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Did you check Ofsted reports when looking for a pre school?

(12 Posts)
yeovalleyrocks Wed 11-May-11 09:22:24

Dd is 3 next month (I know I have left it late!)

There are several pre schools near to us and I have been looking at their Ofsted reports to help me decide.

Some has been marked as satisfactory and some as good. These are a few years old though.

Did you bother checking or did you just go and have a look? Thanks.

naturalbaby Wed 11-May-11 09:33:53

i did, it helped me decide which ones to go look at but there was still at least one which has a better reputation in the community than it's ofstead report suggests. chatting to other mums at toddler groups has been a big help as well.

yeovalleyrocks Wed 11-May-11 13:36:34

Thanks, I have just made an appointment to have a look around my 2nd favourite tomorrow! The first on my list havent answered the phone or replied to my messages for a week now!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 13-May-11 16:59:46

Just wanted to add that Ofsted reports can be very misleading with preschools. Our local preschool has and outstanding report however has a terrible reputation for letting the children watch tv for hours, not being interested in the children at all and not dealing with bullying.

Agree with natural, ask around, visit the ones you are interested in and ask lots of questions, then go with your gut instinct.

Niecie Fri 13-May-11 20:33:07

I looked at them - it is a way of narrowing things down. I rejected one option on the grounds that it only had a satisfactory report because it backed up my gut feeling about the place when visiting. If it had been outstanding I would have wondered if perhaps I had visited on a bad day or something. It isn't the be all and end all for pre-schools imo. I would place much less reliance on them than I would on a visit and hearing what other parents have to say but I don't see any harm in gathering information from as many sources as possible, Ofsted included.

RamblingRosa Fri 13-May-11 20:39:08

I did and they seem pretty accurate IME. Last nursery was "satisfactory" - which it was. Current nursery is "outstanding" and it really is just brilliant. Definitely wouldn't base my decision entirely on that though. Very important to look around, meet the staff, ask other parents where they recommend etc. Also take into consideration how close it is to home, whether your child already knows other children there etc.

MegBusset Fri 13-May-11 20:42:26

We had the choice between two local preschools, one rated Outstanding and one Satisfactory.

We went with the Outstanding one to start with, but DC didn't settle at all, and the staff didn't really care. So we removed him to the Satisfactory one, where the staff were excellent and he absolutely flourished. So trust your instincts first.

suebfg Fri 13-May-11 20:44:21

Look at the reports and go to see them too. I saw one nursery which was fab on paper (Ofsted outstanding) but was shocking in reality.

Waiting2Exhale Sun 29-May-11 22:59:15

I not only looked at the ofsted report but also asked the manager whether they had any complaints on file. This is extremely important as not all complaints make it to ofsted but all complaints must be kept on file by the nursery setting for parents to view on request.

This gives you a better idea of what is happening at the actually setting as reported by parents using the setting or who have used it in the past. Most complaints stay on file for at least 2 years I believe, possibly more.

5ofus Mon 30-May-11 08:01:16

Also a lot can change in 2 years. Comments from 2 years ago just aren't always that valid. Might give you some areas to look at but any problem identified by OFSTED should have been fixed within 2 years. Agree with asking to see complaints and also gut feel plays a large part of it.

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 01-Jun-11 13:09:15

I did; they were all graded as "good" but there is a lot of variation within that grade if you look more deeply into the report. Agree with 5ofus that issues should have been addressed within 2 years BUT one report had the same issues cropping up within several years so I rejected on that basis.

fumanchu Wed 08-Jun-11 14:29:30

As others have said, check with other mums and visit them so you can see them in action during a normal session. OFSTED grades are really not a good way to choose imo.

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