Ofsted’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 re-inspected 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: