Inspectors impressed after Shropshire school improvements

A Shropshire pre-school making “significant improvements” is no longer rated as “inadequate”.

Oswestry Methodist Church Pre-School had been told it needed to improve after Ofsted inspectors found staff had not had background checks. But following work, the pre-school, which had 32 children aged two to four was reclassified as “good”.

During a follow-up visit on March 11, inspectors found improvements throughout the pre-school. Lucy Showell, from Ofsted, who carried out the inspection, said: “There have been significant improvements since the last inspection in September 2018.

“Ofsted have been informed about all persons involved in the pre-school and their suitability is assured through robust recruitment and vetting procedures. Important records are well-maintained and supervision arrangements, to support the manager in his role, are developing. The manager values the hard work and dedication of the experienced and well-qualified staff. Morale is high and good teamwork is having a positive impact on the provision for children.

“Children settle well and form close relationships with their key persons and other staff who look after them.

“This helps them to feel safe, emotionally secure, confident and able to interact with visitors.

“Staff focus on ensuring that transitions for children are as smooth as possible. There are lots of opportunities for all children to play and eat together, which enables them to get to know one another and all the staff before moving into the next group.”

When the report in September was published, the Reverend Stella Long, who had joined the school 12 months earlier, said it was her mistake that staff had not undergone Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

She said being new to the role at the church had not helped and she did not realise she had not applied for the checks to be carried out.

Ms Showell’s report adds: “The inspector held a meeting with the pre-school manager. She looked at relevant documentation and evidence of the suitability of the committee and of staff working in the pre-school.

“Staff are good role models. Children respond well to consistent routines, gentle reminders and clear boundaries. They are considerate, respectful and behave well.

“There is a strong focus on promoting children’s health and well-being.”

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