Pre-school left frustrated by Ofsted results


Manager of Brookside Pre-school, Helen Jacklin, is frustrated after a recent Ofsted inspection in December rated her setting as ‘inadequate’.

Ms Jacklin said that she thinks that this rating was given to the pre-school after two minor things happened, both of which she claims were corrected straight away.

The first of these two minor points was an administrative error, where information about a committee member of Brookside Methodist Church was never received by Ofsted. The form was submitted to Ofsted but was never completed, however once this was flagged the form was resubmitted within two days.

The second of these minor points was that ‘unknown persons’ had unrestricted access to the pre-school, which compromised the safety of the children. Ms Jacklin has defended this, though, saying: “Our building is split in half. On the day of the inspection, music exams were taking place at the end of the building. The steward who is looking after the music exam has a key to get into the kitchen to get drinks and the inspector said that was compromising the safety of the children. You can see her point, but we know who that person is. Now they have to knock on the door or ring the bell.”

Ms Jacklin has stated that she is disappointed with the results from Ofsted, but believes that the parents of the children who attend the pre-school are more interested in the quality of the teaching and outcomes for the children, both of which were rated as ‘good’.

She added, “Inadequate would give people totally the wrong impression. We have the full support of the parents. It’s so frustrating. At the end of the day, parents want to know their children are receiving a good quality of learning and teaching which the report does highlight.”


4 thoughts on “Pre-school left frustrated by Ofsted results

  • January 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Re the setting that was conducting a dress rehearsal:
    I understand your frustration – but I have to wonder whether you had made contingency plans for activities (and staff) to be available during the dress rehearsal for younger children (or any older ones) who might become ‘bored / restless’?
    We have to remember that the attention span and developmental level of each age group is different + factoring in those with extra needs.
    As for the training opportunities, I (obviously) don’t know what these were but the difficulty that I have with these is that I can send a staff member on, say, a Maths in the Early Years course because they are not using enough Maths in their daily ‘teaching’ and their performance in this area will improve… for a month or two! After which they revert to ONLY doing counting with the children, with little or no focus on other areas of maths and few opportunities – and/or resources – offered for the children to independently explore this (or any other) area through previously gained, entrenched, knowledge
    It takes a very good Manager or Team Leader to be able to pick up on this quickly, and to make sure that there is constant (weekly if needed) in-house training and reminders.

  • January 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I also have some sympathy with Brookside – however, if the Steward of the music exam has a CRB check in place the nursery should have ensured that they had a record of this, which they could then have shown to the inspector – or if not, that he signed in and out each time he entered any shared part of the premises and that he was accompanied by a staff member.
    After all, we do not allow any other regular or casual visitors to be alone in any part of the premises when children are present – even parents – unless we have a record of a successful, recent, CRB check.
    It is not good enough (for Ofsted, or for the children) to allow any visitor – even regular / known ones – to access any part of the premises used by the nursery, without these safeguards in place.

  • January 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I think that everyone needs to, indeed “must” complain to OfSTED when they feel that they have been unfairly treated. How else will OfSTED know if the job that their inspectors do is satisfactory or otherwise?

    My committee were all EY2 checked at the time of our recent inspection….however since then, my new committee members are having a terrible time completing their DBS & EY2 forms. my new treasurer has completed the EY2 application 3 times (to date) only for everything to lock when she’s pressed send….and that’s when the government gateway will let her access her form.

    I feel that the EY2 form for committee members is protracted. The current system is unwieldy, unnecessarily complex & because of the turnover in committee members is unfairly weighted against committee run preschools……..Brookside Preschool is not the only one in the country to have been graded “Requires Improvement” because of EY2’s……There are three in my neck of the woods.

    Brookside Preschool has my sympathy. Don’t take it too much to heart. I think that paper EY2 applications should be bought back.

  • January 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Brookside Pre-school has our sympathy. We have just received a “requires improvement” result, due to the fact that Ofsted insisted on visiting on a day when we were holding our Christmas play dress rehearsal, and then complained that we did not plan a range of activities for the children, and that they were sitting still for too long, resulting in “the younger children losing interest.” Training opportunities were “not sufficiently focused on improving the quality of teaching”, despite the fact that most staff had completed at least 3 training courses in the last 12 months.


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