Nick Hudson (pictured), director of Early Years Education, now absorbs responsibility for childminding into his role, which makes him the senior point of contact for all aspects of early years. He is supported by Gill Jones, Ofsted's deputy director, Early Education.
Lorna Fitzjohn, formerly director of childminding, moves to the role of director of Education and Skills.
Ms Fitzjohn was given her childminding role at the same time as Mr Hudson’s appointment just five months ago, when Ofsted director Sue Gregory announced her retirement.
MONITORING VISITS PHASED OUT
Ofsted has confirmed that settings judged to ‘require improvement’ are unlikely to receive a monitoring visit from the inspectorate.
Currrently, providers which receive this grade can expect a monitoring visit within six months, with a monitoring letter from Ofsted after the visit.
Instead Ofsted says it will monitor the improvement of these providers through a programme of regional meeetings with local authorities and providers will be encouraged to attend its ‘Getting to good’ seminars, as a way of action planning and improving their service.
In its latest Early years Inspection and Regulation bulletin, the inspectorate outlines how at the end of the inspection, inadequate settings will be advised that it is unlikely they will receive a monitoring visit but that they should expect an invitation to attend a seminar and be prepared to discuss their action plan with the HMI at the session.
Under the new Ofsted framework, providers given a ‘requires improvement’ grading will normally be re-inspected within 12 months of the date of their inspection.
Changes have also been made to the monitoring of children’s centres judged to require improvement. While re-inspection of inadequate children’s centres are currently carried out within 12 months, under the new regime this will usually take place within a maximum of two years. An early inspection may take place if there are safeguarding concerns or a serious complaint has been made.
Ofsted piloted its ‘Getting to good’ seminars last year and has run 14 of them so far this year. The seminars focused on leadership and management and the impact leaders have on improvement.
Settings also had the opportunity to discuss their action plans with the HMI leading the session.According to Ofsted, feedback from local authorities and providers has been very positive and this fuelled its decision to extend the programme and make it the basis of its improvement work with the sector.
Ofsted has also added new resources to its website including its ‘Guide to registration on the Early Years Register.
Under the Children and Families Act Ofsted confirms it will begin to register and inspect childminder agencies from September 2014.
The Government will publish its response to its consultation on childminder agencies in May.