Nursery branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted turns things around to land new ‘good’ rating

Date published: 13 May 2022

A nursery branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted last year is celebrating after turning things around in a matter of months to earn a ‘good’ rating from the watchdog.

Little Gems, in Rochdale, was awarded the lowest possible grade following a visit in November – with officials noting that some staff struggled to manage children’s behaviour, the quality of education was ‘not consistent’ and safeguarding was ineffective.

But the Belfield Road playgroup has swiftly responded and is now rated ‘good’ in all areas – including education and behaviour – following a further inspection at the end of March.

Zulf Ahmed, chief executive at KYP, which runs the nursery, has welcomed Ofsted’s findings.

“The team at Little Gems have worked hard to turn the provision around in a short space of time since the last inspection and are delighted that Ofsted recognise the progress, we have made to ensure that children are supported in their personal development,” he said.

“The focus has been making changes to embed quality into our provision to meet the needs of the children we care for. We know that the hard work doesn’t stop here and KYP will strive to continue the journey of improvement to ensure we provide the best for our children.”

A new report, published this week, praises the nursery for its rapid and welcome progress.

Officials note how children enjoy ‘close, warm relationships’ with staff, who support their personal development ‘well’.

It adds: “They skilfully adapt the curriculum to support children’s individual needs and complement their personal interests. This supports children’s good progress and means all children access the curriculum effectively.”

Inspectors observed how youngsters would ‘learn new things, remember past learning and relate play to their home lives’.

“As a result, children with delays in their development quickly begin to catch up to their peers,” the report says.

Safeguarding is now said to be ‘effective’. Children were also found to be ‘confident’ and well behaved, listening attentively to staff and their peers.

“Older children follow instructions and treat their friends kindly. They say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to one another and share toys happily,” the report adds. “Younger children accommodate their friends within their play. They take turns, invite others to join in and smile happily at one another.”

Parents who spoke to officials also praised the nursery, believing recent changes had increased the quality of childcare on offer. 

They also feel ‘more connected’ to their children’s learning experiences since being allowed back into the nursery, following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

Ofsted says the nursery could improve even further by strengthening both ‘information sharing processes with parents’ and ‘staff understanding of recognising and listening to children’s choices’.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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