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Investigate and evaluate the overall pre inspection preparation process within an early years set_0

Investigate and evaluate the overall pre inspection preparation process within an early years setting

Investigate and evaluate the overall pre inspection preparation process within an early years setting.

Before Ofsted are due to visit a nursery, managers are contacted, an inspector is appointed and an information pack is sent out.  The nursery manager must then by law put up a notice for parents/carers giving information about the imminent inspection.  This will give parents the chance to ask question and voice their concerns to staff.  A managers form and setting confirmation form is to be completed and returned to Ofsted before they make their visit bf.

Ofsted will also require anay published information for parents which should include staffing details, admission arrangement and the educational program.  This information will be checked to ensure the information given to parents is correct and adhered to by the setting.  It is important parents are given the correct information about their chosen childcare provider.  Other information required by Ofsted is the Special Educational Needs Policy and provision and other other relevant policies.  Staff self appraisal forms need to be collected and updated and a copy of the timetable of work to done whilst Ofsted are present.  All the information will be studied by Ofsted allowing them to pre-plan their visit prior to inspections.  This will benefit both the nursery staff and Ofsted.  Ofsted will have a clear idea of the size fo the establishment, of the amount and ages of children and the number of staff.  They will be able to plan the time spent there observing different areas of learning , thus ensuring they see a clear picture of the care and education offered.  Staff will have in advance a timetable of what will be observed and at what time Ofsted will want to have discussions with which staff.  Discussions would usually be held at the end of the visit and give brief verbal feedback.  This feedback would highlight areas for improvement.

After the nursery manager has returned all the relevant forms and documentation Ofsted will send the itenery for the visit, called the outline inspection plan.   The plan will explain how the inspection will be conducted.  It will give details of members of staff that Ofsted will want to speak to and as what time  Arrangements for the verbal feedback will be arranged and inspectors  would specify who would be expected to be present.  The discussions would be useful to the staff giving them an opportunity to explain any abnormal occurrences within the setting.  It may be there are far less children than usual due to illness such as chicken pox.  Unexpected occurrences for example burglary or vandalism to the property would need to be highlighted.  Many things could occur that are outside of the managers control that would need to be discussed.  Pre-planned timing for these discussions are essential to the smooth running of the inspection. 

At the moment schools are given six to ten weeks notice.  There are many forms such as the S1 form through to the S4 form that needs to be completed.  The purpose of form filling is about collecting information about the school to be used by the inspection team.  The previous inspection S4 form is a useful tool to judge the progress made since the last inspection. It is beneficial to the school to carry out their own self evaluation, regardless of whether an inspection is imminent. The S1 form includes basic information about the school.  This form needs to completed as soon as possible after hearing about the inspection.  Ofsted can then determine the number of days required for the inspection and whether any additional features need to be included.  All the forms are completed and sent online.  The S2 form includes more detail about the school and the pupils.  The S3 form is completed by the schools governing body and includes its assessment of how far statutory arrangements and policies are in place.  Unlike the nursery the S3 form stops the need of all policies to be provided prior to the inspection.  The S4 form probably the most useful to Ofsted and the school is a self evaluation form.  It gives the school the opportunity to summarise its own perceptions of its qualities and standards gained through monitoring and self-evaluation.  Many schools hold and update information on the S forms to minimise the amount of preparation necessary for inspection.  This minimises the disruption to the school prior to the inspection, most of the information is available without having to put in many days work at this stressful time.  In my workplace the staff are asked to fill in sections of the form themselves about the area they specialise in.  The head then collates the information and fills in the form using the information given by staff.  This works very well as staff such as myself have a more in depth knowledge of their specialised areas.  I specialise in ICT in school and know what changes have been made and what areas we cover very well or areas we need to improve on.  Given this information the head can fill in the form with more in depth information.  The area co-coordinators also give in depth information regarding their particular area.  This way of collecting information shows excellent leadership skills from the head and shows staff input is valued.  The S4 form is completed using the whole staff team. Heidegger enveloped cal1966's postmodernism theory.

 A pre-inspection visit will be carried out by an inspector who will visit the school for a day.  The information on the S4 form will be discussed and arrangements for the visit made.  Inspectors will also speak to staff and governors about the inspection and answer question asked by the staff. 

During an inspection in the primary school I work at, the pre-inspection visit proved very assuring.  Many staff had questions which were answered.  The main question being ‘Should we introduce you to the children when you observe the lesson?’.   Small questions like this one can pose worries to staff especially staff who have not been inspected before. 

The governing body must arrange a meeting between inspectors and parents before the inspection.  Questionnaires are also sent out to parents for Ofsted to study.  It is vital that the school encourage parents to fill in the forms.  This again is a useful tool for the school, as parents often offer suggestions and ideas that will enhance the childrens learning or the school environment.  Of course negative comments will also be received but these will need to be assessed by the school and questioned as to their validity or suitable changes made.  The childrens views are also important and questionnaires should be given to pupils to gain their insight into their education and the school itself.  Ofsted value pupils views .  At my workplace as well as small questionnaires, brainstorming sessions were carried out in class and big posters created by the children collating their views and ideas.  This worked very well as the children are aged between five and seven and some children would be unable to complete questionnaires.  Ofsted do have their own questionnaires online that can be downloaded and used by schools.  The majority of schools will use these.

Documents the inspection team will require at the pre inspection are:

·        Schools development improvement or management plan

·        The most recent prospectus or school brochure.

·        Recent LEA monitoring report on schools progress against its targets

·        Staff timetables

·        A plan of the school


Apart from all the forms required by Ofsted teachers should be aware of the things Ofsted will want to see whilst on their visit.  These should already be in place and further work should not necessarily be needed.  Teachers planning and assessment of pupils achievements will be looked at.  Pupil’s previous work and work completed during the visit will be assessed including displays in school.  During my Ofsted inspection pupils ICT work was inspected by opening  the childrens own IT folders.  They also asked to see work completed from the beginning of their school life up to year two.  It is essential to save the childrens work that has been created.  ICT got a very good report in school due to the varying use of ICT and the varied work the children had completed.  Without saving the work Ofsted would not have had evidence of work the children had produced.  Although Ofsted do not want to add pressure to teachers by asking for lots of documentation other than day to day planning and assessment staff usually do put in a lot of work prior to the inspection.  Prior to my inspection I ensured all childrens folders stored on PC were in the correct place and easy to find.  My portfolio of software used for each area of the curriculum although up to date was tidied up and I reorganised it so finding information would be easier.  I spent a lot of time on the technical side of IT to ensure all school computers and whiteboards were up and running smoothly to avoid technical issues arising during the visit.  I replaced all my displays around school so they were fresh and new.  The resources I used during the inspection were replaced with tidy and neat versions, such as question sheets which I re-printed and laminated as they do become scruffy with excessive use.  I spent hours reading the QCA scheme of work to confirm in my head that everything that should be covered in school was being covered.  In my opinion all the extra work that I put in did not help raise the standard of IT offered to the children but increased my confidence during the inspection.  Through my experience all teaching staff do worry about the inspection and spend a lot of extra time ensuring everything is up to date and of the best possible quality.  

Teachers should also be familiar with grade descriptions for all key judgements.  These help inspectors and teachers decide which grade fits best towards a judgement. 

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