Thursday, 29 August 2013

Little Stars - Ofsted have some questions to answer

The Serious Case Review (SCR) report by the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board and the Ofsted report of the inspection conducted on 29th Novemeber 2010, describe the standard of provision in 2010 at the Little Star's Day Nursery, (Nechells, Birmingham) a little differently.

The Ofsted report says that the quality of the provision is good:
"Children are cared for in a safe and secure environment where they are able to make good progress towards the early learning goals through a range of varied activities that challenge and stimulate their interest" (Little Star's Day Nursery Inspection report for early years provision (Nechells Regeneration Project, Nechells Park Road, Nechells, Birmingham), Unique reference number EY315338, Inspection date 29/11/2010, page 4, my emphasis) 
The Serious Case Review says that there was poor management at the nursery and that, in particular: 
“… the necessary safety mechanisms including robust staff recruitment processes, strong performance management, whistle blowing processes and a culture where no one person could assume inappropriate power within the staff group were not in place" ( page, 46 my emphasis)
To be sure the SCR report did have the benefit of the hindsight that a worker at the nursery had raped a small child there (see - 
But the discrepancy in findings between the two reports is something that must give cause for alarm at Ofsted.

I wonder whether or not Ofsted inspections have any other way of looking at safety than through some sort of tick box approach. 

I see no evidence that they actively seek to test organisational defences in order to find out where the ‘holes’ in the Swiss cheese are. 

That is the way Professor James Reason suggests is best to make organisations safer. For more on his Swiss cheese model see