Becoming an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ setting takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can be done. Here, we look at 5 areas which you can build on in your provision to help give it that ‘wow’ factor for when the inspector comes knocking…
1. Embrace CPD
Don’t view CPD just as something which needs to be ticked off the list. New insights into how children learn and develop are being discovered all the time, so what’s recommended as best practice now might not be in a few months’ time. Practitioners must therefore stay ahead of the curve when it comes to their learning. Encourage an environment where staff can share their knowledge with one another and reflect on new information together.
2. Invest in quality staff
As a ‘people’ business, your staff members form the backbone of your setting and are the very essence of the service you provide. They’re responsible for inspiring the next generation and delivering meaningful learning experiences for every child, so why wouldn’t you want the best? If you’d like your setting to be outstanding, you need to invest in outstanding and well qualified staff as a matter of course.
3. Strengthen parent partnerships
Parents are often described as a child’s first and most enduring educator, so it’s important to build strong partnerships with them. Sharing knowledge with parents is also vital to ensure that practitioners can continue to meet a child’s needs as fully as possible. Use all and any opportunities to share information with parents – whether through your website, online learning journals, daily chats or open days.
4. Encourage reflective practice
Effective practitioners are reflective about their role, always seeking ways to improve and build upon their skills and knowledge. Projecting this onto your setting in a wider sense, why not consider carrying out regular quality audits of practice? If you’d feel uncomfortable doing this with your team, you could consider using the services of an Early Years Consultant to appraise staff practice and identify areas of improvement.
5. Review safeguarding regularly
Keeping children safe will always be one of your primary concerns. However, your duty to protect them extends beyond the walls of your setting and into the wider community, to ensure they’re also protected when they’re at home. Make sure staff are given regular training on safeguarding so they feel comfortable knowing what to do if they needed to raise any concerns about a child’s welfare.
Take a look at our short online courses to further CPD