Sector organises meetings for 'Ofsted Big Conversation'

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The early years sector is to come together on the weekend of the 13 and 14 September to discuss how to effectively engage with Ofsted following mounting concern over inspections.


Meetings are being held in regions across the country, in London, St Austell in Cornwall (South West), Northampton (East Midlands), Worcester (West Midlands) and Manchester (North West) on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September, dubbed by the sector as the ‘Ofsted Big Conversation’ weekend (#ofstedbigconversation).

They are being hosted by June O’Sullivan, chief executive of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), Jennie Johnson, chief executive of Kids Allowed in Manchester, Tom Shea, owner of the nursery chain Child First, Mandy Richardson, co-founder of Naturally Learning Childcare and childminder Penny Webb.

The aim of the meetings (details below) is to bring nursery providers and childminders together to produce an early years proposal for Ofsted, identifying the key issues and barriers to progress and how they can build an exemplary regulatory system. All providers are welcome to attend - just contact the relevant host.

Ms O’Sullivan, who is hosting a meeting in London at LEYF’s Marsham Street Nursery on the Friday, (13 September) has listed the ten questions on her blog she says she will open with to help the sector focus on the key issues. They include:

  • What do we understand by Ofsted’s dual roles of regulation and improvement?
  • Can Ofsted explain and clarify its rationale for so many ‘outdated’ complaint initiated inspections. What do we suggest as an alternative?
  • Could the inspectorate consider bringing an independent early years provider onboard to advise on the quality assurance process.
  • Can Ofsted ask one of the new Regional Leads to attend some meetings.
  • Can Ofsted agree a sector advisory group to help shape their thinking and strategy?
  • Can Ofsted think about how inspectors are trained and supported to allow the whole inspections process to be a ‘grown-up’ and ‘mutually respected’ process?
  • How can we (the sector) work with Ofsted to reconsider the heavy weighting given to leadership and management, which leads to a satisfactory or inadequate judgement irrespective of the quality of teaching and learning


Friday 13 September

    Saturday 14 September

      Nursery World
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