Network Whispers - unscrupulous employers, early years poets, narrow escapes...

Nursery World and NDNA join forces for a topical behind-the-scenes column

UNDER PRESSURE Nurseries and schools are among the unscrupulous employers pressuring staff to turn up despite corona restrictions. One nursery chain is apparently treating the situation as ‘business as normal’ with all staff expected in, while a school head reportedly told a member of staff to send her children to school because ‘it’s important for your future career progression’.

WELL-VERSED Mary Dickins, Nursery World contributor and inclusion expert, has also written a collection of poetry, Happiness FM, which will be published on 20 April. Ms Dickins was a finalist in the Poetry Rivals National Slam 2015 and set up the Poems not Pills project to promote the therapeutic value of poetry for health professionals and patients. Love on the internet, which has just been published in the Islington Tribune, opens, ‘Our love is too vast for an email. It can’t be condensed to a tweet. We Snapchat and Skype, but it’s merely a hype/ compared to the thrill when we meet.’

GOING VIRAL Floella Benjamin, the former presenter of Play School, received her DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace on 12 March from Prince Charles, where both opted for a ‘namaste’-style prayer greeting instead of shaking hands. The Prince has since been diagnosed with coronavirus. Doctors say he has been infectious since… 13 March.

NAKED ATTRACTION Advice doing the rounds on social media – from an anonymous ‘anaesthetist’ – advising that teachers should remove their clothes and wash them immediately on arrival in a setting, should be disregarded, says nursery school head Julian Grenier, who has had it checked by Public Health England. ‘Please can everyone think twice before sharing anything from a dubious source. Same with photos of empty shelves in supermarkets – just prompts more panic,’ he adds.

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