Will you handle your next Ofsted Inspection differently?


Ofsted reportOfsted’s tougher inspections come into force today, designed to make it clear that only provision that is ‘good’ or better is good enough for very young children.

From today, a judgement of ‘requires improvement’ will replace the ‘satisfactory’ judgement for all early years providers – as it has already for schools and colleges.

Ofsted have said nurseries and pre-schools rated as inadequate will be reinspected within six months.

As of the end of June, almost a fifth (18%) of early years centres were considered less than good, with 1% of these rated as inadequate. That means there were up to 143,583 children in nurseries and pre-schools rated as satisfactory, and up to 14,195 in places that were inadequate – 157,778 in total.

Following the outcomes of the Good early years provision for all consultation, which set out Ofsted’s proposals for early years providers, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, announced that ‘good’ will be the minimum standard expected.

Ofsted received 2,280 responses to their online questionnaire. These came from registered early years group providers (nurseries/pre-schools), registered childminders, employees at schools with early years provision or at registered early years groups providers, parents or carers of children attending registered early years provision and local authority employees.

The Parents’ Panel consultation attracted 223 responses from parents. Every member of the panel has at least one child in a maintained school or in registered childcare.

The 4 questions asked were:

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree that a judgement of ‘requires improvement’ should replace the ‘satisfactory’ judgement?

2. To what extent do you agree or disagree that Ofsted should introduce a re-inspection within two years for non-domestic settings judged as ‘requires improvement’?

3. To what extent do you agree or disagree that if a non-domestic setting has not made sufficient progress to be judged good at its third consecutive inspection it should be likely to be deemed as inadequate?

4. To what extent do you agree or disagree that if an inadequate setting remains inadequate after re-inspection within 12 months, and there exist statutory grounds for cancellation, Ofsted should take steps to cancel the setting’s registration?

The responses from industry bodies are summarised below:

Q1 (‘requires improvement’ judgement) Q2 (re-inspection for ‘requires improvement’) Q3 (Not made sufficient progress by third inspection) Q4 (Statutory grounds for cancellation)
National Day Nurseries Association  Disagree Agree Agree Agree
Pre-school Learning Alliance Agree Agree Agree Agree
Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Strongly agree Strongly agree Agree Strongly agree
National Children’s Bureau Strongly agree Strongly agree Agree Strongly agree









Ofsted’s director of early years, Sue Gregory, said: “Very many nurseries and pre-schools provide a good or better service, but we want to help others to become good through our inspections. Our revised framework will give further reassurance to parents, and give the early years sector the opportunity to demonstrate that they are providing a high quality service in which young children can develop in a safe environment.”

 You can download the full report findings here:

Have you made any changes in light of the new inspection framework?

Will you handle your next inspection differently?

Let us know below…


3 thoughts on “Will you handle your next Ofsted Inspection differently?

  • November 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    For years and years we have been dictated to by Ofsted. An inspector spends such little time in all the nurseries they inspect and it is usually one person who decides the outcome and much of it is their own opinion. Everything is black and white and does not take into consideration how nurseries run over a period of time. Parents/carers should be able to have their thoughts published with the final Ofsted report after all they see their nursery day in day out. Early Years Teams in ach of the local authorities see Nurseries over a period of time and see Nurseries on good and not so good days. They are more thorough and understand early years requirements and they provide so much information and support that they are able to understand each provisions abilities and needs. Out with Ofsted and in with Early Years Teams – a truer picture for all parents and carers.

  • November 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

    No, we will not be making any changes on the back of this new initiative by Ofsted. The goal posts are changed time and time again and we would need to be physic to be able to keep up with ‘personal opinion’ of an inspector rather than current legislation….
    Ofsted was originally set-up for schools/colleges. We need something more specific for early years. Inspectors do not have the knowledge or expertise to ‘inspect’ a nursery. They are constantly using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut. The majority of early years is set-up by the private provider and Ofsted seem to be on a mission to close them all down and get ‘little people’ into schools as soon as they are out of nappies….. this is not what people want, and not want parents want. Schools run as they are now, are totally inflexible to the emotional needs of the 5 year old and younger….. something will have to give soon before we all become totally blase` about any judgments Ofsted choose to make.

  • November 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    We have not made any changes in relation to the new inspection framework as, although our last insperction resulted in our first ever (in 25 years) ‘satisfactory’ judgement, we knew that this was a blatently unfair judgement, which we appealed against without any luck – as many other settings have found to be the case!
    We feel that this was probably due to the fact that our appeal was handled by the same inspection company which conducted the inspection. Not very professional in our opinion!
    We know that our provision is ‘Good, going on Outstanding’ as it has been since we started in 1998, and that our last one was a farce – except that it made the staff and parents cry, rather than laugh, at the ‘unsatisfactory’ behaviour of the inspector!


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