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Verona
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Can anyone let me know how long the inspector usually visits for. We are a sessional Pre-school that is open from 9 - 1 Mon, Wed and Fri and 9-3 Tues and Thurs. Last time she stayed for a morning and then half of the next morning.

I am just trying to work out whether the visit was more likely to be on a Tues or Thursday as we are open longer.

 

I know....... :o ............I shouldn't keep thinking about it ...........they will come when they are ready and no amount of me constantly thinking about it will make any difference !!!

 

Sue J

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Our last one arrived at 10.45. Inspected until end of session at 11.30 then stayed in the hall while staff went to lunch and stayed fpr the afternoon session. She gave feedback and ;aft abut 4.30.

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Our inspector arrived at 9am and gave us a list of all the documentation she wanted to see. She observed the morning session with a few questions here and there to staff. She watched some of the children's lunch time and then went in the office with requested paperwork. We had feedback about 2pm and she left at 3:15.

 

It was much shorter than any previous inspection and when I commented on that she said it was because we had such a good SEF and said that by 'good' she meant it was thorough, accurate and was clearly used as a working document.

Edited by Gezabel
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Ours arrived in autumn term at 9.20...had finished and fed back by 11.30!...

Said it was so quick as only a small setting and easier when only a few children in.

Mainly seemed to base judgements and the report on what was in the SEF (including parts about partnership with parents as she wasnt there to meet any of them either at arrival or pick up) which she only read when she got here.

We did think it was very brief and felt bit cheated actuallly - but guessing that if she'd felt anything in the SEF wasnt quite matching what she saw she'd have dug for more evidence.

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but guessing that if she'd felt anything in the SEF wasnt quite matching what she saw she'd have dug for more evidence.

From our recent experience (this month!) I would say you are spot on! Apparently our SEF gave all the information she wanted to know and 'all she had to do' was observe to see that what we had written was a true reflection of practice. Her only criticism of the SEF was that some of the 'goods' we put should have been outstanding :o

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The SEF does seem to be key. We are full daycare and our last inspector arrived at 8.15 and left at 5pm. However, she said she would have been back the next day if she hadn't been able to gather what she needed from our SEF before the visit. So, it seems the more info we can give them, the less time they spend inspecting...and less stress for us!!

Beehive

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This week ours arrived about ten o'clock and left just after 12.45. We are also sessional but mornings only. She told us she was instructed to do the inspection in one visit and that if we were open longer she would have stayed longer. Our SEF was not online and I had only completed some sections of it. I'm not using the official one as we use action plans and other tools which tie to the format we are using and make a whole. She liked what we had done so far and said it showed lots that she couldn't see, so I was glad I had concentrated on the sections which we didn't have stuff on already in the other tools we've been using. Definitely shorter though as we had similar experience to Sue J on our last 2 inspections.

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This links to another recent post, whereby someone on the forum sent for an application pack to be an Ofsted inspector, the pay was per inspection, not hour - seems to be a good reason to make the time spent in the settings as short as possible ! - it seems to me that by doing the SEF we are doing lots of their work, so they can rush through inspections, I'd rather they spent time looking at my setting to ensure they had lots of opportunity to engage with the staff and children to feel the atmosphere and see "what is it like for a child here", ensuring that praise is given where deserved and that actions are put in place in settings where help is needed to improve xD .

Sorry, but I don't see the inspection as something to prepare for, just to get through an inspection. We all know that there are settings that need to improve their practice. In all honesty, we can all put anything in an SEF, I don't believe it should be such a big part of the inspections these days :( .

By the way, I'm certainly not implying that anyone who uses this forum would be in that category, if we weren't passionate about what we do, we wouldn't be using this forum would we :o

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This links to another recent post, whereby someone on the forum sent for an application pack to be an Ofsted inspector, the pay was per inspection, not hour - seems to be a good reason to make the time spent in the settings as short as possible ! - it seems to me that by doing the SEF we are doing lots of their work, so they can rush through inspections, I'd rather they spent time looking at my setting to ensure they had lots of opportunity to engage with the staff and children to feel the atmosphere and see "what is it like for a child here", ensuring that praise is given where deserved and that actions are put in place in settings where help is needed to improve xD .

Sorry, but I don't see the inspection as something to prepare for, just to get through an inspection. We all know that there are settings that need to improve their practice. In all honesty, we can all put anything in an SEF, I don't believe it should be such a big part of the inspections these days :( .

By the way, I'm certainly not implying that anyone who uses this forum would be in that category, if we weren't passionate about what we do, we wouldn't be using this forum would we :o

I agree that we shouldn't prepare for an inspection we should be 'prepared' and providing best practice all the time irrespective of who may knock on the door at any time. I agree too, about the way inspectors are now paid. Our inspector was not employed by OFSTED and I know she was going to another setting the next day. One of the new companies that recruits inspectors pays around £250 per inspection regardless of how long it takes. Under the old systme the inspector would have probably come back to us the following day but now by doing us in one session it enables her to earn another inspection fee the following day!

I know we could write anything at all in our SEF but I think the part it plays in an inspection is a good thing. Prior to SEF days OFSTED would have no knowledge of what they were coming to (other than perhaps reading a previous inspection report) Providing inspectors do not take the SEF as gospel (which they don't in my experience) I think it is a good 'reflective practice' tool for us and a valuable working document, I guess it's how we see and use the SEF, I don't see it as just being something for OFSTED or just an 'inspection check list'.

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Yes Gezabel, good point, I agree - I didn't consider the reflective aspect before I posted, and thinking of SEF's I've been involved in they certainly do help settings 'pin hole' areas that need improving, but I will reiterate - that this is the case in settings demonstrating good practice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all, We were inspected on Monday. Our previous inspection nearly 4 years ago took an inspector and her inspector 2 whole days, and was gruelling to say the least. This time we had 2 inspectors and it was all over by lunch time! Both inspectors were lovely. They thanked us for a lovely morning, and said they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves! They arrived before the children & parents, so went & had a very thorough chat with the first 2 parents through the door, asking what their understanding of the EYFS was, and what we were like at communicating with them (parents told us they felt like they were being tested, in the nicest possible way!) Then one of them spent most of her time sitting around the room chatting to the children, and listening in to us, while the other one checked out all our paperwork. Both were very thorough, but pleasant.At the feedback they said that our SEF and website were very good, although we should have graded ourselves higher!They made a couple of helpful suggestions, and then left. After a truly horrible experience last time, this was a pleasure, so if you're still waiting for your inspection, don't worry. It was nowhere near as bad as we'd been expecting, and the relief that it's finally over is incredible! Can't wait for the report now. ( Hope I'm still as happy once I've read it!!!!!)

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