Thursday, 6 November 2008


Oh. My. God. Yesterday it really happened. What we have been waiting for. For one year, two months and two days.
Our Ofsted Inspection.
Slap me vitals, as they used to say, inexplicably, a few hundred years ago.
There was me, fresh back from Spain, have I put the washing on, are my children in clean underpants, goddamit, this sports bra is hell to wear but the only clean one I have... when out of the blue (actually not blue. Blue is the colour of the sea as we sat and sipped our ice cold beers and watched our children play, blue is the colour of the sky, blue was the colour of my daughter's laughing eyes as she came up for a hug. THAT was blue) came a text from my friend/colleague already at work to say OFSTED ARE HERE! WHERE ARE YOU?
In my car, on the way. That's where I was. Thinking of washing.
So down went my foot on the accelerator and I rocketed along the road, all thoughts of holidays and washing ripped from my thoughts.
All I could now think of was
Got there. Ran like a stag to our Pre-school building and fell through door.
Kind, sweet woman (fifties) standing there with her briefcase looking terrified.
The Inspector.
Crikey, I thought, looks like a Sweet Shop lady.
I shook her warmly by the hand and told her how glad I was to see her and how long we had waited for Ofsted to come. She looked surprised and pleased in equal measure.
We had a wonderful day. The children were as lovely as they always are. The staff worked their socks off. They always do. Another safe, loving, warm, fun morning for every single one of us. Our Sweet Shop inspector turned out to be shit hot and firing on all four cylinders. Just goes to show that looks aint everything.
Midday came. The parents arrived to pick up their children.
The inspector went off to write up her findings. We sat around, waiting for her
to return with her Judgements. Rather God-like.
All of us pretending to be relaxed and happy. All of us shitting our pants. It felt like a lifetime. It was half an hour. Then we saw her walking back across the playground. We quickly whipped away the chocolate box we had opened while we waited (I had 12) and cleared all the wrappings off the table. And tried to look normal and professional.
She loved us! She talked about us in such warm and positive language that we felt a bit overcome. We didn't get the top top level. But near as dammit. What mattered is that someone in the know came to see us, and really 'got' what we try to do, which is be a place where children can play and learn, where they are safe and loved. Full bloody stop!
And she got that.
So today we are all beaming.
Now, what shall I do today? For the last year, two months, and two days I have been preparing for Ofsted. Now what?
Important things first. Finish those chocolates. And take this bloody awful sports bra off and put on my nice comfortable one.
And then... the world is my oyster.
I know... I. Shall. Blog.
This is the life!


Vodka Mom said...

Don't you love it when good shit happens? Yeah, bake some damn cookies.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

welcome to the blogosphere ladybird1 thanks for dropping in on the mouse.

congrats on sailing through the inspection!

East Anglian Troy said...

Congratulation on a good OFSTED inspection! I'm a Parent School Governor so I know at least a little of what you were going through, although a Governor is at one remove from the sharp end.

And thanks for your positive response on mine regarding the book. I'll be moving forward with it very soon.

Kitty said...

Very pleased for you that the OFSTED gig went well. When I was a mother/committee member of the preschool my two attended, we had an upcoming OFSTED. The book corner was looking very shabby so I made new cushions and seat pads with bright and vibrant appliqu├ęs on them. I was pathetically chuffed when the inspector liked them!


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Well done, Ladybird World Mum, on the successful inspection! Sounds like you are doing everything right and it is wonderful when your good work gets recognised. Have some more deserve them!

Ladybird World Mum said...

Thanks so much for comments!
Vodka mom - I just LOVE it when good shit happens! And I baked. Chocolate brownies. Yum.
Mouse - its good in the blogosphere, eh! Thanks for your kind words.
Troy - good on you for being a Governor. There's a lot of work and meetings to sit through. Unpaid and unsung.. so well done!
Exciting about your book and plans for it etc.
Kitty - you sound like the mother we all LOVE in our pre-school... book corners need to be so snug and welcoming, sounds like you did fab job. Thanks for lovely comment.

Millennium Housewife said...

fan bloody tastic! How lovely to have your work recognised. Do they come and grade Housewives? Better go and clean...

Ladybird World Mum said...

Thand god they dont, Millenium! It crossed my mind how simply awful that would be...
'What is your ironing policy?'
'Have you thought about health and safety in the bathroom...'
'What is your procedure for unprecedented tantrums?'
Nope. Not for me!