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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Change to nursery checks 'likely'
The watchdog says plans for the change were already underway
Nurseries are "likely" to be given less notice before inspections, the English education watchdog has said.

Ofsted revealed that proposals to cut warnings to as little as three days - put forward earlier this year - had received "no opposition".

The announcement comes after a BBC documentary showed secret footage taken at three nurseries and alleged children were being badly cared-for.

But Ofsted said the broadcast had not had an effect on its decision.

'Altered rotas'

At the moment, when Ofsted conducts nursery inspections, it tells providers during which month the visit will take place, but not the week or day.

Critics say this may allow some businesses to alter their staff rotas and practice in advance to ensure they get a good report.

But inspectors do sometimes arrive unannounced if Ofsted has received complaints about a nursery.

Plans to reduce notice periods for nurseries generally, put forward in February, have received no opposition during public consultation, Ofsted says.

Nurseries Undercover: The Real Story, broadcast on BBC1 on Thursday, alleged there were problems at three nurseries, including understaffing at all three and poor hygiene at two of them - Petits Enfants on Church Road, Teddington, Middlesex and Little Treasures, on Festival Way, in Stoke-on-Trent.

At Little Treasures, in Stoke-on-Trent, carers were shown shouting at children and calling them names.

Ofsted said it was likely to introduce reduced-notice inspections from next April.

Nursery failings revealed by BBC
12 Aug 04  |  Real Story


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