Are you reading Ofsted reports and feeling saddened and disheartened?

If you’re anything like me, you’re reading Ofsted reports and thinking, oh my goodness! They really are not the grading that you want them to be at the moment. I feel a little bit like, ‘why is this happening?’ Why are our grades getting lower and lower? The only thing I can think of… I don’t want to use the C-word because, you know, I hate the C-word, whether it’s Curriculum or COVID. Is it the fact that inspections have been put on hold and local authorities have not visited settings? We need to be making sure that this is happening. We need to be getting back to where we need to be, and that’s it – FACT.

In some of the settings that I’ve been visiting, they think that they’re doing amazing, and it’s only when somebody else comes in as an outsider and starts provoking that thinking around what is the impact of what they are doing does it hit home?

What is the quality of that impact?

Why are they doing it?

Here are some tips that I would think about using if your inspection was inadequate; remember to think about those 6 impacts. Those six impacts that we work through are:

  • #Reflection
  • #Protection
  • #Interaction
  • #Inspiration
  • #Progression
  • #Collaboration

Take each one of the impacts and start thinking about evaluating each of them individually.

  • #Reflection – Think about what happened on inspection day. Take it; you can’t change it. There are not many reports that get changed grading wise. What I would suggest you do is literally draw a line in the sand and think, right, what is it that we need to do to improve? Your next inspection is going to be between three and six months, and you need to be ready. You need to have put those changes in place. Reflect on what you could have done better, think about your weakest area and what you’re doing to change it.
  • #Protection – Look at the organisation, the accountability, the team’s knowledge, and the understanding of how vital Safeguarding is. Do they know what safeguarding represents and means in your setting? You need to get safeguarding right for the safety of the children, families and team. A lot of the inadequate grades stem from safeguarding concerns.
  • #Interaction – This is key! Your interaction and those of the team with children. Think about when you had your inspection; what were your team like when interacting with the children? Did they have conversations with their key children? Did they interact with each other? If they didn’t, why didn’t they? What is it that is stopping a team member/key person from talking to their key children? It doesn’t take much to ask open-ended questions and be interested by getting down to children’s levels and making eye contact, having that bond with them and having a good attachment with them.
  • #Inspiration – Thinking about your intention of the day, you should know that your intention comes from your last observation. This is where you see a child, you see what they know, and you extend it. You’re going to use their interests to implement this. That intention throughout that day, inspectors will want to see you can talk the talk, but you also have to walk the walk. I know many of you look on Pinterest for inspiration for activities to implement but actually think about its impact. If it has no impact in your setting, why are you doing it? What’s the purpose? You have to think about children’s voices and choices and use that as part of your inspiration.
  • #Progression, There are two pointers for this. One is for the children and how you extend their learning, and the other is how are you progressing your team with training. Are you recognising this in the supervisions and up-skilling their knowledge? What is it that you are doing as a leader or manager? What are you doing to up-skill? Or how do you progress where you need to be? What are you doing to take your setting to the next level? Are you extending all learning? Are you ambitious enough with your curriculum? That really is key. Ask yourself all of those questions, record and evaluate what you find.
  • #Collaboration – The sixth impact. It is what you are doing with parents and outside agencies to ensure you’re working together to meet the children’s learning and development needs. This is so important and something that may have slipped or taken a back seat over the past 2 years, so think about what you are doing currently and make improvements.

That is the 6 impacts put simply, we go into it in way more detail in our accreditation which will be relaunched again for the Autumn term, and there are so many more points to each of those methods.

What I want you to think about is if you have unfortunately received an inadequate and you’re reading this, take it on the chin and think, what is it that you can do to make it better? Get your team on board, ask them what they feel they can do to improve and use those six impacts I’ve talked about.

What are you doing to ensure that you are progressing and extending your team’s knowledge, your children’s learning, and developing yourself? Keep going back and evaluating; it is key. I totally get it that receiving an inadequate is heart-breaking, but you know, you have to take a little bit of ownership and think, right, what is it that I can do to make this better? I’m hoping that using the 6 impacts method will help you along the way and get you back on track, and if you find it useful, the accreditation is always available If you’re looking to take it to that next step. Please email us at to be put on the waiting list.