A preschool has said it is “disappointed” to receive an "inadequate" Ofsted rating after claiming it was due to “a clerical error”.

Playdays Preschool in Harold Hill Community Centre was visited by an inspector on November 6 and was given the education regulator's worst grading overall.

The rating drops from 'good', which the site was found to be in 2017.

At the latest visit, Ofsted found that managers “do not understand their responsibility” to inform it about “significant events”.

The report published on December 29 said that the arrangements for safeguarding at the preschool are “not effective” owing to the management’s failure to report concerns to Ofsted and relevant safeguarding partners.

This, it said, could compromise children’s safety and wellbeing.

It added that managers “do not have clear roles and responsibilities for reporting or checking that appropriate action has been taken”.

While an inspector found that systems for keeping children safe were not found to be strong at the preschool, staff had adequate understanding of the signs and symptoms of abuse with their safeguarding knowledge up to date.

A spokesperson for the preschool said: "We are very disappointed in the Ofsted rating we received, this was due to a clerical error where Ofsted were not notified of an incident in time."

They admitted “miscommunication” between management was also a factor. The staff at the setting, they added, “work extremely hard” which they say is reflected in the positives highlighted in the report.

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Their team, the spokesperson said, manages 12 such settings across Havering, all of which have ‘good’ Ofsted ratings with one rated as ‘outstanding’.

They said: “Inspectors’ opinions and views can vary from inspector to inspector. It is very stressful for the staff and is just a snapshot of the day.”

They welcomed the pause in inspections that was announced by Ofsted on Tuesday (January 2) to accommodate mental health training following the death of Reading headteacher Ruth Perry last year.

Despite the overall 'inadequate' rating, the preschool was graded 'good' for its quality of education and for the behaviour and attitudes of children.

The report noted that staff spend time getting to know individual children who go to them for “cuddles and reassurance” as they feel “safe and happy”.

Staff, an inspector wrote, teach children to be independent by encouraging them to dress themselves, wash their hands and put their coats on to go outside.

The report further said: “The curriculum is well sequenced. Staff find out what children know and can do. They use this information to plan a varied and challenging selection of activities that children enjoy.”

A full copy of the report can be found on this link: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/16/EY410777 .