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OFSTED wouldn't give in their phone........


mrsbat
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Hi all, after the incident before half term at my setting, OFSTED served a 'welfare requirements notice' and they came for an unannounced visit today, all went well, she was really nice and happy with everything we have put in place etc.....

It's our policy for visitors to put their phones into a box out of reach, she gave in her personal phone but said she needed to keep her work one with her as she might need to take photos.....I didn't really feel comfortable about this and was thinking of emailing ofsted to get confirmation but as the visit went so well I don't want to cause an issue - if that makes sense?!?!

When we have been inspected before they have given their phone in too.....

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and you should have insisted that she hand it over. How did you know it WAS her work phone and why would Ofsted ask for photos on phones. Your policy is YOUR policy and she should have respected that. I would be asking Ofsted if it is their policy to ask inspectors to take photographs, on mobile phones, rather than camera, but in any case, your policies ( which are designed to safeguard everyone??) should override her wish to keep the phone. After all, if she HAD wanted to take a photo, she could have told you what of and why........and then get the phone, under your supervision.

having said all that, I am glad it went well, but stick to your guns next time :)

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Thanks all, to be honest I had left the setting as I finish at 12 today (session ends at 1) so I was called back by which time the phone thing had been discussed etc. Had I been there I must admit I probably wouldn't have pushed the issue - because it is OFSTED - which is stupid I know but with everything that has gone on lately what's left of my nerves and brain are frazzled and I wouldn't have wanted to 'rile' her.

I've actually emailed them and asked if it is their policy but not had a reply yet :)

Stargrower - yes am relieved she has been out now - however I wish she had come this morning when we had more children just to show how good we are as we only had 4 there for lunch! But hey ho it's over and doe with now, the welfare requirements notice has been served and she doesn't need to come out again.

Although I now have the worry that if we are downgraded at our next inspection because of it we will not be able to claim the Early years funding which will totally wipe out our children and to be honest we'll have to close....... I asked if this is likely to happen and she didn't actually know but will look in to it and email me to give me the answer.

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I'll be really interested to know the answer Ofsted give you.

Why do Ofsted need to take any photos? I've never heard of that before?!

I'm assuming it's in the case of something like the building being unsuitable (broken windows?!?!!?) or if they layout of a room was unsuitable? I actually have no idea but once I hear back I will let you know their response :)

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Glad it went well for you :-)

 

Can I just ask why you ask for them to be handed in though? To be honest if I was say a parent visiting (different I know) I don't think I would be too happy about handing my phone over? I certainly would keep it in my bag and happily turn it off but handing it in seems very different. When visitors come I go through that they can't use their phones and please can they be left in their bag / pocket but don't take them off them.

 

I can't see any reason at all as others have said about why she would ever need to take photos but just wondering how you came to your procedure and whether lots of people do this? Interesting to hear how different settings do things!

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We ask everyone for phones to be handed in and not once have we had someone say no or seem reluctant - we only ever have positive comments, including from ofsted at our last inspection. Most professionals who come to the setting say they are used to the practice now with other settings etc.

It's our policy which was created after attending SLP training but to be honest I do agree with it and like I say we have never in the last 4 years had someone refuse, people either say they are pleased we safeguard the children in this way or they ask why we do it and when explained they are grateful we do it :)

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I must confess to not liking to hand my phone over when I go out visiting settings, but only because I had experience once when I needed a phone right then and there and time wasted going into another room to get it or look for another could have had serious consequences. I do respect settings policy though, but like to know exactly where it is!

I do sometimes wonder exactly what removing phones is aiming to achieve because visitors with laptops or tablets can do anything they might have done on a phone.

But in response to mrsbat and the next inspection. I presume your visit was a monitoring visit and not a full inspection? Each new full inspection is a fresh sheet if you like, so you cant be downgraded for something that happened and you put right. It should be mentioned in the report but wont link back like they used to to previous reports. So, for example, it wont say ...in the last inspection you were asked to......, Not explaining this clearly am I? So say, you got picked up on a safety issue, eg a dangerous piece of equipment. Then you put in place daily risk assessments to ensure it didn't happen again. Then your next report might say 'risk assessments are carried out regularly helping to keep children safe'.

 

Glad that bits over for you though!

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Yes I agree that no visitors are unaccompanied, however Ofsted have the power and right to go off and look wherever they so wish. So potentially could conceal a phone like anyone else. If we are going to have policies that safeguard everyone, surely these should be abided by or challenged.

What a sad world we now live in I'm afraid.:(

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I have a statement inside visitor book which I ask visitors to read, it just tells them where to store belongings including mobile phone and if they need to make or receive a call to do so in a child free area or outside the main door....not that they'll get any reception anyway lol

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I must confess to not liking to hand my phone over when I go out visiting settings, but only because I had experience once when I needed a phone right then and there and time wasted going into another room to get it or look for another could have had serious consequences. I do respect settings policy though, but like to know exactly where it is!

I do sometimes wonder exactly what removing phones is aiming to achieve because visitors with laptops or tablets can do anything they might have done on a phone.

But in response to mrsbat and the next inspection. I presume your visit was a monitoring visit and not a full inspection? Each new full inspection is a fresh sheet if you like, so you cant be downgraded for something that happened and you put right. It should be mentioned in the report but wont link back like they used to to previous reports. So, for example, it wont say ...in the last inspection you were asked to......, Not explaining this clearly am I? So say, you got picked up on a safety issue, eg a dangerous piece of equipment. Then you put in place daily risk assessments to ensure it didn't happen again. Then your next report might say 'risk assessments are carried out regularly helping to keep children safe'.

 

Glad that bits over for you though!

Thank you :) Yes it was a monitoring visit after an incident before half term, she closed the case yesterday so just hoping like you say that it is not raked over again in the next inspection and it doesn't affect us with a downgrade.

Regarding the phones, we are in a village hall and use 2 rooms, each room has a box in full view of the staff (out of reach of children) so it is available but also difficult to retrieve a phone without someone seeing. Visitors are told to leave them on if they wish so they can receive calls if needed but not to answer them until they are outside of the building.

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Yes I agree that no visitors are unaccompanied, however Ofsted have the power and right to go off and look wherever they so wish. So potentially could conceal a phone like anyone else. If we are going to have policies that safeguard everyone, surely these should be abided by or challenged.

What a sad world we now live in I'm afraid. :(

They may have the power/right etc - but I personally don't let them out of my sight anyway! The only time I leave them in peace is when they are not anywhere near the children. :ph34r: I don't even leave them alone with children records - but they can happily look at polices and paperwork on their own.....

Maybe this was why the last one appeared a tad grumpy xD

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I might be concerned that the setting/manager had something to hide if they were stuck to me like glue however....!

Not so much anything to hide, but rather determined to ensure the inspector sees everything. I stuck to mine like glue at he last inspection, as was determined to use the very very short time we had with the inspector to showcase every aspect of what we do.....she must have thought she had a second shadow!

Edited by eyfs1966
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  • 2 weeks later...

FINALLY got a reply.......

Thank you for your email and accompany query dated 24 February 2015.

The Ofsted policy on mobile phones and taking photographs is that inspectors should adhere to the childcare provision’s policy on mobile phones, when on inspection. On regular Ofsted inspections, inspectors should not take photographs using their personal or business mobile phone. In some cases, an inspector may want to take a photograph when they see good/outstanding practice taking place and should ask the provision’s permission before taking any photographs.

However, page 12, paragraph 39 and 40 of 3.1a Investigation planning refers to when an inspector may take photographs; during an investigation. The document entitled 3.1a Investigation planning forms part of the Compliance, investigation and enforcement handbook: childcare, available on our website.

Many thanks

Ofsted

Early Education team

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