More nurseries and pre-schools than ever before have been judged as good or outstanding, according to Ofsted’s Annual Report 2019/20.
Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman who launched the report this morning warned that invisibility of vulnerable children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a matter of national concern.
She also spoke about the importance of educators supporting vulnerable children and those with SEND.
Among nurseries and pre-schools, 98% were judged as good or outstanding which is 1% more than the previous year. Overall 96% of early years settings which include childminders were judged as good or outstanding.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the overall improvement of provision, with 98% of nurseries, more than ever before, being judged good or outstanding. This is down to the incredible and dedicated work of early years providers. We are so proud to represent the early years sector who are achieving these results despite battling so many tough challenges.
“The sector was concerned about children with SEND and vulnerable children even before the pandemic hit and the extra support it needs is highlighted in this report. Now they need tangible resources to help them support these children with both their physical and emotional development.
“Nurseries have been coping with low, inadequate funding rates for years and need real, meaningful rises in their hourly rate to deal with the full impact of Covid-19. The small rise in investment announced last week will not even cover the increase in wages from April, let alone enable them to support the most vulnerable children.
“Quality of provision comes from the knowledge and experience of practitioners but the sector is experiencing a staffing crisis, with nurseries largely unable to benefit from the continued furlough scheme. Many nurseries are having to close rooms due to staff absence with positive cases, resulting in lower parental income to cover soaring costs. The sector desperately needs support now more than ever to remain sustainable so they can continue to deliver the high quality care that parents expect and children need.”
Ms Spielman said at the launch which Purnima attended: “When nurseries and schools closed in March, they were told to remain open to the most vulnerable – which of course meant those whose need was already identified. And even of these, we know that relatively few actually attended. The rest stayed at home – some, inevitably, in harm’s way.
“This has been an extraordinary year, in which education and children’s social care, like the rest of society, have been hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen heroic efforts made, and I would like to thank all our teachers, social workers, childminders, leaders and everyone working in education and children’s social care for going above and beyond in the most trying circumstances, and continuing to put children and young people first.”
The report noted:
Read the report here
- 27,600 nurseries and pre schools
- 98% nurseries and pre-schools were judged good or outstanding – compared with 97% last year but slightly fewer outstanding (22% compared with 23% last year) although more good (76% compared with 73%)
- 96% of EY settings overall judged as good or outstanding (17% outstanding, 79% good)
- Ofsted carried out about half the numbers of inspections compared with last year - the reporting period was September 2019 to August 2020 – inspections were suspended in March
- The report highlighted the importance of talking and reading with children in EY
- Pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have been particularly affected by the pandemic. Their access to additional support and healthcare was sharply reduced during the lockdown, and early identification and assessment suffered when they were not in school. For some children, this will cause lasting harm.