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Recent "Embarrassing" Inadequate Judgement!


BroadOaks
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Well i am not ashamed to admit we recently had the dreaded visit and after a nightmare few hours where everything that could go wrong did we ended up with an Inadequate judgement! Yes this is embarrassing because we only recently closed another smaller setting that was judged Good and had to close this setting for financial reasons :(

 

The small setting had the same staff files and same practice of the now merged setting we have just been judged on. The brief reasons for this inadequate judgement where not having our staff files in order with regards to 2 Reference checks and qualification certificates at hand that day. Yes this is poor but some of these staff have been with us 5-10 years! Also Supervisions where not rigorous enough ie training not linking in for needs of the setting. So we fell short to say the least on Leadership and Management! Also we recently changed our setting layout and removed a a small old office block that on the wall removed contained our "safeguarding board" and this board was then not put back up! Very silly mistake!

 

Also near our entrance area we have a shelf on the wall at medium height and children use this area when going to the toilets. Upon this shelf was left a medicine bottle and a wall stapler!!!! So if a child was to drag a chair over and get on it they could of reached these dangerous objects! So if no staff had been around for a few minutes (not very likely at all in any scenario) or not been vigilant then a children are put at risk of course!! Very silly once again!

 

There might have been a few more points like not being able to put our hands on things in the office on request etc.. or the one bit of paperwork needed not being around for various reasons!

 

So overall these stupid mistakes cost us dearly.. and resulted in us losing our 2 year old funding of course and also the possible removal of 3/4 year old funding if the LA decides we are not fit!

 

Albeit we have easily rectified these mistakes and have everything needed for the next inspection (within 6 months) at hand and we have learned a lot from this awful experience!

 

Even though i can understand the judgement given i still feel we are a good nursery for everything we do and how the last 10 years children have developed well, and even parents on reading our Ofsted report are happy with us and have told us so.

 

Yes it's tough at the moment but we can't wait for Ofsted to visit again now and want to get the Good or even better we deserve!

 

Moral of this experience, don't make silly mistakes!

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Thank you for being so honest, gives us all some pointers and maybe the kick up the backside to make sure we are on top of things.

I'm currently awaiting my first inspection which I thought may be a while away yet (up to 1 year to go till we hit the 30 months), but locally, another nursery had a major issue last Friday so don't know if that may make Mrs O decide to visit others in the area sooner rather than later, not sure if they do things like that. Good luck with your next inspection!

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Broadoaks,

Thank you so much for making that post- it was incredibly honest of you.

Those issues are pretty straightforward to address, aren't they?

I'm so pleased you're staying positive and recognising all the good things that you and your staff do :1b

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Nobody is perfect Broadoaks so dont feel embarrassed, especially here. Its just your bad luck that the simple mistakes were on a day you had an inspection and not the day before or the day after. Lessons learnt :1b :1b

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Oh BroadOaks I feel for you!! At least you have a clear way forward and have addressed the issues already!!

 

Hope all goes well at the next one - I think we all have "those days" and you were very unfortunate that it just happened to be the day of your inspection!

 

The only way is up - you will shine!!!!

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I agree BroadOaks things can only get better. Thought my inspector was going to get difficult when she asked 2 questions I found tricky about a relatively new member of the team (although we have known her in a child minding capacity for a long time) I had accepted emailed references - and I hadn't written down the name of the DBS company I had used.

 

By the time the re-inspection comes around you'll be ready to show them it was a bad day and a blip.

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Feel for you Broadoaks. All the good work you do gets swept aside for the few bits of 'disorder' - very frustrating!

I like your attitude and am sure if the rest of your team are like you, you will be on the ball in future! Admin eh?? as if we have the time, what with removing medicine bottles and staplers......ha ha!! Its not the end if the world, your Parents believe in you and it will be probably near perfect (?) next time! Good luck! :)

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I agree BroadOaks things can only get better. Thought my inspector was going to get difficult when she asked 2 questions I found tricky about a relatively new member of the team (although we have known her in a child minding capacity for a long time) I had accepted emailed references - and I hadn't written down the name of the DBS company I had used.

 

By the time the re-inspection comes around you'll be ready to show them it was a bad day and a blip.

I have just accepted emailed references, is this a problem?

 

Joanne

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Thank you for sharing the awful situation you found yourselves in and your honest account.

I'm sure we all have from time to time fallen behind with essential paperwork etc through the sheer volume and workload. Now dust yourselves down and welcome Ofsted back soon with everything in its rightful place.:)

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I have just accepted emailed references, is this a problem?

 

Joanne

She questioned why they weren't hand written thats all - even hand written ones could be forged but I was at least able to say that we knew this member of staff very well in her capacity as a child minder, and that I had spoken to one of the e-mailers by telephone beforehand and the other we knew as a parent of a child here, who was child minded by the member of staff before she worked for us! I had plenty of "back up" if you get my meaning.

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She questioned why they weren't hand written thats all - even hand written ones could be forged but I was at least able to say that we knew this member of staff very well in her capacity as a child minder, and that I had spoken to one of the e-mailers by telephone beforehand and the other we knew as a parent of a child here, who was child minded by the member of staff before she worked for us! I had plenty of "back up" if you get my meaning.

Thanks Pandas, I've found it's very hard to get people to hand write references.. I'll make sure I have answers ready as to why I accepted.

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who hand writes them now ? , you email ref form, they complete and email back, as you say you could just complete a hand written one yourself if you wanted to, are ofsted going to phone references to check ? I do copy/paste/print the email it was attached to.

 

You'll get it sorted BroadOaks :-)

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feel for you broadoaks - it could so easily be any of us!

we all have bad days and if that's the day we get the visit and the inspector isnt very helpful we too would be in the same boat!

all the things that were mentioned are easy to put right and you will be ready for the nest visit.

take time out this weekend for yourself and start again monday. :0)

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Exactly. It could have been any of us. All any of us can do is be as prepared as possible and hope for the best. I am sure you will shine through at your next inspection. Just look at your happy children and keep remembering that is what matters most.

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Hoorah Broadoaks for your honesty and your inspection reality , in fairness this really does show that despite happy children and happy parents you recieved an inadequate based on some rather indiscriminate minor offences that really don't reflect anything you do with your children , that is what I find sad as inspections offer no continuity . Having re read ours the other day ' the reason this setting has not reached outstanding because of lack of print in garden !

 

I'm sure you and your staff will get the recognised grading you deserve and hope you don't have to wait a full. 6 months , keep on for them to redo inspection sooner so your funding is not withdrawn .

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Well i am not ashamed to admit we recently had the dreaded visit and after a nightmare few hours where everything that could go wrong did we ended up with an Inadequate judgement! Yes this is embarrassing because we only recently closed another smaller setting that was judged Good and had to close this setting for financial reasons :(

 

The small setting had the same staff files and same practice of the now merged setting we have just been judged on. The brief reasons for this inadequate judgement where not having our staff files in order with regards to 2 Reference checks and qualification certificates at hand that day. Yes this is poor but some of these staff have been with us 5-10 years! Also Supervisions where not rigorous enough ie training not linking in for needs of the setting. So we fell short to say the least on Leadership and Management! Also we recently changed our setting layout and removed a a small old office block that on the wall removed contained our "safeguarding board" and this board was then not put back up! Very silly mistake!

 

Also near our entrance area we have a shelf on the wall at medium height and children use this area when going to the toilets. Upon this shelf was left a medicine bottle and a wall stapler!!!! So if a child was to drag a chair over and get on it they could of reached these dangerous objects! So if no staff had been around for a few minutes (not very likely at all in any scenario) or not been vigilant then a children are put at risk of course!! Very silly once again!

 

There might have been a few more points like not being able to put our hands on things in the office on request etc.. or the one bit of paperwork needed not being around for various reasons!

 

So overall these stupid mistakes cost us dearly.. and resulted in us losing our 2 year old funding of course and also the possible removal of 3/4 year old funding if the LA decides we are not fit!

 

Albeit we have easily rectified these mistakes and have everything needed for the next inspection (within 6 months) at hand and we have learned a lot from this awful experience!

 

Even though i can understand the judgement given i still feel we are a good nursery for everything we do and how the last 10 years children have developed well, and even parents on reading our Ofsted report are happy with us and have told us so.

 

Yes it's tough at the moment but we can't wait for Ofsted to visit again now and want to get the Good or even better we deserve!

 

Moral of this experience, don't make silly mistakes!

Sorry for what you had to go through and thank you for sharing it so we can be more alert

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Wow what a great community this really is :) i feel so inspired now and we feel ready for them to come back asap! Had another visit from our LA and they reassured us everything will be fine and they will be coming in to make a judgement themselves soon.

 

It is what it is and even though we feel rather silly, the only way is up! Ohh what it must fee l like to have an Outstanding Judgement, it must feel like being on the edge of a cliff :blink: .. maybe one day we will have that worry :D

 

Thank you once again you guys are amazing!

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BroadOaks

I am sorry I read and ran your original post. Like everyone here I applaud your honesty and do feel privileged that you felt that you could tell us all.

You are an inspiration to us all with your forward and positive thinking.

I will be going through my staff's files now!

 

Please let your team know that we are proud of them.

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Thank you for this.

Regarding staff files - any good tips of things to make sure are included.

The staff that were in place before I started do not appear to have references. I've asked the committee- not very useful. Should I take them up retrospectively?

The latest member of staff I recruited was a parent that volunteered and then we took on as bank, then contract. I have all usual checks DBS etc for her and I took up one ref. From her previous employer. Should I take up another one? Although my deputy worked with her previously and gave a verbal ref. On top of the written one I have.

In terms of staff training - anyone have a good way of displaying link to setting needs?

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Well we have now done our best to get all staff 2 references even if they have been with us for for many years like the majority of ours. Many of our staff have developed from being at college on an Apprenticeship scheme so they had either none or little experience in employment before working here. So a good idea for this is either the tutors reference, or school teachers references. It is also best if it is possible to have references from when your staff worked with children at any stage as these hold more weight of course. it should be a natural thing to ask when taking on new staff i know, but a few years ago it just didn't seem as important! How we learn!

 

Yep DBS checks and references should be in place before staff are employed and now we have adapted our policy to say this and going forward will be the only way!

 

In regards to staff training - then this is where Supervisions play a big role and also data collecting of children's progression throughout your areas or setting. If you check the key-children's development or even incident forms and has a manager you might spot things that the staff member missed or hadn't raised as a concern. This could be a behavior concern for example and that this key-worker would benefit from training that would benefit this child.

 

So documenting these links from supervisions or staff meetings is key!

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Yep DBS checks and references should be in place before staff are employed and now we have adapted our policy to say this and going forward will be the only way!

 

I

Just to pick up on this point - does this now mean you can no longer take someone on who is waiting for their DBS to come through? Obviously with them being supervised at all times.

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Well this is what i thought also.. due to staff always being under supervision and especially in the 1st few months at least and with policies to state that no staff member is left alone, even if to protect themselves from any accusations, and also with having CCTV around most of the setting i don't think a DBS is gonna quite make much difference.

 

Ideally it is before they start but i am sure supervising them if the DBS is delayed (but you have evidence of applying or the staff member applying before they start) then this is fine. As long as you are managing this situation correctly with written policies to show the procedures then all is fine i guess!

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So Broad Oaks it seems the most important thing that seems to be coming out of your recent experience is evidence, evidence,evidence! Then if you think you have covered everything - more evidence to prove that!!!! Got loads of time for all of this. I do understand that the most important thing is keeping children safe.

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Yep Evidence is key! They want us to cut down paperwork so i suppose being good at talking about these things can go a long way also. Having Ofsted in the room firing questions at me kind of makes my mind go blank! So without the ability to speak at various points, it is good to be able to show the physical evidence.. and when you are having one of those "it was here yesterday" moments on various occasions when trying to find a certain document, it doesn't help!

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Ohhh just to add we now have an "Ofsted Survival Kit" box in our office! yes with that actual label! It unfortunately doesn't include a bottle of vodka to calm the nerves.

 

We have now also got more or less everything in plastic wallets that hopefully Ofsted will ask for all laid out ready for a much smoother ride! One of the advantages of being recently Inspected i guess!

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