When Ofsted came to call
Last summer, Perform received the phone call which most education providers dread. Lucy Quick, Perform Principal, talks to us about the Ofsted inspection process and how it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience..
Anyone who goes through the Ofsted registration process knows all about the dread of ‘the phone call’ and the daily sigh of relief when 2pm passes and you know the inspector won’t be arriving the next day. My phone call came on a busy day during July. One hour later, another call came. Then, just after lunch, another! Before I knew it, Ofsted inspectors were coming on three consecutive days to three different venues and in three different counties. Whilst it felt a bit daunting, I knew that we were well prepared.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today
I briefed my teaching teams and told them not to be nervous (and to use their Perform confidence skills!). We talked through the children we had attending our Peter Pan holiday courses on those dates along with any individual needs we were catering for. We are rigorous with health and safety and any medical requirements are fully documented. In addition, all of our staff are DBS-checked and have first aid and safeguarding training so I knew they’d be fine if asked about our procedures or how they may deal with certain situations.
A chance for Perform to shine
Our curriculum, both for classes and courses, is fully structured and our teachers work to a plan showing exactly what they are doing for every hour of the day, which is especially important for our longer 10am to 3pm holiday courses. A ‘learning walk’ allowed the Ofsted inspectors not only to see what the children engage in but also to assess the sign-in and sign-out process, the building, the entrances and exits, the toilet facilities etc. It was great to have the opportunity to showcase what we’re all about as we are very different from other providers. They had never seen a drama course rooted in child development, so it gave us a great opportunity to shine!
The inspectors were impressed by our organisation and the variety of activities they saw; from the drama games, dancing and learning songs to engaging arts and crafts. They commented on our inspiring staff and were impressed at how they interacted with and managed children across the 4–10 year age range, all with differing needs and personalities.
The highest attainment
I was so proud of the final inspection reports which confirmed that each of our venues meets requirements (there are not ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ etc ratings in out-of-school settings,so this is the highest attainment). The feedback we received told us what a good job we are doing and, a bit like receiving a glowing school report, was hugely motivating for me and my staff. I’d like to thank the Perform producers and teachers in SW19, SW12, N5, NW8 and Beaconsfield as well as the wonderful children and parents who chatted to the inspectors and gave us such lovely feedback. Ofsted, you are welcome at Perform any time! You can read the reports by visiting perform.org.uk/ofsted