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Wolfie
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I provide Foundation Stage support to a Children's Centre - they've been contacted by Ofsted today to say that they will be coming on February 6th. Does anyone know why they've been given so much notice? I thought ALL Ofsted visits were unannounced now?

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No it's not attached to anything and has a full daycare nursery - which I support - registered with Ofsted Early Years as part of the services it provides to parents. They've had a "normal" combined inspection before. Even schools don't get that much notice, I don't understand! :o

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I have been ofsted inspected recently under the new framework and its just 48 hrs notice. We were notified on a Tuesday for a Thursday, Friday visit that same week. I know many settings in our area have also only had 48 hrs but some lucky people were notified Wednesday and had the whole weekend to camp out in their classrooms :)

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I personally prefer the no notice inspections. Less anxiety for staff and owners. xD I also think they really put credibility to the outcome, especially in these days of reflective practice, see as you find. :D

 

Wolfie, I was amazed to read that your setting has had such a long notice period and somewhat intrigued as to why, not sure if you will find out, even though others get notice what is the why??? :o

 

Good luck with it though and try not to stress with the wait.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. I don't mean that forewarned settings are any less worthy of their results, just how it can be perceived by general public.

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I'm wondering whether it's some kind of "special" visit rather than an inspection - looking at Children's Centres in particular for some reason? I haven't been able to find out details yet, just had a very quick telephone conversation to put the date in my diary. I'll keep you posted! I agree Peggy, I would much rather have a no notice inspection and was pleased when they were introduced - in a previous life, when nursery vouchers first came out, I was a Registered Nursery Inspector (Boo! Hiss! xD:o ) and it was so obvious when a setting had pulled out all the stops just for that one day.

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Believe it or not I actually like quite a few Inspectors, ( but not all). and I do think they have become better since the introduction of no-notice inspections.( and possibly due to the 5 outcomes style of assessment)

 

I even got to do the Inspector training / interview process, but failed. :( Feedback was I didn't assess the learning potential from the vidoe clips on creative play, only because I found it was rather fluffy duck syndrome and not my idea of creativity. :o

 

Much happier when I was an accreditation assessor, at least I was invited to settings. :(

 

I also think the admin support (or lack of) from such a large organisation must be quite frustrating for Inspectors too, so glad I am not one and some empathy to some Inspectors out there who face quite a lot of flack, I am sure. xD

 

Peggy

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I do think that the inspection of the quality of nursery education has become somewhat "watered down" in the change to the new style of inspection under the five outcomes - there seems to be only one paragraph reporting findings on the quality of nursery education now...."in my day" I had to write one paragraph on my findings in each of the six areas of learning, plus another paragraph on each of curriculum planning, quality of teaching, SEN and Equal Opps, resources and partnership with parents!

 

I know it was thought that the old style of inspecting and reporting care and education separately was too time consuming and cumbersome for the setting, the inspector and Ofsted - it certainly took a lot of time to both gather evidence and write the report on education from my point of view - but I think the new style of combined inspecting and reporting of care and education has maybe swung too far the other way. You hear all the time of settings who feel that the inspector didn't spend enough time making sure that they had seen and recorded all the evidence available during their inspection, leading to reports that don't paint a true picture. This must be partly due to the time pressures put on individual inspectors to churn out so many reports in a given period I suppose. I don't really know what the answer is......... xD:o

 

Oh and Peggy, I know what you mean about being happier as an assessor - I came out of inspecting because I couldn't cope with the fact that even though I tried really hard to put staff at ease and make the inspection process as stress free as possible, NO-ONE wanted to see me pull up in the car park! I need people to like working with me!

Edited by Wolfie
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We once had a really nice Inspector - not so long ago. After she'd done the Inspection, given feedback etc we talked for a while about childcare issues generally. When she thanked me etc I said 'Thank you because the way you've conducted this Inspection has made it all go easier [etc etc]. I was amazed when she responded with something like: would I mind putting that in writing & sending to OFSTED, as they so rarely had anything positive said. I didn't want to appear to be 'sucking up' to OFSTED, but after I'd thought about it for a while, & the report had come through, I did just that.

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I've gleaned a little more information now....I don't think it is an inspection - they've said they're coming for five hours and want to look at the impact that the Children's Centre is having on the local community. So presumably they'll be looking at all the different services that the Centre provides and not just the nursery. I've never heard of a visit from Ofsted like this before!

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maybe a result of the changes from the Every Child matters, I know my fostering agency are inspected under the 5 outcomes, not sure who their inspection body is though, I shall find out.

We are definately moving towards 'common' goals under the 5 outcomes within a variety of service providers incorporating health, care and education etc.

 

peggy

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Just to let you know.........our visit from Ofsted next week is part of an Ofsted survey inspection programme, evaluating the impact of children's centres on children and their families - visits are being made to a cross section of children's centres to explore specific issues relating to the services offered, to track the impact of recent initiaitives and to investigate the need for future developments. They want to identify good practice and also barriers to success which will inform the on-going expansion of children's centres.

 

That sounds OK to me...a useful exercise I think!

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I'd be interested to hear how it goes - our children's centre has been registered a year now and has been quite quiet on the inspection front so far! Best of luck xx

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slap my wrist, I am a naughty synic sometimes, but humble enough to admit it :o

 

Keep us posted, interested in results if you get told them.

 

Peggy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update....the sort of inspection happened. I was really impressed with the two inspectors and had some very valuable discussions with them which has helped me set future targets for my role as QTS which is still very woolly and vague at times - I sometimes think it's up to me to decide what I want it to be!!

 

All in all, a positive experience. the inspectors said that every Children's Centre they have visited so far has been run on completely different lines to all others and there aren't a lot of common factors yet!! :o

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Your last paragraph indicating the variety of modes of delivery, I think is a positive thing because does it not show that they are individual to their communities, which was the original aim of childrens centres?

or have I got my rose tinted glasses on again? :o

 

Peggy

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