The negative rhetoric around child care service inspections does
not match the reality, Ofsted chief inspector David Bell has
Bell denied there was any problem with the quality of
inspections in practice, warning of a mismatch between
people’s first-hand experiences and “a kind of myth
making that goes beyond that”.
“I think there is a phenomenon here where providers will
say ‘actually the inspection in my setting was really good
– but you want to hear what’s happening down the
road’,” he told 0-19.
Bell highlighted the results of the recently published 2005
child care provider satisfaction survey, which found that nearly
two thirds of respondents “strongly agreed” that their
Ofsted inspector was professional and courteous while 97 % agreed
that they looked at all relevant aspects of their work.
“I think we do a really good job in this area and I think
it’s easy to talk at the level of myth rather than at the
level of detail. We have been really keen to drill down into the
detail and look at this to make sure that we are providing the best
possible regulation and inspection.”
Bell said all child care inspectors had now been trained in how
to incorporate the Birth to Three Matters framework into
Ofsted’s new inspection regime.
The Birth to Three Matters framework, published in November
2002, covers child development and effective practice, play
activities to promote play and learning, and planning and
It also recognises the importance of wider issues including
equal opportunities, meeting diverse needs and relationships with