This month, a new regulation and inspection framework came into force for Ofsted inspectors, and with it, a few changes to the way in which Ofsted inspectors are to fulfil their role within early years settings. Its full title is the “n on the Early Years Register”, and you can download the complete document here.
The Framework has five parts. Qualified staff working in existing early years settings will find Parts 3, 4 and 5 of most help and relevance to them. These deal with inspection, compliance and enforcement and the general carrying out of regulatory and inspection work by Ofsted inspectors. Parts 1 and 2 explain the regulation system and how the Early Years Register works (including the process of application), making the whole document an advantageous read for students in need of a clear and complete overview of the whole regulation and inspection system.
The Framework confirms that, “Inspectors must uphold the highest professional standards in their work, and ensure that everyone they encounter during inspections or regulatory visits is treated fairly and with respect and benefits from the inspection.” Ofsted’s code of conduct requires inspectors to:
Evaluate objectively, be impartial and inspect without fear or favour
Evaluate provision in line with frameworks, national standards or requirements
Base all evaluations on clear and robust evidence
Have no connection with the provider that could undermine their objectivity
Report honestly and clearly, ensuring that judgements are fair and reliable
Carry out their work with integrity, treating all those they meet with courtesy, respect and sensitivity
Endeavour to minimise the stress on those involved in the inspection
Act in the best interests and well-being of service users
Maintain purposeful and productive dialogue with those being inspected, and communicate judgements clearly and frankly
Respect the confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work
Respond appropriately to reasonable requests
Take prompt and appropriate action on any safeguarding or health and safety issues.
The Framework also sets out clear expectations for the conduct of early years providers during an inspection. It’s advisable for all practitioners to be familiar with these. They include:
Being courteous and respectful
Working with inspectors to minimise disruption, stress and bureaucracy
Maintaining a purposeful diaglogue with the inspector
Drawing any concerns to the attention of inspectors promptly and in a suitable manner
There’s also a newly updated EYFS Self Evaluation Form (SEF) for settings to complete. It’s a really useful tool to ensure inspection readiness, so do make sure your setting is using the most current version. You can download the form here. Via this link, it’s now possible for settings to both complete and regularly update their SEF online. (A password from Ofsted called an Ofsted Security Token is needed for the online service. Information on how to obtain one is provided on the site).
Next month we’ll be looking at some great winter activities for a mixed age range, ideal for holiday clubs.