Ofsted praise as playgroup strives for ‘magical good’ rating

A PLAYGROUP branded inadequate by Ofsted has taken just three month to turn itself around.


The Jane And Peter Community Playgroup, in Rustington, had been criticised for everything from its leadership to teaching quality following an inspection in February.

It was a different story when Ofsted inspector Alison Weaver took another look at the playgroup on June 2.

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Ms Weaver’s findings were published on Thursday and she increased the playgroup’s rating to ‘requires improvement’.

Although that rating showed there was still work to be done, manager Dee Parlour said she and her team were “over the moon” with the report.

Dee took over the running of the playgroup three months ago and has worked alongside deputy manager Anna Haughton to address the issues raised in the last report.

She said: “The manager left and then Ofsted came in and their report was fair. Our team has worked really hard to turn it around and make the improvements we have in only three months.”

In her report, Ms Weaver noted the work carried out by Dee and Anna to improve the running of the playgroup, the training and hiring of the staff and the monitoring of children’s progress.

She said the team had “developed their understanding of the requirements” expected of them and added: “The manager is implementing new systems for evaluating practices and monitoring children’s progress.

“She is beginning to use the assessments to identify areas of weakness in children’s learning.”

Dee said: “It’s been good just being able to drive the place forward and get to doing what we wanted to do all along. The feedback from parents has been fantastic.”

It is still early days in the playgroup’s journey to what Dee called “the magical ‘good’” and Ms Weaver raised several points which needed to be addressed.

They included the need to encourage children to manage their feelings and understand what was appropriate behaviour; and the need to improve the monitoring of staff to identify weaknesses.

Accepting the challenge which lays ahead of her and the team, Dee said: “When we got ‘inadequate’, the staff didn’t fall apart; they just took it on.

“We’re just proud of ourselves that we’ve been able to do so much in such a small space of time.”