Rainbow Rays Nursery: Sheffield daycare vindicated by 'Good' rating six months on from scathing Ofsted report

A Sheffield nursery who rejected a highly-critical Ofsted report say they have been ‘vindicated’ by a new ‘Good’ rating after just six months.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Rainbow Rays Nursery, in Clough Bank Road, Highfield, was sent reeling in October 2022 after being branded ‘Inadequate’ by the education watchdog just eight months after it opened its doors. The scathing report claimed children were “not safe” and dismissed staff training as lacking, while claiming children had a “limited choice of self-chosen activities”.

But following the report, the daycare rejected the verdict and told The Star how they felt the inspector had been “unfair”, before vowing to challenge the outcome.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now, six months later, Rainbow Rays has been revisited by the watchdog – and has been rated ‘Good’ in all areas.

Rainbow Rays Nursery was scolded with an 'Inadequate' rating by Ofsted. Staff rejected the grading as "unfair". Now, just months later, they have been rated 'Good' in all areas.Rainbow Rays Nursery was scolded with an 'Inadequate' rating by Ofsted. Staff rejected the grading as "unfair". Now, just months later, they have been rated 'Good' in all areas.
Rainbow Rays Nursery was scolded with an 'Inadequate' rating by Ofsted. Staff rejected the grading as "unfair". Now, just months later, they have been rated 'Good' in all areas.

A new report published this week, inspector Melanie Arnold praised the staff’s skills and found children were polite, thoughtful and eager to learn.

The report reads: “Children play in a safe environment, where their needs are met by the attentive staff team. Children are supported by staff to build on their prior knowledge and skills. They are encouraged to develop confidence and behave well

Parents express how their children enjoy attending the nursery. They feel their children are developing well through the experiences planned and provided by the staff.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In fact, the only criticisms in the report was a recommendation to “increase opportunities for children who speak English as an additional language to use their home language in their play and learning”. Inspectors noted, however, that the daycare worked hard to teach children about different cultures.

The new rating comes after the daycare was unsuccessful in appealing the previous grade and is the result of a fresh inspection. However, it is exceedingly rare for Ofsted to upgrade any site from ‘Inadequate’ straight to ‘Good’ in all areas after six months.

The report states staff have “worked hard to make improvements to ensure children’s safety" after scolding their training six months ago.

However, staff at Rainbow Rays say they both respect the previous report but feel it “never should have happened”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A member of staff, who asked not to be named, told The Star: “When we first got the result in October we were really upset about it. We respected the fact they said it was ‘Inadequate’ but we didn’t agree at all.

“We also didn’t win the appeal, and had to wait for them to revisit again. But the inspectors really enjoyed the setting on their visit. Still, some things we didn’t change at all that were rated ‘Inadequate’ last time were ‘Good’ this time, so we still feel they were unfair before.

“It was very difficult on these past months to keep staff morale up and stay together, but I don’t know why we doubted ourselves. We knew we were ‘Good’. We’re just happy and feel it shouldn’t have happened.

“It’s been a journey and we’re just glad the journey is over so we can continue offering the best provision we can and earn an ‘Outstanding’ rating in the future.”

Rainbow Rays will likely be reinspected within two years.