Ofsted Inspections in the Early Years: Key Questions You May Be Asked

Mar 24, 2023 | Uncategorised

Ofsted Inspections in the Early Years: Key Questions You May Be Asked

An essential part of running a nursery is the Ofsted Inspection. You spend a large amount of time and effort ensuring your nursery is the best it can be; however, Ofsted Inspections will come, and you may feel quite a bit of stress and worry, wondering if your nursery measures up.

However, there are things you can do to ensure your team is confident and prepared ahead of time to help them showcase what they do for the children and their families each day.

We’ve put together a list of Ofsted questions your team may be asked during your next inspection. Let’s get started! Keep in mind that these questions are not exhaustive; however, these questions can help you and your team prepare for potential question topics and styles of inspections. We hope this helps reduce the stress and worry you feel and that your confidence will shine through on the day of inspection!


Questions Ofsted May Ask You and Your Team



The following questions are sectioned into Intent, Implementation, and Impact.



  1. What do you intend your children to know because of your EYFS curriculum?
  • Example of long-term plans showing the learning building across their time at the provision.
  • Evidence your curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the children.
  • Know-hows aimed to have met by the end of each year; toileting, scissor use, and more.
  • Evidence of a broad and balanced curriculum across all 7 Areas of Learning and Development.
  1. How do you make sure your curriculum meets the needs of all children?
  • Evidence of striving towards inclusive practice within the curriculum intent.
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability data mirroring your provision available – if children are presenting with poor speech and language skills, how can you evidence the steps towards a language-rich environment?
  • How diverse is your nursery register? Evidence of how your curriculum celebrates what makes them, them.



  1. How do you ensure your staff has quality subject knowledge to deliver activities?
  • A robust record of staff qualifications.
  • Continued Professional Development record and projected plan based on developing needs.
  • An open and supportive culture around progression.
  • Use of evidence-based research from the Education Endowment Foundation, National Literacy Trust, ICAN, and Early Intervention Foundation.
  1. How are Literacy and Language promoted through your setting?
  • Evidence you are a language-rich nursery through plans, regular storytime, and back & forth interaction observations.
  • Evidence and observations across all 7 Areas of Learning and Development.
  • The “why” explained, audit evidence of story choices, the continual provision of choices, and resource choice.



  1. How do you monitor progress across your setting?
  • An easy-to-use system where all important monitoring information is in one central place.
  • Evidence of feedback from parents, pupils, and observations.
  • Regular pupil progress meetings with clear focus for each meeting.
  1. How is independence increased across your setting?
  • An explanation as to areas you aim to increase independence in first across the 7 Areas of Learning and Development.
  • Feedback from parents via strong communication links.
  • Choice of resources available, chosen to encourage independent, free play.


Behaviour & Attitudes

  1. What are your expectations of behaviour in your setting?
  • Explanation of realistic expectations for age range, consistent nursery wide.
  • Promotion of self-regulatory behaviours and understanding of self from an early age.
  • Behaviour is logged on to the central system for all to recognize and unpick, understanding that all behaviour stems from a reason.
  1. How is self-regulation promoted throughout the nursery?
  • Evidence of encouragement for the development of mentally healthy habits from a young age.
  • Common recognition of signs when a child is under or overstimulated, strategies regularly promoted to develop a balance.
  • Evidence of continued communication with parents for developing strategies at home.
  1. How effective are the home-nursery links for attendance and behaviour?
  • Evidence of post-pandemic attendance and efforts made to keep high levels of engagement.
  • Explain strong links through the home-nursery communication portal your nursery uses.
  • Strong relationships with families, knowing where they need additional support.


Personal Development

  1. How do you teach children to respect and celebrate people and their differences?
  • Regular visit evidence and timetable of visits from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
  • Evidence of a wide range of representation in literary texts is visible as well as shown around the nursery displays.
  1. How does your level of support for your children change throughout the year?
  • Timetable or plan for the potentially challenging times of the year for your children (festive holidays, settling in, moving on).
  • Recognition that children may need support at different times during the year with key social challenges (making and maintaining friendships, keeping healthy, moving on).


Leadership & Management

  1. How is your provision organised?
  • Policy evidence and choice behind the policies to fit the needs of your setting.
  • Aims and rationale are apparent throughout practice and are individual to meet the needs of your children and families.
  • Recruitment and retention are a priority.
  • Staff is encouraged for professional contribution and a culture of support and progression.
  1. What are the main stresses of your team, and how do you support them?
  • Knowledge and awareness of current industry strain within your nursery and nationally (maintaining ratio with isolations and the recruitment of apprentices as examples).
  • An active approach to reducing the workload to avoid staff being away from interaction with the children.



  1. What safeguarding procedures are in place?
  • Training (including first aid), DBS records, and policies are up to date in an easy-to-find system.
  • Culture of communication and sharing of information with others.
  • Evidence of referrals and their outcomes on a central system.
  • Evidence of all staff exploring Keeping Children Safe in Education (Part 1).
  1. What is your visitor procedure?
  • An in-depth check of the visitors’ credentials (you can contact Ofsted for them to confirm the inspector’s information, too).
  • A robust sign-in and out system is in use, with all visitors identified clearly with a lanyard or badge.
  • Nursery-wide knowledge of the close supervision of any visitor without a full DBS check.


How Nursery Automation Software Can Help

PeopleBunch nursery automation software can help you with Ofsted inspections and questions. What features can help with your next inspection? Let’s take a look!

Q: How do you ensure your staff has quality subject knowledge to deliver activities?

  • A: When you use our PeopleBunch automation software, you have a complete, robust record of staff qualifications. All of this information is kept in a central database and contains employee information, career development, performance monitoring, and personal development. It’s easy to answer such questions when you have an automated nursery platform.

Q: How do you monitor progress across your setting?

  • A: With our nursery automation platform, you will have an easy-to-use system where all important monitoring information is in one central place.

In addition, all regulations are kept in a central location in the cloud, where all staff can easily access them. All documents are accessible according to roles and responsibilities and can be accessed across a wide range of mobile devices.

Finally, your documents and workflows are all automated within the platform. Mundane, repetitive tasks are automated, creating more time for employees to focus on the children and their educational needs.


Summing It Up

PeopleBunch nursery automation software can help you prepare in advance for your organisation’s next Ofsted Inspection! Everyone in your organisation can prepare by reviewing pertinent documents and information in advance. The end result is a positive inspection for your nursery with the assistance of PeopleBunch nursery automation software.

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