Ofsted Consultation on Better Inspection for All   Leave a comment

This consultation from Ofsted is seeking the views of anyone who is interested in helping shape inspections in future.

This is the link Ofsted Better Inspection for All Consultation

The remit covers all education establishments from early years, to schools, to further education. The aim is to have a single inspection framework that inspects the same things, in the same way – but in relation to the specific sector.

I would agree with Ofsted that at the moment there are too many different inspections.

I like the statement in point 11, where it says Ofsted will judge how providers help  children prepare for life in Britain today, which is backed up by part of point 12, which says ‘preparation for life and work in Britain today, including in relation to personal development, behaviour and welfare’

I can only hope that the Ofsted (and the Government) adjust their view on what preparation for work and life needs to be – especially in the early years when the foundations are built for all future learning.

I do have some hope that Ofsted are listening and do want to improve things – but I am concerned that the drive for assessment and excellence in academic skills will be at the cost of well being of children. In particular, I am very concerned about the mental well being of this countries children. It seems to me that no one in Government is relating the problems we have these days with children’s behaviour in school and ability to make the most of the opportunities within school, to what the Government is doing in terms of children’s early years experiences both at home and in childcare settings.

Still as I say, I do have some hope – and certainly things like the Big Ofsted Conversation, and individual and organisational efforts to engage with Government and Ofsted are having some impact.


Things like this consultation also help inform the Government but often the response is very low. I recognise that those who do fill in consultations (people like me) will be thinking ‘What is the point?’ they never listen – and I feel that way sometimes too. However if we are asked to express our opinion, we should because if we stop completing such consultations they will stop asking us. What would make a big difference is if many, many more people took the time to fill in these consultations – because if more people did express opinions – they would have to take more notice.

So getting back to the reason for this blog – I plan to take a personal look at the questions and to convey my thoughts, in the hope that this will support others to think about the questions and to fill in their responses.

Please take the time to read the document which explains what Ofsted plan to do – and hope to achieve – I will refer to this at times as I go through the consultation document – but you really need to read yourself.

There are several ways to respond as explained in this wording which I have copied and pasted from the document (link posted at beginning of this blog)

How you can submit your views
There are three ways of completing and submitting your response.
Online electronic questionnaire
Visit our website to complete and submit an electronic version of the response form: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/futureofinspection
Downloading the document and emailing it to us
Visit our website to download a Word version of the response form that you can complete on your computer: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/better-inspection-for-all-consultation-proposals-for-new-framework-for-inspection-of-schools-further. When you have completed the form, please email it to inspectionreform@ofsted.gov.uk with ‘Better inspection for all’ in the subject line.
Printing the document and posting it to us
Visit our website to print a Word or PDF version of the response form that can be filled in by hand: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/better-inspection-for-all-consultation-proposals-for-new-framework-for-inspection-of-schools-further. When you have completed the form please post it to:
FOEI consultation
8th floor
Aviation House
125 Kingsway

I have chosen to complete my response via the survey monkey online questionnaire (which actually is a suggestion I made – and I am sure many other made, to Government to improve how they consult)

Feedback on completing by using the online survey

The first page is a general introduction – and I was pleased to see that there is a link to the information document, and a reminder of the closing date – which is 5th December 2014

What did surprise me was that just by clicking on link to complete the survey – shows that I have completed 7% already!

Second page (and now 14% complete at beginning of this page) just asks if representing an organisation – which in my case I am not – so I clicked NO

Page 3 (now 29% complete) Along list of options to state who you are and the sector – so I ticked Registered early years childminder from the first list, and early years provider from the second list

Page 4 (now 36% complete) Asked if agree, disagree and so on with the idea of a common inspection. There is a reminder to look at the information paper and which page – which is very helpful (and again a suggestion that I and many others have made).

The information paper does give reassurance about inspection handbooks and judgement being specific to each remit (they mean sector) and to inspectors having expertise in that sector. However, I am not sure this will always be followed.

For Q 2 I have ticked agree – I did not feel I could tick strongly agree due to my concerns.

I was pleased to see a comment box and so have added this comment

I agree with the principle of a common inspection, but I have concerns that the drive will be for formal learning and assessment in the early years sector and that children will be seen as failing what in fact they are just developing in their own unique way – and in their own time frame.
I also worry (despite reassurance in the information paper) that with a common inspection framework, that inspectors will be used across all sectors without the need to have experience or specialism in that sector, leading to uninformed judgements

Page 5 (now 43% complete)Again a general description about the focus of this question (which is about leadership and mamagement) and a reminder to look at the information provided.

In the information document there is a lot of information about what inspectors will judge – and says that Ofsted want to know if there should be a separate judgement about the curriculum – or if it should be within the judgement about leadership and management. So a fantastic opportunity to say what you think.

Please note there is a lot of information provided, so make sure you read – at least twice.

The good news is there is a separate tick box for each area of judgement – and a comment box

For Q 3 Personally I ticked the disagree box for leadership and management  – and left the following comment –

There is too much focus on teaching and not enough on the holistic development of children and young people. There appears to be a focus on achievement not on enjoyment I do not like the requirement to influence local and national providers ot the local community, this is very difficult for small group providers and registered childminders to achieve – and I think beyond their remit (and it takes all parties to engage and they are often unwilling or do not have the time to engage with small scale providers). The focus should be on the children and families – and although there will be engagement with others, it should not be part of the inspection criteria.


For Q4 –  Quality of teaching, learning and assessment I ticked agree – because I do – but I have major concerns about how this will be judged and so left this comment

In general I agree with the points in the information paper BUT I have major concerns about the judgements that will be made against those who have alternative curriculum’s / ethos and methods of enabling the children to develop their full potential.

I also have major concerns about judgements on assessment that is not presented in written format that meets the required standard format. My concern is that ‘knowing each child’, and planning on a daily basis for each child through the setting out of the environment, will not seen to be as effective as other more formal pre planning and assessment

For personal development, behaviour and welfare, I ticked agree but left this comment

I am concern that for some, the achievement of prompt and regular attendance will be difficult and that it should be about progress made on improving this, and efforts made, rather than just on achieving this

For Q5 – outcomes for children and learners I ticked strongly disagree and left this comment

I agree re progress from starting points but disagree strongly about achieving or exceed age related standards. For some children and young people this is unrealistic and they (nor their parents) should feel their child has ‘failed’ – what is important is that progress is made – no matter how small the progress step is

Page 6 (Interestingly, despite the number of questions on page 5 – only another 7% has been completed – so now 50% complete

Just one question on this page, and it is about the specific additional requirements, I ticked strongly disagree and left this comment

There are several areas in this section that I am not happy with – in particular removing the need for schools to register separately for their early years provision, especially for two year olds. Even with a common inspection framework, I believe this will lead to inconsistent judgements and potentially two year olds in a school environment that is not appropriate for them. If schools are to provide provision for two year olds it should be registered as early years provision, not school provision

Page 7 (Now 57% complete) Just one question again and this is the one that Ofsted would particularly like comment on – Should Ofsted continue to report on the curriculum as part of the leadership and management judgement?

I have ticked disagree and left this comment

I feel that although curriculum does come under leadership and management in some aspects – it also does not and my feeling is if an inspector does not recognise or value the curriculum delivered you would get marked down – even if all other aspects of leadership and management were good or outstanding. I also think that to separate the judgements would provide some useful data

Page 8 (now 64% complete) This page is about short inspections.There are two questions

For Q8 I ticked disagree and left this comment

In general I agree BUT I think 3 years is too long between inspections and should be every two years as a minimum. I also worry, that as with current inspection intervals, that we will end up with short inspections slipping back to every 4 or 5 years (or longer )

I think there should be also be a number of ‘random’ completely unannounced and un scheduled inspections across all sectors to ensure that quality is maintained at all times.

For Q9 I also ticked disagree and left this  comment

As above response for Q8, but also I think if concerns are raised at a short inspection – a full inspection should be carried out

Page 9 (now 74% complete) Two questions on this page – but for two different proposals

First one is about the inspection of non association independent schools – this is not an area that I personally know a lot about, but it makes sense to inspect sooner if concerns are raised – so I ticked yes and did not leave a comment

Second one is about inspection methodology – I left this comment(there is not a agree / disagree box)


I feel that inspectors are able to bypass the QA systems by putting things in their recording documentation to back up their view. I also feel that those being inspected find it hard to challenge inspectors because the do not know what has been recorded about them, and the draft report is just a summary of evidence gathered .I feel a fairer system would be for inspectors to record conversations with adults, and to provide the full transcript of their documentation at same time as the draft report

I also think that inspectors must speak to parents in person – even if by phone to gather the views about what it is like day in, day out for their child.

Furthermore, as already mentioned, there should be a number of unexpected, unscheduled inspections across the range of sectors to ensure that ‘everyday practice is observed – these could be very short ‘snapshot inspections’


Page 10 (79% complete) This page has space for any other comments and to tell Ofsted a little bit about yourself

In the comments box I left this comment

This consultation was much better than others that I have completed recently. I hope that Ofsted will consider carefully, and fully the suggestions made by respondents, and not just ignore points made.

I would also like to say that I personally found the online questionnaire an effective  way to express my opinion

I ticked yes to giving information about myself – so I have filled in those details on Page 11

Page 12  (93% complete at start of this page) More questions about yourself – the general ‘monitoring’ type


Page 13 The thank you for taking part page – when you click DONE you get re directed to the Ofsted Home page


I hope people found by blog on this useful – please do consider my responses, but make sure your responses are you views and your comments in your own words.

Posted October 27, 2014 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

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