If you could ask Ofsted anything what would it be?
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  1. #1
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    Default If you could ask Ofsted anything what would it be?

    I am going to the Pacey conference on the 16th May and Gill Jones from Ofsted will be there. If you had any question for Ofsted what would you ask?
    Debbie

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    ummmmmm...

    I guess I'd like to ask if the guidance documents could be replaced. ( I know it has been asked before, and the answer was no, but they were useful to people! )

    personally, I'd like to be able to ask Ofsted to approve ( or not ) a 'variation' again! would save a lot of worry.

    and also, I understand that the inspection cycle is 4 years now, and not the 2-3 years it was when I was last inspected, but how does it work, that it is now 6 1/2 years since my last inspection? I have had children start with me as babies, who are now going to school! I know I'm doing a reasonable job - but how do Ofsted know that I'm not failing these children?

    and another thought ... what do Ofsted think of childminders? are they trying to put us out of business? The seemingly constant changing ways they want things/'hot topics'/inspections etc ... none of which seem entirely relevant to childminders who offer home from home care and are NOT nurseries. The only childminders in my area that have been awarded outstanding lately are those that run 'big' settings, usually with at least one fulltime assistant, and/or have their home and garden decked out like a nursery. also, unfair actions such as 'not working with other professionals such as preschool/nursery', when the childminder does all they can, and the other setting/professional ignores the childminder!

    sorry ... had a little bit of a rant there! and I'm not sure that they are really questions etc to ask Ofsted!

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    I was going to say similar to loocyloo - it almost seems as if they are setting us up to fail by changing EVERYTHING so often - just as soon as I've changed a policy and e-mailed it out to parents, something else changes and the policy is out of date again.

    Agree on variations although by the time they were approved the need to have it had gone, at least it can be more instant now - although 20+ years ago, I just used to ring up my Under 8's social worker tell her why I needed to have an extra child that day and she would give permission and jot it down in her diary!

    It does seem crazy that a couple of years ago the DfE were trying to increase our ratios permanently to 4 children and now if you do a self variation and get the wrong inspector for your inspection you will be downgraded as they still can't agree on Cont of Care. (even though we have letters in the download files that say you can - before I start a debate on it).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    ummmmmm...

    I guess I'd like to ask if the guidance documents could be replaced. ( I know it has been asked before, and the answer was no, but they were useful to people! )

    personally, I'd like to be able to ask Ofsted to approve ( or not ) a 'variation' again! would save a lot of worry.

    and also, I understand that the inspection cycle is 4 years now, and not the 2-3 years it was when I was last inspected, but how does it work, that it is now 6 1/2 years since my last inspection? I have had children start with me as babies, who are now going to school! I know I'm doing a reasonable job - but how do Ofsted know that I'm not failing these children?

    and another thought ... what do Ofsted think of childminders? are they trying to put us out of business? The seemingly constant changing ways they want things/'hot topics'/inspections etc ... none of which seem entirely relevant to childminders who offer home from home care and are NOT nurseries. The only childminders in my area that have been awarded outstanding lately are those that run 'big' settings, usually with at least one fulltime assistant, and/or have their home and garden decked out like a nursery. also, unfair actions such as 'not working with other professionals such as preschool/nursery', when the childminder does all they can, and the other setting/professional ignores the childminder!

    sorry ... had a little bit of a rant there! and I'm not sure that they are really questions etc to ask Ofsted!
    Oh yes they are very good questions to ask Ofsted and I intend to put them to Ofsted myself at the London OBC coming up in June...I assume Debbie Jones will be the one attending the meeting.

    I would ask Ofsted to keep to their remit of inspecting the 'standards' in education (assuming their inspectors are suitably trained to do so) as their title clearly states and stop being the 'policy maker' they want to be and making everyone so unhappy in the EY and teaching profession.

    Your question regarding the 'variations' proves the point...DfE says one thing as the 'legislator' and Ofsted come along as the 'regulator' and change it all.
    What has followed is utter fear of the inspectorate since his current HMCI has taken the post.

    Sir Michael Wilshaw himself is the one who suggested to parents to send their children to school and 'NOT the LOCAL CM'...no further proof needed of his intentions and dislike of CMs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    ummmmmm... I know I'm doing a reasonable job - but how do Ofsted know that I'm not failing these children?
    Totally agree with everything you said. I'd be careful of the above, though, as it just opens the door for Ofsted to say "well, we would know you weren't failing children if you were all part of Agencies".

    (I think that, under the current system, you're deemed as doing a 'reasonable' job if Ofsted receive no complaints about you. Even bogus ones )

    One I'd like to see added would be some sort of penalty for wasting Ofsted's time applied to people who make vexatious/serial/ non-founded complaints against childminders. (Similar to wasting the Police's time.) Now there's a thought! Can't see it being put into practice, but made me feel better just writing it. (Thinking of those poor childminders and teachers where this sort of thing has ruined them!)



    L
    Last edited by lollipop kid; 06-05-2015 at 08:28 AM.

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    I would be interested to know whether they would consider a rethink of the current grading system in that I have visited two different "good" childminders who in my opinion were worlds apart and shouldn't share the same grade.

    I am also interested whether their criteria for labelling someone as "good" is really robust enough as as a parent I have used a supposedly "good" childminder who in my opinion wasnt.

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    What I would like to know...as well as those points already raised...

    If I run a nursery or a playgroup , even nursery school , and one of my staff doesn't come in for whatever reason ( sickness etc...) I can call in 'bank staff' to cover .

    Why cant I do the same as a cm? Its the single thing that stops me having an assistant - I simply aren't willing to let families down when my assistant inevitably has to take a day off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    What I would like to know...as well as those points already raised...

    If I run a nursery or a playgroup , even nursery school , and one of my staff doesn't come in for whatever reason ( sickness etc...) I can call in 'bank staff' to cover .

    Why cant I do the same as a cm? Its the single thing that stops me having an assistant - I simply aren't willing to let families down when my assistant inevitably has to take a day off.
    If we know someone who has the new DBS and has paid for the updates then surely we should be allowed to use them as bank staff without them being registered with Ofsted as our assistant.

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Oh yes they are very good questions to ask Ofsted and I intend to put them to Ofsted myself at the London OBC coming up in June...I assume Debbie Jones will be the one attending the meeting.

    I would ask Ofsted to keep to their remit of inspecting the 'standards' in education (assuming their inspectors are suitably trained to do so) as their title clearly states and stop being the 'policy maker' they want to be and making everyone so unhappy in the EY and teaching profession.

    Your question regarding the 'variations' proves the point...DfE says one thing as the 'legislator' and Ofsted come along as the 'regulator' and change it all.
    What has followed is utter fear of the inspectorate since his current HMCI has taken the post.

    Sir Michael Wilshaw himself is the one who suggested to parents to send their children to school and 'NOT the LOCAL CM'...no further proof needed of his intentions and dislike of CMs.
    Trouble is the London Big Ofsted Conversation seems to have become an exclusive club that has just rejected so many cm members it is a laugh. I have no respect left for it otr what it does it is too Nursery orientated.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickysmiths View Post
    Trouble is the London Big Ofsted Conversation seems to have become an exclusive club that has just rejected so many cm members it is a laugh. I have no respect left for it otr what it does it is too Nursery orientated.
    I am not aware of the London OBC having rejected cms...why would they do so?
    Any OBC is only as good as the number who attend and bring their concerns to Ofsted
    London has the biggest number of LAs represented and yet only a few cms ever attend...if you feel excluded do bring this to the attention of those who organise it.
    I do agree that our meetings are in the week not at weekends and that does not help ...maybe you could suggest that they are given a chance to be on a Saturday?

    I will be going...by the way I said Debbie Jones would attend, that should have been Gill Jones as Debbie has left Ofsted.

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    why can't inspections be more regular! cm's seem to go up to and over 5 years waiting for an inspection! Having one possibly looming over your head is horrible, I'd rather just know that 3 years is up it's inspection time, lets get on with it! am as nervous about them as my driving test!

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    I would love it if there was a way that Ofsted could have a complaints policy for parents that is similar to those of other organisations.

    I don't understand how a complainant can come to Ofsted in the first instance with a complaint, when they have not first gone through the Childminder/Provider's complaints policy. Surely they should be asked to take the matter up with the Childminder or Provider first, and follow their complaints procedure, then, if not satisfied, go to Ofsted. (Or at the very least, they should be asked if they have actually taken it up with the Childminder/Provider first?)

    (Look at those of us who are inspected by Tribal. If we have a complaint against Tribal, we have to go through the Tribal complaints procedure first - we can't just go straight to Ofsted, much as we would love to!)

    I feel that the current system of being able to go to Ofsted with a complaint in the first instance is open to abuse and malicious use. I also think it is wrong that the first time some of us are aware a complaint has been made against us is when we get that knock at the door!

    (I believe this has changed slightly recently so that, in some instances, rather than inspect, Ofsted will send a letter, which is a tiny step in the right direction, but it's just not far enough for me.)

    I understand genuine safeguarding concerns being treated with utmost caution, but these are not what I'm talking about here.

    L
    Last edited by lollipop kid; 07-05-2015 at 12:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTinker View Post
    why can't inspections be more regular! cm's seem to go up to and over 5 years waiting for an inspection! Having one possibly looming over your head is horrible, I'd rather just know that 3 years is up it's inspection time, lets get on with it! am as nervous about them as my driving test!
    I agree. Wouldn't it also be great if each revision to the EYFS would have a shelf-life of x number of years at least? I was inspected in 2009 for the first time, not long after EYFS 2008 had been bedded in. Then I was inspected early in 2013, not long after EYFS 2012 was bedded in.

    I know EYFS is changing again later this year? (Plus there will be whatever changes happen as a result of whatever new Government we get.)

    Please, could they leave it alone for an agreed, minimum set period this time? Say for at 6 or 7 years? This way, there might be actually be a chance that we wouldn't need to re-learn the whole thing twice again between inspections?



    L

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