Ofsted arriving can be a nerve wracking time for management and practitioners, however following these simple tips can help make the experience less daunting. Being prepared mentally can allow management and practitioners to display the setting to its full potential.
Top 10 tips for Ofsted’s Arrival
- Ask for proof of identity – When Ofsted arrive do not allow them into the building without first checking for proof of identity. This shows you have tight safeguarding procedures in place. You can even request that Ofsted wait outside until you have contacted the head office to ensure they are suppose to be visiting. This may gain you a few extra moments to compose yourself
- Ask the inspector to sign in – This again shows tight safeguarding and health and safety procedures.
- Inform practitioners – Let all practitioners know that the Ofsted inspector has arrived. This allows practitioners to be aware and to prepare themselves.
- Show of your best bits – If your setting has achieved something or have created something you are really proud of, then show them. Ofsted inspectors enjoy seeing your passion and ideas. Even if it is something simple, as long as it is having a positive impact they will be impressed.
- Stay calm – Do not panic when an Ofsted inspector arrives. They are not there to trick you or try and trip you up. They are only asking to see what you have in place to help improve outcomes for children. They will also want to see how you follow the early years framework and Ofsted framework.
- Be Confident – Practitioners need to be confident in their own practice and skills. They should know their key children well and will be able to easily answer any questions. All practitioners do know the answers; it is just important not to get flustered.
- Have policies and procedures ready – Ofsted inspectors will ask to see many policies and procedures, have these to hand in an easily accessible place so you can show your assertiveness when the policy is requested.
- Remind practitioners before the Ofsted inspector arrives that sometimes it is okay not to know the answer as long as you know how to find the answer out. For example they may be asked a question on how a parental complaint is dealt with. They may not know the full ins and outs of how management deal with this but pointing the Ofsted inspector in the direction of the correct complaints policy will show initiative and understanding.
- Always be prepared – Display best practice every day! Parents should not notice a massive change in practice around the time Ofsted are due as practice should be outstanding on a daily basis. Ensure the management structure is strong and that all practitioners know what is expected of them.
- Be professional and follow your own policies and procedures- Ofsted inspectors will expect to see exceptional practice and you can ensure this happens by making all practitioners and management are following the policies and procedures that are in place. After all there is no use in having a policy which is not followed.