement. One of the most proponent  is Mark Sargent. A mild mannered and charismatic character. Travels the world advocating and promoting the theory.

When challenged, Mark Sargent and his followers soon begin to reveal remarkable insights in why they  are indoctrinated and their convictions; its about “the system” and being lied to by the state and governments and conspiracy cover ups…..They have even hijacked the meaning of “woke.”

A man like Mark Sargent and like so many before him, have propelled a doctrine that is baseless and without merit and yet, gathers momentum because of the wider and more populous grievance of the modern word and conformity.

So what, you might say? We all have a right to have a view and an opinion?


Maybe reason(s)  why this theory gathers momentum could be the Dunning-Kruger effect or simply disenfranchised, disengaged  demographics or a generation.

A prime example is creationism; Education now in some  American schools is tipped against the education and enlighten of our children, in favour of teaching creationism  and opposing  teaching evolution through natural selection or Darwinism.

However, at what point do beliefs  of others, have an impact upon a wider society?

Let us take us take away the subject matter and observe the mechanics behind  the flat earth theory; a minority group, is with gusto, advocating a theory and or set of beliefs, which insidiously gathers momentum.  Furthermore, is non inclusive to evaluating the world  around them and creates a silo of toxic extremist ideology. All propelled  via social media like YouTube.

Sound familiar? 

So at what  point does a movement turn from being benign and into a malignancy that threatens to undermine the social fabric around us……….The answer is; when it has taken hold……..reaches a threshold and creates a problem that ends up being generational.

The majority of “you un-Enlighted” out there that still think the world is spherical and Man went to the moon have been warned…….!

Is this study worth the “paper it is written on?”

Is this study worth the “paper it is written on?”

Am I the only one thinking this???

The study on cost of early years providers has been published……triggered in part by the additional 15 hours enhanced funding commonly known as the “30 hours.” That has caused a central government imposed “austerity.” This  report is hugely flawed and almost without merit as an exercise.

Is it dangerous not to play dangerously?

Is it dangerous not to play dangerously?

Dangerous play.

We all do it don’t we? Look back upon the past with rose coloured tinted glasses. “It was such a simpler time back then, without this health and safety to worry about?”

As a child of the late seventies and eighties, I remember this maypole; when I first used it, I was not tall enough to reach the chains. So, my dad would help me up and start me off…..Big boys and girls would then arrive, and I would be stuck in an ever growing gyro circle…….going around and around….the speed dictated by the screaming and excited big boys and girls around me. My arms would then feel tired……I need to let go while at full speed……! Will my peers slow down and help me off………?

No way! Their fun was in is seeing me drop!

Where was my Dad? No where to be seen of course…..

So I would plan my “calculated accident” by letting go and hoping for the best…..making sure to miss the angry concrete floor directly underneath me and hoping not to land on dog mess…….

Oh what fun……..?

The reality is our generation of the 1970’s and 80’s faced the highest recorded rates of death and serious injury from playgrounds, we grew up in risk laden dangerous times; We would negotiate risk of serious injury from the home to the playgrounds and also for good measure, long term health problems from passive smoking on buses and trains.

Thankfully, following an analysis in Sheffield led by the late Cynthia Illingworth, this led to changes; for example, the introduction of impact absorbing surfaces, equipment entrapment avoidance, height restrictions and guardrails.

However, we all know it went too far……setting up my first provision in the late 2007, we were audited on our risk assessment of our outdoor provisions……reminded children should avoid play that could be dangerous or risky……. As parents of young children, we already knew little ones (boys and girls) are inclined to take risks when playing. Partly due to lack of understanding and partly for the just the sheer enjoyment!

So our ethos has always been to manage risk versus benefits; to allow children to learn to play in an environment where they can push their gross and finer motor skills and to take cognitive and tacit decisions, to learn individually , what is safe and not safe, rather than doctrine.

Learning through play on “how not to get injured” and minor scrapes and bumps reinforces their skill sets, allowing them to reflect.

It is great to see a change in mood of risky play; I believe risky play it is an essential for our youngest in learning and development of their understanding of the world around them. Managed properly, children will enjoy what they believe to be a risky activity, when in fact risk assessments are in place to “minimize the risk of harm.”

Ghosting (yes be afraid!)

Ghosting (yes be afraid!)

We have all done it haven’t we? Even if we never meant to…….Not respond to someone, maybe due to time constraints, forgetfulness……

The rising trend that is ghosting is sadly not about the above,  but something more sinister and insidious that has slowly been rising and bubbling into our work and social lives; simply, you do not wish to communicate with someone so, they no longer exist……no matter how many times that person tried to make contact.

I read many articles about how “employers ghosting” candidates, and the injustice of it all….. However, and in my experience of years of recruitment and having vetted, interviewed  thousands of candidates over the years is that potential employees are more than capable of ghosting new employers.

Is this due to a lack of emotional intelligence? Are we just too busy? Or, something more?

I have always been a “ghost buster” treating others how I expect to be treated so, typically I would persist to contact say, a candidate who failed to show up for an interview.

Once I managed to get through, some would reflect and show  remorse and give a detailed mitigation and ask for another interview.

Only not show up again!

In our modern age of “networking” emails and online, maybe we have started to fray the social bonds that people create whether through work and play. Leading to becoming simply easier to “ghost” and disconnecting with their emotional intelligence; how does your actions make that person feel. Especially if they are pinning their aspirations on a good outcome of the meeting?

Ironically, are we starting to loose key areas of social skills that we work so hard to nurture in early years?

Over the years, I have put together a real practical strategy on how to create better and meaningful attachments within business including, attracting and retaining the right staff members. Empowering and inspiring them to share your vision and ethos.

It really does start off with you and how others perceive you and your possible style of leadership. Do you have scope for further self reflection?

Thank you for your time in reading my article, please feel to add any constructive comments and further debate!