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My nursery will be inspected as part of the whole school inspection in the next few months- ie after sept.

What should I be doing- seen to be doing?

Could anyone who has been through the inspection process recently- ie as part of teh school one give me some information.

What are they looking for?

Do they check staff qualifications?

I am qualified as NNEB and early years PGCE but rest of staff are not. I have a TA and an experiencend TA as the"nursery assistant" with no formal qualifications.

School gets funding for 5 sessions for all children irrespective of the actual number of sessions attended. Will that be picked up as not providng 'value for money' Parents, however choose to send them only for 3 days and I cannot insist on them coming for 5 can I?

 

Please advice.

 

Confused Leo

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Hi Leo, I'm pretty sure that you are only allowed to claim for the sessions attended. You're right, you cant make the parents send them to all 5 sessions but if they regulary only attend 3 sessions that is all you can claim for. It is possible that your register can be checked and if you're claiming for children who dont come you may have to pay the money back. This has never happened to us but I know the committee are paranoid about checking sessions required against sessions claimed for. Hope someone else can be clearer for you. Good luck with the rest of it though :D

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Hi there leo. I am presuming that your nursery is part of a maintained school, from what you have said in the past? If this is the case, you will find OFSTED looking much more at the schol as a whole, and how the nursery/ foundation phase is part of that.

 

We were also last inspected in September, 2nd week of term in fact. We were still doing home visits and still had lots of cryers, and lots of parenst staying. But they wanted to see how we managed that, they werent tto fussed that we had no planning, and werent teaching loads of lessons. We wrote out a rationale for our settling in process, and they were happy with that. They came on home visits with us, and they talked to the support staff. (informally). They wee interested to see how we functiond as a team, how we oraganised ourselves, how we supported our majority EAL children. As phase managers we had the fromal interview, which was more or less the same format as the interviews for other coordinators- we were given some guideleines for that on the sort of things they may ask. They loked at the coordinators file to see what info we kept. We had 8 inspectors in our (2 from entry) school over 4 days, the early years divided her time betwen nursery, 2 reception classes, and another subject. She came into us for only 2 sessions, plus 2 home visists.

 

They only checked qualifications in terms of the whole school, ie how many teachers what support staff etc, Im not aware that asked specifics about the qualifications of nursery staff.

In terms of the funding my only concern for you would be the attencance figures for your children, which was also an issue for us. You cant only have children on te register for 3 days so how do you code the absences on the days they dont come.

 

They will looks at figures for the past year, and depending on whether or not there is awhole school isssue on this, they will comment (for us its children going on long term leave). We are not in the position to offer parents the choice to bring their children for 3 days. If we offer them a full time place then we expect them to attend full time, because we have a high demand for places. Obvioulsy some parenst dont bring their chldren very regularlly and we usuauly tell thaem that they are in danger of losing their place.

If a parent was to request a 3 days a week place, Im afraid unless there was a medical reason for this, we would suggest that our nursery is not the right place for them at this time. I would point out that they are depriving another child of the place that they have chosen not to use. You cant force them to attend but you can point that out and record their absences as 'unauthorised'. Parents dont like that!. We have threatened to withdraw 2 places this year for poor attendance, and th children suddenyl started coming every day!! We have had parents request a part tme place, but still every day., and that is fine as we can offer another part time place.

 

But if this is a school policy decision, it would be up to yur Head to fight that battle, as there should be a whole school policy on atendance. If it is a decision you have made yourself, then I would talk the Head about it, make sure he is aware of the position.

 

hope that is of some help, if ther is anyhitng else, come back to me. :o

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cheers mundia

you seem to have answered most of my concerns. I think I was in a panic reading ofsted inspections of pre-schools where they seem to have a qualifications policy and everyone seems to be either qualified or in the process of being trained.

Admissions- the problem is that the nursery is not full. We have been open for 3 years and it is a struggle to get children in our area. Upper middle class- high cost of housing no new houses being built and no new familiies moving into the area are just some of the problems. :o

So when we approach parents, quite a few say that they would like their child to come to nursrey but only for 3 days as the child has just turned 3. A child coming for 3 days is better than a empty place. :(

We are a 26 place nursery but have only 19 on the rolls and then 14- 16 turning up each day. I wish they would just make it a 13 place nursery and then we mighthave waiting lists!!!

it gets better coming to the summer term as children getting ready for school reception begin to attend all five sessions. What i tell parents is that nursery place is available for the child for 5 days but ultimately it is their choice.

About our head- he still hasn't figured out that there is a nursery on the premises leave alone the numbers. It has been better this year. When I first joined, there were children on the roll that hadn't joined at all- parents of some had decided to wait a couple of months but had been 'admitted' to 'bump' up the numbers. That has stopped bec i objected (very loudly) to it.

I'm just getting tired of blowing the whistle on the bad practises that seem to take place.Hence want a change(Before the Ofsted xD )

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.......School is aware that some children do not attend everyday. Checked wiht the LEA and it appears that school is within its rights to take full funding (unlike private schools and pre-schools) even if the parent has asked for 3/4 days. This is bec the overhead cost within the school remain the same- employing me and the nursery nurse etc irrespective of how amny chidlren come each day. So the funding side of it is the schools' responsibility( i think).

I'm just worried what the OFSTED will make of it .

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OFSTED will pick it up then, if the bad practise you are referring to reaches across the whole school (which from what you have said, I guess it does).

I am surprised that financilly you can keep 26 places not full, my last school had to reduce it places (and its staff) beacuse of this. Although nursery age children get more per pupil funding than the rest of the school, they are also the most expensive to staff. Is your Head close to retirement?

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Hi

The school gets about £9000 from the LEA for the empty places. The nursery has been open for the last 3 years. I'm not sure how long they will keep the payments going before they get wise. I'm not sure about how many chidlren they are claiming for etc as this is admin and i'm not part of it.

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If you are a nursery in a maintained setting then the LEA will be closely monitoring your numbers. Each child's UPN numbers is used for this. We have a 'head count' eery term of all under fives so that includes some Recption.

Is it usual to have a school nursery without a teacher in charge. I met two NNEB's on a course who said that they ran their school's nursery. Now please don't misunderstand me as I think NNEB's are the golden standard in my experiences, but surely there should be a qualified teacher in a maintained setting? What will OFSTED say about that. When we were last inspected they did ask for all the staff's qualifications.

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hi Jacquie

I hhave heard about this as well. But i checked with our LEA that does not allow this. But i know that there is a school in the neighbouring LEA that seems to have done away with the teacher and has 2 NN in charge. I think the head justifies this by saying that there is a KS1 or Foundation stage coordinator who oversees the nursery.

 

I'm not sure what happens in case of an OFSTED. I think this is being asttempted in the name of Workforce remodelling. but our LEA does not allow this- nurseries are expected to get supply teachers in place of teacehrs and not try and 'upgrade' NN and TAs.(as was attempted in our school)

 

No disrespsect to NN- I trained as a NN first- who then went on to qualify as a teacehr so i feel that training as a teacehr should be acknowledged as being different to that of a NN.

As for our LEA doing head counts- have you not heard about 'creative accounting!!!!' :o

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leo, your Head seems to be expert at 'creative accounting' from what you have said. Know the feeling.

 

The issue of nursery nurses/TAs taking the class would make an interesting discussion in its own right. Our LEA like your Leo, has to have an appointed teacher in charge of the nursery, but our neighbouring LEA doesnt. But when I am absent,I am often coverd by one of the nursery nurses, as an HLTA. the we but in supply cover for her. (cheaper). To be honest our nursery nurses are far more capable of running the nursery for a day than a supply teacher who doesnt know the school the children or the routines would be. We find that when we have supply teacher in (which isnt very often) the nursrry nurses have to run round telling them what they need to do! But our nursery nurses are very experienecd professional whom I have complete faith in. I appreciate that this isnt the case for everyone, so I think it becomes 'your call'

 

Yes I know I digress, back to inspections. If you are not aked directly for the qualifications of your staff leo, you could always point it out as an issue for the smooth running of teh nursry.

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