Ofsted Inspection went well but made me angry
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  1. #1
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    Default Ofsted Inspection went well but made me angry

    Hello everyone, hope you're all well.

    Would just like a bit of a rant really lol.
    I had my Ofsted inspection yesterday and it went well but the recommendations I got are bloomin ridiculous:

    1. More evidence that I am encouraging learning at home.
    She said examples of this would be sending work home (homework basically) for the children to do and bring back. I said that my parents would welcome this like a hole in the head! They are all busy people juggling work and families. She said well perhaps if they tell you about something they have done at home you could ask the parents for photographs?
    How is anything they do at home in my control exactly?! It takes me months to get my learning journals back whenever I send them home and with some parents I have to nag and nag them just to send a coat with their child. Half the time they even forget to pack nappies. Photos and homework?!!!

    2. Develop the management of my staff.
    I have an assistant who works with me one morning a week. She happens to be my mum! We have her induction on paper and regular staff development meetings with action plans all on paper. Mrs O said I should have some written observations on her with the children and give her feedback. I said to her that we discuss things all the time and I'm always 'observing her'. But for goodness sake, she's my mother! She raised me! I know first hand how she is with the children. Do these things account for nothing?

    Just all very silly and I'm afraid I couldn't help myself and I told Mrs O just how silly I thought it all was

    I really don't want an outstanding grade if these are the some of the hoops I have to jump through!
    I told the parents about these recommendations when they came to collect and every one of them laughed and had their own individual rants lol.
    It's just made me angry to be honest because I just think we're fighting a losing battle to be appreciated for what we do and how hard we work.
    And the fact that I need to do even more paper work to have an assistant has put me right off having one and after my big ones go in September I certainly won't be replacing them. So that's 3 childcare spaces gone in this town because I simply don't need the hassle which is a shame because it's been really nice working with my mum. Well done there Ofsted!!
    I told her that too
    Blondes have more fun!

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlondeMoment View Post
    Hello everyone, hope you're all well.

    Would just like a bit of a rant really lol.
    I had my Ofsted inspection yesterday and it went well but the recommendations I got are bloomin ridiculous:

    1. More evidence that I am encouraging learning at home.
    She said examples of this would be sending work home (homework basically) for the children to do and bring back. I said that my parents would welcome this like a hole in the head! They are all busy people juggling work and families. She said well perhaps if they tell you about something they have done at home you could ask the parents for photographs?
    How is anything they do at home in my control exactly?! It takes me months to get my learning journals back whenever I send them home and with some parents I have to nag and nag them just to send a coat with their child. Half the time they even forget to pack nappies. Photos and homework?!!!

    2. Develop the management of my staff.
    I have an assistant who works with me one morning a week. She happens to be my mum! We have her induction on paper and regular staff development meetings with action plans all on paper. Mrs O said I should have some written observations on her with the children and give her feedback. I said to her that we discuss things all the time and I'm always 'observing her'. But for goodness sake, she's my mother! She raised me! I know first hand how she is with the children. Do these things account for nothing?

    Just all very silly and I'm afraid I couldn't help myself and I told Mrs O just how silly I thought it all was

    I really don't want an outstanding grade if these are the some of the hoops I have to jump through!
    I told the parents about these recommendations when they came to collect and every one of them laughed and had their own individual rants lol.
    It's just made me angry to be honest because I just think we're fighting a losing battle to be appreciated for what we do and how hard we work.
    And the fact that I need to do even more paper work to have an assistant has put me right off having one and after my big ones go in September I certainly won't be replacing them. So that's 3 childcare spaces gone in this town because I simply don't need the hassle which is a shame because it's been really nice working with my mum. Well done there Ofsted!!
    I told her that too
    It really depends on how we see this picture that is evolving with the Common Inspection Framework.

    EY wanted to be part of it on a level playing field with schools...what the inspector has suggested is what school inspections are experiencing too
    All part of the Leadership and Management mantra...sharing practice and so on and on...and on!! (see academies rethoric as an example)

    Some in EY strongly recommended EY to be inspected as the important phase it is for children.

    not sure it is happening or whether subcontracted inspectors have been well trained for it....so we wait until EY settings go back under the Ofsted umbrella and get inspected by their own staff!
    I expect the inspector had to tick her target boxes and they do not differentiate between a school and an EY setting...sad but true!

  4. #3
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    Sorry to hear you're upset by the silly recommendations.

    How was the rest of the feedback? Was everything else good? Sometimes I think we overlook the positive comments they make and find ourselves totally focusing on the negatives.

    If these are recomendations, they're not something you have to do. They're just something the inspector has identified as areas you could work on. There's nothing to say you couldn't note that you have considered the recommendations, have decided they are not necessary, so will not be doing them. You can clearly explain what you already do, how these added tasks wouldn't have any benefit for the children and how what you already do is more than sufficient.

    I'm sure there's a consultation going on at the moment about cutting unnecessary paperwork or burdens placed on us. Maybe you could find it and add your comments there. Are you also given the opportunity to give feedback following your inspection? I know you have already told the inspector (good for you), but I'd put it in writing as well if I could.

    In the meantime and for your own peace of mind, try to focus on the positive things that were said. If anyone asks or if you tell anyone about your inspection, start with all the good things that were said. Leave the recommendations as the afterthought at the end - don't make them the main thing about your inspection.

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  6. #4
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    BlondMoment....The 2 recommendations made in your case are easily addressed...there is nothing to worry about...just tweak the SEF under L&M and also Working in partnership with parents.
    Remind parents of the document 'What to expect, when?' so they have no doubts what they can do....even Ofsted and DfE mention this all the time now.

    There is no need for us to send homework to be done at home but there are suggestions we can make to parents and ...in return...ensure they engage with us over their child's progress
    One particular association is, at this very moment, giving examples of what we can share with parents for this very reason...easily done.
    There is also the DfE's own publication 'Home Learning Environment' that can help with this.

    The consultation is about eliminating 'unnecessary' paperwork which many providers do 'just in case'
    I would suggest re-writing or tweaking the EYFS in plain English would really help so we know exactly what is a Must and what is a Should and we evidence the necessary not the superfluous....that should include the requirements dictated by our LAs who seem to devise plenty of additional paperwork for providers!

    Take as it is and yes I agree concentrate on the positive in your report.

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    I think it's down to how the individual inspector interprets things. Some of the recommendations are ridiculous.
    I was lucky with my inspector, she listened to everything I told her and allowed me to explain why I did certain things and she gave me outstanding. I certainly didn't 'jump through hoops' and I must admit to being offended when I hear people say that.
    My encouraging home learning was simply sending a doll home for a little one to look after while I was on holiday, the parents sent me photos and I put them in their folder. I also send an advent calendar home with a pair of scissors - simple.
    I couldn't comment on assistants cos I don't have one.
    All I can say is that as long as you know you are doing a good job and the kids and parents are happy, that's all that matters

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    I've just had a thought...how do the inspectors KNOW if we send books home with kids etc? Do they just go by what we say?! Surely we need parents to confirm this is day happens??

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    I sympathise with you Blondemoment and can see why it made you angry, I would be too! all well and good saying we have to be inspected the same as schools but--------------- we are not schools! I'm just sick of how everything is going for the kids ( cos that's what they are - children but lots of the higher ups seem to forget that) it's all about structured learning these days and assessing and testing, makes me mad! I know I'm going a bit of track now but my 9 year old grandaughter has been in tears over the latest tests because she thought she wouldn't do well enough (but she did) and I don't think a 9 year old should have this sort of pressure. As you say the parents don't have the time to do 'homework' from their childminder and I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable giving any out, even the EYFS folders I feel I have to apologise for giving them once a term! I'll probably get slated for my comments and be told 'it's for the benefit of the children' but what happened to a childhood?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    I've just had a thought...how do the inspectors KNOW if we send books home with kids etc? Do they just go by what we say?! Surely we need parents to confirm this is day happens??
    They go with what they read in our SEF, what they see evidence of in our folders/photo albums, what parents say. They can get the feel for what kind of setting you have and your way of working- if they think you are stretching the truth they can just ask you some questions to find out. My inspector trusted what she read in my SEF, it correlated with what parents told her and what I could show her in photos and letters etc.

    I do not send books home or send homework home- and never will!

    I have done things like share a playdough recipe with parents; put things in my newsletter that they can choose to do at home (like show how I make a post-box out of a box for playing a 'posting' letters- I do not literally tell them to do it but by showing something easy and low-cost you just hope they pick-up on it); we planted a bean seed and they take it home to grow- I ask how it is going and some parents choose to send me a photo.

    No more than that is expected or needed. It is just about generally being generous with ideas, sharing and being interested in what they are doing at home, and getting parents feeling comfortable about talking to you about what the child is doing at home. No paperwork is needed.

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    We are 2 childminders working together and I very clearly said to the inspector - we observe each other and comment on practice all the time but we don't write anything down because it's not a statutory requirement to make a record of our observations ...

    The inspector agreed and we moved on!!

    We ask parents for photos of children's learning at home - they send them through whatsapp or facebook and we print them off - that ticked the 'learning at home' box ...

    You don't need reams of evidence - you just need to show you are doing it - we certainly don't have huge amounts of paperwork.

    Re-consider before losing your mum! if you enjoy what you do together take a breath and carry on xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    They go with what they read in our SEF, what they see evidence of in our folders/photo albums, what parents say. They can get the feel for what kind of setting you have and your way of working- if they think you are stretching the truth they can just ask you some questions to find out. My inspector trusted what she read in my SEF, it correlated with what parents told her and what I could show her in photos and letters etc.

    I do not send books home or send homework home- and never will!

    I have done things like share a playdough recipe with parents; put things in my newsletter that they can choose to do at home (like show how I make a post-box out of a box for playing a 'posting' letters- I do not literally tell them to do it but by showing something easy and low-cost you just hope they pick-up on it); we planted a bean seed and they take it home to grow- I ask how it is going and some parents choose to send me a photo.

    No more than that is expected or needed. It is just about generally being generous with ideas, sharing and being interested in what they are doing at home, and getting parents feeling comfortable about talking to you about what the child is doing at home. No paperwork is needed.
    Thanks moggy, have you been inspected recently and did this approach hold up in your inspection?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Thanks moggy, have you been inspected recently and did this approach hold up in your inspection?
    Yes, absolutely.

  16. #12
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    Individual inspectors cannot interpret the EYFS and CIF according to their own understanding...there is plenty of guidance cms can look at and read and 'know' exactly what is expected at inspection.
    Take a look at their tick list on inspection day.
    Anything an inspector says or does can be challenged on the day...especially individual judgements.

    If we have assistants we can evidence their development via 'Appraisal' sessions....all employees are entitled to have these to highlight strengths and weaknesses and their training requirements.
    All employers have a duty to offer this opportunity regardless of the nature of the employee....whether they are related to the cm or not should make no difference.

    There are also 'peer to peer' observations...take a look at the EEL project or Leuven and it is very easy to put in place...that goes for employer and employee
    Give it a try ..they are just so very useful and an eye opener....so much better than any SEF

    I would not dismiss 'sharing' tips and supporting parents in their children's learning at home.
    we are not expected or required to do this but I have not heard of any provider who would dismiss the opportunity to truly work together in partnership.
    It does not take a great effort

    Can this be evidenced? of course it can via the LJ ...or whatever documentation you do.. which is a document that is shared with parents....also parents do have the opportunity to talk to the inspector on inspection day

    It is also important to remember that it does not matter who parents are ...it is what they do that matters (EPPE quote)
    Last edited by Simona; 07-05-2016 at 08:36 AM.

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    Can things like where a child brings a book to your setting because they enjoy it be seen as a way of encouraging learning at home, because they have chosen something that THEY own and are using it in YOUR setting to learn/discuss etc or does it HAVE to be US sending something home with them?

  18. #14
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    I personally think we can do things our own way as we are unique...however...EYFS page 10 gives a hint on what the expectations are.
    Exchanging books or suggesting activities to do at home are just 2 simple examples...so much more can be done across the whole L&D areas.

    This DfE document explains how providers can contribute and how important our influence is...it is dated 2011 so not new at all
    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload.../DFE-RR142.pdf

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    Well, yesterday I got my written report and was given 24 hours to raise any concerns (as if thats enough time when you work 7am-7pm!)
    ..............so I did!
    I called them, spoke to an Ofsted inspection person, and told her all about the 'evidence to show I'm encouraging learning at home' thing, gave loads of examples of how I am completely linked with learning at home and working with parents all the time.
    And THEY HAVE ADMITTED THIS WAS AN UNFAIR RECOMMENDATION AND DROPPED IT!!!!! YESSSSSS!!!!!

    Not until after a good argument though (in a nice way lol). The wording didn't say anything about homework. It literally said
    Although partnerships with parents are good overall, the childminder does not consistently gather precise information about what children are learning at home, in order to complement their learning in the setting further.

    Sorry but that is NOT the question she asked me or what she verbally told me to do. The lady I spoke to on the phone reassured me that this didn't mean I wasn't doing it, just that I needed to show more evidence for it. So I asked if the word 'information' could be changed to 'evidence' because that wording makes it sound as if I don't always listen to the parents.

    They said they don't use the word 'evidence' in their reports.

    What!!!???? When a massive percentage of our judgement is on evidence!!!! She said she'd get back to me and an hour later she called back to tell me they had discussed it and decided it was a pretty unfair comment considering the conversation we'd had about how much I do actually do. She also said it shouldn't matter because not everything needs to be on paper! So Mrs O was wrong!

    So fellow childminders....if you don't agree, speak up and kick some bums.
    I feel better now lol.
    Blondes have more fun!

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    Wow! Well done!

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    A massive well done for challenging it and getting a positive outcome. That gives hope to anyone who might get a silly or unfair recommendation in the future. It's good to know ofsted do sometimes listen

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  23. #18
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    Good for you! We won't be browbeaten by Ofsted!

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    Fantastic, well done BM, well done you :-) x

  25. #20
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    Thanks guys
    Blondes have more fun!

 

 
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