Little Chums Pre-school in Lingfield was told by Ofsted to improve and now the owner of the setting is fighting the decision made for the government body.
They were downgraded to ‘requires improvement’ in January, with the report praising the teaching children receive at the pre-school but criticising the management team for failing to record information about recruitment and vetting processes.
The owner of the nursery has logged a complaint with Oftsed over the recommendation that they must improve their recruitment process, which she says is not a recommendation at all. She said:
“We were appalled and shocked by the result given to us by Ofsted.
“Our recruitment process fully complies with the guidelines in the Department for Education’s statutory framework and all our records were there on the day for the inspector to see.”
“It needs to be specific for it to be a recommendation, but in the report the inspector doesn’t say what the documents were that we failed to produce.”
“The inspector is saying she didn’t see the file, but she did. How else would she have seen the CRB checks, which she says she saw?”
She went on to add: “Neither our vetting procedure nor Ofsted’s requirements have changed since our last inspection when we received ‘outstanding’ for safeguarding, so we don’t understand why we have been marked down.”
She insists that for all staff they have the relevant paperwork necessary including: a record of CRB checks (Criminal Records Bureau), three types of identification, copies of qualification certificates, personal recommendations, safeguarding and first aid training certificates, a contract to declare that they have no known reason why they are not suitable to work with children and records of a three-month probationary period.
A conflicting report?
The report released by Ofsted states: “The nursery does not have a robust recruitment procedure.
“Managers ensure that staff have criminal records checks but do not routinely seek further information to check that they are suitable to work with children. This does not promote children’s welfare.”
“The management team does not record information about the recruitment and vetting processes carried out to demonstrate staff suitability.”
The nursery owner has written to all parents at the pre-school to inform them of the results from the inspection and is working with a solicitor to pursue her complaint legally.
The remainder of the report says that the pre-school meets the needs of children who attend, and says they are happy and outgoing, with good relationships with staff members and feel safe and secure.