How to upset thousand of people in one sentence! – Yes Mr.Wilshaw I am talking about you   28 comments

This sentence to be precise

 

With poor families now getting 15 hours free provision of childcare, the Government should try to ensure they go to a school-based nursery, not the local child- minder.”

 

Taken from this article in the London Evening Standard Link to Wilshaw article in London Evening Standard

 

As I sit here at my laptop ……

……during nap time, when I could be doing many other things related to my childminding setting – washing up from snack time, cleaning the floor after snack time, putting on a load of washing of those lovely washable hand towels, updating children’s records, reading one of my professional magazines, starting to put together the weekly parents newsletter, doing some background reading for my degree, cleaning toys, – oh and so many other things that as a sole practitioner I have to fit into every day – as well as the 11 or 12 hour working day …….

…… I find myself lost for words – and regular readers of this blog will know that it is not often that I am lost for words.

But I am so angry, so frustrated , so disappointed – and to be honest thinking ‘Well, I may as well give up now. What is the point?’

When you add this to my inspection experience, where one of Mr. Wilshaw’s Ofsted inspectors did not do their job, where on complaining about it, I got fobbed off, not listened to and not believed – and now I am ‘stuck’ with a good grade (which if it was based on my practice I would be proud of) and recommendations that I don’t understand how to implement (because not based on my practice, and worse are already part of my practice) – you will understand that today, I am seriously considering my career options. It seems to me that while Mr. Wilshaw is the Ofsted chief – childminding is not valued, not given professional respect – and from today’s comments would seem that not even wanted as a choice for parents needing childcare.

 

However – I love my job – that is the hands on work with the children, and working in partnership with their parents, and with other professionals – so would I find a job that I loved as much, and one in which I could hand on heart say – would make a difference to the children of this country?

Anyway back to Wilshaw’s outrageous statements (and not just about childminders, as he has managed to insult parents and schools as well)

I first became aware around breakfast time – when colleagues started to contact me and highlight this article – Facebook was unusually busy with comments as childminders read the article and then commented – the feelings being expressed were similar to my own. Twitter than became another platform for people to express their shock and disbelief that Wilshaw had said these things.

And I agree – how can someone in his position – Chief of Ofsted who are supposed to  be an independent regulatory body, not influenced by political leanings, make these sort of comments? Ofsted are supposed to make judgements on what they observe . Even though a few don’t – most do, but what will they do now in light of these comments by Wilshaw.

 

My own observation is that Ofsted seem to be unable to recognise Outstanding childcare and education when they see it – yesterday I had a call from a childminder (and she is not the first) asking if I would advise  she complains because her inspector could not think of a recommendation – yet the inspector said she was grading the childminder as ‘good’. Surely if her inspection notes do not identify any areas for improvement the childminder should be outstanding – and not asked to make her own recommendation?

The cynical side of me says that inspectors will find it hard to justify giving a childminder a outstanding grade when Wilshaw has said (in so many words) that childminders are not good enough.

 

And I can just imagine how if any childminder made such sweeping discriminatory remarks about children, or families or other professionals – would be treated – yes they would have the regulation book thrown at them – so why is no one throwing the regulation book at Wilshaw?

 

I could say so much more – but I would find it hard to do so without stepping over the line of professionalism – and although Wilshaw is prepared to step over this line – I am not.

For other comment – please see
Pacey’s comment
HERE

Pre-school Learning Alliance comment
Pre school Learning Alliance comment

As other release their responses I will add them here

Blog by Annelize Cruz    CLICK HERE

Blog by Emma Harris CLICK to go to Little Caterpillars Website

Letter to Evening Standard by Bea Heath Dear Mrs

Letter to Wilshaw by Lindsay Clayton

Letter by Christine Clarke letter re Sir Michael Wilshaw

Blog by Rachel Pocknell  Rachel’s blog

Liz Bayram’s response Pacey’s CE Liz Bayram ‘s letter to Sir Michael

Posted September 4, 2014 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

28 responses to “How to upset thousand of people in one sentence! – Yes Mr.Wilshaw I am talking about you

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  1. I can’t believe how some one in his position is allowed to say such a thing.

  2. I can’t see any school based setting starting at 5.30 am or finishing at 7.45 (yes I have) that man is a B****y Fool how dare he

    • You are right – schools won’t offer that service – many childminders do.
      My ‘standard hours’ – so no premium rate for them are 5:30am – 19:00pm. I offer overnight as well as babysitting at parents house – 7 days a week if needed

      Many school nurseries can not offer even limited wrap around care – so what are parents supposed to do when their work or study or other family commitments do not fit into the 3 hrs a day that some schools offer?

  3. I am gob smacked that someone in his position is so ignorant and undermining about the incredible role childminders play in the lives of their mindees and families… Especially for our younger children! The childminding profession has been battered and undervalued and misrepresented continuously over the years.. And it sadly just continues. What makes this thoughtless statement that much worse however is the fact that he SHOULD KNOW BETTER. And if he doesn’t, why not? Hidden agendas, implementing changes no-one wants (eg: childminding agencies) etc. etc. Enough is enough. Let’s start focussing on the needs of our youngsters … What they actually NEED, not what will cost/inconvenience the govt/Ofsted less. And when nearly 80% of a profession is rated Outstanding or Good… How on earth is a statement such as this justified?

    We await your response Mr Wilshaw.

  4. Outrageous. With an opinion that low of childminders he should be removed from his job, he clearly is not fit to be involved with inspecting us.

    • We can but hope – with Gove and Truss gone from Education, I was hopeful for some common sense and professional conduct – but it appears we are not going to get any

  5. I cannot believe that a man in this position could be so disgracefully ill informed about the good work educationally and emotionally childminders provide to a wide range of families on a daily basis. Before you dismiss us in such a blase way Sir Michael, go and spend a week with one of us and see exactly what we do.

  6. 70% of my ‘children with additional needs’ do NOT have their needs met by Nursery or pre-school which I why I got them in the first place. I am proud of my achievements with these children and regardless of a ‘grade’ from a inspector my parents know I meet the needs of the children and work closely with them to that end. Thank you for the insult and devaluation of my hard work. It would appear that the Human Rights Act re parental choice and the needs of the child being paramount count for nothing as far as the Chief Inspector is concerned. Well Sir Michael, sort out the organisation (Ofsted) of which you are the current Chief Inspector , and childminders will have a better chance in life to do the task entrusted to them, namely assisting them to ‘learn through play’ not through paperwork and ever oppressive inspections.

  7. It is absolutely astounding that a man in his position – ‘Chief’ of Ofsted can say such things – Ofsted are MEANT to be unbiased and independent, however it goes to demonstrate that there is a very unsavoury prejudicial undercurrent. It is even more incredulous that the ‘Chief’ can demonstrate such ignorance in respect of those he ‘oversees’ (ie childminders in this instance).
    How can the inspectors employed (outsourced) by Ofsted be expected to be impartial, given Sir Michaels very obviously disregard of childminders. How can we (childminders) now trust that our inspections will be carried out in an unbiased manner.
    Sir Wilshaw is not fit for the job, just as Ofsted is not fit for purpose.

    Childminders contribute excellent quality care and learning, with many of us being highly experience and/or highly qualified (often more so that many staff in nurseries or even school settings). Nurseries are NOT a one size fits all solution.
    His comments are insulting and yet another apparent nail in the coffin towards the demise of childminders.

    • These nails in the childminding coffin are growing in number – it is no wonder that so many are resigning. I wonder if Mr. Wilshaw knows how many of them go on to work in nurseries, schools, as tutors and so on – where their skills and experiences are recognised and valued?

  8. When the EYFS was initially introduced, apart from some critics, on the whole childminders embraced it as we thought it would put us on a level playing field and we would be perceived as being just as qualified and professional as other EY professionals.
    The article this morning and the comments from Michael Wilshaw has proved that this hasn’t and will never happen. If we are seen as being nothing more than unskilled babysitters by him (who frankly needs to earn his huge salary by being more well informed before giving his opinions), then why on earth should we expect anyone else to?
    In 19 years of childminding, I have never known such a depressing time as what we seem to be going through way the moment.
    I am, I’m afraid to say, very pessimistic about the future.

    • I agree Laura in the space of just 6 years, the majority of registered childminders have work incredibly hard to meet and exceed the expectations of first EyFS 2008, then EYFS 2012 and now EYFS 2014. And as you, I and all our childminding colleagues know each change represents hours of unpaid work updating policies and procedures and recording forms; it means hours of internet research and attending update workshops.

      At the same time registered childminders have gained level 3 qualifications, degrees, and more.

      The are the setting safeguarding officer; the SENCO; the behaviour management specialist, they need to know about development from 0 – 8; they need to be a specialist in everything – because on the whole they have to do everything as most are still sole practitioners; they often provide parenting support for parents; attend meetings to represent their profession; organise and run support groups; volunteer for membership organisation – and all for an average income of less than minimum wage (after expenses)

      And in the last two years they have had to campaign against Government proposals that clearly are trying to undo all that work; all that raising of standards and professionalism

  9. Well said Penny, you have every right to be furious. When I was an Area SENCO, many maintained nurseries made it very clear to parents that they couldn’t meet their child’s Special Educational Needs when they made initial enquiries. I also have many examples of children with SEN being unofficially excluded from maintained nurseries.

    I realise the 1:13 ratio has a lot to do with this and some Headteachers are unwilling to provide additional funding, as one so memorably said ”they’re only 3, how can they be that much trouble ?”However, so many Childminders I’ve worked with have made a huge difference to children and families, attending medical appointments with them, working with other professionals to meet the child’s needs and supporting parents with statutory processes.

    OFSTED really has no idea!

    • Thank you Kathryn – your comments are much appreciated. It is nice when other professionals comment and support the childminding sector – as although we (childminders) know we are not alone – sometimes it feels like we are – when we face with one thing after another.

  10. After reading Mr Wilshaw’s comments about childminders. I had a rush of heat go through my body, stopping at my head where it still stays!! My comment on a FB page was along the lines of. At the age of 41 and a single parent of two I went off to university to do an Early Years foundation degree, it took a lot of my life away for 2years and I don’t know how I got through it but I did it and I now have a level 5 qualification. I am more quailified than some nursery workers and teaching assistants that are in classrooms. I have spent a lot of money and my time to gain great new knowledge and understanding and I continue to learn everyday in this job. I felt completely deflated when I read Mr Wilshaw’s discusting comments. After discussing his comments with my wonderful assistant (level 2 quailified and also a mother), we both concluded that we have the best job ever which we love and we must be doing something right as for the second September running we are starting with 15 children on roll. Thank goodness the parents that send their children to us do not share Mr Wilshaw’s thoughts on childminders.

    • Well said – and of course you are doing something right if you are full – parents clearly like what you do. Maybe Wilshaw would like to talk to some of your parents – or some of the other thousands of happy parents who use childminders?

      • Yes, I think Mr Wilshaw could do with an eye opener. Sadly it would seem that he wouldn’t stoop so low as to come into a childminders home or even consider the views of parents. I shall try not to give Mr Wilshaw another of my precious thoughts.

  11. Well said Penny, I totally agree. I thought he was meant to be unbiased. How dare he put all us hard working childminders down. The comment could have huge repercussions for the childminding sector. I have been minding for 24 years and love my job, but feel like giving up sometimes, then i get a lovely hug from a mindee or a thank you brunch of flowers from a parent and i realize how much they appreciate the care i give to there little ones. I for one will not give up without a fight. Grade me or judge me how you like, Sir Wilshaw, I will continue to give the best
    i can for all the children i care for.

    • Much as I feel Ann – judge me how you like – but I will continue to do the best I can for the children in my care.

      Although I have to admit sometimes I think – why do I do all this ‘extra’ work to meet Ofsted requirements – that do nothing to improve my setting or my practice and are just tick box exercise

  12. How can Inspectors give an unbiased opinion of any childminding setting when their Chief Inspector has already labelled us as inferior. He should not be allowed to continue in his job with those views. If we are not allowed to discriminate then why can he?

  13. The inspections are flawed, Ofsted is flawed and it seems the top dogs haven’t a clue what they doing either! What a disgusting attitude to have and completely ignorant. I think someone needs to take some time out and do a little bit of homework before commenting on something he obviously knows so little about!

  14. To Mr Wiltshire
    Oh dear-all of those childminders that have gained a degree and EYT qualifications have just been slaughtered then-all the studying and hard work count for nothing because we offer home child care-all those with years of experience, sense of humor and injecting fun into children’s lives have been totally dismissed then! Oh Mr Wiltshire you really need to think before you speak-obviously you have never been to a childminder because you would certainly have been taught so much better. Life skills and a happy childhood account for more than you would ever realise or be aware of-perhaps you should have gained a degree in Early Years then you would be able to make informed decisions!

  15. What a disrespectful and u educated thing to say! He has obviously not spent any time with a decent childminder. I have always had the up most respect for Ofsted and I saw what they do as a positive. How wrong was I! I knew this whole agency rubbish coming in meant Ofsted don’t want us childminders!! Very very angry right now! Mr Wilshaw needs to get his facts right before saying such ridiculous statements!

  16. Registered Childminders have been fighting long and hard to be taken seriously; to be treated fairly; to be looked at as credible and respected professionals. We have jumped through all the hoops asked of us; attended hours of training every year – even when we have to pay for it out of our own shallow pockets. So what now? In one sweeping statement – we are yet again relegated to ‘babysitter’ status!?!? That is unacceptable. We have worked harder than ever before, with harsher timescales than nurseries – so don’t we deserve something better in return?

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