Why evidence matters

We have become increasingly aware of a number of services that have been 'decommissioned'. Whilst some of this is due to financial restraints placed on commissioners, this is not always the case.

We know of a number of providers who have lost contracts due to being unable to provide the evidence required by the commissioner. This has come as a real blow to the providers and could have been averted.

Whilst data and recording might not seem the most essential part of delivering your services, when it comes to money CCG's, Local Authorities and funders all need to see that you are making a real and lasting difference to the lives of your beneficiaries. It is essential that you are able to report back to them on the impact you have had and the outcomes secured for the people they are giving funding to support.

We have a huge plea to everyone. Please don't see data as irrelevant. It is one of the most crucial aspects of your ongoing sustainability.

Tough times for all

Without a doubt it is evident that times are getting tougher for everyone. The austerity measures started in 2012, continue today. There is less money available through local authority contracts. Children's Centre services are radically reduced and statutory funding has been withdrawn from many charitable organisations.

With so many organisations now bidding for funding, the market is a lot tougher than it once was. It is essential that we now focus on evidencing the outcomes we achieve and focussing in on the social return on investment that our services provide.

Through evidencing that we are the most cost effective, high performing service we stand a chance of winning that bid and gaining the commissioning we so greatly need.

If we do nothing else this month, we must focus in on the quality of the services we provide and the outcomes we are delivering to enable us all to become more focused, highly fundable services.

OFSTED inspection framework - updated April 2014

The OFSTED inspection Framework has changed again! A new version of the document was released in April 2014. You can download a copy of the document from our resource bank, or visit the OFSTED website. The key documents which have changed are the CC inspection handbooks and the document entitled ‘The Framework for Children’s Centre inspection’

The Changes to the inspection handbook are negligible but are as follows:

Page 10, point 32, bullet point 2 has changed to read: “gather additional essential contextual information about the Centre that is needed to plan the inspection such as the sites where services are delivered and wether these ware run directly by the centre or integrated with key partners.

Page 16, point 68 has changed, with the removal of the words ante-natal appointments.

Page 23, point 102 has had a large portion deleted and now reads: “Centres judged as ‘requires improvement’ will normally be inspected again within maximum period of two years or earlier if required.”

Page 24, point 108 has had the wording “and an action plan produced” removed. An additional point 109 has been added and reads: “Following an inspection the local authority must produce a written statement setting out the action they and any organisation managing the children’s centre on their behalf plan to take. The written action plan should be shared with Ofsted on request.”

Page 33 bullet point 4 of the grade descriptors section for leadership, governance and management has changed to include: “the quality and effectiveness of the centre’s training plan including the extent to which continuous professional development and performance management are linked to centre priorities...”

Page 37, Judgement for requires improvement in overall effectiveness has changed to read: “It is likely that no key judgement is inadequate”

OFSTED - Children's Centre Inspection update

A significant number of inspections have taken place under the new framework - what are the key findings? Read More...

OFSTED: The New Framework for Children's centres 2013

The new OFSTED Framework for Children’s Centres is now available and will come into operation from 8th April.

We have listened to your requests and are running half day workshops to facilitate your understanding of the new framework and changes.

The framework is available on the OFSTED website: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/framework-for-childrens-centre-inspection-april-2013 Read More...

Proposed changes to the Primary National Curriculum

Changes to the primary national curriculum and level descriptors are proposed for 2014. Do you know what they are and how they will impact on our education system? Read More...

Cut and paste OFSTED

The newspapers are buzzing with reports that an OFSTED inspector has used a ‘cut and paste’ system for writing reports. What are your views on this? Read More...

Satisfactory just isn't good enough!

Changes to the OFSTED system for schools come into effect from September, but what does this mean and will it make a real and lasting difference? Read More...

The Common Assessment Framework - help or hinderance?

The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was intended to be used as a tool to support the assessment of need for a child / family and ensure that a tailored package of multi-agency support is provided. In many places the CAF is used as a referral form at the insistence of the Local Authority. When used in this way is the CAF a help or a hinderance? Read More...

Outdoor Play Everyday

Ideas for using the outdoors, even when its pouring with rain! Read More...