28 September 2017
I am lucky. I love my job, I have a fabulous team who share the same professional values and help us all to achieve success for the children and with Ofsted. Despite the nerve wracking inspections children do need protecting from genuinely bad practitioners and standards need to be high for little ones. It may not be the best system, but the idea of driving high quality is sound.
While I have enjoyed 2 Outstanding Ofsted reports I feel we can sometimes be on a knife edge with Ofsted, and it can be the case for the best of us that we come a cropper! I've heard a few comments lately that “if you get inadequate you shouldn't be working with children”, or “a good (inspection result) is just basic”. I say steady on! Don't be so quick to judge us working on the ground here. I was never going to write about this to protect my team, but having started some consultancy work recently it has reminded me the agony (understatement!) getting it wrong can be, and one time I did have a car crash inspection. I remember going home and my husband saying “ Good day?” And telling me we had inadequate. The whole team were totally devastated. Back then it was anything up to a year for them to come back (1 year and 4 days for us!)
As team we were flattened, we had been crushed. So when people phone me or I see them and they burst into tears after an Ofsted disaster, I can say hand on heart I know how you feel.
However, you can come out stronger, if you work in a team your team can be stronger. Some people maybe in the business for the wrong reason, I believe and hope these people may not persevere, but if you know that Ofsted have you wrong, ok you didn't get things right on this occasion, but I'm better than they think I/we are, step up to the plate. Put things right, target those areas of weakness, get support from inspiring people, knowledgable people. Get good friends and family to lift you. I'm not saying there won't be moments in the interim that are dark and you feel like packing it in. My team wouldn't let me (thanks you guys! You really are the best!) and we are a success.
So don't feel judged even by those who do make sweeping statements, if you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself down, roll your sleeves up and come out fighting. If you are genuinely Good or Outstanding your worth it!