Parents back Alton College Nursery despite ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating
A nursery given an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted less than two years after a successful campaign to keep it open has been given the full backing of its children’s parents.
Parents mobilised to save Alton College Nursery in October 2020 after the college threatened to close it within two months for reasons of “financial viability”.
At the time it was rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted and Jade Mason, one of the leading campaigners to keep it open, said it was “a treasured part of the community with an impeccable reputation”.
But the nursery’s latest inspection, by Nina Lambkin on April 6, rated its overall effectiveness as ‘inadequate’.
The quality of education, personal development, and leadership and management, were all considered ‘inadequate’, while behaviour and attitudes was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.
However, the mood among parents did not reflect the findings of the report, according to Katherine Guenioui, another of the main campaigners to save the nursery in 2020.
Following a meeting at the nursery after the report was published on Tuesday, she said: “The parents are 100 per cent behind the nursery.
“We gathered together tonight not so much to hear what the nursery is doing to address the points raised in the report, but to offer our support and reiterate our confidence in Jo and her team.
“We do not believe the Ofsted report reflects the setting. Our children are safe, happy and confident in an environment they love and where they are loved.”
Jade added: “My children always have received, and continue to receive, the highest level of care at the nursery. My support for this setting remains unchanged.
“I believe the Ofsted report does not reflect the values of the nursery, the staff dedication levels and the wonderful learning experiences the children receive every day.”
Ms Lambkin’s report set out the ways in which she felt the nursery needed to get better. These included improving curriculum planning and delivery to support a balance of child-initiated and adult-guided play which encouraged learning and helped all children progress, ensuring children’s sleeping arrangements suited to their age and size, and ensuring the safety of children, particularly when sleeping.
She felt staff needed to provide more challenging opportunities for all children, and staff should be monitored and supervised to improve knowledge and skills. She wanted the premises and equipment to meet the children’s needs, and to see safe chances for babies to crawl, walk and climb.
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