The Chief Inspector of Education in England, Sir Michael Wilshaw, spoke today on BBC Breakfast on plans to get tougher on nurseries and childminders that are currently judged “satisfactory”.
Ofsted have announced that childcare providers classed as “satisfactory” will be reclassified as “requiring improvement” and be subject to extra inspections.
Sir Michael told BBC Breakfast, nurseries that were “less than good were not good enough”.
Purnima Tanuku, from the National Day Nurseries Association also featured on the show and pointed out that some Ofsted inspectors needed more early years experience and training.
According to Ofsted, almost a quarter of a million children experience inadequate childcare at nurseries, childminders and pre-schools that are judged as “satisfactory” at their last two inspections. Under planned proposals, these could be closed if they do not improve.
The latest Ofsted figures show that in 2012 the majority of England’s nurseries and childminders were judged “good” (62%) or “outstanding” (12%) by inspectors – but 25% were judged “satisfactory” with 1% classed as “inadequate”.
Under the proposed changes from September only “good” or better will be deemed acceptable by Ofsted, bringing early education in line with schools. It is designed to encourage early-years providers to spread “best practice”.
Sir Michael will say that, from September this year, nurseries and pre-schools that receive ratings lower than “good” will need to improve rapidly.
“I want the new designation of ‘requires improvement’ to act as a catalyst to get all early years providers to ‘good’ as soon as possible. We’ll encourage providers that are good or outstanding to support weaker settings. We know that the best schools are joining forces and we anticipate that this will happen in the early years.’’
Myself and a friend recently opened our own nursery to escape the ‘babyfarm’ nurseries where it is all about the money and paperwork and not about the children!!!
our nursery is small and homely and very friendly. we do our job because we love working with children not paperwork!!!
Quality childcare is about happy healthy children in a secure environment with staff continuity, where they feel safe and are learning through play and using their imaginations and actually being allowed to be children. All these changes will drive the people who love childcare away from it and that is what will reduce ‘quality’ childcare.
we recently had our first Ofsted inspection and were graded satisfactory for the pettiest of reasons, one being we used a book for the medication and accident book (as we both practised in other settings) this was changed the very next day!!! the other reason was observations and assessment weren’t written as they wanted, BUT….they were being done!!!!!
All of our parents questioned why and disagreed with it. we have had nothing but positive feed back about our setting, our parents are happy with the care their children receive,and the feedback they are given. all the children are happy which the inspector recognised, policies and procedures in place and being carried out accordingly. So WHY if these changes come in should we be dis-registered for a petty satisfactory grade when clearly our setting is a thriving happy environment full of happy children?????????
I agree that Ofsted need more background in nursery settings. i also think that new nurseries should have a different criteria as i feel it is unfair that we are judged in comparison to settings that have been open for years. i also think that if any more paperwork is introduced then we will have no quality time with the children.
The government should be trying to help nurseries get better by reducing paper work, better funding in the right places and not put pressure on us to fit their image of ‘good’. every child is different yeah? well so is every nursery and every staff member in it!!! Ofsted and the government should take this into consideration when proposing changes and inspecting!!! we are here to keep the parents and children happy. in my setting if thaeir happy then so am I!!!!!
‘satisfactory’ can be given for all sorts of reasons. For instance it can be given for nothing more than a piece of paper not in place. We got it because the first aider had gone on a course to better herself for three hours, which meant that the children were ‘at risk’. They certainly were not, as two other people had done the first aider several times, but their qualifications were out of date, and two other people had been booked on a first aid course which had been cancelled through no fault of our own, also at the time of the inspection they were waiting to do the course, which had to be paid for, as the free course was cancelled.
Early years is very poorly paid, it is hard work and takes a lot of skills and OFSTED behaving in an almost inhuman way does not help.
People are in the early years because they are committed and most of the time go the extra mile, they are poorly paid and obviously not respected for what they do.
To be honest, the inspector did say it was a wonderful school etc. etc. but in the end that was the outcome. Which makes me wonder, especially after a hard day, is it all worth while?
We take all the risks. if the entrance to school changes and most just 4 year olds are off, and we are left with few children in September, we have to survive one way or another, there is no paycheque at the end of the month, as there obviously is for inspectors and people in offices dreaming up yet another ‘goal’ for children to obtain, BERFORE they are required to be in any school at all which still is the term after they are five.
What I will not accept is, that we are a ‘poor’ nursery, because we got ‘satisfactory’ by default, so please Sir Michael Wilshaw, do your HOMEWORK before you start judging the valiant people who keep the early years going.
I am confused. Nurseries which pass their Ofsted inspection are currently graded as Outstanding, Good or Satisfactory. Satisfactory means that they have achieved the necessary standards satisfactorilly to pass their inspection. Sir Michael Wilshaw continually refered to nurseries that were ‘less than good’. But if you achieve satisfactory then you are satisfactory and should not be closed down. I don’t believe that schools which achieve only a satisfactory are threatened with closure, it is those achieving below this standard which are put into special measures.
So basically there will only be 2 grades from now on ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ with anyone not meeting this criteria being (in theory) shut down? How will this improve childcare? This is a purely political move, so he can claim that under him, nurseries went from 75% good or outstanding to 100% ! its just statistics.
In response to the above as a nursery manager who just had an inspection going from a rating of 1 in 2010 to a rating of 4. Some of the areas I feel were justified but not to the degree of the inspector. I feel that the Ofsted inspections themselves need addressing as a number of reports I have read and nurseries I have spoken to have also had their grades lowered in recent inspections and some for the same reasons identified in our report. Why?? Surely there should be alarm bells ringing when settings drop their grades that dramatically???? Why are there not two inspectors so at least nurseries are judged more fairly.
I agree inspectors need more Early Years Training and may be they or other officials need to work in a nursery for a while before they start making judgements. I would like to see one of them look after 40 children per day.
Parents cannot understand our new rating and have all completed forms to share their views on the setting and the report in a very positive way and they are also questioning the credability of Ofsted and their inspections.
These were based one one inspectors ‘snapshot’ view of the setting and only took in to account only two parents feedback whom she spoke to on the day.
The critera nurseries are having to meet has got tougher which I acknowledge and believe childcare standards need to be raisied but at this rate there will be no nurseries left for parents to place their children. The emphasis is all about paperwork and less about the care the children receive. The new EYFS was ‘supposed’ to cut the amount of paperwork for nursery practitioners but in my setting this has increased enormously.
The government/Ofsted are changing childcare so much and not all of it is for the better. I have been in childcare for 20 years and in recent years it has become more about monitoring processes and moving paperwork about than the real reason we are working in childcare…. the children. The effect this is having across the country is that nursery practitioners that are passionate about their careers and of a high quality are leaving early years education for good.
I think the government need to address the Ofsted issue of early years training first before they start blaming nurseries bad practice.