Introduction \nThe purpose of inspection is to evaluate the quality and standards of children\u0027s care, learning and development, and the progress children make towards the early learning goals in line with the principles and requirements of the EYFS. \nThe focus of inspection is three-fold. It will: \nfocus on children\u0027s personal and emotional development and the progress children make in their learning \nconsider how well provision supports different groups of children, identifies any particular needs and arranges appropriate intervention \njudge the effectiveness of leadership and management in monitoring the quality of provision and meeting the safeguarding and welfare requirements \nThe inspector will primarily be looking for the answer to the question "What difference is this provision making to the learning, development and progress of the children?" She will want to know how the staff deliver the EYFS and how children are making progress. \nThere are three key judgements that the inspector will make: \nHow well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend \nThe contribution of the early years provision to children\u0027s well-being \nThe leadership and management of the early years provision \nThere are now four grades that inspectors will use: outstanding, good, satisfactory, and inadequate. Inspectors will be looking at the evidence collected and considering whether or not it matches the grade descriptor for "good", as set out in the evaluation schedule. More about this later. \nA new cycle of inspections started in September 2012, and inspections will be prioritised where the last inspection resulted in a judgement of inadequate; the provider has been judged satisfactory at the two previous inspections and has shown no evidence of improvement; Ofsted receive information that a provider is not meeting the requirements of the EYFS; Ofsted receive information that suggests a significant change to the provision. \nThe inspector will consider how well you evaluate your provision and its impact on the children\u0027s care, learning and development and how you use that evaluation to bring about improvement.\u00a0 She will look at how you evaluate your provision in terms of activities, resources, routines and the environments, what changes you have made in light of these evaluations, and how you have monitored the impact of those changes, eg if you observed that children were not using the book area effectively, throwing the cushions around, being disrespectful of the books and resources, what did you do about this and what has been the result? She will consider how well you monitor the quality of provision and improve practice through action planning and professional development. \nYou do not need to use any specific from of self-evaluation form; choose the format and method that best suits you, your staff and your setting. Try to keep your self-evaluation documents up to date, and make sure that you have identified improvements made since your last inspection, including those actions and recommendations from the report itself. How have these improvements had a positive effect on children\u0027s care, learning and development? How do you know? \nHow do you create your improvement action plans? Are they well-focused and created in the light of sound self-evaluation, seeking the views of everyone who uses the provision? \nThe inspector will want to see that you have high expectations for the children, that you set challenging yet achievable next steps, and that you can identify and monitor the progress they are making. The inspector must judge whether or not children are performing at expected levels of development, with reference to the development matters statements. \nThe inspector will consider how well you know and understand the EYFS, and how you work effectively with parents to share observations, assessments and plans for their child, including arrangements for the two year progress check. \nShe will also want to speak to staff about children who have been identified as working below or above the expected levels of development and what actions you have taken to address this, including accessing the knowledge and skills of your SENCO. \nShe will want to find out about how you promote the professional development of your staff; how you have developed processes for inducting, monitoring, coaching, mentoring, and supporting all staff. A programme of professional development should be made available to all staff, building on their strengths and meeting areas for development, and under-performance must be tackled. \u00a0How can you demonstrate the CPD that you provide for your staff improves the learning experiences for children? How can the expertise of each member of staff benefit the whole setting? How well are practitioners inducted and supported? How is under-performance tackled? What does your programme of professional development look like? \nWhere the manager or nominated person has changed since the last inspection, the inspector will make sure that the provider meets the requirements of the EYFS. This means that legal accountability cannot be delegated to the manager and that the provider must hold the responsibility. This is a significant change and will mean that absent providers (ie those who own the setting but have little or nothing to do with it) must have sufficient knowledge of the EYFS. In order for the inspector to collect information on this matter, she should find out whether the roles and responsibilities of the provider and manager are clear. \nSo let\u0027s look at the details of the new inspection framework. \nInspection content \nThe inspector will discuss how s/he will carry out the inspection and agree times to talk to you about your setting and for the feedback session at the end. The inspector will ask the manager to contact the provider or nominated person to let them know the inspection is taking place, and to invite them to be present during the inspection and/or feedback. This is the time to tell the inspector about special events that day, activities you would like her to see, and times when you may not be available due to previously arranged commitments. \nThe inspector will refer to any concerns that have led to the inspection, e.g. a complaint from a parent. \nTour of the premises \nThe inspector is likely to request an initial tour of the setting, shortly after arriving. It is unlikely to last more than 20 minutes, although it may take a little longer if the provider takes time to explain the mix of children in each room, eg SEN, EAL, or if the setting is especially large. The tour will help the inspector to get her bearings and a feel for the place, to look at displays, how space is used, absorb the ambience, and view the outdoor environment. She will be deciding where she will be spending her time and for how long, and which children will she track. \nA good idea is to get staff to practice introducing themselves to visitors, eg "Hello, I\u0027m Sally. I\u0027m the babyroom supervisor." This will allow the inspector to get to know the staff and to understand their roles and responsibilities. \nObserving practice \nThe inspector will spend most of the time observing the practice in the setting; looking particularly at how engaged the children are and how the staff interact with children. She will look at how well children are learning and how well they are supported to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. \nShe will want to learn how well practitioners demonstrate high expectations, how enthusiastic they are, and how they engage and motivate children. \nThe inspector will look for evidence of children\u0027s well-being. Are they happy and showing signs of security? Are they enjoying what they are doing? Do they behave well and play cooperatively?\u00a0 Are they developing independence? Do they talk and play with adults and with each other? How do practitioners support children to develop an understanding of the importance of physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle? \nThe majority of the inspection is spent in direct observation of practice to see how practitioners challenge children through questions and activities and how activities are adjusted to follow children\u0027s interests and abilities. She will be interested to see how well staff build upon the learning demonstrated by the children. \nHow do you differentiate activities for a variety of children? How do you build on children\u0027s interests and learning styles? How can you use your knowledge about the characteristics of effective learning to support each child\u0027s unique development? The inspector will also be looking at how staff interact with children: do they actively and skilfully support children\u0027s learning or do they just supervise them? Do they sensitively intervene at appropriate times and leave children alone to discover for themselves at other times? \nThe inspector will observe the extent to which staff engage with children, asking them challenging questions to develop their thinking processes or to test ideas, and extending their vocabulary and sentence structure through modelling language well. \nThe inspector will identify what children can do by themselves and what they can do when supported by a practitioner, eg washing hands, demonstrating kind behaviour, completing tidying up tasks or self-care routines., being independent in choosing activities and resources. \nThe inspector will keep you loosely informed about the inspection so there are no nasty surprises during feedback. You have plenty of time during the inspection to present additional evidence that you think is useful for the inspector to see; don\u0027t leave it until the feedback session, as this will be too late. Throughout the inspection, she will be diagnosing where improvements are needed and she will be constructing recommendations about how the provision could improve. However, she will not be able to give you the final judgement until feedback. \nCase tracking \nThe inspector will track at least two children, studying observation notes, assessment and planning for each child (including the two year progress check). She will discuss the child\u0027s progress with his or her key person, and also look at how you track children\u0027s progress. She will want to discuss how you identify any concerns about a child\u0027s development and what you do about it. She will assess whether you know where children are in relation to expected levels of development, and how you are closing the gap for any children who are disadvantaged. She will be considering the characteristics of learning and identifying how children are learning, what they are learning, and examining the quality of teaching. \nHow do you know that children are making good progress in your setting? How can you demonstrate this and explain the rate of progress of individual children, or of groups of children, for example, children who speak English as an additional language? \nThe inspector will consider the range of activities that children take part in (solitary, child-initiated, adult-led), and the level of challenge that you present the children. She will assess the tracked children\u0027s levels of development according to the development matters statements in the EYFS to identify whether they are working at the expected levels, above, or below. This information will allow her to examine the accuracy of your assessments and how well you plan for each child\u0027s next steps in learning. \nCare arrangements for the tracked children will be scrutinised including the levels of privacy you have in place for the child and supervision arrangements for both the child and adult when conducting personal hygiene routines. Is there a suitable balance between privacy and protection for your staff and children during such routines? \nThe inspector will be looking for evidence to answer the question "What sort of progress are the children making?" She will study the development matters statements to match observations of children to likely age-bands. Good progress does not necessarily mean children are working above expected levels; remember it is not a race to the goals. \nHow do you establish where children are, in terms of their learning and development, when they first start at your setting? Evaluating children\u0027s progress can only be carried out when there is a sound knowledge of their starting points, and an appreciation of how long the child has attended the setting and how often. How are you able to demonstrate progress and to plan appropriate learning opportunities to take their learning further? What information do you collect on-entry about what the child knows, can do, and enjoys? How do you engage with parents to collate this information? What do you do with this information? The inspector will want to discuss how you identify children\u0027s starting points, and she may be able to observe children who have just started at your setting. \nThe information you keep on children\u0027s progress will help you to identify individual children or groups of children who are not progressing well and will enable you to plan interventions to ensure that gaps are narrowing for those children in need of extra support. It can also help you to evaluate your curriculum breadth and depth to ensure that your programme meets the needs, abilities and interests of all your children. \nInterview with the inspector \nThe inspector will ask you a number of questions about your provision to ascertain the following: \nWhether leaders\u0027 and managers\u0027 roles are clearly established and whether they understand and meet the requirements of the EYFS \nHow well leaders and managers monitor the delivery of the educational programmes, planning and assessment, and the extent to which children\u0027s needs are identified and met through timely intervention \nThe effectiveness of staff supervision, performance management, training and ongoing professional development \nThe use of self-evaluation in informing priorities and setting challenging targets for improvement, including: how the views of parents, children and partners contribute to self-evaluation; progress towards any actions that have been set and/or recommendations raised at the last inspection or following a monitoring visit \nThe extent to which standards are set and maintained and practice is consistent \nThe effectiveness of partnership work including that needed to secure support for children with identified needs \nArrangements for safeguarding children, including child protection procedures, risk assessment of the premises and outings, staff recruitment procedures and staff supervision. \nYou may want to consider the following questions to help prepare for the interview: \nCan you explain your role and responsibilities in managing the provision? \nHow do you find out about the quality of practice in your setting? \nCan you describe your performance management system? \nHow are you supported in your work? \nWho is involved in carrying out your self-evaluation? \nWhat plans have you recently addressed as a result of self-evaluation? \nHow effective are your arrangements for information sharing with other providers, schools and professionals in order to identify children\u0027s needs and help them to make progress? \nWho is responsible for overseeing safeguarding and how does this person ensure all staff are aware of and comply with safeguarding requirements? \nInspectors must try and speak to parents about your provision; this provides essential information on how well your setting works in partnership with parents to support their child\u0027s well-being, learning and development. Working closely with parents and other professionals is essential when identifying and planning for children\u0027s individual learning needs. How do you do this? How do you work with other providers and what evidence can you show? The inspector will want to learn how you work with parents to help children settle, how you engage parents in their children\u0027s development and learning and how you share information with them as a two-way process, including the two year progress check. \nJoint observation of practice \nThe inspector will offer the provider, manager, EYP, or senior staff member, the opportunity to carry out a joint observation of an activity or area of the provision. Although this is not obligatory, it is a very good idea for you to accept this invitation; it will allow you to understand how the inspector reaches her judgements based on the observed evidence. It will also allow you to comment on the quality of practice in your setting and what you see as the next steps in continual improvement. The inspector will be able to see how you monitor and support staff in their development and how effectively you evaluate practice. \nYou will agree with the inspector which activities and age groups will be observed and after the observation, there will be time to discuss your views about the quality of practice observed. This is your chance to say what went well, what could have been improved upon, and how good it was overall. If you have ideas on how you could bring about improvement, do explain these to the inspector; she will want to know how and when you intend to feedback to the practitioner(s) observed, especially if the practice was weak. \nPlanning and documentation \nPractitioners will be delighted to read in the Conducting early years inspections document that "The inspector should not routinely expect to see detailed written plans for the activities they observe" (page 11). Hopefully, this will go some way towards the paper-heavy, obsessively over-planning situation in which many settings have found themselves. Rather than reams of paper detailing activities, inspectors will be much more interested in whether the planning and evaluation of activities produce a consistent approach to teaching and learning. Are all areas of the curriculum fully supported? Do your toddlers have the same quality of experience as your older children? Is communication in the babyroom a high priority, as in the toddler room? Are all staff aware of the need for balance between child-initiated and adult-led experiences? Are the care practices for babies, toddlers and older children of equally high quality? Is the key person system consistently good? \nChildcare providers are expected to have written policies and procedures as set out in the statutory framework although the inspector will not need to check all of them. She will select a small sample including the record of CRB checks and recruitment records; qualifications of staff, including paediatric first aid; a sample of induction, training and professional development records; a sample of planning and assessment documents; the complaints record; the provision\u0027s self-evaluation records including any local authority reports. \nMaking judgements \nThere has been a significant change to how the inspector reaches her judgements. When evaluating each aspect of the provision, she must start by considering whether the provision meets the descriptors for good, and whether it is better than good, or worse. This is therefore a very good process for you to carry out in your own setting. Start with the descriptors for good for each of the three key judgements below: \nHow well the early years provision meets the range of children who attend \nThe contribution of the early years provision to children\u0027s well-being \nThe effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision \nYou can find them in our resource library here, created as proformas listing each descriptor with space available for you to note down your evidence and self-evaluations. \nOnce you\u0027ve addressed the descriptors for each of the three key judgements, you can then begin to consider the overall judgement, for the quality and standards of the early years provision. Does your setting match the descriptor for "good"?: \n"The setting\u0027s practice enables all children to do well, make good progress relative to their starting points and prepares them well for school or the next stage of learning. Children benefit from practice that is at least good and sometimes outstanding. \nNo aspects of the setting are inadequate and all legal requirements are met. The judgement on \u0027How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend\u0027 is at least good." \nIt is clear to see that from the bedrock of sound leadership and management (judgements 3), children\u0027s well-being is fully supported (judgement 2) and if children feel safe and secure, their learning and development is likely to be fully addressed (judgement 1). Taking these three judgements together, you can see how the overall quality and standards can be assessed (judgement 4) \nIf an inspector evaluates an aspect and finds that it exceeds the grade descriptors for good, then she must consider the descriptors for an outstanding judgement. For provision to be outstanding it must meet all of the criteria for good, plus all or nearly all of the additional descriptors for outstanding. If the aspect does not meet the grade descriptors for good, then the inspector must consider if it is satisfactory or inadequate. \nFeedback \nThe feedback session is where the inspector will tell you the judgements and the reasons for these. The inspector will discuss how her evidence is matched to the evaluation schedule criteria, and why your practice is outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate. She will provide examples of practice that explain the strengths and weaknesses of the provision. Any actions that she has identified will be referenced to the requirements in the EYFS. Recommendations may link to the requirement of the EYFS, but not necessarily; they may be linked to an aspect of the inspection criteria, (Conducting early years inspections and the Evaluation Schedule for inspections of registered early years provision). \nA setting judged as satisfactory is likely to have actions set because it does not meet in full one or more of the legal requirements of the EYFS. Settings judged as good or outstanding should have no actions set but will have at least one recommendation. \nWhat does the report look like? \nThe report will improve information for parents by providing a front page summary in a new format;\u00a0 this initial page will be particularly useful for parents to get an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the provision. \nThe first page will contain a bullet pointed list (around 4-6) of the overall quality and standards of the provision. For example, it will state: \n"The provision is good because..." ( two or three bullet points) \n"It is not yet outstanding because...." (two or three bullet points) \nThe bullet points will be directly related to the judgements for "How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend" and the aspects of leadership and management covered by the evidence. \nThree prose sections follow describing in more detail the findings that relate to the three key judgements. \nAn example of a recommendation might be: \nDevelop the programme for mathematics by: \nimproving the consistency with which staff sing number rhymes and songs \nusing number words in daily activities and routines \nThe first of the new inspection reports will shortly be available on the Ofsted website here. \n
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