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Nurseries lying about development to look good for Ofsted

(30 Posts)
twiggles Sat 08-Jan-11 22:18:09

A nursery manager said to me she is trying to get all the children to be the same standard. Since when are all individuals the same? Why not start from where the child is.
No way, according to the nursery teachers in this area. If a child is bright they receive little attention. The manager said she starts them low on the development curves so she can show an "upward development curve to Ofsted". She pretends the nursery has "developed the child" in different areas, when the child has already achieved these developments, so her nursery looks good in the eyes of Ofsted and receives a good Ofsted rating. She doesn't bother trying to develop children beyond the six developmental EYFS milestones. So bright children are not being developed from where they are individually because the nursery gains nothing from it! Unfortunately, it is not just one nursery manager like this, but a problem in this whole borough. How can one stop this rot?

lollipopshoes Sat 08-Jan-11 22:22:10

I have the same issue in dd2's primary school.

Dd2 is very bright and was reading before she started nursery, but to listen to the head, she was a total dumbo who was only taught the basics by the fantastic teaching at the school.


Don't have an answer btw, just wanted to join in your rant...

SpikyBinkle Sat 08-Jan-11 22:30:17

Interesting. Of course you can pull the wool over the inspector's eyes to some extent but my Ofsted was so rigorous, I think they would have seen through this. We had to provide a great deal of evidence and the issue of developing more able pupils was a particular focus of our inspection, so we were examined in detail regarding what we do for our '6+' pupils. Having said that, I teach in an area where pupils genuinely start in nursery with very few skills. I have often wondered how we can be compared to schools in areas where pupils arrive with considerable knowledge already. Have you seen a recent Ofsted report?

WhenPaperclipsAttack Thu 13-Jan-11 17:54:12

Just my two cents: Ofsted inspections for Early Years are quite different from school inspections. With schools the inspectors will be looking at the standards children start with and where they end up; the "value added" through teaching. That is one of the key areas that contribute towards an inspection grade, along with other points like care, guidance and support, school leadership, community engagement and so on.

In Early Years the point isn't what children are able to do at the end of their time at nursery or preschool - the setting won't get a higher grade because all the children can spell their names or play the violin underwater! Ofsted want to see that children are given the opportunity to develop skills and learn through play, but mostly they want to see that children are safe and supported and get to do lots of fun things in a warm and caring environment. The manager can have all the paperwork in the world that says "child A couldn't talk when he started, now he can recite Shakespeare" but if the Inspector sees the kids all plonked in front of a DVD and staff drinking tea out the back, they won't get a good grade.

supersewer Tue 25-Jan-11 19:38:22

Ofsted always ask for parents opinion, when they arrive, they put a poster on the doorsaying they are inspecting and invite parents comments.
If you feel that strongly - tell them

twiggles Sun 15-Jan-12 22:17:53

Maybe Ofsted hasn't wised up to the fact that nurseries and schools are pretending that children are very dumb when they start because all they're concerned with is showing a development curve for Ofsted. So they're not recording what an individual child is like. They're recording what Ofsted want to hear in order for the nursery or school to get a good Ofsted rating!

Parents opinion is another joke. The nurseries and schools make it difficult for parents to get hold of questionnaires except to parents they think are going to say something good. It's possible some forms might be filled in by staff rather than parents. And parents who have complaints about a school or nursery usually don't say anthing because they know they risk being bullied if they do.

Is that fair? No, the system isn't working. Schools and nurseries are the system beyond belief. They're only interested in their rating and they'll do anything for it. There's got to be a better way than this. Schools and nurseries are making mince meat of parents.

TiggyD Mon 16-Jan-12 21:21:36

I've never heard anybody talk about "upwards development curves" in any nursery. Is it a school thing? The EYFS gets divided into 4 sections. The first one is titled A unique child. Very much the opposite of what you describe. In my experience ofsted are only interest in what you are doing for the children in your care, not the results of children who have just left. There are no league tables for nurseries, just 3 grades and a fail.
If you think what the nursery manager said was so terrible, why are you talking to us about it? Tell ofsted.

camdancer Tue 17-Jan-12 08:15:44

The way you are talking is as if this is systemic. I only have real experience of one setting and I've also never heard of upward development curves. The preschool I'm involved in does questionnaires to find out what parents think so that we can make our provision better and we ask all parents. I know because I sent them out and read them when they came back. It has nothing to do with Ofsted. If they like what we do, then great, but an inspection every 4 years isn't as important as the children with us now.

purepurple Tue 17-Jan-12 20:21:13

Ofsted inspections are more about meeting the welfare requirements than judging educational standards
'Ofsted inspectors ask themselves 'what's it like for a child here'

mrz Sat 28-Jan-12 17:53:06

Very interesting especially the bit about the six developmental milestones ... doesn't she know they are intended for the end of reception not nursery? Sounds as if someone hasn't a clue what they are talking about hmm

mrz Sat 28-Jan-12 17:54:34

it's a good story though

morethanpotatoprints Wed 09-May-12 14:25:06

You think this is bad, what they tell the parents imo is wose. My friend teaches childcare in a local college. In several settings her students have been told not to tell the parents when they have walked or spoke first word or been to the toilet for the first time. They were told their blanket statement was to be "x almost did xyz today and if you watch them they may do it for you" what crap. Just to make sure parents don't feel like they have missed a milestone.

TiggyD Wed 09-May-12 17:10:04

Why is that bad Morethan?

5318008 Wed 09-May-12 17:14:58

That is not crap it's good practice

Expand on why you think it's crap please

camdancer Wed 09-May-12 17:40:54

I did that with DH just so he got a couple of milestones for himself. Almost 5 years later he still remembers that he heard DS's first word and saw his first steps. It meant a lot to him and didn't cause me any problems. I'd say that was a pretty lovely thing to do.

inmysparetime Wed 09-May-12 17:50:20

My nursery tracks where individual children are on the EYFS twice a year, but we do it for internal planning purposes, not for Ofsted.
We meet as a team and look for any patterns emerging I.e. lack of progress of the cohort/girls/individual children in creative development, then discuss ways to develop provision to address this.
It sounds like an odd thing to reduce then inflate a child's ability and doesn't achieve anything either.

twiggles Sun 20-Jan-13 10:57:41

Whatever your child is like, many primary schools and nurseries are pretending children start ofe on the low end of the scale, so they can pretend to inspectors of private and state schools that the child has developed only because of their teaching. If your child's advanced, many schools in wealthy areas take it out on the child. They won't bother giving the child attention, because the child's advanced, so they let the child coast downwards. But they give reports in writing about the child that pretend the child has started off at a low point and then reached the average point expected due to the teaching at the school, when the report should say that the child was able to read or write when the child started at the school and due to the school giving the child little attention, the child has coasted downwards. That is what many schools do so they can pretend they have developed everything in the child, they want all children to be the same standard, like a photocopier. Poor children. Some teachers admit they're cheating and don't take the reports seriously and write them to impress inspectors. This is happending all over the show and I can't understand why the inspectors are allowing them to get away with it. If parents start grading teachers in the school every three months the teachers won't be able to hide what's going on to the inspectors and teachers who are pretending might stop. We need more teachers that are more honest and better trained please.

Feenie Sun 20-Jan-13 13:04:47

Some teachers admit they're cheating and don't take the reports seriously and write them to impress inspectors.

Shred of evidence/link please?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 20-Jan-13 19:47:36

I'm fascinated by this and want to read more.

Could you provide a link to your evidence please??

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 19:50:22

You will notice I wasn't deleted on this thread wink

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 19:51:16

Almost a year ago ...

Kyrptonite Sun 20-Jan-13 19:53:55

I have to put children down as lower than their age sometimes because that is the stage they are at. On the other hand I have 24 month olds at a 40-60+ in some areas so mark it down accordingly.

No one I know in a professional capacity would deliberately do this to make a nursery look better. You've posted this in primary education as well and tbh it's shite.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 20-Jan-13 19:54:19

Blimey, didn't spot that..

It was originally started two years ago?? And then a year ago and then now??

Am I reading that right?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 20-Jan-13 19:55:01

Is this like an annual full moon thing?

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 19:57:11

Yes 8th Jan 2011 15th Jan 2012 and 20th Jan 2013

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