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Nursery had a very unexpected slightly poor OFSTED report....

37 replies

CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:28

Just read it.

Apparantly the inspection was very stressful and the inspector was "unprofessional". The last one (a year ago) was glowing. This one was "satisfactory" (other options Inadequate, Good, Outstanding) in all areas but one (despite them not having a bad word to say in these areas, not sure why they should only be satisfactory).

The bit that worried me was that they said the quality of nursery education was inadequate, particularly that "older or more able children are not sufficiently challenged". Now tbh not sure I want my just 3YO to be challenged, however at parent's evening her keyworker (fab, been there 15 years!) said that she is way ahead of anyone else in her peer group in writing, numbers, speech etc. So this particular critcism obviously worries me.

Apparantly the Early Years childcare developmetn partnership (the early childhood liaison, education a;nd training provider part of the local council) were extremely surprised by this inspector's judgement (they work closely with the nursery) and have contacted OFSTED to query the validity of the report. I think this is a good sign. The nursery honestly does not seem to have changed in the past year and the same staff are there in the main. It is a lovely nursery, I don't want to move dd at all but by the same token I don't want her to be bored. I am going to organise a meeting with her key worker for this Friday.

Has anyone had an experience of a dodgy OFSTED report before? It really does sound wrong to me. Could it just be that the inspector had a personality clash with someone or was having an off day? Or do you think these reports are always right?

OP posts:
CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:30

bubble99 can you help me with this?

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soapbox · 21/11/2005 23:30

I think I would go with your own instincts here!

I would imagine that the reports go through a fair bit of vetting, particularly if changing a previously good (or bad) report. However, I'm sure they are not infallible.

CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:31

Yes that is my initial thought but you can't help worrying can you I just feel sick that whatever I do will be the wrong thing

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colditz · 21/11/2005 23:31

Maybe the nursery was having an off day? I think recently Ofsted have been under pressure to make sure children are 'educated', so maybe their standards are now higher. If you are happy with the nursery I really wouldn't worry.

I think reports can be very very wrong sometimes. They rely on one person's opinion of one day to judge a place and the staff for an entire year.

falalaala · 21/11/2005 23:32

don't think that 'satisfactory' is a dodgy report. do understand your concern about that particular area thought. have you spoken to the person who runs the nursery about what it was exactly that the inspector identified and what steps the manager is going to take to remedy them? in schools, i think they have only a very short time to come up with a plan to deal with issues (something like 40 days), so it really shouldn't be a problem for long.

CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:32

Am just being silly I think, writing it down has clarified things for me a bit in fact. It's not like they said that it is full of axe wielding maniacs who lock the children in boxes and poke them with burning sticks is it?

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CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:34

falalaa, I only think satifactory because everything (including the nursery education bit)was very good last year

Yes agree the nursery could have been having a bad day. Plus they turn up with no warning now I believe

I am going to talk to the keyworker on fri and address these issues. There are other things in the report that are so patently crap that it makes me question the whole thing

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CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:36

I mean I only think satisfactory is slightly poor

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soapbox · 21/11/2005 23:36

Of course you are a bit thrown by it! Afterall none of us buying something excellent are too chuffed when it turns out to be 'just ok'

I would take it as being on notice and be extra wary of how they are treating your DD. I think you need to look closely at those people working with your DD and checking that they are working at an appropriate level with her!

CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:41

Well we had parents evening the other week and her keyworker had correctly identified her strengths and weaknesses, had planned for them, she had a Journey Book with work she had done in it, she said that although they don't for eg teach writing that if dd was doing it (she is) then she would support her in that.

TBH I think she has it covered

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soapbox · 21/11/2005 23:44

I think you have your answer then

At least as far as DD is concerned.

I imagine that the nursery will be very concerned as so many parents will go straight to the OFSTED report as a first call and if that is not particularly good will go elsewhere!

CountessDracula · 21/11/2005 23:46

It does have a very good reputation in the area so hopefully it won't suffer too mcuh

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Twiglett · 22/11/2005 07:54

I think OFSTED is fairly baloney unless of course it is dealing with a failing school in which case the inspection process is valid

Ofsted gives 6 weeks notice which basically throws any school into a tizz with pre-preparation for a stressful week or 2 so what are they doing? they are turning up on a pre-arranged day to adminster a test to professionals and by being there are viewing something pre-prepared

I also find reactions to the ofsted reports amusing - if its good everyone's happy, if there's any negatives everyone goes around saying how unfair it was, how the inspector was crap / didn't get what was happening

I would never put that much sway by an ofsted report - I would consider how happy the children are and what my gut says - you already know your DD is well-catered for and happy so I wouldn't worry at all CD

Blandmum · 22/11/2005 07:57

twiglet, you don't get 6 weeks any more. You get about 4 working days.

My brother was just inspected. they were told on the thursday, the inspectors were in on the Tuesday.

The old six weeks thing has gone

Twiglett · 22/11/2005 07:57

I registered as a childminder about 2.5 years ago and had dealings with Ofsted - I didn't meet anybody I considered to be particularly bright or analytical to be honest so was at a loss to see what exactly they were judging apart from your ability to take in the fundamental regulations and recite them back

  • I met a couple of people who knew how to tick forms and drink tea - they reminded me a little of the gas repair men, don't know why.

    might be different with school inspectors,
Twiglett · 22/11/2005 07:58

I stand corrected MB - DS's school was Ofsted'ed last year and it was 6 weeks - think that's much much better with the no warning

Blandmum · 22/11/2005 08:01

My teacher training tutor was an ofsed inspector and she was a real old bag.

She wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in a modern classroom, but knew how to trot out the clap trap.

A mate of mine (an excellent teacher btw in fact he is an AST) said, 'well, you just have to accept that whatever you do it will never be good enough'

The woman was totaly demotivational. If I had worked with a kid like she worked with me, I'd have been failed. And quite a lot of the time she was talking through her arse.

katzguk · 22/11/2005 08:02

when dh's scool was done some of the worst teachers in the school got really good reports and some of the best bad ones

Blandmum · 22/11/2005 08:02

It has changed this year. We were 'done' 2 ywars ago, but will probably get 'done' later this year.

I tend to agree that the lightning visit is more representational, but they have to be realistic in their evatuation

Fireworks · 22/11/2005 08:08

Our playgroup first knew of the Ofsted on the morning of the first day - ie when she phoned half an hour before to get travel directions! I am really pleased they have changed it. Last report was glowing and didn?t touch on a single area of concern because staff and committee officers were prepared and had time to paper over the cracks. This time they turned up and were able to see that staff hadn?t even got a session plan - often they wing it when tired the night before...
Looking forward to the report coming out and for staff to feel less smug about previous report, come down to earth and improve on satisfactory.

grumpyfrumpy · 22/11/2005 08:42

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handlemecarefully · 22/11/2005 08:52

I suspect that your gut feel re the Nursery is right...however, how old are the staff (sorry am being ageist)?

I've never been entirely happy with DD's nursery (also 3 yrs old, she attends 3 days per week) as she says that she finds it a little boring and doesn't really come home fired with enthusiasm and wanting to talk about it. My perception is that the staff (late teens and early to mid 20's) do not stimulate the children sufficiently.

DD is leaving Nursery at the end of December (when I quit work) and will be starting Pre School for 3 short sessions per week in January. We've already done 2 taster sessions at Pre-School and dd is enthused and raring to go. The difference is very tangible...oh and the staff are older, more experienced and parents themselves.

handlemecarefully · 22/11/2005 08:55

Have just reflected, it is spurious of me to apply my own experience to yours. It does sound that you have evidence from Parents evenings and similar that educational needs are met

bossykate · 22/11/2005 09:02

hi cd. fwiw, the nursery dd goes to (and ds went before her) is rated "only" "satisfactory". like you i was a bit surprised by this, as i think it is excellent. i think my judgement has been borne out by, among many other things, the fact that ds is doing very well at school now (started reception in january). if he hadn't been well stimulated, developed etc i don't think he would be doing as well as he is at school now. as far as i'm concerned dd & ds have always (well, 99.5% of the time!) been very well cared for there. so if you are happy with the evidence of your own eyes, i would encourage you to be sanguine about this report.


bossykate · 22/11/2005 09:03

ds started recept in september not jan - gah!

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