Current inspections are functioning at a lower level however, the levels of good and outstanding given by Ofsted in the early years sector has increased.
Latest Ofsted figures show that 80 per cent of most recent inspections carried out by Ofsted were judged good or outstanding. However, in the latest reporting period, it was only 74%. Periods prior to April 1st- June 30th had 66 and 68 per cent of inspections graded good or outstanding, this then went up to 74 per cent. However, this will result in an overall fall if results for individual periods continue to run below 80 per cent.
In the ‘most recent inspection’ figure the percentage of early years providers being judged inadequate was 2 per cent overall. However, in the latest inspection periods that percentage has risen to between 8 and 11 per cent. The Overall effectiveness judgements for early years providers at their most recent inspection, the period between 1 July and 31 August 2014 show that 12 per cent of all early years provisions were graded outstanding, 68 per cent were good, 18 per cent required improvement and 2 percent were inadequate.
An Ofsted spokesperson said, ‘Nurseries and other early years providers are getting better. These statistics show that four-fifths have been judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection’.
It is clear that young children need high quality teaching to get the best start in life, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Ofsted are working with the early years providers who were judged as “require improvement”. They will aid them to provide a better service for young children and their parents, in order to achieve the best outcomes.
Liz Bayram, chief executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, said, ‘Pacey welcomes these fantastic results which clearly show the continuing trend of improvement in the sector. This has been achieved against a backdrop of reduced funding and local authority support’.
Ofsted urge policy makers to increase the support offered to all settings, in particular to children from disadvantaged areas, so that they can improve. With an increased focus from Government for school-based early years settings, it will allow them to provide high quality services for children and parents.
Pre-school Learning Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said, ‘At a time when there is so much focus on moving towards a school-led early years sector, these figures serve as a timely reminder of the highly quality service that PVI providers continue to offer local families’.
If this positive direction is to continue, providers must be supported appropriately.