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Jackie H
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Just had confirmation on Friday that our inspection will be in Dec. We are a small non maintained nursery in recept of government funding. Not sure what to expect as i have only ever been part of a week long inspection at a previous school. Has anyone in a similar nursery had an inspection recently?. Not sure if Dec is a great month to be inspected, we are only at school 16 days , 4 are taken up with weekends, 2 with dress rehersal and nativity,1 visit to the theatre, 1 to santas grotto and 1 party. Am i safe to assume she wont come on those days ?. I did tell her they days we are out when she phoned, she asked fro me to send all my planning, profiles ect ect is this common practise. I also asked about policies and she said she wasnt realy looking at those ! Sorry to ask so many questions, any advise would be great x Ps I also know who the inspector is from my old chilminding days when she went through my house with a finr tooth comb ! Not sure if i would rather have someone unfamiliar !

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Guest Sycamore

Poor you, december is always frantic with dress rehearsals etc.

I am under the impression they will come whatever you had planned (parties and rehearsals too), although I always said that trips out would surely have to be an exception?

Also I am not sure you should have an inspector you know...even if it is on a professonal basis. It may seem ok if you had a good ofted before but what if it had been an inspector who had been unfair in their judgements? I think you are allowed to say that a member of staff know an inspector and something can be done.

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Hi Jackie

If you have told her you don't want her to come on certain dates then she won't. We told ours of a few days we didn't want them in pre-school and they were ok with that.

You can be inspected by an inspector even if you have had them before. You can object if you were unhappy with them. They will not send an inspector who has a personal connection with your setting- for instance our old social services inspector who now works for OFSTED would not come out to us as we have her cousins daughter attending. I also know an inspector very well and could ask for her not to come out to us.

The good thing is that you will have your inspection out of the way and will be able to enjoy your Christmas break!

Linda

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Hello Jackie, just wanted to wish you good luck with your inspection. I know december is very busy, but in a way I think it's a good month because you can narrow down the possible days. Pleased to hear the inspector wants to check planning beforehand. She will have a good idea of what you are up to. Does she have the right to ask for profiles to be sent to her? Actually which 'profiles' are you referring to? In East Sussex we have profiles for all funded children (Not statutory documents) but they are considered property of the parents. Can anyone out there advise on this? I was a bit surprised she was not interested in policies. Maybe she will focus more on these when she comes. After all she will surely want to see you putting into practise what you have in print. From my experience they are usually hot on documentation of all sorts!

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Hi Jackie, we had an inspection Dec last year, 1week before we broke for christmas. We were totally lambasted for only having one colour of glitter for the angles. As a poor playgroup we'd had no money left out of the terms budget for more, but this was probably the biggest gripe she had against us, 'the children do not have opportunity to be creative' Action plan was easy though...Raise funds to buy more glitter! Good luck and have a relaxing christmas :D

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Jackie I sympathise with you because I also received the dreaded brown envelope informing me of a December inspection. As it was the day before I went on holiday I haven't had time to worry about it. I filled in the days that I am unavailable which are many during December considering I close on the 9th because of the funding situation in my area also I have 2 pre-booked dates for a nativity and Christmas party. I only have use of my hall after sessions on a Monday and Tuesday. I am waiting for the inspector to phone me so I don't know if she will expect to see paperwork before-hand.When I had my last full inspection 4 years ago I was asked to send some paperwork so I sent last 2 newsletters, long/medium planning together with the previous weeks planning together with any information I give to parents when their child first joins us. I photocopied an example of a child profile and an observation and deleted the child's name because I didn't feel that happy about sending personal information in the post. Also parents often ask to see their childs profile and 4-6 weeks is a long while to make them wait also we need to amend them all the time.Jackie now you know your inspectors name you can find settings near you that have been inspected recently and look up their reports and that may give you an idea what she is focussing on.This term we are doing Winter and Christmas.I am using planning from the under 5's website.

I always have had the same inspector checking my pre-school and home when I have been childmindinding as well as supervising the pre-school.

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There was a similar discussion recently to this but cannot find it at this time. we has an inspection last christmas but this was for standards not education which is I assume you are having as you were asked for planning etc, this will be why she is not intereseted in policies, but she may look at it while there in less detail. They will not come on days you do not want them to if you have a good reason, (must admit ours was 2 weeks later than planned and she came mid rehearsal for Xmas show, and was impressed that it all went well - luck more than management!)

 

we had the education inspection in May, (again 2 weeks later than we were told, she will probably spend a day with you, watch what you are doing, speak to children, speak to parents for their input, speak to all members of staff, questioning them on their actions and what the child is learning from them, as well as asking about how planning is done etc. she will look at paperwork, planning, childrens profiles or observations you have on them how you plan for next steps, show this in planning and how you and monitor this.

 

She will questions on things she has not found or cannot seen paperwork, like equal opps etc.

 

She may ask about children with special needs and how you plan or work with agencies parents etc, even if you have none at present.

 

If you have them have a good selection of photographs showing all aspects of the nursery, previous displays and makes, activites outings etc. A picture says it all.

 

A good tip to go on the Ofsted website and look up a few reports on other local nurseries, and see how they fared. This can give an insight on what they look for.

 

If I find the link will add it later,

 

Just dont panic and carry on as usual when she comes, they are not all bad and are only trying to improve the care we give.

 

good luck

 

Inge

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hi

 

had my combined inspection in October, all went really well.

 

my concern with your message was about sending children's profiles to the inspector. As far as i am aware, such documents are not allowed to leave the setting under the data protection act. We have always been told we are not even allowed to take them home to complete, confidentiality etc, we have to complete them in setting. As we all know, things can get lost in the post, what would happen if these profiles were lost? 4 years ago, all our planning was "lost" had copies, but these profiles identify individual children. my policies state children's records are confidential. This inclueds documents leaving the setting.

 

I myself, would refuse to send these as i dont allow them of the premises. I would tell them they can view them when they come into the setting.

 

I have had children in my setting who have been on the at risk register, so i have always been very strict on this matter.

 

Anyway, good luck with your inspection, im sure all will go really well.

 

ruthie

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I'm curious to know where you sent the information requested, was it the inspectors home address :( , I jest xD

 

It's just that EVERY time I have sent correspondence to Ofsted, and I have sent quite a lot, it NEVER GETS THERE, or it is LOST in a BLACK HOLE in a room called "Correspondence we don't want to have to file, record, deal with..., or maybe also.... was not requested" :o

 

Peggy

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SORRY Jackie, didn't mean to worry you.

 

When I was inspected last year I wasn't asked to send any info. Each area appears to be different, I personally think the inspectors should view everything on the day especially planning because it should be discussed. The inspectors may have preconceptions of standards if they read them without discussion because as we all know theory ie: the written plan, cannot show the thinking behind the plan.

 

Peggy

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We recently had our Ofsted inspection she spent three mornings with us giving the feedback when the children had gone.I looked up the Ofsted site to see what other groups she had inspected so could get a feel of what she was looking for.Maths was her top subject!!She came on one day we had asked her not to!

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Has anyone any thoughts about the news that OFSTED, from April 2005 will just be 'dropping' into settings unannounced?

We have just had a combined inspection (first week back in September). I was told it would be 'somewhen' in September, but not the exact date. A nursery near me has a policy that they do not let anyone in without an appointment - their inspector gave them a date for the inspection!

I sometimes feel that inspectors should arrive unannounced - if you've nothing to hide and you're doing things as they should be done................

But I also realise that some settings might need to get another member of staff in for the day which would be difficult for some and also the supervisor or owner might have a meeting/course booked elsewhere. It's difficult isn't it?

I believe schools are told when the inspector is visiting. If that's the case then why are Pre-schools not treated the same I wonder.

Was it THAT programme :o on TV recently that made OFSTED change their policy?

 

Sue J

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Personally, I have no probs with unannounced Inspections, provided they understand you might have to call in another person, to free people up to 'chat' with the Inspector.

 

This should not put the Inspector out - after all, they are there to Inspect, not chat, and can be getting on with that while your 'extra' is arriving. Should be impressed you respond so quickly, have staff on call and appreciate the 'ratios' are a MINIMUM requirement (sorry, pet bee, that one !)

 

Sue :D

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Me too after our letter last Nov we waited till the end of March this year for our inspection..after that im all in favour for them just turning up...after all if your running your setting as it should be what have you to hide.... :o

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Hi Sue

I think this has been a knee jerk reaction partly due to THAT program. I don't mind if they just drop in because we are doing as we should and as the others have said have nothing to hide. But I do feel it's not going to be as easy as they think. They will probably end up wasting time turning up at settings who are closed for whatever reason, or because the person in charge isn't there. I suppose that shouldn't stop the inspection from taking place as whoever is leading on that day should know what they are doing. But I know I would like to be there if an inspection is taking place. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out!

Linda

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hi yes this change is a reaction/ response to that programme!

School inspections are also about to change. Previously schools have had up to 6 weeks notice of an impending visit and dates are then confirmed but there is no choice- the inspectors come in regardless of what else is going on.

This is about to be cut to 24/ 48 hrs notice and I believe has been trialled already in some areas. There will presumably be a different emphasis, relying on school self evaluation in a bigger way, previously the lead inspector has come into school and spent the day chatting to the head and gathering paperwork to set the tone before the actual event.

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I think out of all the choices, having 24 hours notice, or even a phone call the afternoon before, would be sufficient. You can't change much in a few hours, but it does give you time to make arrangements for an extra member of staff to come in, or to cancel an appointment you might have elsewhere.

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I have heard that they are going to be sending out self evaluation packs for settings to complete. These will come out before an inspection-so I don't know how they are then going to be able to visit unannounced. Unless they come to settings months before hand but then could well be out of date by the time the inspection takes place. They will be similar we to the ones we used to get at the very start of education inspections by OFSTED.

Linda

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I think you are right Helen.

Perhaps a phone call the day before would be better. When we are told 'somewhen in September' it's stressful isn't it? I used to wake up every day and think - will it be today?

Even though everything is in order and you feel confident (well sort of) it can still be a stressful wait for everyone. Better just to give 24 hours notice. Holidays would have to be put on hold around the time of the inspection though!

 

Sue J

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