Newhall Pre-School goes into special measures

Education: Secondary / Wed 6th Aug 2014 at 08:37am

NEW HALL Pre-School has joined the long list of Harlow Pre-Schools that have been put into “Special Measures” by Ofsted.

The government watchdog visited the pre-school based in the grounds of Mark Hall school in May and has made a number of severe criticisms.

However, it has to be said that unlike primary and senior schools, where the journey from “special measures” to “satisfactory” and beyond, can take two years. The turn-around for a pre-school can take as little as six weeks.

The report said:

1. Safeguarding procedures are not secure. Staff do not maintain an accurate record of staff attendance or children being cared for on the premises. Staff are unable to notify the relevant safeguarding agencies without delay should they have a concern in relation to children’s safeguarding and well-being. This is because the contact information is not readily available.

2. Monitoring of the quality of teaching is poor. There are no systems in place for the supervision or appraisal of staff. This results in poor identification of training needs to promote consistent challenge and good quality teaching for children.

3. The provider does not make available details to parents about how to contact Ofsted if they believe the pre-school is not meeting the statutory requirements.

4. Staff do not routinely complete daily risk assessments on the outdoor environment prior to children having access to this area. Current risk assessments do not identify how staff are able to manage specific areas or daily routines to minimise the potential risks to children. This means children’s safety and well-being cannot be assured.

5. Partnership working with parents is not effective in promoting shared home learning, in order to extend children’s learning further.

YH spoke to the manager of New Hall Pre-School, Shelagh Donovan.

Mrs Donovan said: “The recommendations had been addressed immediately. We are getting a lot more support now.

“The incident with the child leaving the premises is a lot less dramatic in reality. The child in question got about two yards down a corridor.

“We are very confident that we can and indeed have moved forward.”

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