Ofsted toughens up nursery inspections


Thousands of children are going to nurseries and preschools that simply are not good enough, according to Ofsted.

A fifth of early-years settings have already been considered less than ‘good’ by Ofsted this year, equating to around around 144,000 children.

As a result, Ofsted is introducing new, tougher inspections for early-years settings.

It will also close nurseries and preschools with the worst ratings, if they don’t improve within two years of being first inspected.

The Ofsted rating ‘satisfactory’ has now been replaced with ‘requires improvement’. Those handed this rating will be re-inspected within a year and be given two years to change.

Settings will be judged on whether they meet the needs of the children who attend, and also on how effective the leadership team are.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association, said: “Ofsted’s decision to change the grading from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘requires improvement’ is a cause for concern. The new grading sends out an entirely different message about a nursery, and providers receiving this assessment will want to put an action plan in place and be re-inspected as quickly as possible."

However, Ofsted’s Sir Michael Wilshaw, said: “No one thinks poor nurseries should be allowed to languish in their inadequacy. I wouldn't have wanted my child to go to an inadequate nursery, and I don't believe that any other parent would either, so we're going to be less tolerant.”

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