Ofsted Big Conversation NW open meeting 18.3.17
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  1. #1
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    Default Ofsted Big Conversation NW open meeting 18.3.17

    Ofsted Big Conversation North West open meeting on Saturday 19th March

    Over 650 delegates attended the meeting including a large contingent of Ofsted inspectors and compliance officers and staff from other departments including the person who will be heading up the new in-house inspection team from April 2017.

    I think it is absolutely brilliant that so many people gave up their Saturday morning to attend and I continue to feel privileged that childminders put their trust in me to raise their concerns with Ofsted through this medium.

    Key points from Ofsted’s presentation


    Ofsted focused on how we support children’s progress and what inspectors are looking for during inspection. We were reminded that every child is different – and what is typical for one child might not be typical for another. We were also reminded that some children need more input from us than others to make sure they make rapid progress towards school readiness.

    Ofsted advised us to consider whether our record keeping systems are manageable – they recognise a lot of information is being collected by providers about children in their care and advise us to consider whether the information we record about children is being used effectively to support the child’s progress…

    We were reminded that parent input is really important and we should make sure we engage them all and promote home learning in ways each family will take away and use. We should make notes during conversations if they are reluctant to write things down and if forms are not returned we should do them together.

    Ofsted want to see –
    • We know our key children really well
    • We understand child development
    • We have high expectations for every child
    • We support children through our environments and the activities we provide for them
    • We show the impact of what we are doing clearly – this relates to children’s progress tracking…

    In group provision, they are looking at how providers pick up trends from their tracking – we know that childminders are not required to do this sort of tracking as we do not have the groups of children to make it meaningful.

    Key points from the OBC presentation

    All providers are facing a ‘perfect storm’ with a lot of pressure from different places to cut costs and be more efficient. We were reminded that the 30 hours is not free – it’s funded – and that, along with other increases in expenses the current situation is leaving a lot of providers worried about future sustainability.

    We were advised to challenge LAs if their funding rate is too low – a number of providers have already done this to good effect. We were also reminded there is strength in numbers and it is important that we work together to share ideas and help each other.

    Key points from the training presentation

    The speaker was Alice Sharp and she presented for over an hour on PLAY – honestly, she could have carried on all day for me! She started by stating the obvious – which we often forget – it costs nothing to play with children! Our environments must be rich and stimulating and can be resourced from charity shops - she’s into cheap resources – don’t over-spend – focus on providing high quality experiences and what the children will get out of the activity.

    She reminds us that children – especially in childminding settings – are in the same space for years and are going to get bored if we don’t stimulate them with new things. To expose children to new things we need to ask ourselves – what invitation to play are we going to leave out today? How might the children use it? How can we support them? It should be something interesting, different, exciting, unusual etc and it might not work!

    She said so many other things too about the importance of quality interactions, the need to focus on communication in the early years (she talked about ‘contingent talk’ which I will blog about another time) and how we shouldn’t interrupt children’s deep learning (I’ve said this in training)… I will use it to inform future webinars** there was far too much to include in a quick feedback blog.

    **Free webinars will be advertised here - Free Webinars - Live Training for Childcare Providers - Childcare.co.uk

    Feedback from the question and answer section

    A lot of questions were asked and answered – I was standing with the microphone ready to leap into action if someone in the audience wanted to ask a question so I was unable to take notes and I don’t want to share the wrong information. I do have a few follow-up questions that need to be clarified with Ofsted so I will ask them and get back to you when I have some answers in writing.

    If you have anything you want to ask or share from the meeting please do!

    NEXT open meeting is in October - venue and speaker tba.

    Thank you, Sarah.

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  3. #2
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    Thank you so much Sarah. I would be interested to know more about Alice Sharps speach :-) x

 

 

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