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Ofsted EIF Inspections are BACK!From 4th May – see the main announcement and links below.

Having undertaken a recent pilot Ofsted EIF Inspection, in order that they can measure how they can inspect in a Covid-19 safe manner, this does not surprise me. It was our first experience of an EIF Inspection – and overall it was a very positive experience, obviously, some of that is to do with the inspector themselves but the whole process is very different to the CIF and partly due to covid-19. You cannot socially distance from a baby!

The headlines are:

  • Expect a longer phone call that will ask for as much of the factual information as possible – know your children attending by age range, funding received supplemental support.
  • Be prepared to talk to them about your working practices and communications during covid-19 and if you disapplied any of the EYFS requirements and your justifications for this.
  • Consider how you have supported parents with children’s learning at home, especially those that are vulnerable.
  • Use your Learning Walk to really cover off as many judgement elements as possible about your setting.
  • Know where all your children are in their learning, especially the ‘assessment points’ i.e. 2 year check for most of us, and changes in starting points and any knowledge gaps
  • Good safeguarding knowledge will be expected from every single staff member and a look at how you have managed safeguarding for families during the pandemic may form part of the inspection
  • We used our timetable as advocated in our current BØRN Manager (previously Foundation Focus) evaluation framework.
  • Minimal paperwork required (put what you can on your website so it can be looked at beforehand) – DBS and First Aid are critical though.
  • Staff knowledge and practice is the most important aspect – including how well supported they feel from leadership team and how confident they are in answering questions on critical aspects such as safeguarding.

It is now confirmed that Inspections fall into a 6 years window. The timing of your next inspection will essentially be risk assessed against your previous judgement and any new information that comes about that may be a cause of concern.

The process for publishing inspection reports seems to have changed in the publication of the new handbook. We now have 5 days to comment on the draft report (this was 24 hours as I recall) PLUS if a formal complaint is submitted  – the publication of the report ‘may be delayed’, which is a refreshing change to the previous process, where a report would be published whatever the circumstances! In addition to this, there seems to be heightened sensitivity to issues being raised during the inspection process with quite a few amendments to the quality assurance and complaints section (153-157).

When it comes to the judgements then the wording ‘best fit’ has been removed in some but not all of the paragraphs. This suggests they are being more exacting on what each judgement criteria might be.

Did you know we have a Prepare for your EIF Inspection Training Course for staff and teams?

Ofsted Ready: Preparing for your EIF Inspection is an interactive online course (next date 22nd June) aimed at all nursery practitioners and managers, to help them prepare for inspection and support them in achieving the best possible Ofsted grade. It will build knowledge of the inspection process and confidence in individuals.

Bespoke Training: Preparing for your EIF Inspection is aimed at the whole nursery team supporting you all in preparing for the EIF inspection and will build your knowledge and confidence in everything from the Learning Walk through to the Leadership & Management and Quality of Education judgements. It gives the whole team a thorough grounding. We can deliver this online or face to face, subject to covid-compliance.

or Contact us to find out more about how we can adapt this for your individual needs…

The recent announcement:
Registered early years providers

On-site EIF inspections of registered early years providers will begin from 4 May. We will prioritise providers:

  • judged less than good at their last inspection (including those who received an interim visit in the autumn term)
  • that registered recently but have not been inspected whose first inspection is overdue
  • that were not inspected in the last inspection cycle due to the pause in routine inspection

We will continue to carry out urgent inspections if we have significant concerns about a provider.

An updated Early Years Inspection Handbook has also been published, along with a Summary of Changes. They can be accessed here.

About the author: Tricia Wellings

Tricia Wellings

Tricia qualified as an NNEB and achieved a BA (Hons) in Early Education Studies and Early Years Teacher Status. She obtained her PTLLS and CTTLS in order to teach adults and most recently her A1 assessors’ award. She has run a group of day nurseries for 18 years and trains her own teams.

Her passion for and knowledge of owning and running a nursery group and the issues within the sector that affect them is second to none. She continues to keep herself updated through regular meetings with PVI groups, Local Authorities, Ofsted Big Conversation and Conferences.

You can find out more about Tricia on her website

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