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Coming out re the Foundation Stage Profile

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Today I had to attend a compulsory Local Authority training for moderation of the Foundation Stage Profiles.

    I couldn't believe the waste of money for this event so I said so.

    I couldn't believe that so many intelligent women could take the profiles seriously and spend so much time pouring over which point was addressed by the fictitious 'examples' provided so I said so.

    I couldn't believe the presumption that the Foundation Stage Profiles warranted such degree of attention and approval and time to evidence them so I said so.

    I couldn't believe that so many advisers and practitioners could be duped into believing that these were necessary procedures to make us good practitioners so I said so.

    I don't spend my time in my setting observing and recording minutiae to evidence the profiles so I said so.

    At this, the moderator said that the only statutory part of the profiles was completing them at the end of the year.

    So, why is everyone jumping through the hoops?

    I told the advisers about the TES early years forum and the degree of disquiet re the Foundation Stage Profiles and the observing and evidencing regime and asked them if they were aware of just how much unhappiness there was across the country. I suggested that their role was really policing an unnecessarily complex and onerous assessment system which was making many people feel disaffected, overworked and overstressed.

    My friend sitting next to me runs a local pre-school with an excellent reputation. She described how she is really worried about a loss of that reputation.

    She also described how it is almost impossible to get staff nowadays because the formality and the paperwork is so off-putting. Pre-schools are increasingly settings according to the 'state' and not according to community wishes.

    Well - it's on record now that I don't do the profiles so I'll let you know if there are any repurcussions from 'coming out'.

    I'll also carrying on drawing attention to the fact that there are many of us with a variety of opinions but it is not helpful for us to feel bullied and intimidated to carry out our practice.

    We would surely, in the main, like our jobs to be 'our' practice and not the government's and local authority advisers.

    We should surely be accountable to those in our care and their parents - and not the state per se.

    Isn't it just a mechansism of control having local authority advisers bumping up expectations?
     
  2. Today I had to attend a compulsory Local Authority training for moderation of the Foundation Stage Profiles.

    I couldn't believe the waste of money for this event so I said so.

    I couldn't believe that so many intelligent women could take the profiles seriously and spend so much time pouring over which point was addressed by the fictitious 'examples' provided so I said so.

    I couldn't believe the presumption that the Foundation Stage Profiles warranted such degree of attention and approval and time to evidence them so I said so.

    I couldn't believe that so many advisers and practitioners could be duped into believing that these were necessary procedures to make us good practitioners so I said so.

    I don't spend my time in my setting observing and recording minutiae to evidence the profiles so I said so.

    At this, the moderator said that the only statutory part of the profiles was completing them at the end of the year.

    So, why is everyone jumping through the hoops?

    I told the advisers about the TES early years forum and the degree of disquiet re the Foundation Stage Profiles and the observing and evidencing regime and asked them if they were aware of just how much unhappiness there was across the country. I suggested that their role was really policing an unnecessarily complex and onerous assessment system which was making many people feel disaffected, overworked and overstressed.

    My friend sitting next to me runs a local pre-school with an excellent reputation. She described how she is really worried about a loss of that reputation.

    She also described how it is almost impossible to get staff nowadays because the formality and the paperwork is so off-putting. Pre-schools are increasingly settings according to the 'state' and not according to community wishes.

    Well - it's on record now that I don't do the profiles so I'll let you know if there are any repurcussions from 'coming out'.

    I'll also carrying on drawing attention to the fact that there are many of us with a variety of opinions but it is not helpful for us to feel bullied and intimidated to carry out our practice.

    We would surely, in the main, like our jobs to be 'our' practice and not the government's and local authority advisers.

    We should surely be accountable to those in our care and their parents - and not the state per se.

    Isn't it just a mechansism of control having local authority advisers bumping up expectations?
     
  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Oh Debbie

    I am just sat looking at all our assessments and observations for the last half term. We have again around 2 for each child + 120 full page "essays" on child development... now I have the task of transferring all this "information" into the individual childrens' record booklets. We are the queens of long line assessments.

    As requested by Early Years Advisory.

    And I am such a good teacher. I never teach now. I spend hours outside supervising. And I spend my evenings and PPA with this rubbish.

    What a waste of my time and skills.

    Anyone who watched me teach and handle small children would know that I know my stuff..... but my life is spent collecting and collating all this rubbish.
     
  4. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Ofsted tomorrow - must go to bed - have spend the evening agonising over the wretched statements that I've had the temerity to highlight without benefit of evidence.

    We'll probably get screwed for this.

    Do you think that being intelligent makes it harder to understand some things? My vanity hopes that is the case.

     
  5. Good luck with Ofsted.

    We await the outcome with baited breath...

     
  6. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    WOW Debbie!!! One brave lady - well done!! Wish I could have seen their faces! I have posted on the forum quite a few times what I think about these bulging files which appear at our moderating meetings etc. I have a class grid which I tick off and I have long since stopped agonising over the statements.
     
  7. Hey, good luck Inky, I hope you havn't been up all night!
    When OFSTED came to us they came for register and then for a further 10 minutes later in the day. No evidence asked for, they just looked at the school tracking sheets. Didn't even look at how we record against the profile.
    Sign in tonight and let us know how it was for you!
     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Once more into the breach dear friends....

    Thanks for the support.
     
  9. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Good luck Inky - hope you get "human" Ofsteders (do they exist??!).
     
  10. Debbie I think you are very brave and wish that I had your courage,well done.

    Inky good luck with the ofsted,at least it will be all over soon.
     
  11. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    well done Debbie.... it is important that those of us who have to complete the profiles do voice our opinion, united you stand.

    Half the problem I believe is that the advsiors do not have any say in the matter, they are just working for their LA's. So who do we really complain to?
     
  12. brilliant debbie - god i wish i knew you in person because i'd come round and shake your hand and then give you a big hug!

    so we only have to fill them in at the end of the year - well, let's do that then. eyo's and ht's can be directed to this information can't they?

    good luck inky - we're rooting for you.

    having read this thread has cheered me up no end today. brilliant :)
     
  13. Well done Debbie! It's a pity more don't have your guts, although I don't blame anyone. I'm just glad that I moved from Reception to Nursery the year after the FSPs were introduced and so only had to contend with this rubbish for two terms.
     
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    But I'm in nursery, soft, and it's hitting us too. Bl@@ding baseline assessments. As they stand, they mean ZILCH. With hindsight (and what else does one have?) half of them prove to be wrong anyway. And it's no consolation to be told that it's my input rather than some sort of false memory syndrome about the shy children who find their voice the day after I've finished the assessments.

     
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Nursery wasn't visited today because it's on-and-off-site since Monday in a neighbouring school while our toilets are renewed. Talk about a double whammy! It's exhausting enough without Ofsted. The upshot is that we don't know how we've done and I'm doubly afraid that it'll all hinge on our paperwork rather than the evidence of the inspectors' eyes when they see our happy children playing and learning.

    If any of my colleagues read this, please don't dob me in. I love my school and have no beef with SMT! That's the truth.
     
  16. inky, how about printing this lot out (and previous complaints - you know the ones) and slipping them into one of their files with an accompanying note 'usful information' , or something. love to see their faces when they read them!
     
  17. One thing is for sure - if all the people who analyse the Foundation Stage Profiles similarly to me don't OPENLY start voicing their PROFESSIONAL analysis of the worth, or otherwise, of the profile and the coersed observations and paper evidencing, THEN NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    On the other hand, I've come out and I am now LOOKING FORWARDS to see what the repurcussions - if any at all - will be.

    You see, what can 'they' do about it?

    The more of us who PROFESSIONALLY evaluate this system and LOUDLY and UNITEDLY call for a much simpler, more doable, more helpful, more practical system, then the powers will simply HAVE TO take note.

    Look, years ago when I went for National Literacy Strategy training and realised that it was ridiculous and worrying advice to be trained to tell my children to look at the pictures and guess the words, I questioned this. But most people got duped and suckered into believing that those on high must be right. This was just not true.

    Look what has happened since! We now have a COMPLETE TURNABOUT in government advice.

    If my NON-COMPLIANCE snowballs, it will become NEWSWORTHY.

    If, as we believe/suspect, these Foundation Stage Profiles are causing universal grief/dismay/stress/exhaustion/disaffection - call it what you will - then people will start to question those in authority throughout the country.

    These things start small, but then they can quickly gather momentum. You can all become brave and understand that you are many and they are fewer. (I won't see 'few' because there are so many 'advisers' and authoratitive departments nowadays - all earning their livings on you allowing them to tell you what to do!)

    Personally, I think the days of these very powerful early years advisers telling everyone how to run their settings are numbered because there are too many of us with different contexts and different points of view.

    You see, I respect those people who might CHOOSE to run a free-flow, indoor/outdoor continuous provision BUT THIS IS NOT A WAY THAT I CAN WORK. It is my judgement that I want a more simple and structured form of management. I am PROUD of my direct teaching and I KNOW the children love it. They get a good degree of different approaches and activities across the curriculum every day - some free choice, some in, some out - blah, blah, blah - but it isn't free-flow continuous provision at all. That's just the way I prefer.

    I CERTAINLY don't want to spend my time running backwards and forwards with zillions of post-its or sticky labels desperately trying to MATCH THEM to whichever of those zillions of points we have to 'tick off'. I'm too busy and I will not allow myself to get stressed out by this bureaucratic nonsense.

    Well - I am aiming to get rid of the profiles themselves and for them to be replaced by something much simpler.

    This may take some doing because I am well aware how bloody hard it is to get these advisers and politicians to LISTEN and DISCUSS and SEE REASON. But they must be held to account for the misery they create with their burdensome systems and advice.

    But, believe me, NOTHING WILL CHANGE IF YOU DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.

    Now - here is some further food for thought:

    You are part of the nation's teaching body. If YOU cannot question things PROFESSIONALLY and then conclude that something is a nonsense and it needs doing something about - BUT YOU DO NOTHING - then what chance does any other profession stand?

    YOU are supposed to be the wise, thinking, analysing, caring, sensible, LEADERS and GUIDERS of tomorrow's adults.

    In my childhood school days, I remember distinctly learning that we are supposed to THINK about things and ACT UPON what our convictions. Those may have been the days of progressive education but contributed to making me the thinking, idealist person that I am today. (But note that my idealism is based upon PRACTICALITY at all times.)

    So here goes then...

    Let's see which politicians and advisers are going to listen to...

    Me?

    Or US!

    Thank you so much for your immediate responses and support. This does give me power to my convictions!!!!

    This is actually exciting. Just wait until you take your first steps. The first act of questioning and defiance is the hardest - it does get easier.

    And it is unbelievably mentally liberating.

    So, be mentally liberated and this might lead to further liberations.

    Just always use your professional analysis and hold your own.
     
  18. justamum

    justamum New commenter

    We also have to attend moderation meetings - one int eh autumn term and one in spring term so we can be told how to assess and one just before we hand in the profile to actually moderate. Here, a tableful of professionals sit around a table, show each other their evidence and say 'Yes, I agree with your judgement'. The Early Year's Advisor then signs to say that your work has been moderated successfully and you have to take this evidence back to hand in to your Headteacher!! I asked last year if this did not diminish our belief in our own professional judgement, but was told that it was a legal requirement. Then a third of us were visited by a moderator, who looked at the same evidence and talked to/ observed the children who we had collated evidence on. What a farce!!
     
  19. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    I haven't seen this before - now printed out and tomorrow will be put at the front of my (thin) assessment file! Well said Ted!!!!!
     

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