Pre-school 'good' again following mobile phone pic downgrade

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A previously Outstanding pre-school branded Inadequate after it sent mobile phone photos of children to parents, has been upgraded again following a re-inspection.


The village hall in Linton, where Cherubs operates

Five months after downgrading Cherubs, Ofsted now considers the setting to be ‘good’, meaning its funding is restored and managers are no longer facing closure.

In a summary of the latest report’s findings, the inspector stated,'Parents are very happy with the care provided for their children. They describe the staff as "amazing", "brilliant" and "fantastic".’

In its October report, the watchdog criticised the pre-school over what it said were mobile phone safeguarding issues. It claimed staff put children at risk by sending photos of the children on personal mobiles to parents.

Married couple Cindy and Steve Fox, who run the setting from a village hall in Linton, near Maidstone, Kent, have complained to the Ofsted ombudsman, insisting that the inspector made an error on the facts and only the official setting mobile was used.

Based on the 3 March re-inspection, the report stated that ‘good improvements’ have been made.

It continued, ‘Staff fully understand their responsibilities in protecting children.

‘Changes to written policies and daily procedures mean children are kept safe. All legal requirements are now met.

‘The pre-school owner and supervisor lead a dedicated team of staff. The weaknesses identified at the last inspection have been tackled effectively and had a positive impact on the quality of teaching and the progress children make.

‘Children are very happy in the pre-school. They develop a good range of skills which help them be ready for starting school.

‘Staff benefit from regular training opportunities which help them develop their knowledge and improve their practice.’

Mr and Mrs Fox are expecting a response from the ombudsman within the next few weeks.

The couple feared that any visit later than Easter could leave them unable to apply for funding due to their Inadequate rating.

Mr Fox said, ‘Cherubs has been re-inspected and graded as good in all areas. However our complaint is still sitting with the ombudsman in respect of the first inspection.

‘Funding has been re-instated now so threat of closure has been lifted.’

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