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Melba
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Two of my staff went to a Network meeting for OOSC yesterday and were told that we would now be getting warning of inspections. I am pretty sure this is wrong or at least not for early years.

Anyone heard this sort of thing? They were told that it has happened to OOSC in the area.

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I am not allowed to say officially, but let's just say it nudged between terrible and disastrous. We had two inspectors and it was all going really well...............they loved our room layouts, resources, mud kitchen ( neither of them had ever seen one!), the way we are with the children, the progress they are making, they LOVED the on-line learning journals...............and then..............there were some men working on one side of the building..we knew they were there, the inspectors knew they were there. I had logged themin as visitors, I had explained to the men that I had Ofsted in so please to be aware and not ask to come inside the building for anything. All good so far, until...........and this is where I truly want to cry...........one of them went awy for some reason, maybe to get some stuff for the job they were doing, I don't know, but when he came back, he jumped over the wall at the back of the premises to get to where he was working. I didn't notice him and the officers did, so they said that was a breach of standards and an automatic 'In need of improvement'...........and because I didn't notice them, it was an automatic 'In need of improvement' for my management skills. They said we'll get 'Good' for some areas, but it will be In Need of improvement overall because of the breach. They said that I should have been aware of where they were at all times ( I guess I cannot argue that) and even though they were cordoned off from the children and all of the children were under close supervision at the time, the man in question COULD have had malicious intentions and taken a child away(!)......they also said our outside fence is too short as a child could 'vault over it and run away' and that our gate needs more than one lock on it. So, I have to take it on the chin, wait for a monitoring visist in 6 months or so and another full inspection within the year, IF we keep going. Right now, I am so disheartened, I just want tolock the doors and give up.

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So not fair...i feel for you....other nurseriesI know of have far worse things happen and they stay open when they should be closed.Just a minor misdemeanour and you have to suffer for it......hope they return soon to give you the grade you should have got. Big hugs.

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Narnia - I couldn't read and run. How awful for you! I don't know you of course, but I've read lots of your posts on here and it's clear that you are dedicated and professional. I'm sick and tired of hearing of great settings downgraded for some one off incident that is misinterpreted by Ofsted.

 

In my experience, well supervised preschool aged children don't make a habit of vaulting over fences and running away! And you did know where the workmen were, and you had them signed in as visitors - I don't see any risk to the children here.

 

I know how you feel, about wanting to just walk away - it does get easier though and I'm sure you'll find that your families are outraged on your behalf and will support you all the way

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Echoing others in saying I feel for you - the judgement does feel totally unjust and is so not a reflection on quality of the learning and development - it really is getting harder and harder to balance the negatives with the positives of this job

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Oh Narnia, what a pain. As practitioners we work so hard don't we with safeguarding, partnership with parents, nurturing the lovely children, but this one thing can feel like the whole thing is a waste of time.( of course it isn't).

Try to look at the lovely positives to come out in your report, and don't take it so personally ( hard I know). It's a shame the inspector had not challenged you on what they had seen, you may have been able to show action immediately. If only we had that crystal ball yet again.

Hugs to you :) x

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Melba we had ours 4 weeks ago we are a preschool and oosc we didn't get any notice.

Narnia so sorry to hear about your inspection I'm sure your parents will be supportive when you are able to share the report, you are a good and experienced practitioner I am sure you will deal with this in your stride. Life has thrown you lots of curved balls over the last few years if you can handle that like you have Ofsted nonsense should be a doddle.

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In view of Narnia's dreadful experience, and I do truly feel for you Narnia, you work so hard to create a truly fantastic pre-school experience, I wonder if anyone can advise me!

 

I rent a hall from a large Christian group. It is on a corner and the building is two storey. we have the upper storey with parking facilities and a fenced in garden. However, for man y years local residents, and congregation have used our car park to cut through to the main building, or just to cut off the corner.

 

Obviously when we are using the garden we shut the front gate, 5 Bar wooden and we lock a metal gate which leads down to the front entrance. However, so many people still think they can just wander through! They just swing a leg over the lower gate or open the big wooden one. Obviously the children are never out there alone, and if some lunatic doesn't listen to us and insists on walking through, we accompany them to the other gate, a few weeks ago, somebody from the congregation parked their car in our car park and thought she could just get in it and go, regardless of the fact that we had children out there.

 

This has always been a worry for us, but I felt that if we explained how this all works and how we keep the children safe we would get through the inspection - Now after our dear Narnia's experience I very much fear not, because that will be the very day some lunatic will give us grief. Quite often they are elderly people who just do not understand that they may not just come walking through at will. I could put up notices but frankly I don't think they would be read until far too late.

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Panders I don't have any answers - out 'set up' is not dissimilar to yours - my biggest 'problem' - it's not really a problem to me at all - but I know it would be to Ofsted is when other Key Holders - Management Committee - insist on entering the building when we are there - often coming upstairs to ask me some completely unimportant question (I am secretary for the Management Committee) - I have asked them repeatedly not to do this - but they just don't 'get it' at all - think in light of narnia's experience I am going to have to try again........

Further to that we often use the big recreation field to play on - that has always been 'applauded' by Ofsted before - but obviously a child could potentially 'wander off'......we also walk down to the Village Green for a spot of tree climbing - all thoroughly risk assessed - but clearly children are not 'fenced in'........

Have to say that on our last inspection - we went out to the play park (belongs to the Parish Council) for our outdoor time - and guess what - it had been vandalised overnight - just what sort of s*ds law was that - but we had an all round sensible inspector who approved of the way in which I dealt with this and it was fine........I really expected her to say that I should have checked it at the beginning of the session (and really I should have!)

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I think an appeal is waiting in the wings............we've been talking about this and we believe the inspector has made a big mistake. Basically, we think the guy in question actually walked around the back of the building from where he had been working. He was quite a big man and he said earlier in the day that he had a bad back. Anyway, he DID appear from the rear of the building.......in fact, my deputy and I both saw him, my deputy spoke to him ( she told him we had asked them not to come round to the front as we had children in and an inspection) she asked him to leave immediately, which he did, but the inspector had shot off to the rear of the buildings, but as she would not have had a clear view of where he HAD come from ( the dustbins were in the way to prevent children going to the back door...........which is kept locked on the outside, but has a push bar to open it from the inside, when we are in), so we now think she assumed he had jumped down from the wall as she couldn't possibly have seen that it is possible to walk round from where he was working. THAT makes much more sense to us and whilst he shouldn't have done it, we WERE aware that he was on the premises, as we had signed him and his colleagues in. One of them is a policeman, one is a solicitor,the other, the 'big' chap is a builder ( members of the landlords committee), so i am going to ask them if any of them did climb over......if they did, then we're no worse off,but if they didn't..........we might have a case. I am really worried that when the report goes for assessment, it could even be downgraded to 'Inadequate' because of this claim.........and if it is, we lose all our FE funding. That would close us down. Weep??????? I have no tears left, I have cried myself dry

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Narnia, I have just read about your horrible inspection...fingers crossed that the appeal can go ahead! it makes me cross when people are obviously dedicated to their work and inspectors can't use their common sense!!

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Narnia - this scenario could happen to anyone of us in shared premises - I see Panders and Sunnyday have been thinking through the implications too. I rent a church hall and whilst we are "in session" no one else is allowed in unless it has been agreed before e.g. gas man to read the meter who is "escorted" (polite term for frogmarched) to the meter and then back to the entrance once the meter has been read. It took a while for parishioners to get the hint that they couldn't just meander by and "pop in to use the loo". We put a little alarm on the door just in case a keyholder tried their luck and then shoo'd them away when they did. It has taken time for people who have nothing to do with the preschool to twig that having an "open door policy" does not apply to them.

Just recently the door lock broke and has been replaced - it has been a revelation to the parish priest and his secretary just how many people had keys to the old lock - replacements have been metered out sparingly and now all keyholders have to sign a disclaimer.

Thankfully stuff like building work is scheduled for the holidays.

If you decide to go ahead and appeal - and hopefully you have a strong case - it might pay to get your LA involved - we appealed years ago on our own about the conduct of our inspectors during the inspection and after the event our LA early years dept. said they would have helped us with it!!!

Good luck

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I think an appeal is waiting in the wings............we've been talking about this and we believe the inspector has made a big mistake. Basically, we think the guy in question actually walked around the back of the building from where he had been working. He was quite a big man and he said earlier in the day that he had a bad back. Anyway, he DID appear from the rear of the building.......in fact, my deputy and I both saw him, my deputy spoke to him ( she told him we had asked them not to come round to the front as we had children in and an inspection) she asked him to leave immediately, which he did, but the inspector had shot off to the rear of the buildings, but as she would not have had a clear view of where he HAD come from ( the dustbins were in the way to prevent children going to the back door...........which is kept locked on the outside, but has a push bar to open it from the inside, when we are in), so we now think she assumed he had jumped down from the wall as she couldn't possibly have seen that it is possible to walk round from where he was working. THAT makes much more sense to us and whilst he shouldn't have done it, we WERE aware that he was on the premises, as we had signed him and his colleagues in. One of them is a policeman, one is a solicitor,the other, the 'big' chap is a builder ( members of the landlords committee), so i am going to ask them if any of them did climb over......if they did, then we're no worse off,but if they didn't..........we might have a case. I am really worried that when the report goes for assessment, it could even be downgraded to 'Inadequate' because of this claim.........and if it is, we lose all our FE funding. That would close us down. Weep??????? I have no tears left, I have cried myself dry

Well, if it doesn't work, get yourself on the telly and we will all come to the studio with placards. Or start one of those change.org things to start a petition. I'll sign.

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Hi Nania

Just had a look in the framework and the only reference is in 3.61 'Providers must take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised persons entering the premises, and have an agreed procedure for checking the identity of visitors.'

This can be the only standard the inspectors can be referring to and as far as I can see if you had signed them in and checked their identity then they would become 'authorised' and therefore not a problem. This might help with your appeal.

Wouldn't having two locks on a gate be a problem if you had to evacuate in an emergency through that gate?

I would follow it up if it were me. I hope it all turns out well in the meantime try to focus on all the positive things you spoke of in your first post. Good Luck

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Re locks on gates. We were told (here we go....!!!) that a bolt or lock that only adults could open is sufficient and yes, ONE only due to fire hazzards. I would definitely challenge this in your situation as clearly no children would be outside unsupervised so one lock is enough.

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I couldn't read and run, Narnia. I really feel for you. Yes, do appeal with the help of your EY team, get as much info from everybody as you can. We are all here for you. The fact that they loved everything before this is surely a point in your favour too.

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Oh per-leeeze! I'm not one for advocating violence but seriously Narnia did you not feel like drop kicking the two 'Inspectors' over your 'two short fence' - just to make a point of course........ : )

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Narnia feel your pain, we were given 'inadequate' because of a water butt that had no water in and a child would have needed a ladder to climb into - 2 previous inspectors had not seen it as a problem which is what really upset me. We had to appeal to keep our NEF and our 2Yr old capital funding grant is 'on hold' until we are reinserted - it has caused so much extra work etc etc I too wanted to give up. We have to be re-inspected by 4th Sept - we finish on Thursday until the 4th Sept!! My stress levels are through the roof!!

Stay strong and remember the children you do it all for x

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