A Bolton preschool has turned itself around in record time, jumping from an Ofsted rating of ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in just four months.
Kids Wreck on Victory Road, Little Lever, was subject to an inspection by the education watchdog on August 27 2015 after they received information about a ‘serious incident’ the nursery failed to report.
Inspector Helen Gaze found that the tots’ safety was ‘compromised’ as the provider failed to meet legal requirements and staff recruitment procedures and background checks were lacking.
As a result the preschool received an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’ – the lowest possible score.
She said: “Written safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and contain sufficient detail to guide staff in their practice.
“However, these are not implemented effectively. Consequently, concerns following a serious incident were not promptly reported or shared with Ofsted and the appropriate agencies.
“Furthermore, staff do not have a sufficient knowledge of the reporting requirements if they had a concern about a child’s welfare and this has a significant impact on children’s welfare.
“Complaints and the outcome of investigations and the action taken in response are not recorded. Recruitment procedures are not robust enough.
“Information about the vetting processes is not available and details of who obtained Disclosure and Barring Service checks for staff are not recorded.
“Further concerns emerged during the inspection in relation to record keeping. Staff do not consistently and accurately record children’s hours of attendance.”
“Children’s well-being is compromised because several of the legal responsibilities are not met.”
Kids Wreck raised ‘serious concerns’ with Ofsted regarding the inspection and the grade they were given in an attempt to appeal the decision.
And the nursery was revisited by Ofsted Inspector Julie Kelly on January 7 this year and has completely transformed their approach to protecting the safety and wellbeing of the kids in their care.
This massive improvement across the board has seen the preschool jump from ‘Inadequate’ to achieving ‘Good’ in every category – just one score away from the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’.
It is hard to believe the inspector’s comments are even about the same establishment, praising Kids Wreck for their ‘rigorous’ recruitment, ‘caring’ environment, and ‘effective’ safeguarding.
She said: “Safeguarding is effective. Rigorous recruitment and vetting procedures ensure that staff are safe and suitable to work with children.
“All staff have a good understanding of how to protect children from harm. The manager and staff work together extremely well.
“Staff are enthusiastic and fully committed to providing a good quality service for children and families.”
The preschool was also commended for their work with external professionals, such as educational psychologists and health visitors, and for involving staff, parents and children in all decision making.
Teachers were seen to keep good track of every child’s individual progress and provide appropriate support while also keeping mums and dads up-to-date.
Ms Kelly said: “Staff have a very good knowledge of child development and the developmental needs of the children they care for.
“Staff complete observations and assessments of children’s achievements and plan effectively for the next steps in their learning.
“This information is shared regularly with parents and used effectively to identify what children need to do next.
“Children’s individual needs are consistently met and they make good progress in their learning and development.
“Staff track individual children’s progress so that they can identify any gaps in their learning and seek appropriate support, if necessary.
“Disabled children and those with special educational needs are supported well.”
A big part of a child’s development is being active and the nursery is now clearly catering for the tots’ needs, providing a ‘wonderful’ and ‘stimulating’ play area.
Ms Kelly said: “Children are happy and well settled in the playgroup. They confidently explore the stimulating environment and make independent choices about what they want to do.
“Children particularly enjoy outdoor play. They have a wonderful time as they jump in puddles, play ball games and make pies and cakes in the mud kitchen.
“Staff are good role models and provide clear and consistent boundaries to teach children right from wrong.
“Staff are sensitive and caring and ensure that children’s physical and emotional needs are consistently met to promote their self-esteem and welfare.
“This helps children to gain confidence and a strong sense of emotional security in readiness for school.”
Kids Wreck is yet to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating so there is still room for improvement but after such a quick turn-around that top score could well be on the cards.
Image courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones, with thanks.