Ofsted responds on re-inspection of 'requires improvement' childminders

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Ofsted has revealed the reasoning behind making ‘requires improvement’ childminders, unlike nurseries, wait for the next inspection cycle for their re-inspection.

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Ofsted's deputy director for early education Gill Jones

Writing in response to a letter from PACEY, Ofsted’s deputy director for early education Gill Jones said ‘limited resources and the need to prioritise the re-inspection of settings that provide the most number of places are the main reasons behind the decision’.

In the letter, sent at the end of last month, PACEY’s chief executive Liz Bayram asked why under the new Common Inspection Framework (CIF), childminders, along with informal childcare settings, have to wait for the next inspection cycle for their re-inspection if they are found to require improvement, but nurseries with the grade will be re-inspected within 12 months.

She also argued that childminders should not be grouped in the same inspection category as settings that do not have to follow the EYFS.

Ms Jones said in her response that Ms Bayram had raised an ‘important issue and one that the policy team is currently discussing’. However, she did not commit to any specific changes.

Instead she emphasised that the current inspection cycle finishes in July 2016, and said that while Ofsted can make no guarantees, the aim is for ‘requires improvement’ and ‘satisfactory’ childminders to be inspected as soon as possible in the new inspection cycle.

Ms Jones said that the inspectorate is currently looking at how best to prioritise inspections in the future and ‘drive more rapid improvement in settings that are not yet good’.

PACEY said it welcomed the opportunity for continued dialogue with Ofsted on the issue.

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