It is remarkable that nurseries and childminders, often working in relative isolation, managed to set up so many well-attended meetings, sticking to one agenda, through the power of social media. The idea sprang from LEYF's June O'Sullivan posting a question about concerns with recent inspections on NW's LinkedIn group. A flood of responses followed, along with Twitter exchanges on #ofstedbigconversation and action began.
You can read our reports of the meetings and the unanimity about what people want to change.
What matters now, however, is how Ofsted responds. Its comments about the Big Conversation have not made the best start, unfortunately, beginning with 'we make no apology for wanting the best for children', and going on to suggest that all it is doing is rooting out bad practice.
This fails completely to address the sector's concerns, which are about fairness, consistency and transparency. No-one is arguing with a drive to improve quality - that is not the issue.
Ofsted needs to do some Sustained Shared Thinking with the sector!
Something to celebrate
It's nearly time for the Nursery World Awards 2013, and our team are getting ready to glam up for the ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms on 28 September. We can't wait to see everybody and reveal the wonderful winners. You'll be able to read all about the awards on our website next week and in the next issue of the magazine.