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Feedback from Ofsted 'Big Conversation' - Inspections


FSFRebecca
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At the Ofsted Big Conversation held in London on Monday Gill Jones HMI updated us on current inspection issues and also took questions and provided clarification fro those providers attending. The following points were made:

  • The % of settings gaining 'Good' or 'Outstanding' is increasing. Partly the sector is improving, but also the poorer settings are closing and leaving the sector
  • Ofsted are very well aware of the settings that close following a poor inspection and reopen under a new registration. History searches are completed before new registrations are granted
  • There is a new EYFS framework due with some minor amendments (around safeguarding and first aid). Until then, Ofsted are inspecting against the existing Statutory Framework. The new discussion points in the safeguarding doc may be 'good practice' at this point - but they are not statutory yet. Once new things come in, providers have a 3 month period during which they must make the changes - so that after 3 months everything is fully in place. Gill Jones spoke about the changes to the safeguarding requirements in Nursery World last week - you can read what she said, and the subsequent forum discussion here)
  • There was a question from an attendee regarding confusion between British Values , Prevent Duty and Absence reporting. Following discussion it became clear that different local authorities expected different things and so what was a 'must' in some local authorities was not considered necessary in others (which rather explains the differing opinions shared on the FSF thread about absence reporting). Gill Jones clarified that inspectors would use the Statutory Framework which requires providers to implement the LSCB for their area - there was not a 'one size fits all' answer
  • There was a question whether is was necessary to have multiple references on site for staff. Gill Jones explained that the statutory framework requires that Leaders and Managers carry out suitability checks and have robust recruitment procedures - other than DBS it is not specified what these should be. It was important that whatever policy/procedure providers had in place was robust and regularly reviewed and could be evidenced on inspection - Gill Jones said "You have got to be able to prove that the person you have employed is suitable and fit for the job"
  • There was a question about how Ofsted would inspect providers once the 30 hours funding comes into place. There would be no change to arrangements. However, providers should remember 'what is it like to be a child in this place?' if the child is doing long hours or accessing multiple settings.
  • There was a question about childminder agencies. Ofsted explained that were few childminder agencies and that first reports have only been published since the summer, yet to see broad picture.
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