Letter from Committee to parents 2018
As many of you are aware our preschool has recently undergone an Ofsted inspection. Some of you were asked to provide feedback on the setting to the inspector and we are grateful for your contribution.
It is with regret that we have to inform you that Ofsted have given us an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’. Ofsted recently changed their inspection guidelines and replaced the title ‘Satisfactory’ with ‘Requires Improvement’. A copy of the report can be found at https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/EY496163. If you do not have access to the internet and would like a paper copy please ask at preschool.
Both the committee and staff are obviously very disappointed with this outcome and we would like to take this opportunity to reassure parents that we firmly believe that the high standard of the setting and staff is not reflected in the overall rating and to explain to you why this rating was awarded.
The Ofsted report highlighted the following strengths:
“Staff effectively observe and plan for children’s learning...helping children to make good progress”
“Staff establish warm relationships with children and routinely praise their achievements. This contributes towards children feeling welcomed and helps to develop their self-esteem.”
“Staff regularly share information with parents using different strategies such as newsletters. Parents are valued and they work with staff to share and support children’s learning at home.”
“The manager holds regular supervision meetings with staff and observes their practice. This results in well-qualified and supported staff who promote children’s learning well.”+ read more
There were many positive comments throughout the report about both the staff and children at Roundabout, including an acknowledgment of the staff’s sound safeguarding knowledge, provision of a good range of activities, the well-embedded key-person system, responsiveness of staff to children’s ideas and a clear vision for continuous improvement in the setting. The report recognises the children as independent, imaginative, motivated, well behaved, kind and considerate towards each other.
The report identified the following areas for improvement:
“Leaders and managers do not provide Ofsted with the necessary information to enable them to complete full suitability checks for all committee members.”
“Partnerships with other providers are not yet robust enough to achieve cohesive learning experiences for children who also attend another setting.”
“Occasionally, staff include too many children in planned group activities, such as making porridge. As a result, children wait too long to take a turn and quickly lose interest.”
We believe our overall rating is based primarily on the following: One Ofsted registration form (EY2) had not been submitted by the committee within the timescales required by Ofsted. It had been submitted prior to the Ofsted inspection; there was no outstanding paperwork at the time of the inspection.
Roundabout is registered at Companies House as a limited company with charitable status. It seems that unfortunately the inspector did not recognise that as a limited company, only the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary need to complete EY2 forms (unlike in a charity where all committee members must complete EY2 forms). Thus the inspector erroneously believed that multiple EY2 forms were outstanding. We would like to reassure you that a statement made by the inspector later in the report: “Due to the weaknesses in leadership and management the promotion of children’s welfare requires improvement” is solely referring to the committee’s perceived failings in administration. No other problems were identified within leadership and management at the preschool.
As mentioned above, both the committee and staff are extremely disappointed with this outcome. After careful consideration and despite a belief that the rating is unfair and likely in part based on a misunderstanding by the inspector of the requirements of a limited company (with charitable status) versus a charity, we came to the difficult decision not to submit an appeal to Ofsted and instead focus on moving on and continuing to offer the high standard of care to all our children at Roundabout.
In response to the suggestion that the committee has failed to provide Ofsted with necessary information to complete suitability checks for committee members, the committee has reviewed our own policies and procedures and clarified Ofsted’s requirements, ensuring a clearer and more rigorous process for taking on a key role in the committee and registering with Ofsted in a timely manner.
Prior to the inspection, Adele already had a plan in place to improve communication between Roundabout and children’s other settings and will take that forward. Please speak to Adele for further information on how Roundabout will increase communication with your other childcare provider.
As for the porridge... staff are aware of the importance of ensuring appropriate numbers of children involved in group activities and will continue to strive to ensure that all children have the opportunity to be involved in any such activities in a timely manner.
We hope that you will continue to show your support for what we as parents at the setting all firmly believe is a fantastic preschool setting and we believe that the report largely reflects that. If you have any questions or queries about anything contained in this letter or in the Ofsted report please contact any of the staff at preschool or any members of the committee. We would welcome your feedback.
We as a committee and staffing team are committed to gaining a good or outstanding rating at our next inspection.
Roundabout Pre-school Committee