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Making A Complaint Against Ofsted


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I really want to know if anyone has any experience of making a complaint against OFSTED???

 

Without going into too much detail (pm for more), a parent complained to OFSTED last year and we had a visit from CIE inspector. The complaint was made 7 months after and incident, child still with us and parents quite involved in setting!!!

 

She was satisfied that everything had been done satisfactorily, she couldn't think of anything else we could do was pleased with all the documentation bla bla bla. HOWEVER, despite setting no actions the complaint was still published online, I was read my rights (then these were revoked) and all in all it was the most horrible experience I've had I think!

 

The inspector didn't base the complaint on the actual incident, but on failiure to notify OFSTED, the statement in the EYFS being;

 

(must notify OFSTED OF), "any significant event which is likely to affect the suitability of the registered person or any person caring for the children on the premises to look after children".

 

Now don't get me wrong, the incident was not good but it didn't involve a particular staff member, was not abuse related etc. and as I said, it wasn't the actual incident but failiure to notify! Now, my argument with this one is the statement above. It's so wooly, I have the document that outlines what must be notified and the actual incident is not notifiable by early years settings!!!

 

Anyway, this was just before Christmas, by the time I got the letter and phoned OFSTED, I was told that I was out of time!!! However, had to phone last week regarding something else and got a lovely man who really seemed to know what he was talking about. He has advised me to go ahead regardless of the time scales and emphasised the need for consistency from inspectors!

 

Soooo, am a little aprehensive, where do I start? Has anybody been here before? If so any advise would be much appreciated!

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Hi Moo20

 

I shall be watching this with interest as it is something I have been minded to do. But too scared to rock the boat.

 

Similar to you complaint made last Oct about some thing i had dealt with way back in June/July; inspector couldn't fault me and how I had dealt with matter but got me by the short and curlies because, in his opinion, I did not have a written record. Well I was able to show him all the details securely stored on work computer, and could have printed any of it for him, as I felt it was very sensitive information and best kept safe on comp and not hand written in a folder.

 

Because of all of this we have a "blot" online as we did not have a written record of all complaints.

 

What can we do to get justice?

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Hi BMG,

 

I often wonder about the sense of printing everything off. I have every single thing stored on a portable hard drive, it's encrypted, perfectly filed and all in order! My filing cabinet on the other hand......

 

When she descended I was on training! I wanted to come back immediately but she was having none of it and interviewed me over the phone, as soon as I put it down I burst into tears in front of an office full of people! She spoke to deputy who gave her everything from the complaints file relating to the original incident, I did point out that it may not be the most updated action plan as I did this on my laptop. I offered to email it to her but she wasn't interested.

 

I'm so cross still, but like you at the same time scared of rocking the boat. The guy on the phone also said that CIE and inspectors should be seperate people, I know this women has been carrying out inspections in our area!!! No, making a complaint shouldn't effect outcomes, but that doesn't mean it wont!

 

I'm going to go for it and put something together this week, will pm it to you if you like. Hopefully will get some sound advice of how to prceed soon :o

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Moo20 call me pedantic or even old-fashioned or something, but surely if something is "written" on a computer then it is a "written" record, and like you say at the click of a button it could have been printed off thus becoming a "written" record!! The mind boggles!!

 

Good luck with your complaint, I will keep everything crossed for you!!!

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I'm going to go for it and put something together this week, will pm it to you if you like. Hopefully will get some sound advice of how to prceed soon :o

 

Go for it, Moo20!!

 

3+ years ago Dudley LEA complained about an Inspector working in the area, after several issues with childminders. Very soon afterwards the Inspector no longer worked for Ofsted!!

 

One childminder, who wrote direct, got her Inspection removed from the system and was re-inspected a few weeks later, when she got Outstanding!!

 

I think if you write to Ofsted asking for clarification of the procedures and guidelines, to avoid any further incidents in the future and to ensure that you are fully meeting the Statutory requirements, that would be considered as reflecting on your practice and self-evaluating!!

 

If their reply then reinforces that you have been unfairly judged you could follow up with a letter setting out the complaint and your response and ask for it to be re-assessed...... xD

 

I've always found that staff on the telephone at Ofsted are quite supportive and helpful, and will refer you on to the appropriate person to sort out any queries. I'd follow their advice in your position!

 

Nona

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aha i have complained to ofsted and won!!! :o well sort of xD we had an inspection which arose from an incident (a child cut their lip ...the mother decided to take her to hospital because she couldnt get a doctors appointment :wacko: ) We had recorded everything and the first aid was completely by the book, we rang, chased up the incident etc etc etc!)

anyway to cut a long story short the inspectors announced that they had come to visit because we had had a serious accident and not informed them :(:(:( when i asked what the criteria for a serious accident was they could not answer me.

We had two inspectors for two full days (we are quite small!) it was awful after day one i rang our Lea and said i was quiting i had had enough!

The inspectors did loads of things wrong and upset half a dozen of my parents who were devastated by their attitude.

I wrote a seven page letter detailing all the issues and (after some time) they cancelled the inspection...retrained the inspectors and reinspected us (so we had two inspections in 6 months!) i am now very anti ofsted and do not trust them ...we were treated very badly xD

if you think you have a complaint do it ...their criteria are on their website and they are as accountable as the rest of us...good luck

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New guidance has been issued for serious accidents, I feel the same is needed for 'significant event'.

 

Also attached Notifiable events for anyone that's interested! The 'event' that resulted in the complaint is in here as not notifiable, I think the notifying of a significant event is possibly used as a 'catch anything that can't be defined elsewhere' number!

Serious_accidents__injuries_and_deaths_that_registered_providers_must_notify_to_Ofsted_and_LCPA__v01_1_.docx

cie_complaints_notification_events_1_.docx

Edited by Guest
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Slightyly different but i still challenged ofsted and won

A while ago I had need to report a significant event .Ofsted took details over the phone and came out to visit to see if it was still ok for me to childmind.I knew the children were nt at risk but it was quite a significant event which had a huge impact on my family ,which may have effected the care I was able to give and the environment in which I was working.

They were very supportive and after thorough checks was told all was fine.the official letter that came told me I needed to keep a record of the events etc in my complaints book and inform all current parents and any prospective ones.

I challenged them saying that whilst I agreed it needed to be recorded and I d kept all current parents informed .I felt it was unfair that it needed to go into my complaints file as it was nt a complaint ,but a significant event and I d informed them .Also whilst the current parents had been kept informed I felt it was unfair that prospective parents needed to be told ,since Ofsted said I was fine to Childmind and as this may impact on my business

I got a very apologetic letter back from them agreeing that I d been given the wrong information on the wrong form and that I was right, and did nt have to keep it in my comlaints file of tell future parents.

So you can win!!

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Thanks Moo20 for the downloads. I have never seen these before, so will read with interest.

 

As far as complaining about Ofsted is concerned, I personally feel we all need to register our complaints. I noted with interest that in the recent ETFS review one of the recommendations from Clare Tickell was that there needs to be clearer guidance for Ofsted inspections. This was because she recieved so much feedback about inconsistencies between inspectors. It is only if we log our experiences, that these thgings can be sorted out. I know there is always the fear of 'rockiing the boat' but if that were to happen, then there is even more to complain about.

 

Gruffalo2

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We successfully complained about an Ofsted inspection a few years back. The grounds for our complaint were based on factual inaccuracies in the report and a failure of the inspector to take on board evidence we presented her with at feedback even though she said she was taking it into account. I won't say it was a simple task and it was very stressful and long winded but we did feel better for doing it. The next inspection was much more pleasant and we discovered the inspector who we had complained about had failed to report on how we had addressed the actions from the inspection prior to that so they all had to be done then. The impression we were given by the nicer inspector was that the previous inspector had been retrained following our complaint, although obviously she wasn't going to tell us that officially.

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Guest Spiral

The more I read, the more I hope Ofsted read and tune in - isn't their service supposed to be user friendly? Aren't we, the users supposed to feel confident phoning for help and advice, not terrified of reporting anything to them (and possibly consequentially hiding up any concerns we have).

 

Sounds archaic and a little like ww2, rather than a service to help us to ensure safety, security and good standards.

hmmmm :o

 

Spiral.

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Thanks everyone for your support and advice, does make me feel more confident.

 

Spiral, I personally am terrified of even calling OFSTED! Ridiculous I know but not been inspected since I took over, I was a level 2 student when the last one was done in 2007!

 

I haven't mentioned that I had another complaint made to OFSTED by a potential member of staff back in April last year too have I!?! She didn't get the job and informed OFSTED that we had electrical wires trailing across the wet room, broken and age inappropriate resources in the home corner, policies were not given to her and she had to wait 1/2 hour!!! She wasn't given policy copies as she didn't get the job and she turned up 1/2 hour before her interview time!!! The inspector came (a different one) could clearly see it was a load of B******S, went away happy and never heard any more of it!

 

The inspector warned me that a third complaint within 12 months would have serious consequences! Have to say I've been treading on egg shells. So all of my experiences with them to date have been negative, I have been advised that when we do get that knock on the door I'm to visualise the inspector having a poo :o

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Guest Spiral

Wow, I can see why you aren't keen on contacting them.

 

However, it is so worrying that we are nervous and scared of going to Ofsted when they are there to offer support and help us achieve high standards for all - simply the nature of keeping allegations that have been proven untrue on public record is enough to put the user off of using the service.

 

Wishing you the very best of luck with it all,

Spiral :o

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Well let's hope a result on this one will restore my faith a little :( Oh, and an outstanding wouldn't go amiss!!!

 

Good Luck, both with contacting Ofsted and aiming for Outstanding

 

.... be warned, though, that once you obtain Outstanding you turn into "Psycho Woman" when your next Inspection is due and you become obsessed with retaining it (as my Husband and Daughter will testify :o )

 

I think they're planning on leaving the country after the next call from Ofsted - at least they've got 3 years to decide which part of the world to head to in their bid to escape xD

 

Nona

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Is it still 3 years then? They don't give you 'time off for good behaviour'?

 

I wish!!!!

 

4 years minus 1 day from previous inspection(Good, when good was the best you could get) to Outstanding in November 07, so only 3 years 4 months this time.

 

Interestingly, though, 2 other Outstanding childminders locally were also inspected at the same time........ co-incidence or using them/us as a Benchmark??

 

Nona

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