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Just Want To Air Off Frustration And To Engage Your Responses.


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In summary, l am having problems with Ofsted and the Fire Officer.

The Fire Officer visited my nursery unannounced explaining that there had been concerns with regards to the Fire Safety at the nursery. The concern was that l have a large gate at the rear of the premises which is kept under lock and key. The back garden backs out to a side street. A member of the public is quite concern if there is a fire in the building then we will be unable to escape. I explained that a member of staff always have that key on a chain around her neck and also there are two duplicates which are easily accessible.

In the first week of February l had a telephone call from the Fire Officer stating that he would be arriving with an Ofsted Inspector the next day.

I was operating as a childminder until three years ago. I had applied for a variation to my registration to operate as a full daycare. There was no action set and registration was granted within a few weeks. I used a manual fire gong as my warning system and also inter-connecting smoke alarms. I enquired whether l would need to change this. My fire risk assessment was quite good and the Inspector felt that it was sufficient for the its purpose.

 

Ofsted compliance officer and the Fire Inspector arrived at he nursery. You wouldnot believe the amount of work he was asking me to do. Anyway, l felt that if l have to do it then l will. He said he will write to me in a few weeks time.

 

I received no communication from Ofsted or the Fire Officer. Instead, yesterday l received an email from a third party informing me that there is an Enforcement Action on my Inspections Reports Page. It stated that

“ensure that all appropriate fire detection and control equipment required is on the premises and that fire exits are free from obstruction and easily opened from the inside”.

I am so angry that this has been put on my registration as l was granted my registration with exactly the same fire equipments. Its not as if l was served with an action plan to replace what l have got. These have never been brought up before not even during my Ofsted Inspection. I was advised that it is a fire hazard to lock the doors with a key. Had all these requirements brought up before then l wouldnot have dreamt of not complying. :o

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As a parent I would read that statement to mean this is what is expected not that you hadnt been complying so I wouldnt worry about it from that point of view.

Would you be able t unlock the gate when the children are there with maybe a slide bolt out of reach?

Do what they suggest and write it up, invite them to come and check everything is ok and put it behind you. I think the powers that be take these things more seriously when its a member of the public making the point because they want to be seen to be on the ball. Most of us on here have had varying points from different inspectors, I doubt any of us would be marked the same even if we all did the same.

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We had a similar thing with our 2 fire doors, one which opens onto waste ground and one which opens onto the car park. We shut them with yale locks which remain unlocked during the session and a safety chain high up which the children can't reach so that we can get out in an emergency. A locked door does seem a strange thing for them to have passed in the first place, what a shame that other options weren't pointed out to you from the beginning, I guess you will have to comply with their requests and then the fact that it is on your registration document won't be a problem. Will this then be removed when you are next inspected? At the end of the day you, OFSTED and the fire inspector all want the best for the children so breathe in, do the work and get on with the work you do knowing that everyone on the premises are as safe as possible. Just as a point of interest did OFSTED and the inspector look at your record of fire drills to see how it worked in practice

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We had a similar thing with our 2 fire doors, one which opens onto waste ground and one which opens onto the car park. We shut them with yale locks which remain unlocked during the session and a safety chain high up which the children can't reach so that we can get out in an emergency. A locked door does seem a strange thing for them to have passed in the first place, what a shame that other options weren't pointed out to you from the beginning, I guess you will have to comply with their requests and then the fact that it is on your registration document won't be a problem. Will this then be removed when you are next inspected? At the end of the day you, OFSTED and the fire inspector all want the best for the children so breathe in, do the work and get on with the work you do knowing that everyone on the premises are as safe as possible. Just as a point of interest did OFSTED and the inspector look at your record of fire drills to see how it worked in practice
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Rea, I don't mind doing the work. But l have never received any communication from either ofsted or the Fire Department . Had l not been alerted about the enforcement on my registration then l Wud have been non the wiser. I don't think this shud have been an enforcement action as l was never given that recommendation . Yes, they did look at all my paperwork .

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