Yorkshire & Humber

Yorkshire/Humber Ofsted Big Conversation: Information and Q&A session with Ofsted
St Georges Centre Leeds -28th September 2016

Present for Ofsted: Helen Lane (Regional Senior HMI), Diane Plewinska (EY Senior Officer), Rachael Flesher ( EY HMI)
Chair: Anne Kearsley

David Ball of Community Matters (Yorkshire) opened the meeting with the news that following Nick Hudson’s recent departure, our newly appointed Regional Director is Cathryn Kirby – she hopes to attend our next meeting.

Read full minutes here…

Ofsted Big Conversation

10th November 2015.

Little Green Rascals Nursery, York.

Delegates were told about the changes in senior management within Ofsted.  Sean Harford, Ofsted National Director for Education has taken over from Nick Hudson as National Early Years Director.  Nick will remain the Regional Director.

There followed a PowerPoint presentation of the New Early Years Framework which had been presented at the meeting in the NE that David and Ken had  attended the previous week  and would cover most of the points on the Agenda.

Throughout the presentation everyone was given an opportunity to ask questions.

You can see the presentation on the CMY website. www.community-matters.org.uk/docs/ofsted-pres-nov15.pdf

Consultation results on the new Common Inspection Framework (CIF) are available on the Ofsted site but people were told to access Ofsted by doing a Google search.

80% of providers support the CIF, Ofsted again emphasised that the new framework and report are for parents.

The handbooks have been revised following the pilots and if providers have not got a copy they can download them from the Ofsted website.

Delegates were shown a copy of the new EY Inspection Handbook.  Ken explained that providers must read and fully understand the changes there has been since the new framework started in September as he was aware of setting being downgraded for not having in place new elements that are now included in the new handbook.

The handbook is a much more detailed document and includes ‘evaluation schedule and grade descriptors’  These give details of what the inspector will be looking for in the four main areas of inspection.

Assessment:  Ken pointed out that in the new Handbook Section 155; the wording is now ‘assessment on entry’.  Providers were encouraged to review their procedures to insure there is a clear assessment on entry.

The first item raised, was with regard to the future of Inspection Service Providers (ISP).  The current contract with Tribal and Prospects lasts until 2017.  Sir Michael Wishaw has indicated that he will make a decision soon on the future of who inspects our sector. This is a link to a copy of his letter to providers.


Recently Nick Hudson has stated that taking inspections in-house was only one option of many that were being considered.  He did confirm that all monitoring visits re-inspections of RI & Inadequate settings would be conducted by HMI’s and not ISP inspectors.

Quality Assurance:  Delegates were told that Nick Hudson & John Coleman had explained that Ofsted had 19 EY HMI’s matched with the 19 ISP inspection areas.  Part of their role was to monitor at least one ISP inspection per week.  JC stated that automatically 10% of all ISP reports were QA by Ofsted HMI’s, and, any concerns would be raised with the ISP.  JC also stated that he has monthly meetings with ISP and he will raise any issues regarding inspections at that time as part of their Key Performance Indicators.  Please pass in to David or Ken any issues you believe JC should raise with the ISP at these meetings

Delegates were asked how everyone felt about the half a day’s notice of an Ofsted inspection?

There was then discussion about the areas provisions would be judged on (see slide presentation.)

British Values – was explained at the NE meeting as an extension of what providers were already doing and not something new. It could be having a visit from a Police officer or the Fire service for example. It was about respect for the established way of British life; the general feeling was that British Values and the PREVENT Duty are interlinked.  Many of the sector member organisations such as NDNA, PLA & PACEY as well as organisations such as 4Children provide information on what this best practice in these areas.  There are concern that some ISP inspectors need better training in this area and #OBC will take this up with Ofsted. More information about the PREVENT duty in Early Years can be found on the DfE website and a copy can be downloaded.

EYPP:  There is no hard and fast rule how this should be spent, but providers need to be able to demonstrate how the spending assists there identified children. Concern raised over the ability in some LA area that setting struggle to identify children receiving EYPP.  These issues should be raised with their LA but if LA’s do not help settings to identify these children #OBC will raise this with Ofsted .


On the subject of what the new inspections would look like etc. The response was not favourable as the only setting in attendance that had been inspected under the new framework had been inspected in the 9th September 2015 only 9 days after implementation of this new framework.  Unfortunately, the setting fell foul of some of the changes in the inspection framework which had only been published the month before and believe that they had insufficient time to bring into being some of these changes.  (They have made a Stage 2 complaint and are awaiting a reply from the ISP.)

Up to 30 Months for 1st Inspection: JC confirmed that any new setting waiting its first inspection can when they believe they are ready for that inspection write to Ofsted telling them that, he said it would be noted and could bring your inspection forward.  They claim that the reason why they extended the lead-in time before the first inspection was to allow new setting greater time to allow good practice to develop and become imbedded but there’s nothing wrong with a setting writing to say they are ready.

Communications with Ofsted: Please remember to record all communications with Ofsted, this is for your own good practices as well as providing evidence at the time of inspection that you have informed Ofsted of whatever is being questioned.

If you have contacted Ofsted providers helpline and been given advice (I use that term loosely) and then contacted them again and received different advice please let David, Ken or anyone from #OBC know as we want to take such evidence to JC to prove our concern over their helpline services. Please note dates and times of calls.

The new inspection report is even shorter than the previous shorted report.  It is basically four pages with only one paragraph written on each of the four areas.  Ofsted still emphases that it is the feedback at the end of the inspection that is the most important part of the inspection process.  Ofsted will be questioned as to how many people can be present at the Feedback and if notes can be taken.

Satisfactory Rated Settings: Ken has been in contact with Sean Harford since it was reported to him that Satisfactory rated settings were not going to be re inspected until the start of the next inspection cycle in September 2017.  The situation of Satisfactory settings had been raised with NH on two occasions by us, once in October 2014 when the steering group meet him in York and again at the open meeting held in April in Leeds.  On both occasions he indicated that these settings were being prioritised and would be inspected quickly.  Ken question this apparent change in policy with the new director only to be told that NH had been talking about Satisfactory settings that had been inspected in the previous inspection cycle 2008 to 2012.  This is the first time many within #OBC who had been with NH when this was mentioned had heard this qualification.

SH did confirm that if there was any spare capacity within the current inspection cycle Satisfactory settings inspected in the 18 month period between the start of the current cycle and the introduction of the new grades would be prioritised and could be inspected before the end of the year. Ken can confirm that he knows of a Satisfactory setting that has been re-inspected within the current cycle which is good news as SH seems to be keeping to his word.

Judgements within New CIF: Ofsted also state that judgements are often interlinked where for example a judgement of Inadequate in one area will normally result in a RI in a corresponding area.

We asked for confirmation on the timescale for re-inspection for RI providers, we have now got the answer.


Ofsted to look again at re-inspection of ‘requires improvement’ childminders | Nursery World

Read Ofsted to look again at re-inspection of ‘requires improvement’ childminders childcare and the latest childcare & early years news & best practice on Nursery World

Read more…


There was a discussion about the conflict of interest when Ofsted inspectors can also be working in the area as consultants.

One example given of an Ofsted inspector who had applied for a job in the Nursery setting that they then went on to inspect.

*Providers asked if it would be possible to record the feedback from the inspector on their phone or sound recorder, rather than just taking notes, as they felt there was discrepancies in the feedback to the actual report. –The question will be asked at the next meeting with Ofsted.?

It was stated that when feedback was given on an Inadequate judgement that it left the staff devastated and providers felt that they were given no support at all.

Regional Scrutiny Committee –For the first time there will be (from December 2015) a Scrutiny Committee where there will be an independent EY sector member along with an area specific HMI and chaired by a SHMI. These panels, again for the first time, will be able to overturn an inspection outcome.  Many believe that the pressure #OBC has put on Ofsted has brought about the introduction of these new panels.

Complaints that are elevated to Stage 3 will go these new committees.  Ofsted may be looking for volunteers and providers were asked if they would consider volunteering and taking part in a Scrutiny panel.

A reminder that the SEN consultation on the DfE about the new inspection plan to assess how providers should be inspected to ensure they are meeting the needs of children with SEN  ends on the 4.1.2016. Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/467416/CONSULTATION_DOCUMENT_Local_area_SEND_consultation_FINAL_2015_10_12.pdf

Ofsted are asking how you would like them to communicate with you, link to survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NRPQYWJ

First Aid consultation:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/consultation_response_form_data/file/431/Paediatric_first_aid-_Consultation_Response_Form.docx

#OBC Nationally: Both David and Ken are in the email loop that links all #OBC groups and it is clear that the concerns expressed in our region are the same in all regions of England.  We also feed into the national conversation between Chairs of all #OBC regions, so delegates concerns are highlighted nationally as well as regionally.

Ofsted Listening: Senior Ofsted personal are attending events to listen to the sector.  There is a #OBC group in all Ofsted regions. So are more active than others but most areas are having regular meetings with their regional leads on EY from Ofsted

Close: The meeting closed at 9.00 pm with thanks to our hosts for the night and Vanessa Warne owner of the venue for allowing us free use and proving us with delicious home-made cakes and biscuits with our teas and coffees.

Venue: If anyone has a room suitable to take approx. 30 to 40 within our region and would like to host one of our meetings please let David know.

Ofsted Listening: Senior Ofsted personal are attending events to listen to the sector.  There is a #OBC group in all Ofsted regions. So are more active than others but most areas are having regular meetings with their regional leads on EY from Ofsted

Open Meeting with Ofsted Director Nick Hudson & Senior HMI John Coleman, held at St George Centre, Leeds on 23rd April 2015, was a great success with more than 100 delegates attending.

Please see full report below.

Ofsted Big C full report for circulation_Yorkshire&Humber

You can download presentation supplied by the Ofsted representatives here…

A big thank you to our sponsor Community Matters (Yorkshire).

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