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Surviving an Inadequate Inspection


caffinefreak
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Hi

I'm looking for some advice about how monitoring visits are conducted? After a heart-breaking inadequate inspection result (haven't got the report yet as inspection was 2 weeks ago) we have put in place a development plan with what we think we need to address, we will jig this around when we get the report.

 

We've set up a task force with the LA and looked started booking visits and training, however, I have no idea what to expect from the monitoring visit. We've been told it will be within 3 months, I presume its unannounced but I don't know for sure?

 

I sincerely hope for all your sakes that none of you have ever had to go through this but if anyone has can you please let me know things like the time scale between the inspection and getting the report, the inspection and the monitoring and the monitoring and the re-inspection (Ofsted website says 6 months but is that statutory or a guideline?)

 

Also, again I hope not but if any of you have been through this, any tips on how to get through the whole thing on a personal level would be appreciated too as at the moment, it genuinely feels like my world has fallen in, I don't mean that to sound dramatic, its just that my nursery means everything to me, to have it pulled apart for things like not being teacher led and 'failing' SEN children (even after explaining how long we have been trying to get parental consent which has so far been met with an absolute NO - with a signed letter to prove it) I just don't think I will ever regain any professional confidence and I'm heartbroken :(

 

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom on any of this xx

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I typed an reply then lost it!!

You've got your LA supporting you so I'd just wait for the full report and the training and then possibly put in a complaint if you feel there are factual errors or its unfair. I cant say if it will change anything but it might make you feel better knowing its all in writing.

Then I'd sit with my team and have a frank discussion about the changes that need to be made, get their input into how the changes can take place, get ideas and delegate jobs to them to make it happen.

I might also put a questionnaire out to the families, presumably they're happy with the nursery, it might do you good to hear it.

Your LA wont want you to close so be very clear on what help you want from them.

I hope it all turns out well :1b

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Thanks Sunnyday

 

Yes we did consider an appeal however our LA advised us that she only knows of one case where the appeal was successful (I think she said out of 4000 appeals) and that the appeal process is time consuming and may delay our re-inspection, I want to get rid of this grade ASAP so don't want to risk anything that will delay that.

 

We will make a definite decision on an appeal when we have received the report but things are so up in the air just now that I don't know what to think.

 

Thanks for you kind words x

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Thanks Rea

 

I've already spoken to Trident because the insoector was being quality assured herself on insoection day and seemed very unsure of what to do, I heard her ask the QA lady on several occasions 'shall I do.... now? and when she gave me her opinion on something about one of my staff and I asked her to go and clarify that with the staff member, she said she didn't have time and the QA lady spoke to my staff member instead so I have concerns about the process.

 

We have already had our first staff meeting on this and when we get the report and share it with parents we will definitely ask for their input/feedback so we can include any suggestions in our development plan, however no one has asked yet even though all parents knew we were being inspected, so I agree that it seems they are all happy and that's certainly what they tell us so I hope to goodness this does the least amount of damage possible to our relationships with them.

 

Our LA have been wonderful, we are the 7th Inadequate since NOV so they are very on the ball with what to do and we are 100% working with them.

 

Thanks so much for your reply x

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Hi caffinefreak

 

I'm really sorry this has happened to you and your setting and completely understand how you are feeling.

 

My setting received an inadequate quite a few years ago, so I cannot comment on the monitoring visits as we just had a full inspection 6 months later.

 

However what my advice would be is to look at other settings in the same boat, all monitoring visits are recorded on Ofsted website so I would have a look at what was covered in their visits in relation to their report.

 

If you don't know of any other settings, pm me and I'll send you some links - unfortunately we have had quite a few in our area recently.

 

The feeling of despair will pass, once the report is out and all parents know it becomes a lot easier to tackle the actions positively.

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I haven't any experience of this either but wanted to wish you all the best. I like the parent questionnaire idea - I would go with a 2 stars and a wish route so you'll get some positive feedback to boost your confidence. You can do this. X

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Thank you so much ladies, I know this awful heavy heart feeling will start to go eventually but at the moment its all I can think about, I will read the monitoring visits on the website and that's really interesting thanks Rea.

 

I feel like I'm lying to our parents at the moment, no one has actually asked but just be carrying on being smiley and chatty feels like I'm deceiving them, I cant bear it :(

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caffinefreak couldn't just read and run even though I don't feel I have any advice to offer. Sending you big hugs!

I went on some training on Friday and it was about Ofsted, I did have quite word with the speaker as her opinion of Ofsted was not my experience by a long shot. She did say in twenty years she felt this was the toughest descriptors to be working under, not much of a consolation but I think you wont be alone. We got satisfactory last time and fear what will be next as they just don't like us operating out of a hall. She gave us some pointers in general about what they are looking for but we had that last time to no avail.

I don't think you are lying to your parents by keeping things going and being smiley as you, are you are showing everyone what a wonderful professional you are. Keep up the good work and dont let them drag you down or beat you, I can tell your setting means alot to you from your posts, the families and children in your care will know you heart and soul goes into you place I am sure.

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Firstly sending you a hug.:)x

I would definetly look at other settings on the Ofsted site, as Lucy P suggests.

Once you have got over the initial disappointment and have received your report, then you can begin to put an action plan in place with your LA's support.

Wishing you well for the future.:)

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Hi there.

 

I am in a nursery attached to a school, though it is not a maintained nursery, but governor led.

 

Anyway we are inspected as part of the school and we have been in notice to improve ( one step up from inadequate) and also in the requires improvement bit (that used to be satisfactory)

 

The thing is we are all put through the monitoring process and the constant visits from the authority and being observed.

 

I just wanted to say that I understand how downhearted you must be feeling and to send you a bit of a positive vibe!

 

Once the report is out you will be able to put a plan together and get to grips with what was felt to be lacking. I believe the re inspection is within a certain time period but again unannounced. If there is a positive here it is that it's a short period of time and before you know it you can try again.

 

Sending you my thoughts. Keep your chin up x

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Thank you all so much so such kind words, it really has been the most professionally devastating thing I have ever encountered.

 

I feel better just being in the nursery as I can see that our little ones are safe and happy and that really is the most important thing. Please don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting outstanding, I know that there are always things we can do to improve but that horrible word 'Inadequate' is just a blow to the heart and it's unfortunate that at the time where I need to be at my strongest to lead, inspire and motivate staff though the changes, I can hardly look myself in the face, I'm doing all the things that I think are right and showing the staff that we can and will turn this around, but every waking moment is consumed by this, I just need the report and then we can rejig our development plan and make sure we are prioritising properly, its such a horrible position to be in that we are waiting on their timescale, surely there should be an understanding that settings with this judgement need that report within a day or two, this timeframe is making everything feel worse.

 

Thanks again for your kind words, they do mean a lot to me xx

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I bet in your heart you know that you are good for children and that you make a positive difference to their lives and those of their families. The rest is STUFF forced on you from on high. It can feel like a game. People above you have people above them and so on and so on. Build a wall of common sense around yourself. Suck it up and deal with the important things first. You can't address everything in their stupid report at once. It will pass and you will feel better. Why don't you challenge the verdict? If they have already given an inadequate, it can' t go lower so you have everything to gain. Be strong. Don't let it in to your soul. You know you are good.

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Caffeinefreak

 

When I was teaching I was given a requires improvement grade, not by OFSTED but by the link inspector and I was absolutely crushed - so I can appreciate how you are feeling. I know everyone will say that their job is important to them but for us in early years it's so much more. It's a part of you and it is extremely difficult, well impossible really, not to take these gradings personally. I was determined that next time I would get a good (and I did but it was the beginning of the end for me in that setting). Use the disappointment positively, get angry if you have to - but prove the buggers wrong! Sounds like the LEA are being supportive so take their advice and keep the parents on board.

Keep smiling and take comfort in the fact that the kids and parents trust you. I hope to hear good news from you next time round.

Sending you virtual hugs.

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Guest lillybeth

Hi I am so sorry for your experience I hope once the awful report arrives you can begin to heal, I a sure as a team you will pull together and you will be supported by the parents. I would certainly look at inspection reports on the Ofsted site for other settings who have gone through a similar process and this will help you. It sounds like the LEA are also supporting you. If you go to the Ofsted site and look up inspections in Warwickshire done in the last month there is a monitoring report on there and it was very positive and I feel that would help you. keep strong, you will get through this even if at the moment your heart feels as if it is breaking XX

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Caffeinfreak ...i SO feel for you , it always feels to me that it could be any one of us in your position. I have had a 'bad' inspection some years ago (so not under this schedule) it was horrible and after a few days of feeling terrible (and telling the lea i was resigning) i decided to fight back!. if you feel the judgement is wrong and you have information to prove it then SAY so to ofsted...like any organisation they can make mistakes! i wrote a seven page complaint letter about my inspection and eventually they made it null and void! :o (but i think this is very rare!) some years down the line and my setting was deemed outstanding....i cried a lot when the inspector told me!

You will get there ...just think of this as your kick in the pants....pick yourself up and make a plan. We're all here to help ;) if you know some of the things in the report that were wrong and these can be easily changed do those now. The inspectors will be looking for an 'attitude' of change as well as actual changes. Good luck

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I am so sorry for what you are going through. You sound like the kind of person who cares passionately and will rise above this. The last Ofsted training that I went on, really brought it home for me that we are all, only one mistake away from this judgement. I hope you have the strength to get through this and come out stronger the other side. I know its easier said than done but don't make yourself ill with worry. Lets us know how you are getting on.

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we are all, only one mistake away from this judgement.

This is so, so true. It's been on my mind since I read your first post Caffeinfreak. It could have been me - and still might be. I hope you've had a good day and are feeling more positive about the future. Remember it was one person's judgment and you know that you are far from inadequate. I'm sure your families and staff know that too.

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So sorry to hear your news....can speak from experience here...opened in Dec 2004.... .Ofsted in Jan 2009......we had a frozen ( do u want to build a snowman Lol )...garden....and she gave us satisfactory......because our children did not have enough physical activity on that day...( we did not have ice skates for them...silly me why did I not buy any !) We too were absolutely devastated...tears all round...but as the pain wore off...the 'suits ' kicked in....I realised that IT DOES NOT AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS AND GOOD STANDING WITH YOUR FAMILIES.....we did not lose any parents at all...really their judgement means nothing nowadays...we have lost faith in their Inspectors....and i say again it does not discourage families from registering with you because families choose with their heart...not paperwork.....good luck !! This time next year re-inspected you will come back stronger and wiser....We were done again four years to the DAY in Jan 2013...got good and I was happy with that - i know my staff ....they are excellent...i would not want to be on their case day in day out for an Outstanding...and then always having to repeat that grade....life in nursery is busy enough day to day..who wants more grief.....xxxxxxxxxxx

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Thank you SO much for all these replies, you are all so lovely and I really appreciate the support, it is so reassuring to hear that the families have seen fast the grade and stayed, I told one of my parents, she didn't ask how it had gone but asked if I was ok as I looked really tired, she was so sweet, she told me she would never take her son out and that it is time to lean back and trust the relationships that we have built with our families

 

I am feeling a bit stronger today but sadly my business partner is on his knees today, we've both been really up and down but fortunately so far not at the same time so we are holding each other up for now!

 

I am starting to get angry which is better than devastated as that anger can be used positively, I know we will put all the work in and if we do go down, it will not be without a fight, I just need the dreaded report now!

 

Thanks again SO much, you are all fantastic :) xxx

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Guest youngrisers

was so upset to hear this on your behalf.

Think OFSTED are under the misapprehension that early Years should be run on school lines and that small children are not spontaneous and fun. Look at what their main judgement is on. Is there one single point that sticks out? what is their verdict on management, safeguarding etc. what was their main moan?

The development plan should have these main areas listed and then how you and your team are going to address them. the LEA will send in support and will offer ideas for improvement and hopefully your governing body and parents will support you and your team. Wishing you all the best for a positive outcome and a great future.

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Oh so sorry that I can not offer you any advice but at least I can echo the symathies of everyone else here. It's our worst nightmare, so we do all feel for you right now. Keep your chin up and try to take one day at a time.

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In 2009 we had a similar experience our inspector was being inspected she appeared to not be confident in her judgments she kept ringing someone up to clarify points. We felt very under pressure she was with us from 8.30-4.30 in our one room and small outside space and she was super human with no loo breaks . Our outcome was satisfactory we disagreed with this our LA said we could appeal but there was little chance this would be upheld (they also thought we had been robbed) so we decided not to do this.

We found it hard to come to terms with we included our parents in everything , it didn't ultimately change anything in the short or long term our practice still grows and develops as it should . We are still waiting for our inspection on high alert it is very stressful I have little faith in what will happen judging by what others say on here.

So you have my upmost sympathy with the range of emotions that you and your team must be feeling, this eases with time and you just have to dust off and meet the next challenge and hope you get someone who has experienced early years.

Good luck xx

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. We are still waiting for our inspection on high alert it is very stressful I have little faith in what will happen judging by what others say on here.

 

Just been having a conversation with my deputy about this - my little (old) brain is constantly whirring with thoughts as we wait for our inspection.......

I have a very small, long established, mature staff team - they are fantastic - but I seem to be 'pulling them up' about the most trivial things almost constantly - doesn't make for a great working environment........

My stress levels are growing by the day - so silly of me - I know that our practice is sound and that our children make great progress and that they are happy and contented........

We are due - but we have previously had a long, long wait for inspection - so I need to stop worrying, can't keep up this level of 'anxiety' :blink:

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