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Panicking about Ofsted


Guest SamG
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I opened a preschool with my business partner in November 2012.

We were inspected last April (first inspection after being open for 5 months) and received a Satisfactory grading. We were pleased with that and planned our improvements, unfortunately due to time constraints as we are both included in the ratios our improvements are not really happening.

I am now starting to panic that Ofsted may visit us again soon and as the registered person think we should be doing more to make our planned improvements. I have just gone through the evaluation schedule and with the exception of a couple of points (which are now in Good) we are still firmly in the Requires Improvement grading.

I wondered whether I am panicking unnecessarily or whether I am right to expect another visit sometime soon.

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I opened my pre-school in September 2011 and we had our inspection in November 2011. We also got graded an overall satisfactory but we did have some aspects of good in our report.

We were told we would be re-inspected within a year and we are still waiting.

Have you got an action plan written up stating exactly what you want to improve and how you are going to do it. At least this way ofsted will see your plans and hopefully will take that into account.

It's taken us a long time to get to where we are and we have made many changes and only now am I able to say that we are as 'ready' as we can be for ofsted to come!

Try not to panic and take things slowly, focussing on one improvement at a time- prioritise them in order of importance. :1b

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I would be thinking less along the lines of what if Ofsted come now.. and more about sorting it out and making those improvements or changes..

develop a good action plan

make targets that you can actually achieve with a time scale and what needs to be done to achieve the target.

prioritise.. list all that needs doing and choose one or two at a time.. if with a partner perhaps one target each.. anything that the staff can get involved in? give them a goal as well..

it is all about giving the children the best you can , which to us always meant evaluating and changing practices..

chances are that if you start making the changes some will be done before they come and with a solid action plan in place to show improvements may help in any inspection.

I used to document all as we did it .. this was all part of our self evaluation and meant we could show the improvements made , dated, time lined and with pictures when appropriate.. was useful to show anyone what we were doing and how far we had come..

yes it takes time to do.. but written down and with a time-scale it is achievable just make them all SMART. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed)

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Thank you for your replies.

We have an improvement plan and have a scrapbook showing everything we have done to improve the setting since we started so hopefully these will be ok if Ofsted turn up before we have chance to implement all the intended improvements.

I will try not to panic, but just feel as the nominated person I should be making sure these things happen.

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I agree with Inge, whether ofsted turn up or not you must make your improvements, an action plan will help show O that you have started but to be a year down the line with not much change I think needs to be looked at. Perhaps u need to do some work outside of setting hours to do work. A bit of solid hard work will pay dividends

 

Set yourself bite size chunks set yourself 1 or 2 targets a week

 

Good luck

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Hi Sam,

I think your priorities are to address the actions/recs that were in your last inspection report.

When you say your improvements aren't really happening- what kinds of things are you talking about? Maybe we could help you in putting them in order of priority? :1b

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We have improved our learning journeys since Ofsted came and improved our use of homelinks books with parents. We have looked at and nearly sorted our planning today, but some of the things we can't do until the weather gets better as it's improvements to our outdoors. We did address the recommendation about large climbing equipment back in June, but we have plans for a wigwam and planting area as well as a house on the side of our storage shed. Part of the problem is lack of funds for some of the things we want to do, but everything is on an improvement plan.

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I too am now panicking about Ofsted as I think we are going to have our inspection this week as they are definitely at the primary school tomorrow.

I have a list detailling the changes I've made since becoming manager in September and a list of further changes I'd like to make but these are not in a development plan as yet. Do they need to be in a proper plan or will a list suffice for Ofsted if they turn up tomorrow?

Think I'm going to have a sleepless night tonight!

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A list should suffice 'onyourmarks' There is no statutory form you have to have had filled in, so long as you can show you know what needs working on and when/how you aim to achieve it, it shouldn't matter what it is written on.

 

Good luck if and when they do turn up. Are you a pre-school on a school site?

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Personally I would go beyond just a list of 'things to do' and so I would get your idea sinto some form of development plan over time. Beyond just making a list, you should be asking yourselves, what difference is this going to make to the children/why do we want to do this, and then when you have made changes, how has this supported the children? What difference has this made?

SamG, can you delegate some of the things so that other members of staff take a lead on different things, developing your settings is everyone's business. If you have a plan in place, then your outdoor development could at the moment be around the fundraising, or consulting with children and parents about how you could improve outdoors. (it sounds like you may have dome this already?).

So are there any other things on your plan that were raised in your last inspection that you feel havent been done yet?

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Thanks, I've decided to keep the list to show what we have already implemented and add the outstanding actions into a form outlining what we'd like to change/develop, the intended effect of those changes, who is responsible and priority level so hopefully this will be sufficient.

Good luck if and when they do turn up. Are you a pre-school on a school site?

Yes, we are but run as a completely different entity although links to the school are good. I'd be very surprised if we are not inspected at the same time.

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Yes, we are a pre-school who work in partnership with the school but are still a separate entity according to Ofsted. Last time they were inspected Weds/Thurs then Ofsted turned up to us on the Friday. Good luck

 

Obviously if you get time to turn your list into something more, than great, but if time is as short as you think it might be, you may not get that time!

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