devastating ofsted inspection
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  1. #1
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    Default devastating ofsted inspection

    I want to start in saying this has been the most horrendous time for me personally and sorry if it is going to be long one. But I have only just picked up the courage to post on here my experience, but I need to share it with you all, because I would hate this happen to anyone else.
    I had my inspection in April and have gone from good, to graded inadequate. It has left me totally devastated. If someone who doesn't know me, as most of you don't, read the report I'm sure you would be horrified. But there are a few members on the forum that do know me well and know that the report is not a true reflection of me as a childminder and how I run my business. I am not an overly confident person, but did not feel on the day that I went to pieces. But on reflection I now accept that I may have become complacent that we could get away with doing less paperwork, when clearly in my case I should of been doing, just to prove myself.

    I will tell you a little about myself first. I have been a childminder for 8 years. We have always had full support from the LA, I am on the city wide network, became accredited 2.5 years ago and have to go through a yearly process to keep the accreditation status. Last one dated Sept 2012. I came out as a low, meaning that is the best you can be. I have, up to now,had a close relationship with my development officer.

    Now, about my inspection. I had two inspectors on the day, one being inspected by the other, while inspecting me. The one inspecting me was a new one, I think, she is a total unknown to anyone in the know. Her first comment on ringing me to introduce herself, when she asked how many children will be present, I answered her, 2:8m, 2:3m and a 9m, all boys, her reaction was, goodness you have got your hands full haven't you, what a strange thing to say to childminder who is allowed 3 children of that age? There are so many things that a stated on the report that contradict, I don’t know where to start. Sarah has read it and I will let her answer on what she thinks. I know many of you will say that I should of appealed and believe me I know that now, but I felt so shocked and weak at the time, believed the advice that if I did appeal it wouldn't change the outcome and do regret not doing so now. The reason I did not appeal is that I was led to believe that I would have a monitoring visit in 3 months from inspection date, so therefore I would of gathered the proof that 99% of the report is wrong. I have now been told that that they wont come to me now for 6-12 months.

    I will list a few things but there are too many to mention here and anyone who would like to read my report are more than welcome to do so. You can then draw your own conclusion on what you think

    one example: I was asked if the young baby could crawl, I answered not yet, but I have made an observation (written proof in his folder) that he is showing signs and what his next steps are, so will happen any time. 30 mins later baby crawled, very tiny crawl, with me making a big fuss, saying well done you did it. They then said in the feedback, that I'm not following babies development because I stated he couldn't crawl when he can!

    There were a couple of safeguarding issues that weren’t as bad as a stated on the report. One, I didn’t have a fireguard in use on the day of inspection. We are advised by the LA that they are not a requirement and I dispute using one is a matter of opinion. Another that I am fully happy to accept, although not as bad as it is making out, is that in the report it states that I had trailing wires. They weren’t actually trailing. They came out of the keypad on the alarm box flush against the wall 6-8 inches, then back into the wall.

    Many, many more things. The fact that I didn’t have a written planning sheet or written proof that i was covering all 7 areas on the day of inspection. She asked me questions on both and I thought that I had explained, but obviously not well enough. I had individual next steps on obs sheets, but they wanted to see them on a separate planning sheet. And again if anyone wants to read the report they are welcome, please pm me and I will gladly send you my reg number and i will answer questions you might want to ask.

    I am now at a stage where I need to decide fight this or to give up childminding completely. I have no faith that it will get any better.
    Thank you for taking the time to read and again apologies for it being so long.
    Helen xXx

  2. #2
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    I just wanna send u a hug. I had my first graded at inadequte thus week due to once incident...so i feel vulnerable too....but i wanna send a hug to u xx

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeanne910 View Post
    I just wanna send u a hug. I had my first graded at inadequte thus week due to once incident...so i feel vulnerable too....but i wanna send a hug to u xx
    So sorry to here that hun. Now Ive typed it all up, Im sitting here blubbering like a big baby again. Hope youre okay
    Helen xXx

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    It sounds like you had an horrendous experience and yet another example of a really bad inspector

    Cx

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    Well I just want to say Im one of the members who know Helen and no way is this a true reflection of the childminder she is. Im still shocked about the grading that you have received as you do loads more than I do. I do think the report contradicts itself.

    You know where I am honey xxx
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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  9. #6
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    It is obvious to me what has happened. That your inspector was being watched herself made her go right over the top in a very unfair way.
    I have refused before to have two inspectors in my home as it was unsettling for the children and so would effect my grade.

    I would put in a complaint now say the time lapse is due to the emotional stress it has put you under. Im sure Sarah will give you good advice. Sending hugs x
    we dont stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing

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    I want to remind you that you and your families' know that you are providing well for their children, but I know that won't really help right now, after you've been dealt such a blow by incompetent strangers.

    So sorry you've been put in this horrible, unfair situation. Hope you find the strength to ignore Ofsted and keep going for the people - small and big - who know you and value you xx

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  12. #8
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    You poor thing. It's awful that Ofsted inspectors can turn someone's life upside down so easily, especially when so much of it is based on personal opinion and their lack of real understanding.

    I wonder if inspectors have to justify why they give grades like this. I know my inspector had to check it was OK to give me an outstanding as it was the first one she'd given. She had to prove to her bosses why I deserved it. Surely if an inspector has downgraded someone from good to inadequate, there should be a process in place to check it's right. It shouldn't have been enough that another inspector was there.

    I really hope it's not to late to challenge it.

    (((Helen)))

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  14. #9
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    It sounds to me like you had one of the moron school of instpectors visiting times 2 you poor thing. Ive had similiar experience with being graded inadequate because i was in breach of one standard ( not telling them about my new born in writing - i was new to cming and was still in after birth shock if you get my drift. ) Please dont give up. You know what you do and your friends do too. Get em around for support. They ( inspectorts )arrive with their tick charts and off the go..... dont suppose you managed to say that it was the first time the child had crawled. But never mind.

    My last inspection was by an outside agency and not from my LEA she was fab and normal and was very much watching me interacting with kids than looking at paperwork. Very different experience thankfully.
    Please dont give up; we need good vocational childminders there are still a few dodgy ones in my neck of the woods and they have outstanding ( paperwork gurus) but to see them actually with the mindees would make you cry. honest.
    Biggest hugs and I leave you with the thought that it can only get better. Dont give up get even love !!! XXX

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  16. #10
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    My eyes are filling up just reading of your terrible experience - sending you HUGE hugs - I will still write a letter of complaint against the way your inspection was conducted, even if it is technically too late to appeal.

    After my last inspection (which wasn't half as bad as yours) I was so disheartened by the whole system that I said I would never put myself through that again and when the inspector rings up to make appointment I was going to tell them not to bother and give parents 4 weeks notice. However my 4 years is up, waiting for the phone to ring (stopped answering with held calls), and I don't want to let the parents down by giving up yet.

    I can't see how your local authority can judge you good and Ofsted grade you inadequate - can't your local authority write to Ofsted to argue on your behalf?

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  18. #11
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    Put in a written complaint and also demand that you have another inspection at the 6 months mark. Inform them at no time in the future will you permit two inspectors into your home. If an inspector is not capable of undertaking her job then you are not willing to be inspected by her.

    I would suggest that they train their inspectors on dummy inspections as using working childminders is unfair. Good luck.
    we dont stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing

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  20. #12
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    Oh Helen, just reading your post has made me cry. It is easy to tell by the way you write your post that you care for your job, and that you are a good childminder. I have no advise, except to say follow your heart.

    I am starting to really fear Ofsted with all the stories i keep reading, and i am satrting to believe that no matter what we do, if a inspector on the day doesnt want us to suceed then we wont all this does is drive childminders to agencies


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  22. #13
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    So sorry to hear your story. It's scary because when you have an inspector through the door you just don't know who you are going to get. Will it be a reasonable or totally unreasonable one.


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  24. #14
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    I know exactly how you feel. My last inspection was awful, I wrote about it on here.

    http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/fo...ml#post1242687

    I'm still waiting for it to be published 7 weeks later so still have no ideas what trash was made up about my setting or me. There seams to be a spate of inspections like this lately and something needs to me done about it, but what I don't know.

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  26. #15
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    I'm due an inspection soon and I've learnt that as long as the parents are happy with you and the care you give then Ofsted's report might as well be gracing the toilet roll holder. And I don't expect to get 'Outstanding' next time and to be honest most of my parents have not gone by my grade.
    They were very unfair on you and made you upset. But as long as the people that MATTER had happy then keep your chin up. You know you are doing a good job and to with them and their paperwork.
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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  28. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentTink View Post

    I am starting to really fear Ofsted with all the stories i keep reading, and i am satrting to believe that no matter what we do, if a inspector on the day doesnt want us to suceed then we wont all this does is drive childminders to agencies

    I agree.

    Complain, as they seem to be getting away with making up their own rules.

    So sorry for such a rotten inspection, how dare one of your mindees move up the developmental ladder while they are there, because of course if you don't write it down, he won't be able to do it anymore!!

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  30. #17
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    Hi Helen, so sorry to hear this. It is very worrying to read of so many people having issues with inspectors at the moment. My last inspection was over 4 years ago now and I am not looking forward to it.

    However, you do need to make an appeal if you think the inspection was not done properly and that the report is not a proper reflection. If we do nothing then nothing will change. There will always be good and bad inspectors and we need to get the bad ones weeded out. I realise that it is difficult to put yourself in the right gear to fight (iykwim) but we are all here to spur you on.

    Take heart - you and the parents you work for know your true skills - make sure others don't get away with not doing their job properly!
    I'm not paranoid - the world IS out to get me!

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  32. #18
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    So sorry you have gone through this. Nothing more to add but a big virtual hug xxxxx

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  34. #19
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    oh hunny,

    big big hugs to you.

    xxx

    i'm well over due an inspection and am starting to worry about it, as so many childminders are having a very tough and unreasonable ride at the moment.

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  36. #20
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    So sorry to hear about how awful your inspection was Helen.

    Sending you big hugs xx

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