AN ANDOVER preschool has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted less than five months after a previous inspection that downgraded it to ‘Inadequate’.

The Scott Centre Preschool at Mead Hedges in Andover was rated ‘Good’ until an inspection in June 2023 which downgraded it to ‘Inadequate’ due to two specific issues relating to storage of refuse outside and deployment of staff over lunch.

The management team challenged the initial report for being overly stringent, particularly as the report itself acknowledged the refuse storage was sorted while the inspection was taking place.

A re-inspection took place on November 23 and all aspects of the setting were re-graded as ‘Good’.

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READ MORE: The Scott Centre preschool rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted

The school said there were just 15 weeks of term between the two inspections, and yet the second report is extremely positive about all aspects of the provision at the preschool.

The management added that the inspector said, in her verbal feedback to the team, that what she saw was `very good`. 

She said there were elements of what the preschool team did that she would like other preschool settings to emulate, a spokesperson for The Scott Centre said.

At the time of the first inspection in June, the head of early years and childcare at the Scott Centre, Clare Wightman, had said that they felt the initial inspection was particularly tough having identified just two very specific areas that needed action, one of which the team addressed on the day.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted that the inspector saw for herself the high-quality education and caring environment our preschool offers. 

"We have always maintained that, whilst we recognised that there were improvements we could make, the previous inspection was not a fair reflection of what we have to offer children. We have always put safeguarding at the front of what we do, and we are very pleased that the inspector could see how embedded this is in our preschool."

The latest inspection report, carried out on November 23, said: “The leadership team provides diligent oversight. Regular monitoring and evaluation are in place to assess the effectiveness of teaching, safeguarding measures, and overall progress for children."

The report says that “staff are particularly skilled at helping children learn at their own pace” and “act as strong role models and children benefit from sensitive support that helps them manage their emotions successfully”.

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Commenting on safeguarding, the inspector noted that “safeguarding is of paramount priority. Staff reflect an exemplary level of vigilance and commitment to assuring children’s well-being” and “the leadership team maintains rigorous procedures to ensure a safe and secure environment.”

Both inspection reports highlighted that the quality of education and, in particular, support for special educational needs, were good, noting that support for children with special educational needs is strong.