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Doing It All At Once?


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Hi there,


We are a new committee run pre-school that only opened 3 weeks ago.

The chairperson is amazing, very organized, gets things done very efficiently and has done an awful lot of the initial paperwork that I know most leaders probably end up doing themselves.


I think I am also a pretty organized person, though I say so myself, but I can't keep up with the very high expectations.

We are a pack-away setting with no outdoor area of our own. When Ofsted come the chairperson is expecting nothing less than outstanding because she has done all her parts of the role to that level (which she has).

She thinks we should be Ofsted ready with all paperwork and systems in place from day one.


Now I know lots of pre-schools that have been operating for years and have not even got half the stuff in place that we have.

I have organized the planning, the essential health and safety stuff, observation and assessment system, home visits,displays up, partnership with parents and other settings, essential medical stuff, staff training plans etc. already. I have not yet put together the operational plan folder but see this as a work in progress that will be completed by half-term.


Have I got it wrong? Isn't it a run rather than a sprint?


Do other people in new settings have everything up together by week 3?


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We opened a new pre school just over a year ago and were lucky enogh to get outstanding at our first ofsted however you can have everything in place but a lot of it is what happens on the day, how the staff interact with the children, how thwy deal with issues of the day! If getting an outstanding from Ofsted was that easy there would be a pack we would all use and it would be easy!! Anyway you sound as though you are pretty much together and the only advise I can give to you is be reflective in your practice - change what needs changing by seeing how things go

Good Luck

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we got an outstanding last year and as Bluestar says a lot of your result is by what the inspector sees on the day! :o


i was throwing paperwork at inspector left right and centre (poor woman) xD and she didn t want to see it - after she gave us our outstanding she said to me the reason she didnt want to see the paperwork was - as she see things working well in practise (if she had an issue or problem she would have wanted to see paperwork!). :(

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As a new manager trying very hard to update practice and paperwork in the knowledge that our Ofsted inspection could be any time, I would say it is not a sprint! Perhaps having an action plan showing what you have identified as needing attention and how you intend to tackle it will keep Ofsted happy. It is impossible to do it all at once. I have very high standards too but cannot produce magic from a hat - as hard as I try!!

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Your SEF can explain what is done and what is in progress. I would concentrate on that, listing the stuff that still needs to be done and when you plan to do it. So long as you have a plan to get it done, and a time when that will happen, it becomes part of your continuous improvement.


In answer to your question, at our setting there is lots of stuff that still needs updating or is not entirely in place. I think this is probably just a fact of life for a lot of PVI settings unless they have a committee that stays in place for years.


I would also say this to her (although a bit more politely): why this obsession with what Ofsted think and what grade you get? Okay it's nice for your hard work to be recognised, but surely you do it FOR THE CHILDREN and not for the bureaucrats?


Good luck in your new role, at our place it's a walk rather than a run or sprint, but we are getting there slowly :o

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