Juliette Pierce - Early Years Lead April 2018
Background to visit. After a very disappointing Ofsted visit, needed a thorough rethink. I was made Early Years Lead in February and began to analyse how the department could be improved. My own personal remit was to make it an ‘outstanding’ provider.
I had already started to implement changes but the enormity of what I had taken on was beginning to become apparent. Endless nights of trawling through Government requirements, joining chat groups for Early Years practitioners, visiting other providers…...I needed help, support and guidance.
Late one night I came across a competition for a QII and entered. Blow me down, a week later I received an email to explain that I had won! I never win anything. Thinking this could possibly be some kind of hoax, I phoned Vanessa at Jigsaw Consultancy. It wasn’t a hoax. She really wanted to help. Vanessa listened to the background of the setting and wanted as much information as possible before her visit.
On the day of the visit, Vanessa arrived and immediately I could see her quietly assessing every aspect of the department. She spoke to staff in what appeared to be a very informal manner, but she was consistently acquiring an overview of the areas that needed to be addressed. As we talked throughout the morning I made notes of her recommendations (5 pages!). However, at the end of our meeting Vanessa bought up every single point I had noted and also made more suggestions.
I had been ‘Jigsawed’! I had a list the length of my arm. However, Vanessa followed up her visit with friendly emails to ensure that I was dealing with issues in a systematic and achievable way.
I have recently written a list of changes that have been implemented following her visit and I could now see that the department had changed and was moving forward in the right direction. There is still a lot more work to do, but Vanessa helped to shape these changes in a manageable way.
We are due a monitoring visit from Ofsted and also Vanessa is coming back to help some more!
P.S. Vanessa is now known as my Fairy Godmother