Early Years Settings & Nursery Mock Inspections

early years settings

From the very start JMC were professional and exceptionally friendly. The staff all commented how at ease they made them feel, while also being thorough. I will always be a revisiting customer!

Heidi Billing, Director, Happyfeet Day Nursery

What are the benefits of a mock inspection for early years settings?

  • Preparation for your team, through being observed and asked questions
  • Preparation for the leadership team through joint observation, compliance checking, leadership questions and general feedback, support and advice.
  • A chance to practice your learning walk and be provided with top tips.
  • You will feel informed, supported and prepared.
  • Assessment of practice against the EIF updated 1 September 2021
  • Receive a comprehensive written report which highlights evidence of good practice and suggestions of ways to develop and improve.
  • Up to date information and advice.

Feedback on our Early Years Settings Mock Inspections

JMC has been working with early years settings, nurseries and Pre-Prep schools for over 10 years providing training for leaders & teachers as well as school inspections in readiness for Ofsted. This gives us an unrivalled knowledge of schools and early years settings. Nursey managers, leaders and practitioners always find our mock inspections robust, supportive and informative.

The most common feedback is that our mock inspections are very thorough and we are in the setting much longer than Ofsted! Being thorough is important to us as that is the best way to give the most support, guidance and help to early years settings.

It was great to be able to experience this opportunity to check if we were missing anything important. Definitely worth doing! Brilliant experience!

Tanya Kooger, Owner, Trillium Montessori House Group

Early Years Mock Inspection: what to expect

Practise call with the lead Inspector

For an announced Ofsted inspections Nursey Managers are expected to hold a substantive discussion with the lead inspector the day before the inspection starts. In the case of an unannounced inspection, the school will be contacted 15 minutes before the team arrive. Your lead inspector will begin the ‘mock’ with a practise notification phone call, the day before. This big picture discussion is pivotal to the direction and outcome of the whole inspection so it is crucial for leadership teams to plan and prepare for it in advance.

Gathering Evidence

All areas will then be observed, carry out a learning walk, an opportunity for the leader/manager to carry out a joint observation, track a selection of children to look at progress and talk to their key person. We will engage in discussion with practitioners about the activities and experiences they are providing for the children. Questions on other subjects are asked, including safeguarding. We assess against the Ofsted criteria for the 4 inspection outcomes, against the criteria for good.

Comprehensive Feedback and Written Report

At the end of the inspection we offer verbal feedback, which is of a much more practical nature that that received in inspections. We write a report highlighting good practice and with recommendations for development.

Typical Format for the inspection day

This is an outline of the day, timings are approximate:

  1. Arrival around 8am and begin with a chat with the manager.
  2. Learning Walk with manager or deputy manager.
  3. Observations , these continue until the children have finished lunch. During that time we talk to staff and do a joint observation with the manager.
  4. Documentation check and questions with manager if necessary.
  5. Further observations.
  6. Verbal Feedback to the manager and leadership team and Directors.

Afterwards a comprehensive written report will be completed detailing evidence and any improvement necessary.

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