Staff and parents of youngsters at a Kirklees playgroup are breathing a huge sigh of relief after a poor Ofsted rating has been overturned.
Kirkheaton Playgroup has just been given the seal of approval by Ofsted with a Good rating.
The move follows a hotly-contested grading of Inadequate in the Spring after inspectors turned up unannounced and a vital record book couldn’t be produced, as a member of staff had taken inadvertently the store cupboard key home.
Unlike schools, which get two days’ notice, inspectors turn up on the day when visiting organisations listed on the Early Years Register.
Parents of the 18 children who attend were dismayed to hear of the Ofsted judgement and have rallied round to support the playgroup, which has been based at Kirkheaton Community Centre for the past 40 years.
Emma Greaves and Jenny Donaghy, decided not to appeal the decision after discussing the matter with Ofsted, despite being unhappy with the wording of the report. Instead they worked with the inspectorate to gain a Good rating.
Speaking this week Emma said: “We are very relieved, the rating is what we think we should have been given after the monitoring visit in June.
“This inspector was fantastic, it was a totally different experience.
“We have had a lot of support from parents and all of them have stayed with us; we have not lost any children as a result of this. In fact, we have had children come to us from other settings.”
The latest report said: “Children are acquiring the necessary skills to become ready for school because the quality of teaching is good and staff provide interesting and challenging experiences that cover all areas of learning.
“Children’s personal, social and emotional development is promoted well. Self-evaluation is effective, resulting in improved outcomes for children.
“Safeguarding procedures are good. As a result, children’s welfare is protected and they are kept safe from harm.”
It added that monitoring of teaching could be sharper and parents should be encouraged to pass on more details of learning done at home.