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why would my children be at risk of harm!?!

(17 Posts)
otoh Thu 23-Oct-08 21:21:46

dh picked the kids up from afterschool club today, only to find ofsted there in force and to be handed a notice saying it is 'suspended' as children may be at risk of harm. no more details. just in time for half term - brilliant timing. so what is this all about? anyone else experienced this and what did it turn out to be for? will ofsted tell us if we ask?

shock shock

any ideas? am very [shocked].

ohIdoliketobebesidethe Thu 23-Oct-08 21:25:24

How ridiculous. Surely the thing / person that was a risk to the children could be dealt with without shutting it down. Ofsted do seem to have funny priorities sometimes.

thisisyesterday Thu 23-Oct-08 21:28:24

ooooh bizarre, just the afterschool club?
i bet it's something to do with staffing numbers or something ridiculous like that

otoh Thu 23-Oct-08 21:32:53

yep, just the afterschool club. am really upset about it. they should tell us more, not just a really vague 'keeping your child from harm' line. which just makes you worry more - what kind of harm??

do you think they would close it just cos of staffing numbers? I wondered if it was to do with crb checks being out of date or something but don't have a clue really

thisisyesterday Thu 23-Oct-08 21:35:56

yeah could def be something like that I reckon.

otoh Thu 23-Oct-08 21:37:40

hope it is something daft like that. honestly though, closing it down seems a bit extreme (well, suspending for 6 weeks)

squirrel42 Fri 24-Oct-08 12:54:39

As I understand it, Ofsted have to put the reason for the suspension in the letter they give to the people running the club, and the staff then have to display this on the premises while the suspension is in place. So you should be able to go and read what its all about. If the staff won't let you - tell Ofsted! They'll add that to the list of whatever else is wrong they're looking in to.

Suspension is pretty extreme - if they've told you they believe children are at risk of harm, surely it's worth the trouble of finding temporary alternative care to at least know something is being done to reduce/remove the risk.

Scarfmaker Fri 24-Oct-08 16:20:13

It could be something like all staff are not trained in first aid or do not have a fire escape plan - but suspension is quite serious.

squirrel42 Fri 24-Oct-08 18:44:52

Scarfmaker - I doubt they would suspend the club for something like that; more likely they would be given a very short timescale to get those things in place "or else"! Ofsted suspends people only when they are pretty convinced that children are at risk, and it's not something that can be fixed in five minutes. Or the staff don't seem able to fix it - which is more of a general suitability thing really, and could lead to the whole place being shut down for good if Ofsted think they can't cope.

There's stuff on the Ofsted website about suspensions here

nannynick Sat 25-Oct-08 10:16:18

Ask the supervisor/owner, they may be able to tell you something. I would doubt that Ofsted are able to tell you anything until the situation has been resolved - as it may go through some legal channels and thus Ofsted won't want to jeopardise a case.
Ofsted will have spent considerable time/employee hours making the decision to suspend the registration, plus visiting the premises. It's quite a costly exercise to the tax payer, so I doubt the decision was taken lightly. My gut feeling is that it would be a Child Protection issue, but it could really be anything. With luck the supervisor/owner will let parents know at some point in the near future. If the After School Club is run by the School itself, then you could ask the Head Teacher / Board of Governors.
It would be interesting to find out what happened... do post if you ever do find out.

Arfa Tue 28-Oct-08 10:03:09

While not explaining the reasons behind the suspension of your children's after school club, this story from The Guardian may go some way to explaining why it happened in the way it did and whether Ofsted are overstepping their remit.

Arfa Tue 28-Oct-08 23:09:01


ceciliaaherne Tue 28-Oct-08 23:15:01

Could it be they are at risk because of the premises/safety issues etc?

otoh Sat 01-Nov-08 22:58:24

so, we've written to and spoken to ofsted about this and also had an apology from ofsted for the wording of the letter (which did freak me out tbh). various things mostly to do with some members of staff not having first aid certs and the cert of reg not being accurate. so paperwork. apparently they inspected again 2 weeks before closure then came back after 2 weeks and were not satisfied. so suspension. I'm still not happy about the no notice part though. if it was safe enough to be left open that 2 weeks, then it was safe enough to stay open a day or two longer to give parents time to find another place. and timing it the evening before half term was not exactly thoughtful either. (rant rant)
I also read that article, arfa. v interesting

nannynick Sun 02-Nov-08 08:36:51

Thanks for posting an update.
So, it was about lack of a first aider being the reason for children being at risk of harm.
The provider was given 2 weeks to find a first aider... they didn't do that. Having given them 2 weeks, Ofsted I suppose had no choice then but to suspend the registration. It's a pain, but if Ofsted were to let them continue, then it would give the sign to all providers that Ofsted could be ignored.

Arfa Sun 02-Nov-08 11:21:03

But had they taken steps to get any of their existing staff onto a course which hadn't yet happened? To be able to recruit a first aider within 2 weeks is I think actually quite tricky. It could take about a week just to get an advert in the paper.

And how many of their staff had previously been on a first aid course, but more than 3 years ago? The idea that as soon as those 3 years elapse you instantly forget everything you were told is IMO just ludicrous.

My wife has been on a first aid course many years ago and 2 refreshers since then and tells me the refresher could have lasted a fraction of the time if they had just concentrated on any changes. She is now due to go on another refresher later in the month which will last 12 hours and take up 2 Saturdays. This is of course in addition to the 50 minding hours a week plus all of the time spent on paperwork. Is it any wonder that CMs are leaving in such large numbers?

otoh Sun 02-Nov-08 19:33:48

I'm amazed anyone still cm's to be honest. at least if it's a big(ger) business, you have staff and can share the paperwork burder but for a one (wo)man business it hardly seems worth the hassle

I am torn between wanting ofsted to check on stuff and then thinking some of the regulations of afterschool clubs in particular seem a bit ott, considering it isn't really an 'educational' part of the day - they've done that at school already.

but I stand by my opinion that there was no need for immediate suspension. it could have been done a few days later - giving us all time to sort something out. if they were happy to leave it 2 weeks (which I agree is not time to organise anything at all) then they could have left it 2 weeks, given 3 days notice then closed it in 2 weeks and 3 days. for example

I don't even know how that afterschool club made a profit tbh. new one charges a lot more sad

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