It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.

It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.
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Many years ago, I took a senior team member to London to extend our understanding of NLP.  I generally drive towards London, park on the outskirts, and grab a tube.  We felt we had left at the crack of dawn, the traffic was awful, I couldn’t find the car park entrance … we arrived late.  The room was narrow, and the only seats left were at the other end, so we had to squeeze past everyone for the two seats remaining.  There were copious apologies for being late and disturbing the whole room … then my phone went …

A message – ‘Ofsted is here there’s been a complaint’.

I nudged my colleague – you might imagine the look on her face.

Apologising again, I stood up, squeezed past everyone to make the phone call, to reassure, to direct the information they mustn’t forget to convey and returned to the training session at coffee time. 

I wonder if either of us gained much from the course!  I had never been absent before.  I felt for the team.  Although prepared and confident, there is always the worry of the unexpected.  Plus, from the business and personal ego, the fear of living with a less-than-great outcome for years to come.

But as an inspector, I found the role stressful too.  Arriving on time, ensuring everything was covered, with the evidence, getting the judgement right and delivering the outcome.  It wasn’t easy to walk away, leaving the setting with the challenges I had generally highlighted without helping to solve them.  I am naturally a facilitator and solution-finder, so I found that hard.  Finally, writing what were long reports then.  Making sure they were of the standard expected.

There are nerves on both sides.  Both sides also hope to provide what is right for the children.

Here is a debate I had with MBK Group exploring what Ofsted may ask and knowing WHY things are happening so they can be explained during the current inspection framework. This may be useful to share with your teams.