Ofsted CIF Reports judged under the brand new Evaluation Schedule have started to come through and despite the short, indeed very short, reports the focus of these comes through clearly. Providers themselves even seem to appear reassured by the ‘new style’ inspection saying the process has not been too stressful. Perhaps Ofsted are finally getting over their dramatic failures of 2014 and we can begin to actually re-establish some trust and have faith once again in the inspection process. I know they are keen to demonstrate that inspection should not be a fearful process but a time to celebrate our successes and provide evidence of this to them. There is no question the bar is raised and as long as we raise with it then everyone benefits.
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Reasons for not yet being outstanding from some of the other Good reports include:
- The provider has not replaced some resources that are old and worn and lacking in variety, so there are some missed opportunities to inspire children’s learning, particularly about the wider world.
- Some staff miss opportunities to promote children’s choices and ideas fully. At times they speak too loudly which means children cannot be heard, particularly during some group times.
- Although the leadership team regularly checks the quality of teaching, staff have not yet started to carry out observations of each other’s practice to recognise how they can further improve.
- The management team has not fully developed accurate strategies of assessing and analysing different cohorts of children to implement specific programmes of support.
- Some staff do not always give children the best opportunities to extend their speaking and understanding skills.
- Some staff working with toddlers are not always confident about how to extend children’s learning during activities, particularly when they talk with and question children.
- The planning for children’s next steps in learning is not always precise and sharply focused for children under the age of three years.
So take note and make sure you have an action plan in place for all areas of development and self-evaluation of any progress you have made.
Good Luck to all those still due in this inspection cycle. Although July 2016 and the new cycle is not too far away for the rest of us…
About the author: Tricia Wellings
Her passion for and knowledge of owning and running a nursery group and the issues within the sector that affect them is second to none. She continues to keep herself updated through regular meetings with PVI groups, Local Authorities, Ofsted Big Conversation and Conferences.
You can find our more about Tricia on her website www.triciawellings.co.uk