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Ofsted report - erm............!


flowlow
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Hi all

 

I hope this is ok but I just need to get this off my chest. I don't know if I should laugh hysterically or cry!

 

we were inspected at the end of June have only just got our report (we are shut now and everyone on holiday which is making addressing the issues rather hard)

 

We are a setting that runs out of the community hall and have been told that we have satisfactory across the board BUT one notice to improve by 31st July in terms of reducing the noise level in the hall. This is quite hard as the hall is big and echoey we have lowered the ceiling and removed the stage, we constantly ask children to use indoor voices but short of changing the venue of the pre-school there is little more we can do!!!! and certainly not by 31st July as most of pre-school and hall committee are on holiday!!!

 

On top of that we have been told to improve as they put it 'organisation of resources' now from the report it clearly says that this relates to:

 

  • Play dough which on the day of inspection was too sticky (despite there being an observation that the staff got some more flour to fix this problem at the time)
  • the dressing up not being enticing enough as it is in a bag rather than on display for children to find outfits more easily
  • on the day one child left their waterproof outfit on the floor which a staff member picked up rather than getting the child to pick up (which demonstrated a lack of respect for some resources) and that there was an accident with a wheel barrow of muddy water which went on some instruments and the outside mat
  • finally that we did not pick up quickly enough that the paper at the painting and writing stations needed replacing (despite there being fresh paper on the craft trolley which is available at all times) and most of the children help themselves to
There was two other points to help us drive practices forward (which to be fair were ok I guess) but other than that my children it clearly states are safe, they are progressing in their learning, like being at pre-school, we have a good understanding of EYFS and making sure the environment is safe and have good knowledge of welfare requirements.
So basically we are satisfactory because my hall is noisy (its a community hall) and my play dough was too sticky :o
I am at the moment a little speechless!!!
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Guest Spiral

Big virtual hug, I really do struggle with this type of commentary. It demoralises the workforce!

 

luckily not all inspectors are like this, how can you change the noise level and if you did, would they then wonder why it was so quiet?

 

More big hugs,

 

Spiral :-)

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Oh Johanna - I'm sorry.......sending a hug x

 

Have you got a SIP or EYAT or whatever name they go by in your area who can come on board and help you to address these 'issues'?

 

My only suggestion on the 'noise' front is to add more carpeting, cushions.........or move :ph34r: (the latter is not a serious suggestion!)

 

Sticky playdough - what a daft thing to pick up on especially as a staff member added flour - surely that's a 'learning opportunity' for your children :blink:

 

A dressing up trolley need not break the bank - Mr S actually made mine for me - have you got any who might do that for you?

 

Picking up waterproofs - well I'm sure we have all done that.........the muddy water incident - how was it dealt with?

 

Paper - well whatever happened to encouraging 'self-selection' - grrrrrrr

 

Satisfactory does seem a little 'mean' - will you challenge this at all?

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That all seems a bit petty/picky? As to playdough being sticky, surely this is a sensory experience?

 

We quitened our space down by adding a lot of cushions and rugs, they seems to absorb a lot of sound as well as providing communication friendly spaces.

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Oh my goodness, that is just being picky!! I agree with getting your SIP or EYA on board with some advice. When we were last inspected (4 years and 2 months ago) not that I am counting!!! We were picked up on internal decorating, which to be faIr was due to be repainted. But when the report came through it read as cleanliness. Well to me that really gives the wrong impression so we asked for the wording to be changed and they did. Would it be worth talking with Ofsted about this? you may be able to get someone with a more reasonable view.

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Thank you all so much for the support. The children's centre manager did say last week that she would help if we wanted to challenge anything as we knew some of the feedback from the verbal responses of the inspector. However we have 24 hours to say we want anything changed (which seen as most of the committee, staff and the child centre manager are on holiday would be hard to do)

 

I have phoned and explained that we are not going to be able to organise things by 31st July as we are not open and most of the staff, committee and hall committee are on holiday! They have said just write in with what we intend to do. Well I am not sure what that is really. :ph34r:

 

We have in the past had rugs and carpet but they are heavily to lift and hard to store and can't be left out all the time so it just adds more to put out each morning, at the moment we have big foam mats that are light and can be thrown together in two seconds flat. We have had the stage taken away and the ceiling lowered, I am uncertain what else we can to except move the pre-school (and we even looked into that but didn't have anywhere to go) I think the hall said they may be willing to explore these special panels that you can get that help with deadening sound but we would need to fund raise and then get them fitted etc... so not a quick term solution. :(

 

We do have communication friendly spaces inside and out but again I guess they felt they were not so effective due to hall noise levels. The thing is it isn't like the children shout all day long or even play noisily, you look up and they are all involved in what they are doing, yes they speak to each other but again not shout. It is just that even when you are speaking normally in a big echoey hall sound travels!!! :(

 

The dressing up we did have on an airer but it was just that we can't have all the clothes out of the time and there was an outfit that was in the bag that one of the children asked for hence why they got the bag. It is only stored in the bag as we have two small cupboards to get everything in and can't get a dressing up trolley in the cupboard!! :blink:

 

The paper was on display in the craft trolley access at all times and most children get it themselves or ask for us to find some. What else can I do to make it more available. We did pick up on it but essentially we are playing with the children all the time, if you are constantly leaving the play in other areas to see if the paper has or has not run out then that will mean that those interactions are not as positive as they could be. We DO keep an eye and we DID change the paper just not as quickly as she would have liked. As for the wheel barrow it was an accident! I am not going to make a child feel bad just because they have an accident.

 

I just find the play dough comment laughable!

 

I read the report and thought do I want the hassle of fighting this over my summer? no one else here to help or support as they are all off enjoying their summer! when reading it I can't help thinking that what is about me, my staff and our practice is actually really really good the bits they have pulled out really make Ofsted look a bit silly really I mean sticky playdough?!? so I just don't know! We have had an amazingly difficult year so there is part of me that is just too tired to fight. I want and need my summer!

 

I just don't at the moment know what to do for the best and can't get it done in 24 hours!

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This 24 hours thing is wholly unreasonable - grrrrrr - is that standard practice now - well s'pose it must be........wonder if notifying them that you intend to 'challenge' some aspects of the report but you will be unable to do this immediately as it's 'holiday' time would 'work' - probably not :blink: Seems to me a 24 hour rule is ridiculous whatever time of the year it is :(

 

Completely understand why you may not want to 'challenge' anyway x

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I really do sympathise Johanna! I'm sure lots of us have been on the receiving end of reports that want to make us bang our heads againgst the wall, I know I have. Ours was lack of choice of creative materials, two days before Christmas and a hall full of creative work!

We've got radiator covers, cushions, rugs but still an environment that could be called noisy, I prefer to call it, engaged. Sticky playdough was also mentioned in our report, I ignored it! The cupboard was damp and it often affected the dough.

I haven't got any solutions, just wanted you to know you're not alone :)

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The 24 hours bit is for changing factual things like wrong names or addresses - this isn't about the gradings - you will need to complain if that is what you want to do.

 

Cx

 

Thanks - doh - I knew that really - minds gone into 'holiday mode'

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Oh Johanna so sorry to hear this - we too got a satisfactory 2 months after I took over - i was gutted but at least my inspector was fair and nice and reading the report and her comments were very positive.

 

Playdough comment definately laughable and a learning experience for staff and children and an opportunity to explore texture etc

 

hall noise - again ridiculous - we work from a community hall with very high ceilings and sadly we have to deal with it , the fact you have lots of communication spaces is what the inspector should have seen .

 

as for all the other comments - did the inspector feel the children were unhappy - did the parents complain , was the inspector having a bad day !!!

do send in your complaint highlighting how ridiculous these comments were xxxxx but in the meantime just try and relax and enjoy the hols x

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Oh Johanna I do feel for you. We to have just received our inspection report (different inspection process). You must feel so disheartened by comments like 'sticky playdough'

 

Sending you hugs.

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The hall committee have asked for the maximum decibel level acceptable for a pre-school, I have asked Ofsted will be interested to hear what they say although I have a feeling it could be like last time when they commented on the temperature, subjective and they didn't 'test' it with anything and when it came down to it couldn't tell me!!!

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That kind of thing makes me really cross. :angry:

We all try our best in sometimes difficult circumstances and then you get a picky inspector who has probably never worked in a pack away rented hall!

Our inspector wasnt happy that we hadnt got sand even though I told her a parent was looking at B&Q, Homebase and Toys R Us. December isnt the best time to source it, but she didnt listen.

I wrote next to each action what we would do to address things. It was all very tongue in cheek but no-one ever mentioned those things again.

After the inspection, I put a survey out to our parents asking all manner of things, mostly related to the actions she'd put in. No-one had a bad word to say, so I decided if the children, their parents and the staff were happy, we'd continue as we were.

Dont let them get to you, nod, smile and enjoy your break :D

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thank you Rea I think if Ofsted are teaching me anything it is to do just that :ph34r:!

 

Have to fill out a stupid form now telling them what I intend to do even though we are on holiday and the dealing is end of July :angry: think I may just put we intend to meet and discuss out option when we return in September!!!

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Write to them telling them as they are no doubt aware, your setting is term time only. The points raised will be addressed in the autumn term when you and your team can give it your full attention. Kindest Regards...

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I've been there, done that with Ofsted - unfortunately! To be honest as much as I hate to say it, might be as well to do as Rea says and just fill in the form and send it back expecting to never have it mentioned again. Our report was full of stuff like that and other things that weren't true, including factual inaccuracies. It took months to get even the factual bits sorted and the effort was huge. At the end I was emotionally drained and it still didn't change the outcome of the report. At the next inspection we got a much nicer, no, fairer inspector, and she intimated that the previous inspection was not conducted properly. She ran through our recommendations from it and said "obviously you'll have addressed these a long time ago - any problems with sorting them out?" and then we moved on! She didn't check or even follow up in her inspection.

 

Our parents didn't care what the report said in detail, we didn't have a fall off of parents registering and ultimately it didn't affect us. Even the LA said the comments were a bit petty (in a professional way of course!). It all depends on whether you fancy a protracted chase around of Ofsted, and the chance you will lose your summer break!

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That kind of thing makes me really cross. :angry:

We all try our best in sometimes difficult circumstances and then you get a picky inspector who has probably never worked in a pack away rented hall!

Our inspector wasnt happy that we hadnt got sand even though I told her a parent was looking at B&Q, Homebase and Toys R Us. December isnt the best time to source it, but she didnt listen.

You should try Argos! We are forever running out of sand in December!

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The work that goes in to transforming village halls into pre-school settings is relentless - I really wish the Ofsted inspector would turn up at 7.30 in the morning to watch creative staff create a stimulating environment ready for 9.00am - so what the playdough was sticky - I bet the children learned how things changed when flour was added - I would complain.

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Hi all

 

I hope this is ok but I just need to get this off my chest. I don't know if I should laugh hysterically or cry!

 

we were inspected at the end of June have only just got our report (we are shut now and everyone on holiday which is making addressing the issues rather hard)

 

We are a setting that runs out of the community hall and have been told that we have satisfactory across the board BUT one notice to improve by 31st July in terms of reducing the noise level in the hall. This is quite hard as the hall is big and echoey we have lowered the ceiling and removed the stage, we constantly ask children to use indoor voices but short of changing the venue of the pre-school there is little more we can do!!!! and certainly not by 31st July as most of pre-school and hall committee are on holiday!!!

 

On top of that we have been told to improve as they put it 'organisation of resources' now from the report it clearly says that this relates to:

 

  • Play dough which on the day of inspection was too sticky (despite there being an observation that the staff got some more flour to fix this problem at the time)
  • the dressing up not being enticing enough as it is in a bag rather than on display for children to find outfits more easily
  • on the day one child left their waterproof outfit on the floor which a staff member picked up rather than getting the child to pick up (which demonstrated a lack of respect for some resources) and that there was an accident with a wheel barrow of muddy water which went on some instruments and the outside mat
  • finally that we did not pick up quickly enough that the paper at the painting and writing stations needed replacing (despite there being fresh paper on the craft trolley which is available at all times) and most of the children help themselves to
There was two other points to help us drive practices forward (which to be fair were ok I guess) but other than that my children it clearly states are safe, they are progressing in their learning, like being at pre-school, we have a good understanding of EYFS and making sure the environment is safe and have good knowledge of welfare requirements.
So basically we are satisfactory because my hall is noisy (its a community hall) and my play dough was too sticky :o
I am at the moment a little speechless!!!

We had our ofsted inspection on Tuesday last week of term,childrenwere very high & excited, we were doing fun & games because it was end of term, nothing seemed to be right with inspection & we were down graded across the board not a good way to end the termnot sure anymore what ofsted want from us it really is demoralising,summer holidays will be spent looking at new ways to please ofsted, whatever happened to playingwith the children. :(

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We had our ofsted inspection on Tuesday last week of term,childrenwere very high & excited, we were doing fun & games because it was end of term, nothing seemed to be right with inspection & we were down graded across the board not a good way to end the termnot sure anymore what ofsted want from us it really is demoralising,summer holidays will be spent looking at new ways to please ofsted, whatever happened to playingwith the children. :(

 

I suppose it is the impact of the changing focus of expectations... in Ofsted terms the inspection framework exists regardless of the time of year or weather or whatever else comes along. We had 3 schools inspected in the last 2 weeks and they were all expected to show how teaching and learning are happening even though it was the very end of the summer term.

 

Cx

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Guest rainyjaney

Have just finished an assignment in a reception class. I work as a supply TA. During the term I was there, the staff were expecting that Ofsted might come in. Each class had special planning drawn up and ready should the school receive the dreaded call. For the last couple of weeks, the staff and children were busily winding down however it wasn't until last Wednesday that they could relax knowing that they would not be inspected this term.

Can't help feeling that the unannounced inspections we had when I worked at a pre-school gave a much fairer view of provision.

Really not sure how I feel about special planning designed to show off party pieces to Ofsted'

Is this what care and education for any of our children should be about?

It sounds as if you run a happy, caring setting. This is what young children need.Enjoy your holiday and return to your setting refreshed in September.

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We had our ofsted inspection on Tuesday last week of term,childrenwere very high & excited, we were doing fun & games because it was end of term, nothing seemed to be right with inspection & we were down graded across the board not a good way to end the termnot sure anymore what ofsted want from us it really is demoralising,summer holidays will be spent looking at new ways to please ofsted, whatever happened to playingwith the children. :(

really sorry to hear this Sidemoor and empathise completely!!

 

interestingly I emailed Ofsted to find out what they would say is an acceptable level of noise (as this was what the hall committee asked of me) and guess what....? they cant tell me! There is no specific guidance in relation to noise levels in the EYFS was what they told me! So how can I not be meeting legal requirements with regard to noise levels if there is no specific guidance? is it just me being awkward or does this not make sense?

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Print the email and log it with the reports comments. I would then argue I will not be making changes with regards to noise as there is no legal requirement.

I would also ask by email what playdough consistancy should be and log that reply too!

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Just a thought, but in terms of the dressing up clothes could you produce a 'catalogue'. Get the children to dress up in all the different outfits and photograph them. This could then be put with those items you currently have out and if a child wants one of the others they could just point and ask for it?

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