“Vindication” for after-school club angered by Ofsted judgement

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An after school club has claimed vindication after it received a glowing Ofsted report just months after the inspectorate said it was 'inadequate'.

Mulbarton Kidzone had strongly criticised the previous report, which was released just before Christmas and claimed 'children's safety and welfare are compromised'.

A different Ofsted inspector returned to the club, which has 67 children on its roll and is based at Mulbarton Infant School, on May 25, and rated it 'good' in all areas.

Stuart Beard, chairman of the trustee committee, said: 'We feel vindicated and very pleased.'

He added: 'We revised all our policies and updated all our procedures, but we are still the same happy place we have been all the time.

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'The parents have been very supportive and the previous report had no impact in terms of parental engagement. We had a lot of people saying they were not even going to read it because they knew it was not worth the paper it was written on.'

Mr Beard said the previous report from December was 'very bad for staff morale', who were 'devastated at first', but they pulled together and re-thought policies and procedures, even though they thought there was nothing wrong with them.

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At the time, an Ofsted spokesperson said: 'All inspection reports are based on evidence gathered by inspectors. Our inspection report makes clear the safeguarding concerns found.'

The new report, following Julie Meredith-Jenkins's inspection, said: 'The leadership and management team have worked hard to make significant improvements in practice since the last inspection.

'Rigorous risk assessments, a thorough review of policies and implementation of a training plan have helped to raise the quality of provision to a good level.'

It added that staff were vigilant, children enjoy their time at the club, and children 'secure emotional bonds' with staff.

Mr Beard said the club was now hoping to expand.

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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