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Did You Get A Bad Ofsted Rating? Here’s What To Do Next

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Has your nursery undergone a recent Ofsted inspection and the report delivered the fatal blow of, ‘Requires Improvement’ or worse, ‘Inadequate’?

Are you fearful about what happens next? What does this mean for your nursery, your families, your staff and yourself? 

With decades of first-hand experience at MBK, we’re here to give you a guiding hand and help you turn it around. All is not lost, here’s what you can and should do next.

The Impact Of A Bad Ofsted Rating

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You knew it was coming – the often dreaded Ofsted inspection. You planned and prepared as much as you could. But it wasn’t enough. You’re disappointed, shocked and feel like a failure.

We know and understand how you feel, because we’ve been there ourselves. In fact, it’s because once upon a time we received not-so-glowing Ofsted ratings that MBK exists. We’ve been through it and come out the other side with the very best ratings. We’ve learnt the hard lessons and what it takes to run a thriving and excellent nursery and we want to share that knowledge with you.

We understand your Ofsted rating is critical for your business. A bad report means you lose parents, vital funding and become bottom of the pile for new families.

All in all, the impact of a bad Ofsted rating is disastrous for your nursery and the livelihood of you and your team. It could mean you’re forced to close for good.

We don’t want that to happen any more than you do. The good news is that there are things you can do to turn your bad Ofsted rating around.

What Not To Do – Quick Fixes & Appeals

You may be tempted to go with a quick fix. You’re not sure what to do and you haven’t got much time to put things right. You know the Ofsted Inspector will be back within 3-6 months and you had better make improvements by then or risk possible closure.

In your fear and panic, you might paper over the cracks. There’s not enough time to fix everything. And anyway, you wouldn’t even know where to begin – so you put in place some new ideas and hope for the best. You also take advantage of the free support available from your local authority and hope that’s enough to pull you through the next inspection.

You may also be wondering how on earth your report was that bad. You thought you had covered all the bases, carried out sufficient training and provided a great place of care and learning for the littlest in your community. You simply don’t know where you went wrong.

If that’s you, you may opt to appeal the decision. But you should know, appeals rarely go in favour of nurseries and it will take your valuable time and cost within the region of £3-4k.

But there are other things you can do that will make better use of your time, energy and money and still get you the result you need.

What Else You Can Do To Improve Your Ofsted Rating

Speak To Those Who Know

While local authority guidance is available for free to underperforming nurseries, the help is limited. They can only offer so much assistance. Local authorities are struggling with resources themselves and don’t have the hands-on experience of running a nursery.

Instead, speak to people who know what it takes to run prosperous nurseries. Those who’ve been there, experienced what you’re going through and succeeded anyway. Ask them for advice and support.

Have Some Fun While You’re At It

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It may seem counterproductive, but make time to have some fun! Organise a team-building experience day. Take your staff out for lunch. Go to a comedy night together. When you and your staff are feeling stressed, pressured and undervalued it’s hard to come up with solutions. 

It’s also incredibly difficult to be enthusiastic and motivated at work. So make time to have a laugh together. You’ll feel a greater sense of community and more inspired to give work your all.

Take A Tailored Approach

Your nursery is unique. The families you serve, the community you reside in, the people on your team and even the building you operate from are all individual to you. It’s no good simply repeating what other nurseries have done because it probably isn’t suitable for your setting. 

Your nursery will have its own particular advantages and drawbacks. Things that work especially well and those that just don’t! Figure out how you can capitalise on your strengths and make the best out of your weaknesses.

Get To The Root Cause

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Choose to tackle the root of the problems. Did you fall short on leadership, quality of education  or staff knowledge? Identify the key issues in your report and think about how you can considerably improve. Perhaps you need to invest in an administrative assistant or staff training. 

Do what it takes to raise your bar and feel confident about your provision. Your nursery is a business that deserves and requires considerable investment to make it a success and keep it open for years to come.

It’s Who & What You Know That Counts

It might feel easier in the short term to bury your head in the sand and hope a few small adjustments will be enough. You may get lucky, and it will be enough this time. But the same problems will soon quickly arise, and your nursery’s reputation will continue to falter. Next time you may not be so fortunate when the inspector comes knocking.

You’re not alone with a bad Ofsted inspection. Plenty of nurseries have been there before and made a brilliant comeback. It’s about knowing the right people to talk to and the best way to spend your time, money and efforts to get the ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ result you deserve.

Would you like to know more about our bespoke solutions and specialised Ofsted help for quick and remarkable results? Speak to one of our experienced consultants today or book a call with us via . We know what it’s like to be in your shoes, and how to get out of them too! 

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