Ofsted rates pre-school ‘inadequate’

A KEYNSHAM pre-school has been branded “inadequate” by Ofsted, amid concerns it is not making sure children are safe from abuse.

Queens Road Methodist Church Preschool had been rated “good” by the education regulator at their last inspection in 2017, but after an inspection on February 24 it received the lowest rating Ofsted can give.

The inspection report said: “Children’s safety and welfare are compromised due to weaknesses in safeguarding arrangements. The management team does not ensure that they follow effective safeguarding procedures to make sure that children are safe from abuse.”

The report warned that the pre-school’s safeguarding arrangements were not effective, stating: “They do not thoroughly investigate why children have not attended the setting, including those who have been identified at possible risk of abuse and neglect.

“Although the manager and staff know how to identify the possible signs and indicators of abuse, they do not ensure that they keep accurate records of their concerns and do not pass on all child protection concerns to the appropriate agencies.”

The pre-school’s management was also criticised for not ensuring new members of the committee go through the required suitability checks with Ofsted.

But the report was more positive about the children’s experiences at the pre-school.

It stated: “Children are welcomed into the pre-school by staff, who greet them warmly. They separate positively from parents and are excited to join their friends at the variety of activities on offer as they come in.”
It added that staff support children’s developing independence and teach children to think about others.

The report said: “The manager and staff know the children well and collect information from parents about children before they start at the setting. Parents are complimentary about the pre-school and staff. They value the time that staff give them to talk about their children.”

But it also said that, although staff could identify delays in children’s development, they were not adapting their teaching to tackle development gaps, particularly around speech and language.

The management team was criticised for not supporting the staff to develop their skills.

The pre-school’s website states: “Our organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.”

John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service