It’s time for a post-pandemic OBC

May 30th 2022

In preparation for this meeting and because time is simply speeding past, I looked over all the minutes of the previous Ofsted Big Conversation (OBC) blogs. The OBC kicked off in 2014 and spread across England led by Early Years colleagues in their local areas. It gave the sector a voice and a level of agency in what had become a very dysfunctional and unempathetic relationship.

To those new to OBC, this is our 8th meeting, and we are using Zoom, to invite as many people as possible to attend. OBC came about because we were being treated badly by our regulator and we all cohered around a single issue and rose up. You might also get in the mood by listening to my podcast with Gill Jones.

Sign up to join the OBC on 6th June here.

Today we have a much-improved situation but never become complacent because people change, leadership changes and new people may not respond like our current Ofsted EY leaders and we would be back to stage one, which was not a happy place for anyone. Remember we are always stronger together.

Ofsted is back with the new EYFS and the updated EIF. There is an updated Compliance Handbook and the Inspection Handbook (which is nice and clear) and should read back to front and front to back for good measure.  The usual issues need to be considered in relation to the new inspections:

* Are inspectors consistent?
* Is there a balance between improvement and regulation?
* Are inspectors considering the issues of post Covid on children and staff
* How are inspectors responding to the staffing crisis?
* Are the Learning Walks working well?
* As the Government is reviewing assessment again, how will this impact the EY sector?

We have invited Wendy Ratcliff and Phil Minns both HMI to join us to talk about all issues to do with inspection. We will also have two additional special guests to discuss early years nutrition and what we can do to support children’s health through nurseries.

Guest speakers include:
* Wendy Ratcliff: HMI Principal Officer for Early Education, Ofsted
* Phil Minns: HMI Specialist Adviser for Early Years and Primary Education, Ofsted
* Thomas Abrams: Health & Food Lead, LEY
* Edwina Revel: Programme Director, Early Start Nursery and Training Centre

6:30-6:40pm Welcome
6:40-6:50pm Ofsted Strategy Update
6:50-7:05pm Early Years Post-Pandemic
7:05-7:20pm Looking at Communication and Language on Inspection
7:20-7:30pm How Early Years Settings Can Build Children’s Health Through Food
7:30-7:50pm Q&A
7:50-8pm Close

If there are some issues you want to raise, just drop me a line and I will add them, otherwise raise them at the meeting.

Don’t forget, creating the OBC took energy and bravery. We need to keep this fire burning. Come along, send staff , bring your friend, but whatever you do Just Come.

Tickets to the National OBC, Monday 6th June 6:30-8pm can be booked here.