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Disputing Judgments


suewhit
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we got our report today and feel very deflated by it we got satisfactory with some goods. at the time of feedback we expressed our opinion that we thought the judgment was not what we expected .

we have worked solidly for over 3yrs since we got a satisfactory last time improving and growing by QA working with the authority having numerous audits etc

her judgments were based around one child we only had 7 in we are tiny 12 places and 16 after school which was not observed but still passed????? She stayed in our one small playroom from 9-4 with only a 20min break at 2.30 when her assesor appeared yes they get inspected too she was shaking more than us at feedback time. basically she found inconsitancy with staff (4 staff over the day) as regards managing this childs behaviour who grew 2 heads on this day for some reason. one staff member let him bounce on the soft furnishings and another didnt to give an example so this had a knock on effect on some outcomes making them a 3 instead of a 2. her write up has a good overall appearance and where we got a 2 is great and she has said how good we are in certain areas but some of the outcomes are contradicted she blows our trumpet for safegaurding then we got a 3 .

If I seriously thought we deserved this judgment I would take it on the chin get up and work on it just like I did last time

the crux of the matter is would anything come of it if we contested it? would we be penalised ? does anyone know how the process works?

I rang ofsted today as you only have 24hrs to put any factual discrepancies in order and enquired about how to challenge the outcome if we wished to do so they said to send a letter or they would get our inspector to ring us I really dont know what to do any advice would be appreciated.

sue

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Remember that Ofsted have raised the bar quite considerably since your last inspection. Your 'satisfactory' now would have gained you a 'good' at the standard of your last one - so give yourself a pat on the back for raising your own bar. I know it means that you feel as if you are 'running to stay still' - we felt that too. We complained about our previous one as the words the inspector had given on the day didn't seem to be mirrored in the actual report, and the words he DID use in places were the same as on the leaflet 'How to be outstanding' that accompanied the report, which just seemed to add insult to injury as we'd not actually got 'outstanding'!

 

Things very rapidly seemed to escalate when we talked about complaining about the report. There were going to be whole teams of inspectors crawling over the report and us, and no guarantee that they would be able to give us a higher grade at the end of it - in fact the opposite could happen. So we backed down, it just didn't seem worth it - plus if we got the same inspector next time he'd possibly have an axe to grind!

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thanks for your reply Cait and congrats on your ofsted

I understand what you are saying and the thought that we would be crawled all over is something we would not really want.

the inspector said we had an overwhelming drive to improve from our own in house audits action plans and evaluations we provided as evidence and that was without a sef! this got us a 2 and working with parents did too all our parents where great. she was a very nice inspector and though it was nerve racking it was not uncomfortable.

the head teacher of the school we are attached to said a teacher would not be observed for that length of time in one classroom as that is effectively what they did to us. it was the luck of the draw ,what happened on the day and that she was also being assessed but we have to stick this out for 3yrs

we will not be able to provide 2yr old funded places when this comes in which will make a difference to our sustainability it also puts in doubt 3yr old funded places if this is taken into consideration and I can see that it could happen why would they treat 2&3yr olds differently?

I cannot tell you how long I stressed about getting the EYFS and the out of school club right and it was just the paper work they looked at I also wished I had hung on to some of last years learning journeys. we had very favaroble remarks about how our transitions worked with schools and how we worked with agencies and a special school but then the child she chose also attends another setting one day a week which we had also just found out about as mum had not put this on his form we recieved a 3 for this because we had not conntacted the other setting this is a really hot topic.

I will probably moan on like this for ages

thanks again Cait

sue

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It may not be three years wait till the next one - for some reason ours was only 2 years this time - we weren't expecting them at all.

 

It does seem as if you have reason to 'moan', so moan away! Could you email your inspector to ask for a bit more help? (first name.second name@ofsted.gov.uk) just to see if there's anything they'd be willing to do, or ask for a chat with a more senior member of your district team.

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I will probably moan on like this for ages

Well feel free - its quite acceptable to moan in these circumstances, I always find.

 

It is such a dilemma isn't it - you don't want to have to have this undeserved satisfactory outcome on your file for three years yet feel intimidated by the response you might get from Ofsted if you appeal. We got a satisfactory last time and it still sticks in my throat (although I do believe the inspector was never going to give anything but a satisfactory for a post-registration inspection but that's another story).

 

I can't say it has affected numbers, or even that a parent has asked me about it, but the stakes are raised now that eligibility for funding relies on getting a good inspection result, causing sustainability problems as you describe.

 

I don't feel in a position to advise (I didn't appeal although I felt very hard done by), but I wonder what advice your local authority would give you? You mention that they have worked with you to develop your practice following your last inspection, so if it were me I'd be inclined to ring them and cry on their shoulder a bit and see what they say.

 

Satisfactory is such a hollow word isn't it - I really feel for you. Let us know what you decide to do, and if you decide to let it lie then make sure you highlight all the good bits of your report and celebrate what you are doing really well. Your parents are obviously behind you, and that kind of goodwill is priceless.

 

Take care

Maz

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On our last but one ofsted we fired off two letters - one was a complaint about the conduct of the inspectors which was instigated by parents complaining that they had been "interrogated" their words not our by two individuals who did not identify themselves clearly in the setting car park - at this point we didn't even know they were on site we supported the complaint and added one of our own about their conduct during the inspection. In total it ran to six pages and we clearly identified several points of what we believed to be unprofessional conduct and bad practice which we bullet pointed and asked for specific clarification/justification for their actions. Guess what the reply was a v. bland we have investigated your complaint by discussing the points with the inspectors - nothing else.

 

The second complaint was about two of the judgements which we believed were undeserved and which we had shown good quality evidence to support our practice to the inspectors during their visit. This letter included more children's work which contradicted their judgement. They would not be swayed.

 

On our last inspection we were visited by 2 inspectors - one of whom we had complained about - the feedback session started along the lines of "if you wish to complain about ........." before we were given any inspection feedback.

 

Most people I know that have contested judgements have not been particularly successful but I am aware of one that had that managed to get hold of someone in the LA to support them. However as you say time is of the essence and getting hold of the right people at the right time and actually formulating your written complaint is not always possible in the 24 hour window - which is probably why it's only 24 hours :o

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On our last but one ofsted we fired off two letters - one was a complaint about the conduct of the inspectors which was instigated by parents complaining that they had been "interrogated" their words not our by two individuals who did not identify themselves clearly in the setting car park - at this point we didn't even know they were on site we supported the complaint and added one of our own about their conduct during the inspection. In total it ran to six pages and we clearly identified several points of what we believed to be unprofessional conduct and bad practice which we bullet pointed and asked for specific clarification/justification for their actions. Guess what the reply was a v. bland we have investigated your complaint by discussing the points with the inspectors - nothing else.

 

The second complaint was about two of the judgements which we believed were undeserved and which we had shown good quality evidence to support our practice to the inspectors during their visit. This letter included more children's work which contradicted their judgement. They would not be swayed.

 

On our last inspection we were visited by 2 inspectors - one of whom we had complained about - the feedback session started along the lines of "if you wish to complain about ........." before we were given any inspection feedback.

 

Most people I know that have contested judgements have not been particularly successful but I am aware of one that had that managed to get hold of someone in the LA to support them. However as you say time is of the essence and getting hold of the right people at the right time and actually formulating your written complaint is not always possible in the 24 hour window - which is probably why it's only 24 hours :o

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I realise this might not be totally relevant, but my daughter's secondary school challenged their OFSTED report on 10 counts and 8 of them were upheld with overall grading going from satisfactory to good. Might be worth doing this if you are very unhappy- good luck

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thank you all very much for your help I'm not sure we could withstand such a difficult sounding grilling to be told tough . I still may put down my thoughts on how the system of discussion is only geared to fit the Ofsted machine .You cant argue your case at feedback then only get 24hrs to confirm factual inaccuracies and there is nothing on the paperwork to say how you could complain or question their judgment . unlike the mountain of policies ,procedures, evaluations and consultations that we have to produce for our practice .

moan drone I will give up know got to go to work

sue

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