THE leader of a children’s after-school club that was damned in a recent Ofsted inspection claims her staff were having an ‘off day’.
Farlington Wrap Around Service, based at Court Lane Infants and Juniors, was given the lowest possibly grade in every single category following a spot inspection earlier this year.
A government inspector criticised the fact that children were left to their own devices, said parents were misled about the amount of food children eat, and that children’s safety was compromised.
But Karen Smith, managing director of the private company, said the report had given a skewed impression of the club, which had been judged ‘good’ at its previous inspection in 2008.
The 52-year-old said: ‘When I read the report I was shocked and disappointed. The issues highlghted in it were completely unacceptable. What I would say to parents is that we know we are good and we believe we could be outstanding. Our staff had an off day – but we took immediate action following the report to make sure it never happens again. Even one bad day is not good enough.’
Mrs Smith said all three staff members at the infants site at the time of the inspection had been moved to different sites for extra training.
Portsmouth City Council has intervened with a special training day for all staff members.
Farlington Wrap Around runs three other after-school clubs – at Solent Infants and Juniors, both judged ‘good’, and St Paul’s RC primary, which opened in November and is expecting an Ofsted visit soon.
The report on the Court Lane site, which hosts about 16 children from Court Lane Infants daily for breakfast and after-school clubs, wrote: ‘Children are told what to do instead of being asked and are not referred to by their name or with positive praise.
‘Staff have to be reminded to record accidents and the supervisor of the club is not informed when an accident happens.
‘Children are left to their own devices to occupy themselves and staff show little to no acknowledgement towards them.
‘Children do not learn about keeping themselves free from germs and healthy lifestyles.
‘Parents collect their children and are given misleading information regarding the amount of food their child has eaten.’
Mrs Smith said the impression of ‘misleading information’ was due to the inspector confusing sets of parents.
She added: ‘We’ve asked Ofsted to come out again as soon as possible because we feel we deserve better.’