So Ofsted has announced the biggest changes to education inspection since its inception. But what does it mean and how will it impact early years settings in particular?
Parents continue to be a focus and a driver for Ofsted. The introduction of a common framework, a structure applied to every stage and all institutions from child-minders to further education and skills, will, among other things, make it easier for parents and students to understand and compare institutions at different stages of a child’s life.
The common framework sets out what inspectors will look for and targets four major categories 1) Effectiveness of leadership and management 2) Quality of teaching, learning and assessment 3) Personal development behaviour and welfare outcomes for children and learners and 4) Effectiveness of safeguarding. However, whilst institutions will be judged on the same key categories, inspectors will tailor their approach for early years institutions to take into account the age of the children; this includes schools provision for 2 year olds, which are managed by a governing body. This means inspectors with particular experience in early years will be will be favoured for inspections, which is interesting in the light of Ofsted continuing to outsource early years inspections to third parties.
Nick Hudson, the Director for Early Years at Ofsted stresses that Early Years Childcare Practitioners in particular are moving from a “meeting the need judgement” towards emphasising a “teaching judgement” or, in other words, a formalisation of the now well-established change from nurseries purely providing a service to keep under 5s safe, fed and clean, to taking responsibility for their learning and development, and preparing them for school. NurseryBook supports many settings in this responsibility, saving time on paperwork and allowing greater opportunity for play and learning. Our app gives specific insight into areas where a child is excelling and those where further development is needed, and allows a tailored approach to next steps and planning.
Sarah Leonce, a child-minder who took part in a pilot study for Ofsted believes that the common framework will give child-minding due recognition and professionalism, allowing their methods to be directly compared to other institutions. NurseryBook is a beneficial companion for child-minders and nursery management and staff, allowing direct parent-staff communication, through emails generated by an easy-to use app compatible with most smart devices. By sharing information regularly, precious face-to-face time with parents becomes more specific and focused.
We support the idea of a common framework throughout a child’s learning journey, with the better comparison between institutions it will allow, and are very interested in the impact it will have on inspections and judgments. We would love to talk to and hear feedback from those of you who are inspected from September onwards. In the interim, why not try the Ofsted-compatible NurseryBook app in our free trial and see for yourself how it gives you back time to play with children and helps encourage positive parent engagement.
Have your say, with #NurseryBook and #Ofsted2015 .
Look at the interviews with Ofsted Officials Here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLq-zBnUkspPMHFhsvN6uBsDxCh6fb2RM