Issues with BIB & Benedicte Siewe 19.01.2015
After events of the past weeks 04.01.2015 – and the Emergency meeting tonight 19.01.15 I have no other alternatives rather than to address the issues with BIB team and Benedicte in particular. Because I know from prior experiences that if I just sit back and let matters take their course, one day I might live to regret not acting at my perils? (Update: See https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions/ms-m-myers-v-london-early-years-foundation-2300047-2016 to see how I experienced another miscarriages of justice. This is after Dr Maria Hudson recommendations to http://www.acas.org.uk/researchpapers in 2012. I was interviewed at my home as part of this research in 2010).
When I visited BIB before starting on 23rd July 2014, I was told that I was to work in the Baby Room. Because the staff were already assigned and BR is the only place where there is a position. I shared the information with the manager that because of my disabilities and health conditions I am unable to work in the BR. Central Office (CO) should have this on record, as I had told them about this at the interview in May 2009. Since then my conditions have gotten worse and I have additional ones now which makes it even harder to manage. I however said I could carry on working in the BR until the matter was sorted, and I was willing to contact CO myself to deal with the matter if the manager wanted me to (refer to Jyoti Sharma and 2 other Reviews at http://www.leyf.org.uk, which I was aware was out there. But only got hold of recently).
The matter was sorted in no time and Rumi went to the BR and me in preschool at the start of the new term. Hilda Miller the area manager came and said it was she who said I should work in the BR, but was happy the matter was resolved. Everyone made me feel welcome and when I spoke to the manager about my situation, why I did not work in South London since 2009. She reassured me I am in BIB now so there was nothing to worry about. I was the happiest I was ever being for the longest while and I made sure to let everyone know (refer to Social Media at https://www.facebook.com/public/Mervelee-Myers). But I guess I must have been too naïve, as usual and trust people too much. Before long I realised all was not as they should be.
Because I was new in the setting and did not have any key children so was more or less floating between the BR and Preschool. I thought I would take the time to get to know the children. When Rumi was transferred to the BR, I took over her key group. But I was using the chance to capture evidence for all the children to put in their Learning Journey (LJ) because that is how I work, whilst I was floating between rooms. I just don’t see a child as my key child, but consider myself to be responsible for providing the EYFS (I was the EYFS Coordinator at Luton Street) for all of them to reach their individual potential. I was in the process of collating evidence especially for the children for whom I had concerns (I was the SENCO at LS) and getting to know them. (Refer to the Equality Act 2010, http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/parents, http://www.dh.gov.uk/publications).
I recalled once Sao came to ask me about the observations I was writing and said I should put them in the child’s – Child B’s LJ. I said I had done them rough and the key person could write them up. She claimed that I was to transfer them on the observation forms because I had done it, so I was responsible for writing on the forms. I said I would only do so if I was given time out and she came back to give me the time to do it but not before arguing with me. But I was surprised when Lynne Kelly comes to talk to me (see LK statements for ET). She said she was told I refused to do observations and OFSTED would be coming any time soon, and they would need to see them. I reassured LK that she could rely on me to get whatever work done as I always stick to my words.
(Update: I have being part of Ofsted Inspections from I started working in the Early Years Sector out of Lambeth College in 1999). On another occasion I made some rough copy of observations and said to Sao that the key person could write them up. Remi claimed that she did not have any time to waste to write up anybody’s observations, they should do it themselves. I noticed however that when Sao wrote an observation for Child M, she wrote it rough and gave it to me to copy on the observation form. I just got on with it and did not make a song and dance about it as she and Remi had done (refer to CEO contribution letters). By then I realised it is one rule for me and another rule for others. Since I was the newcomer I refused to upset the applecart.
Although I tried to capture children in group activities and documented observations, some of my colleagues, either don’t take account of them or just leave them where I handed them over. So of late, I focus on documenting the information for my key children and get on with the job. I would like to start up, making Homemade Books for BIB. But time does not allow as I have to be dealing with one thing or another like making sure I record what have been happening since the beginning of January 2015 (refer to Jyotie Sharma and the 2 other Reviews). I only have one observation in Child EA’s LJ from Remi, however since Rujina came she gave me one for Child KMJ. All I done is asked Rujina to write her name on the piece of paper and pasted it on the observation form.
Remi said she was given the job of implementing LEYF ethos at BIB, but the others were not supportive and reported her to LK. I noticed the conflicts Remi spoke about especially during Room Meetings. The others told Remi the nursery is not LEYF, but BIB, and no one was going to bring anything from outside there. They did not care where we come from, and I just viewed those arguments as the BIB team refusing to move with the time and accepting some of the changes that were expected (refer to Louise Cooper article re transitions). I hear Sao using the exact same terms/narratives, when I explained about taking the CEO Multigenerational Working Approaches from Luton Street into BIB (refer to CEO letter Nov 2014). Since Benedicte raised the Multigenerational – Silver Sunday that I promoted celebrating Theresa Salmon as a volunteer at BIB as her first grievance with me.
She claimed when she asked me… and she cannot even mention the name – Multigenerational or Silver Sunday – LK have to supply the answer. I told her to go and do her research and she feels that I was rude in saying that to her? The crux of the matter is, I find that people interprets things the way they want to suit their arguments. I explained to Benedicte that Silver Sunday was celebrating the elderly folks and this is part of Multigenerational Working Approaches. (Update: Now a setting in Clapham developed the model, integrating the young and old sharing the same environmental spaces. I was doing a Case Study when I worked at Luton Street. If LEYF did not lose sight of the bigger picture, they could have taken the brand as their own).
Instead they were too busy perverting the course of justice and making the life of employees who build their organisation a living hell. See the ET Judgement at https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions/ms-m-myers-v-london-early-years-foundation-2300047-2016. LEYF have collaborated with their cohorts in the systems and establishments to join in the direct or indirect discrimination from the time I returned from burying my mother to representing myself at the Employment Tribunals. The CEO is passionate about MWA and I told BS it would be good on her CV if she knows about Multigenerational Working, so it is best for her to do her research.
I never for the life of me, knew I had offended anyone by telling them to do their research. Because for me research is carried out as part of the job anyway. After listening to what both Benedicte and Flavia had to say tonight about me telling someone to do research. I am flabbergasted and is left to assume that was where I went wrong. Because of me telling Benedicte to do her research about MWA I am assuming she is carrying a grudge as Carol was the one who asked this question in the meeting? I kept wondering why she kept saying “I AM SCARED OF YOU” after I started (update: refer to my RACISM claims strike out repeatedly by a Judge Martin). Today things are beginning to become much clearer. I noticed that tonight she was so traumatised that she is literally shaking and could not get her words out.
Then she is saying things that even if “I Don’t Come To Work Tomorrow…?” I just can’t imagine what I have done to Benedicte to be getting this sort of reactions from her in a room full of colleagues. So I will now have to make sure I am never alone with her as I don’t want her to make any more ALLEGATIONS against me? I can remember clearly when I made the Book of Cards with the children and decided to extend it to include all the grandparents and Child Zac wanted to make the card. Benedicte asked what that was about and when I told her she said “ME AND ZACHARY DON’T CELEBRATE NOTHING”. At the time I thought it was very strange of her but it never dawned on me why as per usual I always take people at face value.
I never got any support doing the celebrating and singing for Theresa until after I had finished and called LK to come and join in getting the photos for promotions. Bendicte made up her mind to judge me from I started as she kept saying she is scared of me. During one of the RM, she said she felt we were not giving her the respect she deserved. Because she is the youngest and she felt she is the only one who should be talking, as the Room Leader. All I said at the time was for her to get on with the meeting because I never enquired of anyone’s age when I started. And although she is RL everyone have the right to talk about matters to do with our work as we were not there only to be dictated to (refer to Contract Sections).
I only became aware of Benedict’s reason for saying why she don’t celebrate anything when Sao told me. When I started the Black History Month celebrations and the children were making flags and shape persons to reflect their diverse multicultural identity. In the RM Benedicte said we should ask the parent’s permission before we do activities with the children. Since I was only doing activities to support, enhance and extend the children’s development and learning across the EYFS. I could not see the reasons for getting permissions, as this was part of the application processes. Things only became clear when we started the Christmas activities and Benedicte could not stop herself from showing her disapprovals.
But because I have worked with colleagues who are Jehovah’s Witness and this is the first time I am coming across such reactions. I had the impressions that we are not allowed to make our religion and politics part of our work, but I could be wrong? Anyway because I am into celebrating all kinds of festivals as part of my Job Description in promoting equal opportunity I never for a moment thought celebrating Christmas should be an issue and just got on with the job. The day after Stella Louis visited (update: refer to the http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/ re Nursery World Awards 2017. Lynne Kelly made allegations about what SL said to her about me being a Negative Influeence in her statements at the ET.
I intend to get to the bottom of this, because I did not know SL until I meet her at BIB about three times in total, briefly. Except for one time shen she observed me doing an activity and give me constructive critisism). I was doing the shape people activity with the children when Benedicte come to ask why I was doing that activity. Since I had been doing this activity over a period of time, differentiating it for the age groups. I asked Benedicte if it is the first time she saw me doing the activity and she said no but she wants to know what it is about because she is the Room Leader. I asked her if this meant I have to justify my work to her before doing them? I have done studies and trainings to give me the knowledge to provide a balanced curriculum.
She said because YOU HAVE A DEGREE IT DON’T MATTER. When I began to justify my arguments about her saying my Foundation Degree didn’t matter she said that is why I don’t talk to you because I am SCARED. I took her by the shoulders, sat her down on a chair and said “I AM A TACTILE PERSON SO I HOPE YOU DON’T MIND ME TOUCHING YOU?” I SAID PLEASE DON’T BE SCARED OF ME, I AM HERE TO HELP YOU AND YOU ARE DOING A WONDERFUL JOB! After I’d finished speaking to her I got Flavia’s attention and asked her to tell Benedicte what she told me to do with the shape persons. I realised Flavia is reluctant to speak to Benedicte. I explained to Benedicte that Flavia told me I could use the shape persons as display in the Maths Area.
I tried to fit in as best as I could and thought I was doing a good job implementing and promoting LEYF ways of working at BIB. Whilst recognising the fact that I am new to the setting. I have to respect the way how the BIB team do their job. I had already brought copy of the Every Child A Talker (ECAT) form and given it to LK and she and Mewe Mechese (refer to MM note re Rumi’s wedding) promised to look for it on the computer. As far as I am concerned I had done my job and the rest was up to LK. LK later told me that Hilda had brought the ECAT forms over.
When Stella visited, LK told me that she was organising ECAT trainings with Stella for all the staff. I introduced the Activity Planning Forms, providing a copy for all to see when I done the first Focus Activity. I started my folder to document evidence of how we support, enhance and extend children’s learning in the areas of the EYFS. The OFSTED Inspector had picked up on the fact that the 3-5 years old teaching were lacking in the Specific areas. During one of the RM, Benedicte was talking about some matter that came up at her trainings with Gary Simpson & Gill Springer at CO. This was about working in partnerships and speaking to parents about their children for whom there are concerns.
She mentioned Child TA and Child Abdul and asked what the key persons were doing. I told Benedicte I had spoken to LK the SENCO and Child TA’s mum about my concerns and what I was planning to do. Some mention was made about the ECAT form as it is on one of the observation forms that is used and Benedicte asks “WHAT IS THAT?” I explained what the form was and told of the fact that LK said Hilda had taken the forms in and went to my locker to get a copy to show the team.
I realised Benedicte had a different approach to her work from mine. I was not there to question her practice only to do my job and try to inspire and motivate the team to work toward LEYF standards that I am accustomed to. Whenever she give instructions like duties for the day I complied and even go a little further helping out where I can as part of the team. During the Christmas seasons when it was her time to do the Circle Time she did not practice with the children. Since I mostly focused on the younger children, because I was being treated like the Apprentice, I just got on with the job.
One day she asked if I think I was confident enough to practice with the children because Flavia was on break. It was obvious from the question that Benedicte was not trying to get to know the person who is Mervelee Myers. But had already made up her mind about me so she was just sticking to her jaundiced view of being SCARED of me, for what reasons only she knows. This came to a head on the day of the Christmas Play when the children were getting ready and we were practising. During a lull in the practice she asked what was happening and she was going to sing Wriggly Fish.
I told her we should carry on practising the Christmas Songs as we should not be changing at this late stage now it is almost time for the play. She said you know I don’t sing Christmas Carols and I said you don’t have to, and she flounced off. I just cannot understand why Benedicte got so worked up about the Christmas celebrations because I did not noticed ZACHERY’s mum acting in any way different over any of the things she objected to. Zac asked to make the Silver Sunday card to take home when I said it was for grandparents. Mum came in a pointed out the Trinidad flag on the Display Board and talked about it with him. She asked if she could take the Snow person’s cup Zac made that Sao displayed on the window sill home.
Benedicte was the one making a big fuss over the whole matter. I realised everyone is afraid to talk about her practice in front of her face. I have heard whispers that I am not going to repeat about her. I have always being told from I was little that hearsay cannot go to law and if I say someone say something and they say they did not. It is my word against theirs and that is not what I am about. But I have to make sure I put in writing that lots of things were said before I got to the wedding about work and Benedicte said lots of things about me primarily that I was not happy.
Since that was the first thing LK said to me on the Monday when she called me to the office, I am going to say now that Benedicte is the one who has made up those stories about me. Saying I am not happy with management along with the other things I was alleged to have said about other staff at CO. I have absolutely no dealings with some of those staff so I don’t know what I could have to say about them. Everyone who reads the CEO letter would know I am writing about THERESA after I have done my Research.
I have been working with LEYF for 5+ years now, so I am sorry in case I offend anyone. I do most things the LEYF way and all I was doing is trying to help BIB to work within LEYF ethos. After what Sao said tonight I will refrain from upsetting anyone. However as a More Knowledgeable Practitioner I think it is only right that I be allowed to do the job role that is in my Job Description without barriers, constraints and limitations placed in my way. Since I come to BIB I have introduced practice that was not been implement before. Everyone knows that I have been making Homemade Books (https//www.linkedin.com). As part of my practice to show how we carry out certain of the EYFS curriculum and the CEO knows about this.
Hence the reasons she endorses the Write up I am doing on Theresa Salmon. Julie my former manager at Luton Street was the one who told the CEO about my projects of writing Homemade Books on one of her visits when we had the media visiting. The CEO applauded my efforts and took one of those books to work on to be used as a learning and teaching tool for LEYF. So she knows about my passion and I read her blogs and follow her on Social Media. At the recent staff meeting I felt picked on and most of what were said were done to belittle and undermine the work I have done over the 5+ years I worked with LEYF and what I since brought to the BIB setting.
Only at the time I did not know the reasons for the reactions I was getting. On the Thursday after the SM I saw Benedicte & LK in the office when I was leaving and little did I know what was in motion. The next day I got in and even thou I heard LK had gone to CO for an Emergency meeting. It never dawned on me it was about me until after LK came back and we were supposed to have a meeting. She said she was advised not to discuss the matter by the CO team. However during the supervision LK was so distraught about the matter I couldn’t help but apologised if I had caused her any distress.
Even then it never dawned on me that Benedicte was the one making ALLEGATIONS about me and this story started from we attended Rumi’s wedding. This only became clear on the Monday when we had the meeting between LK & I & Remi as the facilitator. I was gobsmacked by some of these allegations and then there were those matters of things that happened in the nursery. I was accused of not doing anything much and all I do is writing. I have explained that in order to do the excellent work especially on the LJ, I have to make my jottings as a memory jogger. When I am ready to write up I have the information to hand.
As for Joyti, I realised that she is taking out her incompetency on me and trying to use me for a scapegoat. She goes out of her way to provoke me to get a reaction out of me and has linked head with Benedicte to wind me up. Because how else can I explain that me asking someone if they had finished speaking to me to be RUDE? Then Joyti keeps coming to the door to peep on me in the preschool only to ask me if I was on my own. When I said I am here with two children she saw that as not giving the correct answer to her question. Of course before I was aware of this fact everyone was going to LK complaining about me. When I went to report her saying I am disturbing her, she can’t understand why.
Joyti realised I know what she is up to because since I spoke to LK she changed her tune towards me. Then on Friday when I spoke to her about the child settling in and she presumed….? I told her to ask to go and shadow in another nursery where she don’t have the responsibility of being on the floor. She begins to apportion blame saying she did not get an INDUCTION. As far as I am concerned she has been in the setting long enough to pick up tips about how to perform her roles and responsibility by now (refer to Jyoti’s Review on LEYF website). She spends her entire days writing in her book and standing round doing absolutely nothing.
Then when I am showing her evidence of the children engaging and learning from the enabling environment provided from the planning. She took the planning form down to asks Flavia what the initials I wrote meant. I rest my case that nothing we told her from she came to the setting has sunk in and I don’t know when anything will? She realised I know exactly where she is at so that is why she is disgruntled with me. I could do what she is supposed to be doing with my eyes closed. And then she has the nerves of hiding behind her status of being Deputy Manager and at the same time abusing her position. Benedicte is also doing the same and sees a shadow behind every corner waiting to take away her post.
They can rest assured because l am not interested in anyone’s position. Since I have learnt or deduced that Benedicte is responsible for those ALLEGATIONS that were made against me. I am adamant that I never said those things, I would like it put on record that she must have some axe to grind. Or have motives for doing what she is doing to me. The only conclusions I can come to after tonight’s meeting is that she felt I have offended her for telling her to go do her research about Multigenerational. I made sure the children celebrated the Christmas Play. And because she don’t celebrate anything because she is Jehovah’s Witness, then I have done something terrible to her?
She is holding a GRUDGE and she thinks by going to LK with those ALLEGATIONS she could get rid of me. Pity she don’t know I have been through even more than this and I am still fighting on. However I am not just going to sit back and allow her to gang up on me with the rest of BIB team and treat me like an outsider. Whilst at the same time DESCRIMINATING against me by Harassing and Bullying me. Hiding behind some perceived offence of which I did not knowingly done any such thing – telling her to do her RESEARCH about Multigenerational?
LK said she did not read the letter I gave to her today in place of the meeting we were supposed to have on Friday with Joyti. Instead she puts it in my file, but how is she able to understand things from my point of view. I hope LK will take the time to read my concerns about all the persons involved in making these ALLEGATIONS about me and reading between the lines. Because if she is not careful some of these same people will be causing trouble for her as they want to take over her job. I have written a full account about the two weeks and I intended to give to LK. I have thought better of it and will be using same as my Defensive Practice because I don’t want to lose tracks of how the events unfolded. One day who knows, LK might need it when they show their hands and come out in the open with their plans?
I will never forget what Nicola did to me and this is one of the reasons why I am very weary now of the people who are around and me and endeavour never to let my defensive mask slip again. Nicola abused her power of her authority breaching my Basic Human Rights when I was feeling vulnerable because of my health conditions. She tried to stich me up making false allegations about my professional conduct and the way I do my work. Although I moved on from the incident, I believed she came to BIB and tried to cause trouble stirring up conflicts amongst the team and pretending she had the interest of BIB at heart.
But all she was interested in was making a name for herself as she tried to curry favour and climb up the career ladder. I can attest to this fact after she visited Henry Fawcett and called back to say how the place was dirty and nothing was going on there. I was left to wonder what had she gone back to report about BIB. As she came in with her superior airs after OFSTED visited saying nothing was happening. Strangely enough, Joyti came and is saying the same kind of things even though it is evident she haven’t got the faintest clue about practice.
Matters have escalated to the point now where I don’t know what else to do to please everyone concerned. I have even decided to give up my rights just so I can survive, but to no avail.
Prepared by: Mervelee Myers FD Open.
Updated: 12th October 2017 as part of my Fight4justice campaign.