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Why Go For Accreditation?


Helen
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If you are an established setting, with well-qualified and experienced staff, have had a successful Ofsted in the past, and are full with a waiting list, what are the advantages of going through the expense and disruption of an accreditation scheme? Hearing other people talk about them, it seems to me that you have to reorganise your documents (eg long term planning) to fit in with the scheme rather than to best serve your setting. Feel free to tell me I'm completely wrong about this, but I have yet to be persuaded to go through the process!! :o

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Dear Helen,

I am just about to get ready for my accreditation. Part of it was for me to ensure that I was carrying out "best practice" and review all my areas which I probably wouldn't have done if it had not been for the long term objective of achieving my accreditation. Having done this and cross referenced, I have revisited many areas and reviewed and updated them. It has also focussed the staff as well. However, I do agree that it does seem to double up with a successful Ofsted inspection.

 

In my area, Surrey, they have set a target for 70% of groups to be accredited by I think 2004 and they are not on target for this as yet. They do however, fund the accreditation process. I also feel that it will make my group stand out and the resultant publicity etc.(hopefully) which can only be beneficial. I also attended a meeting given by a very senior director of the EYPCD where he intimated, that the Government may well look at this in the future when they are offering NEG funding!! So with this in mind I thought I might as well do it. There are I think several accreditation schemes although I know different councils seem to favour different schemes.

 

The only thing that worries me is your comment on long term planning - can you expand on this because I have not changed the way in which I am doing this?

 

So on the one hand I agree, on the other, I think it has made me review my practices so hopefully when I am Ofsted'd, there will nothing new to look at and I will also have had a inspection by a qualified iinspector who hopefully (or not) will bring up any areas that need further review. If there are any Ofsted inspectors out there - does an accreditation have any bearing on how they look at the group?

Regards

Nikki

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Hi Nicola,

Sorry, didn't mean to panic you about the long term planning reference :o

It was just that Hali mentioned in another conversation that she had had to change her long term planning whilst going through the accreditation procedures. I'll contact her and invite her to tell us more! :)

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Hi Helen

 

We are going for our accreditation to promote our pre school and in our area we are getting funded for it so its only time not money being taken up.

as Nikki says it does make you go over all your polices and procedures and update things that need doing.

Our planning and keyworker groups i felt were not up to scratch anyway so have just updated them by putting more info into our long term planning (including aspects) and making up our own childrens playplans which cover the ELGS for thier keyworker files.

I feel that although it is more work in the short termit will just make our pre school more focused and make sure we keep up to date with things - and im a gluten for punishment!!!!

Hope this helps.

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Hi there - xD

I'm very interested in what is said on the Accreditation process- as I told our committee at the AGM that's it's something the Pre-school would move forward to do during the next year !!! (What on earth made me say that !!!!)

 

Firstly I agree with Helen, and then secondly I agree with Nikki - and I still havn't made up my mind !

 

In our area there is only £150 funding, so there's a big chunk to find - a sizeable chunk that could buy some pretty good equip. The EYDCP's have set targets to achieve and I feel that by saying the funding may depend on it, is some sort of arm twisting to help them reach their targets. On the other hand I agree with Nikki that it raises the profile of the Pre-school. Whose scheme are you doing Nikki and Hali and how are you finding it ??? I would opt for the PLA one but I can see that I'm going to drag my heels on this one.

 

I don't ever reckon it will be fully funded here, but there are such definate inconsistencies in the funding available in different areas , I just wish I could say this to whoever dreamt this little idea up !

As Nicola said, I too would be interested to read any comments on this from an Ofsted inpsector.

 

Right then, I'm getting off my soapbox now, (sorry for going on so long!) but you've gone and hit a really sore point with me !!!

Byeeeeee

 

Janice :o

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Hi Janice

we are doing the pla accreditation scheme - its very similar to doing the standards as set by ofsted

- apart from going through policies etc you are just collating evidence into a file for the accrediors

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Hi

 

I took over my group 6 years ago and in that time so much has happened

 

having just registered for nursery grant, the teacher mentor is already talking about accreditation like it is going to be compulsary soon and it states in the guidelines that we should be working towards accreditation.

 

I feel that although it is helpful for pre-schools to look constructivly at their setting and how it runs, I wonder if accreditation is a back door way of getting preschools to pay for inspections?

 

why do we need both OFSTED inspections and accreditations? are the goverment planning something? for instance will it be introduced that groups who are accredited wont need to be inspected as often and so thats less inspections for the government to fund..... ?

 

I might be paranoid? but I cannt see the point of both inspections and accreditation without an hidden agenda for the future? <_<

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I went to a meeting yesterday with a view to setting up a Quality Assurance scheme in Stockport. I am now on the steering group for this and hope we can have our own home grwon sheme in place soon.

I feel that QA is a step beyond an OFSTED inspection-that extra mile so to speak. So that if you have passed an OFSTED inspection what can you do to improve on that? Like-all staff have a level 3 qualification, policies in place that are over and above the ones expected at an OFSTED inspection.

Linda

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Hi all,

I don't think that Alison is being paranoid at all! I agree with those thought processes as well with regard to Accreditations - especially as it seems to me that virtually all the local councils have been set targets for groups to be accredited. So where has this been generated from? Yes, from the DFES itself, so just what is the thinking behind having two inspection processes? Does it make Ofsted's life easier, or is it a case of left hand/right hand. Once again wouldn't it be nice if more money could be put into ground level rather than doubling up on work - or as Alison says - is this paving the way for a change perhaps in the fee structure and ragularity of inspections - those who have gained accreditation and those who have not! I don't know but I certainly believe there are other issues here. We already know that Ofsted are struggling to meet and make all the combined inspections. However, there are many groups seeking their accreditation including my own so does this take some of the pressure off Ofsted? Who knows?

Nikki

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Good for you Linda! No reason why local groups shouldn't set up their own quality schemes. :D

 

And Nikki, I think you have a good point. It seems to me that if local councils are going to bring pressure on settings to achieve a higher accreditation, there is little point once you hold that accreditation in having to go through an Ofsted inspection as well - which presumably will be regarded as a baseline from which to move up. Ofsted isn't currently free anyway - if you have to pay a fee for Ofsted, why pay two fees?

 

I think some joined up thinking is called for on this...

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I am not advocating QA schemes. I agree that they could be the back door way of getting inspections done by people other than oFSTED.

But, as far as I am aware, it is not compulsory to go for QA. We are only looking at it at the moment. I wanted to be part of the steering group so that I knew what was going into it etc. and had some influence on it.

Quite a few people at the meeting asked the question why go for it? I think the simple answer to that is, if you don't want to then don't.

Linda

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As far as I am aware to embark on an accreditation scheme you have to have had a successful Ofsted report. You also need to show how you have implemented an action plan for any recommendations that were made. My setting is currently undergoing accreditation with Birmingham EYDCP Quality Framework. It is above and beyond the Ofsted requirements. It is free to those settings in Birmingham. The team has found it a useful tool for self-evaluation and it has enabled us to make further progress.

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I am 3/4 of the way through my accreditation, we were lucky that the council have paid for it, it is a lot of hard work, and you need a strong team behind you, but i do belive it is a good evaluation of our group, and helps you see where your weaknesses are.

 

kim :D

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Hi,

I've just been reading all the info re accreditation and thought I'd add my penny worth.

 

We are awaiting the assessor to come and assess our portfolio and our group. It's been tough going and hard work, but if you already have most of the policies and paperwork in place (which all good groups these days should have) then it is just bringing it all together in one file.

 

We were lucky, our local Partnership were funding groups who wanted to go for it, and we went for it. Why? Because although we are Ofsteded we still have to have an Operational Plan in place for them, and this Accreditation portfolio becomes that. Also, for applying for grants they ask the question and if you want a grant you have to do it. Also eventually there isn't going to be money available for us, and I would not pay £700 from my group funds to do it.

 

You do need everyone, and I mean everyone, to be involved, it is not a one person job, but just think of the satisfaction when they say you have achieved it. Like Ofsted, it will have all been worthwhile in the end.

 

Mobbster

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  • 7 months later...
Guest TraciJ2

Hi ppl.......

 

i've just re-visited this site after not having access to a computer for a few months, (God i was lonely!).

 

i start a new job in a weeks time. its called "Kitemark Mentor". my role is to mentor nurseries and childminders in gaining their QA.

up until i applied for the job (which luckily fell into my lap one day) i didnt know this post existed. i'm dead excited and really looking forward to the new role.

 

my reason for replying to this stream is that in the near future, i may need to call upon the persons here present (hehehehe <- got married a few weeks ago!) to help me out with any difficulties i may have.

 

anyway...best be off to read the rest of the posts

 

take care

 

Traci xx

:D

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Traci,

 

Welcome back. :) Congratulations on your new job and marriage :( - you have been busy haven't you! :D I think I would go mad if I couldn't visit this site...... :(:oxD:D

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Hi Tracy,

Congratulations on your marriage and new job :)

Are you going to be working for a particular accreditation scheme, or is it a job which covers many of them? Are you employed by the LEA/EYDCP? What sort of training will you have/have you had to do this? Sorry for all the questions.....just interested! :D

 

Carol,

How would you describe the whole process? Worthwhile? Any downside?

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Guest TraciJ2

Hi and thanks for the congrats! it is much needed and appreciated after the last few days at my old job!!!

 

I'm going to be mentoring for the Sheffield Scheme but i am not employed by the EYDCP, i'm employed by a small training company who have been given the account by the local council. my wages are paid by Borough - confusingly - but i'm not their employee. (grabs the Kalm's bottle!) :o

 

Training wise - i dont actually start mentoring until September when my new batch of nurseries start their award, so i will be attending training days until then. I did complete quite an indepth training course on QA for another borough, so i suppose that stood me in good stead. I will be attending a Mentoring course in September which i beleive to be approx a week long.

 

As i know more, i'll pass on info

 

Traci xx

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Hi Helen

 

It has been worthwhile even though it was alot of paper work. It has given staff and committee members a huge boost :D . It also gives you a good idea on how to move your group forwards rather than just ticking along.

 

We are in Gloucestershire and ours was divided into 10 dimensions. I would have rather of had a computerised version as there was an awful lot of writing to do. A good way of working towards the different areas is to give a committee member/staff member a dimension/section each and then pull them altogether at the end.

 

There is alot of paper work to collate/photocopy but it is information that you will already have in your group. We are also going to use it as part of our staff induction program. It took us approx 12 months to complete.

 

Carol

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  • 1 month later...

:D never thought i would say it but..............cant wait to start ours, i have looked at many...............but the one that iam soooooo grateful to be starting in September is the EEL Project ~ Effective Early Learing Project founders of the EEL is Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram.

 

 

Has any one else been on this scheme!!?? :D

 

julia

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  • 3 weeks later...

Congratulation's Carol it sounds as if you had staff willing to work with you on it. I wish I was that lucky. They want the recognition but don't want to do the work.

 

Good luck Doris I hope it is plain sailing for you. We (ha ha ha, I) have been doing ours for nearly 18 months and I am still not finished. We were/are in danger of closing and with various committee and staff crisis as well as personal health problems I hoped when I applied for an extension to the process I would get a few months at least, oh no only one!

 

I do gather from other sites and posts that most people complete the accreditation process well inside the time and that it is a rewarding process for them, so I am sure you will enjoy the whole process.

 

Good luck Doris and congratulations again to Carole.

 

Gizzy :o

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  • 1 month later...

I went to a meeting recently about the Kitemark here in West Sussex, Is there anyone out there that has completed or is doing the Kitemark in West Sussex as I would like to know how it's going.

 

I have been told that if you haven't at least started the Kitemark here by 2006, you will not be entitled to the NEG? OFSTED said today when asked, that they "Don't Know!!" I thought that you were entitled to funding when you agreed to be 'OFSTEDED' - I've probably missed something.

 

Do West Sussex only recognise the Kitemark they are promoting or are other QAs accepted here.

 

I tried phoning the LEA to ask them, but they were busy, I was cut off in the end. :o

 

We are considering doing the Kitemark or similar but obviously I would like to find out a bit more before I commit myself and the Pre-school to this.

 

 

Sue J

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Have just been accredited and it was not as bad as Ofsted! I think the fact that we had just had a brilliant Ofsted report (Very Good in all areas) helped . I was quite ready to 'do battle' with the woman if she found anything!!. Five minutes before she came in I was mixing some instant mash to make 'snow' and the water splashed and I was covered!. I just apologised for being wet down my front and said 'it was the mashed potato', I expect she thought I ate it for brekfast!

 

Janice if you read this and still want to be accredited I can show you our portfolio so get in touch :o

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  • 1 month later...

Well i think it was great.

She told us that we had passed....then said it had to go to a panel board to be agreed and that could take months, so it felt a bit disheatening when she left as we wanted to celebrate but couldnt/cant!!!!! :D

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Hi Teri ...... have only just seen your message re the accreditation (maybe that's 'cos I usually skip that subject!!!!) Anyway, well done on yours and your Ofsted - will see how the land lies at the BOP with funding and new mentor etc. but must just say that I'm quite busy enough at the moment (how do you find the time????)

 

See ya ! :D

 

Janice

 

Hi Gizzy - nice to see you back again - just think how proud you'll be when it is all done! You certainly deserve to pass with flying colours

 

Janice :o

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