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'We just hope we get our outstanding rating back' - pre-school reacts to 'inadequate' Ofsted grading

PUBLISHED: 14:43 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 18 October 2019

Sunflowers Childcare CIC in Boxford, near Sudbury, is

Sunflowers Childcare CIC in Boxford, near Sudbury, is "gutted" about it latest Ofsted inspection that judged it as "inadequate" Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A west Suffolk pre-school feels it has been "marked very harshly" by Ofsted after dropping from "outstanding" to "inadequate".

Sunflowers Childcare, in the grounds of Boxford Primary School near Sudbury, was inspected by the Government office on September 23.

The inspector said managers could not demonstrate that suitable safeguarding checks had been completed for all staff - but pre-school manager Moira Grant says they had been done.

Sunflowers was also criticised for its key person system, with the inspector saying in the absence of a child's key worker there was not another named person to take over this role.

Miss Grant said they had always had a system that worked for the mixed-age setting, but admitted they hadn't named the back-up key person on a piece of paper.

She said: "We are gutted. We are an outstanding setting. We feel we have been marked very harshly under the new inspection framework."

She said the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks were up-to-date, but they didn't have copies on site - something the manager disputes they needed to do.

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But the inspector also praised the pre-school, saying "staff are friendly and build close and trusting relationships with parents and children".

They said children who need reassurance are "sensitively supported by the caring staff" and "staff talk confidently about where children are in their learning".

They added: "Staff ensure that children are supervised in this welcoming setting. They take good steps to limit risks and ensure that children can play safely.

"Staff have high expectations of children's behaviour and are good role models. They manage unwanted behaviour sensitively.

"Staff value and praise children's good behaviour and individual efforts."

Miss Grant said they were addressing the issues raised by Ofsted and hoped to be re-inspected within three months.

"We just hope we can get re-inspected quickly and get our outstanding [rating] back," she said.

"All we can do is fight to get our name back up there."

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