OBC open meeting feedback - 15.10.16
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    Default OBC open meeting feedback - 15.10.16

    Early years providers from across the North West (and some from further afield) met in Bolton yesterday to have a Big Conversation with Ofsted (#nwobc for those on Twitter).

    Some of the topics discussed at the OBC North West on Saturday 16th October 2016 included –

    Literacy presentation

    Sarah Hubbard, the Ofsted national lead for English. gave a presentation – she provided an overview of the things children will be tested for at age 7 and then went on to talk about the importance of early years providers underpinning this knowledge.

    She emphasised the importance of reading with early years children and extending their language use so that, by the time they take the tests in year 1, they have a wide vocabulary and an understanding of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives etc and how they are used.

    ….she also emphasised the need to ignite their interest not just by reading a story and sticking to the text but by talking about the pictures and using them to extend language (this is something Nancy Stewart talks about in her training too – dialogical reading.

    There is an article about it here http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/digita...t-dialogic.pdf

    She mentioned Aiden Chambers “Tell me” questions which she described as a menu of ideas to help us extend language with the children and to get them thinking. The idea is not to use more questions but carefully worded questions (remember to leave time to process with young children) - further reading here -


    She mentioned some books which she felt were particularly good extenders of vocabulary:
    The Sad Book by Michael Rosen which is about adult grief.
    The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
    Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

    The slides will be available on the Ofsted Slide Share website - I will add the link when I have it.

    Leadership and management presentation from Rachel Buckler

    A common question is ‘what are Ofsted looking for during inspection?’ The answers are in the Early Years Inspection handbook.

    Rachel reminded us that if you read through the grade descriptors you will see what Ofsted want to observe during their inspection. The grade descriptors can be used to audit your provision – ask yourself how well you and your staff (if relevant) demonstrate evidence of the themes of leadership highlighted by the handbook.

    Link - https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...n_handbook.pdf

    Safeguarding presentation from OBC steering group members

    The updated ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years’ handbook (09.2016) has caused a lot of confusion and North West OBC asked Ofsted to clarify what they will be looking for during inspection.

    Link – ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years’ handbook https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...s_settings.pdf

    Link – clarification from Gill Jones (deputy director, Ofsted) in Nursery World magazine
    Inspecting safeguarding in the early years | Nursery World

    We were reminded that it is important to make sure we stay up to date re safeguarding procedures and knowledge but that it is up to us how we did that – though the EYFS states that we need to also take advice from the LSCB.

    Some of the questions that have been answered include

    Does the safeguarding lead need to be on site at all times?

    No – Ofsted state that the safeguarding lead needs to be CONTACTABLE at all times. If the lead is on holiday there must be a deputy trained to the same level but they might be on another site.

    What are the safeguarding training requirements – have they changed?

    No, requirements are still as stated in the EYFS

    Do we have to change our safeguarding policy to child protection?

    No, you can keep it as safeguarding or change it to child protection or call it both safeguarding and child protection – it’s up to you.

    Other questions answered during the Q & A section with Ofsted include

    Can Ofsted clarify staff deployment and ratios

    Ofsted confirmed that ratios are for the setting not for each room - staff deployment is what is important. All staff usually required for ratio do not need to be physically in a room of, for example, sleeping babies if they can be better deployed elsewhere or if a member of staff needs to eat etc.

    During inspection the inspector will ask questions about why you think staff are deployed in the best places and managers will need to justify their staff deployment decisions.

    Medication clarification

    Link – DfE Clarification on medicines in early years settings | From pregnancy to children aged 5

    Prior permission must be in place for all medication; non-prescribed medication can be given; parents must not be asked to go to the GP if medication can be bought over the counter. Ofsted state that providers can still choose what medicines to give / not give as long as it is in their policy.

    A number of concerns were raised including the fact that parents might feel empowered to tell providers they must give medication because 'the new guidance says so'. Ofsted repeated that it is up to each provider what they include in their medication policy.

    Disqualification by association

    Link – https://www.gov.uk/government/public...dcare-act-2006

    Providers were reminded that they must inform Ofsted if there are concerns they or someone who lives with them might be disqualified. Staff who are disqualified cannot work on a site where children are present - they cannot, for example, be re-deployed into the office. Staff are not disqualified until they (or people they live with) have either been convicted or know they are going to plead guilty.

    However, being charged with a disqualifiable offence would mean suspension pending the outcome.

    What is Ofsted’s view on the new socket covers guidance?

    Link - A note from the Department for Education on the use of electrical plug socket covers/inserts in early years provision in England | From pregnancy to children aged 5

    Ofsted want to see how you are keeping children safe and if they see unsafe premises they will ask you to explain how you are protecting children. They should not comment on the use or otherwise of socket covers.

    She said “you have the knowledge so use it and demonstrate it” The Ofsted North West Team are definitely aware of the guidance but she couldn’t vouch for all of Prospects and Tribal. The EYFS talks about making the area safe for children but hasn’t ever mentioned specific ways to do this (such as a requirement to cover sockets).

    We have the knowledge about the socket covers so it’s up to us to use it and demonstrate how you keep the children safe. It’s entirely up to us how we do that, Ofsted don’t have a prescribed method of choice.

    Can Ofsted lobby government about funding issues?

    Providers expressed their concern about a number of current early years issues including the 30 hours and underfunding – Ofsted stated that they were not responsible for this and could only give personal viewpoints.

    The Ofsted Big Conversation reminded colleagues about the PLA fairer funding campaign.
    Link - https://www.pre-school.org.uk/news/2...nding-campaign

    I am sure all those who attended will agree that it was an excellent morning. I walked around with the roving mike and was privileged to be among over 400 dedicated early years professionals - the buzz in the room was inspiring!

    Thank you to Saira Mortimer for the excellent note-taking - this feedback would not have been so comprehensively written without you.

    We are all looking forward to the next open meeting in March 2016
    Last edited by sarah707; 16-10-2016 at 09:32 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Thankyou Sarah, again some very interesting and valuable info

  4. #3
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    Brilliant thank you.

    I'll definitely be clicking the links in the language/reading section.



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