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Not sure if posting this in the right place but seemed the most suitable.

 

I started at a new pre-school in September who only had an inspection last year but as there have been a change in supervisor and 3 other new members of staff we are expecting another one soon.

 

The thing is, we are a packaway setting in a village hall and there is no free-flow play although we do try to get the kids outside every day.

 

Is there anyone out there in the same position as us who have achieved an outstanding or is this impossible without the free flow?

 

We are about to embark on the dreaded SEF and would like to think at least a few aspects are outstanding if not this one!

 

:o

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Yes we do sort of evaluate as we go but the Supervisor and myself like to do things 'the right way' as it were and the SEF does seem very comprehensive!

 

We are just hoping that the lack of free flow won't affect things too much!

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the setting I used to run got outstanding at last inspection..

 

no SEF but own method which was not even looked at..

 

and they don't have freeflow, BUT do have an outside area which is enclosed and used every day with groups or all children together

 

Inge

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We are a pack away village pre school and got outstanding at our first inspection even though we didnt have free flow at the time. We just made sure we really let the inspector know how much we made of the local environment, inside we make sure that the children have lots of choice in activities by using self selection storage in every area.

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Yes Bluestar, like you we make use of the local environment ie park and fields etc. and we make sure the children have some sort of outside play everyday although this does not mirror the indoor provision.

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I don't think not having free flow should stop you getting an outstanding. We are a packaway in a village hall and don't exactly have free flow but we have a lovely secure outside area which we use as much as possible and Mrs O could see photos of all the fantastic stuff we do out there. Mind you, we only got "good" though, but not having free flow wasn't mentioned as a problem.

 

Jo

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i'll be interested to see what others say...i have been told that it would be impossible to get an outstanding for us as our play area is not attached to the building and therefore there is no free-flow.....Hum!

 

 

ours was not attached to the building and needs care moving between the two, we had to have a risk assessment for the transition ,

as with all things of course it does depend on the inspector.. shouldn't but we all know it does!

 

Inge

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ah the quirks of ofsted hit the pages again!!! our play area is fab but we also have access to hard standing, open field, acres of space, nature walks, small town, river etc etc (now aren't you all jealous :o ) and the children do go out every day (we also have irregular access to forest school).... i have to also add that we have had some severe problems with ofsted and they messed up so badly they had to re-inspect after i complained! so maybe when they siad we could not get an outstanding they were just annoyed!

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Not sure if posting this in the right place but seemed the most suitable.

 

I started at a new pre-school in September who only had an inspection last year but as there have been a change in supervisor and 3 other new members of staff we are expecting another one soon.

 

The thing is, we are a packaway setting in a village hall and there is no free-flow play although we do try to get the kids outside every day.

 

Is there anyone out there in the same position as us who have achieved an outstanding or is this impossible without the free flow?

 

We are about to embark on the dreaded SEF and would like to think at least a few aspects are outstanding if not this one!

 

:o

 

Hi, I can't exactly answer your question but our setting used to be in a position where it was assumed that free flow wasn't an option (our Hall opens directly into the hall car park). Staff used to 'decamp' the children over to a nearby field for outdoor play. However, with a bit of lateral thinking and the purchase of a set of barriers, we have actually been able to create free flow despite all the obstacles. Of course that might be entirely impossible for you, but it is definitely worth looking at your question from different angles and seeing whether what seems impossible is actually do-able. It involved a lot of work and investment from us but it was definitely worthwhile.

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You've given me something to think about (and talk to Supervisor about). It may be a possibility - however we might need more staff = more money that we haven't got. At the moment we use roll up fencing to barrier off the carpark at the back of our hall as you say but this is only for a set time each day.

 

I am assuming that free flow has been discussed at length previously and the logistics of needing at least 2 staff indoors and outdoors just wouldn't be possible but perhaps we need to look at this again.

 

Thank you SuzieC8 :o

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Hi again,

 

We run freeflow with 3 staff, one inside, one outside and one 'float'. Your ratios are for the setting as a whole and not for indoor/outdoors. The float member of staff uses her judgement to decide where to go, or is available for children who need help with the loo or that kind of thing.

 

We don't freeflow the whole time, we do 9.50am until about 10.30am, then inside for snack, then freeflow again from about 11-12.

 

Hope that helps. It is possible but I too know how tight money is (I'm chair so at the sharp end of spending decisions).

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I've always been told that 2 staff should ideally be together with the children as then there is no chance of something being 'misinterpreted' and protects us in safeguarding issues. Is this then not the case?

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I have to be honest and say that although I'd heard of this being best practice too we don't and can't have 2 members of staff per room. We have taken a dive in numbers this year due to a low number of children in our area generally and with only 4 staff in some days and using a large hall, 2 smaller rooms, and free flow to the outside we can't be everywhere together. Often a member of staff is outside, one is in the main hall and one in the smaller room, leaving one to float/run to toilets/etc. If we are down a person (although still definitely in ratios) we use the smaller room for only set periods, based on the interests of the children and alternate with the outdoor area. As it has suddenly got very cold here, the children aren't bothered, and they know they will be outside again in a short while. It means being flexible in the activities and where they are placed, for eg bringing the playdough out of the smaller room if lots of children want to use it and an equal number want to be outside. But so far it is working.

 

How this impacts on Ofsted judgements I can't say yet (but it surely can't be long :o ), but I would say that so long as you have a thought out plan for what you do and why it works that way, and how it can be adapted to the interests/needs of the children on a day, then that is the best you can do.

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If it's a choice between free flow and 2 staff, then I know which I choose.

 

We HAVE to be able to trust each other, and Ofsted have to understand that for £3.50 an hour they have to let us trust our staff too.

 

Best practice is fine if they want to pay for me to employ 4 staff, otherwise tough!

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If it's a choice between free flow and 2 staff, then I know which I choose.

 

We HAVE to be able to trust each other, and Ofsted have to understand that for £3.50 an hour they have to let us trust our staff too.

 

Best practice is fine if they want to pay for me to employ 4 staff, otherwise tough!

 

Well said!! :o

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If it's a choice between free flow and 2 staff, then I know which I choose.

 

We HAVE to be able to trust each other, and Ofsted have to understand that for £3.50 an hour they have to let us trust our staff too.

 

Best practice is fine if they want to pay for me to employ 4 staff, otherwise tough!

 

Totally agree when Ofsted came to us I was outside with a few children on my own (think staff were hiding) Ofsted Lady could see we had it in control and we got an outstanding. (Pack away)

We do have walkie talkies and do use them so if I felt I needed another staff member I would shout on it!

 

Its like most things in our job is common sense!!! none of us would allow a child to be hurt and we are there to care and educate them I just Love my job! :oxD

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Best practice is fine if they want to pay for me to employ 4 staff, otherwise tough!

For 'best practice' some of us would read 'luxury', but with only two members of staff at each session, it is one we just can't afford! :o

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've thought that too - surely it's more likely to abuse a child in your own home, with perhaps 'odd visitors' or whatever.

 

On Tuesday afternoon I had one child at Preschool, with her free session. I sent a member of staff home and there were two of us with her. We had the heating and lighting on, rent to pay, and our salaries! We should have had 14 in, but the weather was so atrocious that we had loads of children off. If I was in my own home with her it would have been much simpler!

 

Sorry - hijacked your thread a bit there! :o

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We had one member of staff outside with the children

The Ofsted inspector went and sat out with her to chat and we got outstanding

We too have radios to send for other staff

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  • 1 month later...

We too have free flow in a packaway setting and i find that it is case of thinking often outside of the box, we never say we cant but we may have to do differently, it will oftern take a while to think but we get there.

 

I have one outside if there are only few children, we go where the ratio's are needed

 

we too had only one outside and had ofsted in and got outstanding

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The thing with Childminders is that Ofsetd have personally interviewed all of us - not the same for staff in a setting.

 

And as we have seen with Vanessa George, having colleagues around, even concerned colleagues, doesn;t mean you can't be abusive.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone

 

I don't want to panic everyone but thought I should share this with you. I went of CAF training and Ofsted came up in conversation along with SEF. Other practitioners were talking about SEF and filling thier in. They warned me that when you fill it in and its frozen so you can't add anymore or change things it means Ofsted are coming. Three practitoner said there SEF form had frozen and with two weeks Ofsted were knocking on the door.

 

When i have gone to access my SEF its asks for password and username. I dont know what this is and niether does my manager. How can we access it without these???

 

x x

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Hi everyone

 

I don't want to panic everyone but thought I should share this with you. I went of CAF training and Ofsted came up in conversation along with SEF. Other practitioners were talking about SEF and filling thier in. They warned me that when you fill it in and its frozen so you can't add anymore or change things it means Ofsted are coming. Three practitoner said there SEF form had frozen and with two weeks Ofsted were knocking on the door.

 

When i have gone to access my SEF its asks for password and username. I dont know what this is and niether does my manager. How can we access it without these???

 

x x

The 'frozen' theory has proved to be right for many on here but there are also many where the SEF was not frozen and OFSTED still arrived. When I go to access my SEF it asks User ID and this is the gatewaynumber you were allocated originally. The password is whatever you chose when you first registered on the OFSTED online site. I have just had a quick look on the site and clicked 'log in' it came up with boxes for user ID and password but both have links at the side with 'forgotten'. I didn't click to see what happens but perhaps that's the answer if you can't remember either? Good luck

Edited by Gezabel
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  • 5 months later...

I too thought the frozen SEF meant that I would not be OFSTEDed - I took this to heart and began to check it regularly prior to attending Uni for a year whilst completing my degree and my EYPS. I was fortunate enough not to have OFSTED call on a day I was at Uni. However, my SEF was not frozen prior to their visit - please do not rely on this

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