A FORMER Ofsted inspector is celebrating after discovering she is now a best-selling author.

Forty-nine-year-old mother of two, Vanessa Dooley, used to spent her time examining schools and their classrooms, but just four hours after its release, her book Are You Ready For Your Inspection? began climbing in online categories before reaching the top spot in the preschool & nursery books and education policy books category on Amazon, beating New York Times best selling authors in the process.

The former inspector, of Awbridge, said that she now hopes schools and staff may turn to her and her book for help, rather than fear her impending surprise visits as part of Ofsted and wrote the book in her sanctuary at the bottom of her garden.

She said: "While I am an ex-Ofsted inspector, I have also spent years managing nurseries so I have experienced the stress associated with being inspected. All of our nurseries achieved outstanding status – but I know how hard it is when you do not know how the system works, or really understand what Ofsted is looking for and I've seen the pressure this puts on nursery managers and their teams, as well as in preschools and childminders.

"With this book I wanted to openly share my knowledge to help guide early years settings and remove some of the tension attached to inspections, as the stress often involved doesn't do the children or staff any good."

Vanessa has worked in early years education since 1987, and was managing seven nurseries when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Vanessa said since then, she wanted to make use of her knowledge but within a less stressful environment.

She said: "When I became diagnosed with breast cancer it hit me in between the eyes. It made me stop, reflect and look at what I was doing with my life.

"Since then I have really made a point of focusing on doing what makes me happy, in an environment that is calming and relaxing. Working now in the way I am, where I sharing my knowledge to help others, really feels like I have achieved something."