I am so excited – Thank You Ofsted!   1 comment

I am sure regular readers will think I have lost the plot because why am I so excited about anything to do with Ofsted?

Yes, I have a track record of working in partnership with Ofsted – but I am not known for thanking them very often and even when I do, I often have both positive and negative comments and my personal thoughts about what could be inproved.

So what am I so excited about?

Well it is the latest Safeguarding document – the guidance for inspectors. Click on link if you have not seen it yet.

Link to Safeguarding document issued 23rd August 2016

I am sure many of you have read it – and being the ‘good’ practitioners that you are – you will have have read the whole thing and made notes about what you need to do now that you have read it.

You may have also read the thoughts of other people to get a balanced view and to help you get your head round things – such as this one written by my colleague Tricia.

Tricia Wellings of MBK thoughts on new Safeguarding doc

However, although I have read Tricia’s blog and in general agree with her – I admit I have only scan read the actual Ofsted document.

Ah – I can hear the doubters saying – So you are not really excited about this document Penny?

I can assure you I am excited but from a slightly different angle.

As most readers will know I no longer run a childminding setting and in fact I am no longer directly involved with any setting – but I am still a campaigner, a volunteer and an advocate for children and early years settings (especially registered childminders).

I admit that my in depth reading stopped at the bottom of page 4 – and in particular at point 8 – my interest continued until half way down page 6 and the end of point 11.

The section that grabbed my attention is called ‘Definition of Safeguarding’

To save you all rushing to find that section I have copied and pasted below so you can read it (please be sure to read in relation to the whole document as per link above) Please note my bold

  1. In relation to children and young people, safeguarding and promoting their welfare is defined in ‘Working together to safeguard children’ as:
  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
  1. There is a different legislative and policy base for responding to adults’ safeguarding needs. However, most of the principles and procedures that apply are the same as those for safeguarding children and young people.
  2. Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children and learners from:
  • neglect
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying
  • racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse
  • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls
  • radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour
  • child sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • the impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, for example ‘sexting’ and accessing pornography
  • teenage relationship abuse
  • substance misuse
  • issues that may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence
  • domestic violence
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • fabricated or induced illness
  • poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children
  • other issues not listed here but that pose a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  1. Safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care and education, including:
  • children’s and learners’ health and safety and well-being, including their mental health
  • meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • the use of reasonable force
  • meeting the needs of children and learners with medical conditions
  • providing first aid
  • educational visits
  • intimate care and emotional well-being
  • online safety and associated issues
  • appropriate arrangements to ensure children’s and learners’ security, taking into account the local context.

I am sure you will agree that all the points are very important – but from a campaigners point of view (as in being against what current policy is doing to our children through lack of play, Too Much Too Soon, formalised academic learning, and constant testing) I hope you can see why I am excited.

Government in general are not listening – but here in this Ofsted document is all the justification we need – we are doing what we are doing (or plan to do) to safeguard the children – as per the Ofsted document!

Of course I am not silly and I know we will still have to argue our case with inspectors, but what if we prepare and have the research evidence and our own observation evidence to back us up? What if we ask inspectors to justify their assessment (and grade) with research and data? What if we all come together and say we are not going to do the things that in our opinion do not safeguard the children in the widest sense of the word, and in our opinion and from the research and data available we are by refusing to implement a inappropriate curriculum, we are safeguarding the children.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if a parent challenged Ofsted if they insisted that we went against our principles and just ‘did as we were told’ (which by the way would not make us reflective practitioners.

We need to remember that Ofsted have also said ‘There is no one way to achieve the very best for young children. Many different approaches to teaching exist.’  and ‘Parents, the first teachers any child encounters, will recognise this overarching view of teaching. Every word, choice and interaction made by a parent, either in their child’s presence or while engaging directly with them, plays a significant part in their child’s learning’

Both of above quotes  from this DOCUMENT

In my opinion the statement about parents and the overarching (holistic)  view applies to early years settings as well – and all children under CSA.

I, and many others do of course want to extend CSA to 7 – and lots of work is being done on that- but in the ‘here and now’ while we work on getting government to listen to our reasons (and more importantly to understand) let’s use this Ofsted document to back us up in WHY we need to  safeguard the children from inappropriate policy and practice


I will be speaking more about safeguarding in the widest sense and be including the impact on  looked after children at the conference being organised by Laura Henry

Link to conference


Posted August 24, 2016 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

One response to “I am so excited – Thank You Ofsted!

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  1. Thanks… Penny, excellent blog. Another colleague mentioned that the conference will link to this new guidance.

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