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Accreditation Update


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Dear All,

 

Good News - Bad News - Left Hand - Right Hand

What does it all mean?

 

Having previously posted on the site that the DFES are looking into QA schemes to decide whether they are deemed to be a financially viable way of moving forward, I now see in the Consultation on the Draft Code of Practice (sorry I know I am sad to spend my time during the summer hols looking at draft consultations but am trying to get my next module done and out the way before I go back in September) which is due to close 30 September, much the same time as the other one and I quote:-

 

"research has shown that quality assurance is an effective route to raising standards........................

 

Although the Department (DFES) is reviewing the Investors in Children Kitemark scheme, this should not deter local authorities from encouraging providers to participate in quality assurance schemes that help them to improve services through self evaluation, reflective practice, mentoring and advice"

 

So in the one consultation they are suggesting that they will review the scheme against the proposed new EDLF framework to deem whether it is still a viable use of resource whilst in the other consultation they are encouraging the LA's to promote QA schemes.

 

Sorry but am I missing something here - just what are they saying? Is it a good idea or not to go for one. As professionals I reckon that it can only be a good thing and will be beneficial for groups to undertake a QA scheme but if at the end of the day the format changes yet again I will be severely hacked off. I think the most tiresome and time consuming part of the accreditation was assembling all the information into the format they wanted - not the one I used - and therefore I can see this changing yet again. I could be spending my time doing far better things than reorganising my filing system to suit the powers that be.

 

Perhaps having too much information is a bad thing - there must be groups who are totally unaware of all the proposed legislation surrounding educare and they probably do just a good a job without worrying about what might happen - but I am always of the opinion forewarned is forearmed - but maybe I've got it wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Nikki

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You haven't got it wrong Nikki,

 

Keeping up with external factors which may or may not affect us is forward thinking and I believe good practice. The important thing is to let the information COMPLIMENT the work that we do and not let it overtake, undermine or confuse what we strive to do. (which is to be forward thinking and reflective practitioners).

 

 

For me a QA scheme is not there just as a tool to prove what we do, it is a tool to help us define and improve what we do. Unless the process achieves the latter, it is not worth doing. (and that is the responsibility of the people doing the scheme, not the writers of it)

 

I have been sorting through old Nursery World mags ( back to 1997) and some old paperwork when I worked as the Early Years co-ordinator for my LA...on reflection we have been going round in circles for years. Back in "98 the government bought out a white paper ( or was it green???) about extended schools, with discussions of how this would work in partnership with the voluntary and private sectors, what teachers roles would be in "homework" clubs etc......does this sound familiar!!!!

 

In the letters pages from over the past 8 yrs the subjects were still the same as now..level playing fields, pay, changes from DLO's (remember those) to ELG's, how the Inspection process is changing etc....still topics of today...

 

My point being, yes it is good to read consultations, it lets us know how the Government is thinking and we are therefore forewarned....but also don't hold your breath for any major changes that we out there in the workforce are asking for, just realise that we will just continue to re-invent the wheel but under another name or following yet another research conclusion.

 

 

Does that all make sense??

 

 

Progress, I think there has been, but very slow and the methodology is sometimes crap.

 

Peggy

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Dear Peggy,

 

Yes, I too think its good to keep abreast of what is happening but sometimes it just makes you wonder when the wheels are going to stop and the vast amounts of money being spent on these consultations/initiatives could then be spent on ground level on things such as streamlining LA's, staffing, workforce issues, professional development and resources. Any idea how much one of the consultation costs or know where I can find out? I can feel a letter coming on.........

 

Looks like you are having a good time filing too Peggy, here am I surrounded by piles of paperwork/magazines etc all needing homes in files - trouble is I find myself looking at back issues as you are no doubt doing and then never getting the wretched stuff put away and now I am giving myself a break by coming on here - do you think I ought to get a life or even better a fella!!!!!!

 

Nikki

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I disagree Hali if the man is like mine :( :wacko: I think every girl should have one. He houseworks, irons, washes up, runs my bath ( with a glass of wine ready at arms reach) and when I work too much he gives me a very good reason to stop, ie: out for dinner ( when he decides to have a night off cooking- I don't cook either), shopping for clothes ( yes he enjoys coming with me), tells me funny jokes and other good things....... xD

 

are you jealous :(

 

Nikki you sound like you are my doubleganger ( is that the right word???)

 

I'm clearing the way in my home for the new Foster children ( fingers crossed panel accept us).

 

Just what do you keep and what do you throw away :oxD:(

 

Peggy

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Dear Peggy

Has to got a brother or maybe two one for me and one for Hali, if Hali doesn't have a partner or maybe you do Hal but want to trade/upgrade him? Sounds a bit of a treasure if you ask me.

 

Yes Peggy, my annual clear out - I cannot believe the rubbish I have collected - why do I need credit card and bank statements going back 5 years - only serves to remind me what I have spent my money on and shouldn't. I am now on my third black plastic bag - now need a man to help me build a fire so I can ceremoniously set fire to the lot. Clothes - well that's another 3 bags too - did I really wear that awful purple black and white dress and those stripey shirts? and why on earth do I think I am going to lose enough weight to get into those size 8 trousers which still hang in the cupboard. I WILL LIVE A MINIMALIST LIFE STYLE - I WILL - I WILL - I WILL

 

What was this thread again... oh yes accreditation yes or no.

 

I think we all need an update Peggy on your fostering - it sounds fairly imminent - you mention children... do they have some in mind and have you met them, how old, short term or long term - I am sure everyone would like any update perhaps you could post in Lounge Time. My sister fostered children and found it very rewarding, it's something that I have sort of thought about doing for a long term but don't feel the timing is quite right so would love to hear about it.

 

Nikki

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........for a long term!!!! I am on holiday for goodness sake and am still thinking in terms ........ for a long time.... I think I meant to say

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Back to the boring QA stuff for a moment (and I'm certainly not getting involved in the sub-topic of 'fellas'...), I was interested to learn that all settings in Brighton and Hove are compelled to undertake a QA scheme!

 

However, it's free! I think that might well be a model for other authorities to follow - the current average cost of a QA scheme seems to be around £600 which is a huge amount for a smaller pre-school or playgroup to find. But if it is deemed to be a Good Thing (and I agree with Peggy that if the scheme works in an appropriate way then it is), then adopt the B&H model - devise or buy in the best scheme you can for the authority, train your own advisers on the scheme, then use it as the basis for your support of the settings in your area, which are after all, your only reason for existence.

 

Their training sessions are all based around the scheme, and settings get more or less support depending on how they are coping with the scheme. I can't really think of a more 'joined-up' way to pull all of the settings up to a higher standard. :)

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Steve, How are the settings "compelled" to do the scheme? I hope their grant funding isn't threatened or anything that jeopodises ( sorry spelling) their income.

 

I am doing the Kent scheme( which is also free). It's early days yet and I am finding it difficult to fit in with everything else and to work out a way of involving the whole team staff in the process. We have all attended free ( wage subsidised) training which cover the various modules. It is not compulsory for a setting to do it in Kent, but I do beleive the LA target is for 100% settings to complete it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

It is very well managed and resourced with all the modules on a CD, mentor support and the above mentioned training.

 

Andreamay- Yes he has got a brother, 10 yrs junior and recently became single. xD:(

 

 

Nikki, - I'm at the final leg of assessment, social worker visiting tomorrow for a final health check on the house (Health & Safety), I'm just completing last few bits of the portfolio ( which I will hand in tomorrow). Then the social worker has to write out the F1 form ( everything we have discussed over the last few months). This then goes to panel ( may take another few months). Then if we pass, a matching panel will then match some children to us...it is a long process but I promise I will keep you updated from the lounge. :o

 

 

Peggy

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I think access to the Nursery Education Grant is conditional on them participating in the scheme, yes. We've always found that pretty objectionable where we've heard about it before, but it seems to be becoming more common. So if it's going to happen, it should happen with a QA scheme funded by the authority which requires it. :o

 

I don't think there are any fixed timescales for achieving it, and there is a lot of support for the settings where they need it. I believe the scheme is also very well thought of, without much in the way of the documentation and bureucracy which accompany a lot of schemes.

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I personally think it is wrong that the NEG is conditional of achieving or participating in a QA scheme, merely because even though the cost of the scheme may be funded the "actual" cost of extra man hours is not.

Also the NEG is conditional on passing Ofsted ie: if a setting fails Ofsted the funding can be taken away ( dependent on parents access to free education within the given area).

 

Getting back to the original post, It is confusing when different consultations and/or government departments do not agree or are not consistent with the messages they give us. Or like Nikki asked, Is it us that misunderstand the messages?. :o

 

I definatly think that we are the sensible, rational ones and that it is the government "advisors" who lose the plot. :D

 

 

Peggy

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