#OfstedBigconversation  – what happens next?

#OfstedBigconversation – what happens next?

The #OfstedBigConversation happened last weekend and the reports have been collated on the #OfstedBigConversation website. 

There are reports from:


June O’Sullivan states in her blog that she believes Ofsted are ready to listen and has written a letter that any childcare provider can use to engage with them.

June states, “The following is a summary of the key “asks” for Ofsted. These are broad brush changes to the process of inspection. These were the basis of the #OfstedBigConversation, quite separate from the personal stories, grievances and appeals with which many individuals are currently engaged and will continue to do so with support from colleagues, network members and their membership organisations.

Ofsted have indicated a willingness to have a meeting. I would suggest we ask for a meeting in each region with the Ofsted Regional Lead. This way Ofsted gets to meet quite a few people who can provide them with data from each area and support the central request for the outlined changes to the inspection process. If these meetings are held, I think they should be led by the Chairs with members of the network and each region has to provide data and general case studies to highlight the issue and support the reason for change. As ever we need to maintain a calm, rational and professional approach. Negotiation is more likely to work when both people have something to offer. Just imagine we are going to marriage guidance! So in preparation here is a letter to begin the mediation process.”

On the #OfstedBigConversation website, editor Catriona Nason defines, ‘What happens next?’

“We give Ofsted two weeks from today to respond to our concerns with a real action and also to deliver the outcome of the FOI. If nothing happens by the two weeks deadline, then we draft an open letter and send it to the press via the national press wire which reaches all members of the press in UK. If we are still not satisfied, then radical action comes next…”

Do you agree with the plans? Will you get involved?

An extract from June O’Sullivan’s letter. The full copy is available here on her blog.

Dear Ofsted

I am very pleased to hear you might want to meet us. We have been moved to action since the process of inspection has become quite antagonistic and unfriendly.  We want to resolve the situation so we can develop a collaborative and constructive learning community where we can have a mutual respectful relationship that allows us all to share a vision of high quality practice for all children within a spirit of inquiry and improvement.

To achieve this we want to be inspected by knowledgeable inspectors with …

Too Much Too Soon!

Too Much Too Soon!

A campaign from the “Save Childhood Movement” is under way to support their belief that children in England are being badly let down by the system. They state that our children start formal learning much earlier than elsewhere in the world, they are put under all sorts of developmentally inappropriate pressures that damage their heath and wellbeing and now even their play is being eroded. Boys and summer-born children are particularly disadvantaged by the current system and can carry the consequences throughout their lives.

The Save Childhood Movement claim that ministers in England persist in seeing the early years as a preparation for school rather than a vitally important stage in its own right. This period of life is when children establish the values and relationships that underpin their sense of self, their attitude to later learning, and their communicative skills and natural creativity.

They have created an online petition, which currently has over 3,300 signatures. If you agree with their core objectives, detailed below, you can sign it here.

The five objectives of the campaign are to:1) re-establish the early years as a unique stage in its own right and not merely a preparation for school
2) protect young children’s natural developmental rights
3) prevent baseline testing
4) reinstate the vital role of play
5) call for an English developmentally appropriate Foundation Stage for children between the ages of 3 and 7.
Do you agree with this campaign?  Let us know your thoughts below.
#OfstedBigconversation  – what happens next?

Two more venues for #OfstedBigConversation

This weekend will see childcare providers from all over the country coming together as part of the #OfstedBigConversation. The initiative has been driven by June O’Sullivan MBE, and provides an opportunity for any provider to discuss core issues and how things could change for the better. The goal is to create an Early Years Proposal which will be presented back to Ofsted.

The two new venues are:

Weston-Super-Mare: Friday 13 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm. The Campus, Highlands Lane, North Somerset BS24 7DX.

Contact Ellie Frake – ofstedbigconversation@gmail.com

Reading: Friday 13 September from 10am -12 noon at the Co-operative Childcare Reading nursery, The Hospitium, Valpy Street, Reading, RG1 1AR.

Contact Samantha Irwin – samantha.irwin@thecooperativechildcare.coop

#OfstedBigconversation  – what happens next?

Parenta supports #OfstedBigConversation

Social media is being used as the primary way to promote a weekend of debate around Ofsted’s change of stance regarding the Early Years Sector.  Anyone involved in childcare is being urged to get involved during the weekend of the 13th and 14th of September, which has been designated the#OfstedBigConversation weekend.

Meetings will be hosted across England. Some will cater for larger groups and some may be three people sharing a pot of tea in their kitchen. The plan is to get everyone thinking, conversing and considering the key issues, with a view to producing an Early Years proposal for Ofsted.

This will identify the key issues and barriers to progress, what would help and how we can build an exemplary regulatory system together which is mutually respected and highly effective.

June O’Sullivan, (CEO of LEYF)  has published a blog, detailing her 10 key issues, and is closely involved in forming the agenda with the others mentioned on the map below. You can read the blog here, or follow them on Twitter for the latest updates.  (you’ll find them all followed by @TheParentaGroup)

Map showing the larger #ofstedbigconversation meetings

Map showing the larger #ofstedbigconversation meetings

If you are a fan of Twitter, #EYTalking will be featuring Ofsted as the main agenda item on Tuesday 3rd September at 8pm. Simply search for #EYTalking to get involved.

In order to make this a success, it is crucial to engage as many industry voices as possible. The best way is to get online, tweet, post and blog about your Ofsted issues, or share them below and we will promote them for you. Don’t forget to tag everything with #OfstedBigConversation


#OfstedBigconversation  – what happens next?

Ofsted Inspectors’ guidance notes published

Parent partnership in the nursery

Ofsted have released the new guidelines issued to inspectors

Since September, Ofsted inspection of early years providers are more focused on children’s education and their personal and emotional development. Inspectors now give greater attention to the progress children make in their learning.

The changes also give those looking after children more freedom in managing their own service, while continuing to keep children safe by strengthening registration and maintaining rigorous enforcement for those who are not complying with requirements.

National Director Education, Susan Gregory, said:

‘It is crucial that children’s earliest experiences give them the best start in life. Through better inspection Ofsted wants to help ensure that every child has the best possible support in their learning and development, whilst ensuring that they are safe and well cared for. That’s why inspections are going to focus even more on interactions with children, and less on paperwork.’

Observation of activities to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in the main areas of learning, as well as care practices, will continue to be at the heart of inspections and providing feedback to those working with children will remain a high priority.

Early years providers will be given a judgement on their overall effectiveness that will take into account how well their provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend, how well they identify any particular needs children may have and arrange appropriate help; the contribution practitioners make to the well-being of children and the effectiveness of leadership and management. In particular, inspection will consider the extent to which all children are supported to acquire the skills and capacity to develop and learn effectively and be ready for the next stages in their learning, especially school.

To view the revised guidelines provided to Ofsted inspectors, download them directly from Ofsted

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