Nursery told to improve by Ofsted - seven years after it was rated ‘outstanding’

‘They [leaders] know that more needs to be done to make sure that the quality of education is as good as it should be’
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A nusrery school in Speedwell has been told to improve by Ofsted inspectors - seven years after it was judged to be ‘outstanding’. Speedwell Nursery School - which has 107 pupils aged between two and five - was given the rating following a visit by the education watchdogs in June.

The school’s last full inspection, when it was judged to be ‘outstanding’, was in 2015. Since then it has been federated with Little Hayes Nursery School to be part of Little Hayes and Speedwell Nursery Schools Federation in 2018. And an acting headteacher started in September last year.

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In their report, Ofsted inspectors said changes to leadership arrangements and organisation of the school had interrupted planned improvements, adding that leaders themselves recognised there were shortfalls.

The report added: “They [leaders] know that more needs to be done to make sure that the quality of education is as good as it should be.”

The inspection, published last month, found that children were safe and loved attending. While there, they were encouraged and inspired to play by staff who were on hand to ensure the children could learn how to play together.

The children were listened to and reassured - as a result, children were happy, confident and stick at their play, the inspection said. It added that parents were overwhelmingly positive about the school.

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However, the report said improvements to provision for children with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) was not supported by the school’s development plan, which did not set out staff development needed or how leaders will check on impact.

Activities were often based on children’s interests - but staff could not be sure that children cover the agreed curriculum, it said. “Too much is left to chance,” the reported added.

Due to work ensuring the curriculum covers knowledge children should learn being at such an early stage, and that it does not outline the vocabularly leaders intend children learn, mean leadership assessments on progress could be hindered.

The school has been told to ensure there is greater clarity on what children are expected to learn as they move through the school. Leaders have also been told to work on the school’s development plan.

The full report can be read here.

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