Using texts to record incidents/accidents
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  1. #1
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    Default Using texts to record incidents/accidents

    Just wondering about the ‘legality’ of this. Personally I find getting a parent to sign a form quite a distasteful exercise (its basically saying “look - this is to protect me incase you accuse me of something). I also find using signatures a bit irrelevant as it is very easy to forge someone’s signature (I know childminders who have done so in order for paperwork to be all in order for ofsted!). So if I message my parent with details of an accident/incident that happened and they reply - on text or WhatsApp surely a photo of that message with their contact name at the top is a secure record?
    Would appreciate any thoughts/guidance.

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    The one thing is you have no proof that the parent actually read it unless they messaged you back.

    I ask for signatures and give parents a copy of the accident report.

    Also consider we have go keep these records want would the issues be if whattap closed or not available in 21 years. Phone apps can crash and you could lose your messages.

    As for members who forge signatures that says more about them......
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    A screenshot of the phone message could be printed out and kept for just as long as any other paper record. To my mind - so long as the parent does message back with an acknowledgement, that is of more worth than a form they have ‘signed’. How are ofsted or any other safeguarding authority certain of a parents signature? To me it is a pointless unprovable process!!
    As for those that do forge - yes I agree but fact is it can be done. Therefore the system is flawed.....

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    I think it's something you need to refer back to the eyfs/Ofsted and possibly your insurance company for their official take on it
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    EYFS states providers must notify parents/carers...... doesn’t say anything about forms or signatures. Ofsted would undoubtedly refer me to the EYFS too. I suspect insurance would say same - follow statutory guidance given by the relevant authority etc etc.

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    Not something I would like to say for definiate on. Maybe the department of education would be able to confirm they wrote the eyfs.
    Also consider the implications due to the changes coming to the ico regulations
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    Sorry nothing more to add as FussyElmo has covered everything but I'll be interested to know what answer you get from 'those in the know'. Please keep us posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitrix View Post
    EYFS states providers must notify parents/carers...... doesn’t say anything about forms or signatures. Ofsted would undoubtedly refer me to the EYFS too. I suspect insurance would say same - follow statutory guidance given by the relevant authority etc etc.
    I agree.

    EYFS 3.50 tells us we must keep a record and must inform parents same day.

    IIUC incident records must be kept a minimum of three (?) Years for statutory purposes. For our own insurance protection, that extends to just beyond the child's 21st birthday. There is a case to be made for keeping some records indefinitely in order to prove due diligence, given people’s eagerness to jump on the 'historic abuse' bandwagon.

    Insurers may specify how to keep the records; EYFS does not. So, in that sense, paper or electronic both seem acceptable.

    You can’t make someone sign, and I see nothing in the regulations that suggests we need to. But, however uncomfortable it feels, it’s still best to invite parents to sign. Some find itcomforting to know we’re 'doing everything proper'. If they refuse, you simply write "parent informed but declined to sign". I’ve not had this situation as a CM but did as a first aider with St John and when working on the railways.

    If you record electronically, I’d suggest you still print off a copy. It’s a fairly good maxim to assume that 'technology will always let you down'. Paper can’t be hacked or crash, and you don’t lose the records when the communications company wipes its data storage.

    I agree signatures can be forged, but electronic replies are no more reliable. What’s to stop someone else picking up Mum's phone and 'acknowledging' a message? Or, more to the point, if Mum claims that happened, how are you going to disprove her claim?

 

 

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