Ofsted: after school club must improve

Southwick Methodist Church, where Skoolz Out is run in the church hall D14303751a
Southwick Methodist Church, where Skoolz Out is run in the church hall D14303751a

ORGANISERS of an after-school club have moved to address serious issues raised in an Ofsted report which says ‘children’s safety and learning is at risk’.

The Skoolz Out club run by Soutwhick Methodist Church came under fire from inspectors who labelled its early-years provision as ‘inadequate’.

The group, which meets in the church hall, cares for two early-years pupils and around a dozen older children.

The report claimed the club had a weak understanding of early-years needs, meaning ‘children’s welfare is not safeguarded adequately, and their learning and development is not promoted sufficiently’.

It also revealed that some adults in regular contact with children had not completed the required checks, which ‘compromised children’s safety and welfare’.

The Rev Ian Suttie, who oversees the programme, said only a handful of committee members had not had background checks, and they were not staff in direct contact with the children.

He said all necessary checks had since been carried out.

The report also revealed there was no system in place to allow staff to give sick children medicine, meaning children’s health ‘could not be assured’.

Mr Suttie said this point had also been addressed.

“We were disappointed with the result but we have a number of action points to work towards,” said Mr Suttie.

“We are looking forward to September when we will be moderated and hopefully get back on track.

“We obviously want to do the best for the children in our care.”

The report went into detail about all areas of teaching at the club, concluding that ‘overall the staff’s abilities in teaching children are not effective’.

It also reported that ‘children’s safety and learning was at risk due to safeguarding and welfare requirements not being met’.

However, there were some positives in the report.

It stated that overall the children ‘developed a friendly rapport with staff and each other, and generally played well together’, that they learned about healthy lifestyles, and that they were publicly praised for good behaviour.

In November, 2011, the club earned a ‘satisfactory’ rating. It will be inspected again within six months.