Preschool will challenge Ofsted after inspector says it must improve

January 31 2020
Preschool will challenge Ofsted after inspector says it must improve

A PRESCHOOL is challenging the outcome of its latest Ofsted report after an inspector said it needed to improve.

Crossbow Preschool in School Road, Frampton Cotterell, had been rated as outstanding by the education watchdog before the latest report, which was published over the Christmas holidays.

The preschool's manager and committee say they have "supporting evidence" to question the judgements made in the Ofsted report, which they believe does not "truly reflect the amazing work we do".

Parents have also expressed their support for the preschool, with one contacting the Voice to praise its "wonderful" staff and their excellent relationships with children and parents.

Ofsted rates preschools in four categories: quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management. Inspector Hilary Tierney said Crossbow Preschool required improvement in all except behaviour and attitudes, which was rated ‘good’.

The inspector praised manager Megan Symonds for having a "clear vision" for the preschool and for already acting on areas for development, but said she had "yet to implement all changes".

She also praised the children’s behaviour, commenting that they "behave and interact well together", adding: “Children choose what to do and play with. They enjoy regular opportunities to wander between the inside and outside play areas.”

The inspector said: “Staff observe children and assess their stages of development, but they do not use this information successfully to provide consistently challenging learning experiences. Staff do not recognise that adult-led activities are not appropriate for all children. The younger children do not develop their knowledge and skills during planned activities as well as the older children.”

The inspector said the preschool should improve monitoring of teaching quality, support for staff, planning of activities and the quality and consistency of staff interactions with children to support language skills more effectively.

Crossbow Preschool has been running since 1971 and is based at St Peter's Hall.

Ms Symonds and the chair of the preschool's volunteer committee, Felicity Clark, issued a joint statement announcing that they would challenge the inspection's findings.

They said: “The staff and committee are all very disappointed at the grading we have been given by Ofsted at our inspection in November. We have written to them with supporting evidence to challenge some judgements within the report, as we do not feel it truly reflects the amazing work we do at Crossbow. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by many parents who have read the report.

As the new manager, having only been in post since September, I have worked hard alongside the chair of committee to maintain stability for the Pre-school, as over the last academic year there has been quite a lot of change within the Management team.”

As the report states, I have already begun making positive changes and we are working hard to action the recommendations made by Ofsted based on their new inspection criteria brought in September 2019.

We look forward to welcoming them back within 12 months and fully expect to have a more positive outcome.”

Karen Richards, whose three-year-old daughter attends the preschool, told the Voice: “The staff are all wonderful, they care very much for the children that attend the preschool and do everything in their power to help each child develop and become ready for the next very big step in their lives which is to start school.

"The staff have excellent relationships with not only the children but also the parents.”