Linda’s Blog

Linda Baston-Pitt, PurpleBee CEO, shares her thoughts, insights and advice

Ofsted: The focus is on child and staff wellbeing

I feel passionately that early years staff should have access to high quality specialist health and wellbeing training so that they gain not only the knowledge and skills but also the confidence in their own abilities in working with the whole setting to deliver change throughout the organisation.

As co-founder of the Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator (PANCo) qualification it is wonderful to see that it is now becoming widely recognised as a vital role in supporting and improving  the wellbeing of children, families and staff teams.

“Thank you for creating such an insightful course – I feel like every early years setting needs to have someone do this course to really improve all aspects of health, wellbeing, physical activity and nutrition!”
Courtney, Qualified PurpleBee PANCo and Start Life Well Gold setting

Our PANCo course is not for the faint hearted and is certainly not an easy option but all of our qualified PANCo’s have told us that it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

“Having the PANCo qualification gives me confidence and I feel more respected. It can only have a positive impact in the future when we talk about making positive changes for children’s wellbeing.”
Peter, Qualified PurpleBee PANCo and Start Life Well Gold setting

Ofsted have also positioned health and wellbeing as key indicators of quality Early Years care for both children and staff  in the new Education Inspection Framework: ( Ofsted Inspection Framework: health and wellbeing for children and staff (2019) [1]

“Practitioners provide a healthy diet and a range of opportunities for physically active play, both inside and outdoors. They give clear and consistent messages to children that support healthy choices around food, rest, exercise and screen time.”

“Staff consistently report high levels of support for well-being issues.”

“Practitioners teach children to take appropriate risks and challenge as they play and learn both inside and outdoors, particularly supporting them to develop physical and emotional health.”

“Leaders engage with their staff and are aware of the main pressures on them. They are realistic and constructive the way they manage staff, including their workload.”

In my role as chair of the OBC Ofsted Eastern Regional Steering Group, I have always taken the opportunity to share feedback from PANCo’s who are working in a variety of settings across the UK. Following one of our meetings I was really pleased to be invited by one our members Kirsty Mulvaney SHMI,  to speak at their up and coming Ofsted team meeting in February. We both agreed that it was an ideal time before Ofsted inspections commence again later this year, to fully brief inspectors about the important role the PANCo plays in championing health and wellbeing and to share the vitally important work they do.

[1] Ofsted Inspection Framework atL


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About the Author:

Linda has been a passionate advocate for health and wellbeing in Early Years throughout her career. Known for her cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach, Linda is a well-known speaker at national and international conferences. Linda is CEO of PurpleBee, and co-founder of the PANCo qualification.