Outstanding pre-school downgraded to inadequate after staff sent parents photos taken on personal mobiles

Kent Online is reporting that staff taking pictures of children with their personal phones has resulted in a previously ‘outstanding’ pre-school downgraded to inadequate following an Ofsted report.

Inspectors visiting Cherubs Pre-School in Linton near Maidstone found staff photographing youngsters on their phones, and sending the snaps to parents and other workers. 

The pictures were used to update parents on the children’s progress, and there is no suggestion the photos were anything other than development aids. 

But inspectors took a dim view of the practice, calling it “inappropriate”, and branding the pre-school’s safeguarding “ineffective”.

In the recent report, inspectors said taking the photos on personal phones posed a threat to the children’s safety, and criticised the manager for failing to monitor the phone snaps, thereby putting children’s welfare “at risk.”

The report says: “The provider has not identified the use of mobile phones as a safeguarding issue and does not show a secure understanding of how to safeguard children.”

In most other areas however, the report praised Cherubs, highlighting a number of strengths…

More at: Staff members’ mobile phone photos of children see ‘outstanding’ Cherubs Pre-School in Linton rated inadequate over safeguarding fears


There is no suggestion of anything sinister going on here, but are you surprised there was no awareness of the fact that using personal mobiles this way would be inappropriate? 

Your thoughts and reactions?

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Categories: Pre-school and Safeguarding.


  1. CarolElizabeth

    I am really not sure what the issue is here. There is no intent to use the photos other than to inform and they probably get removed quite quickly anyway. Quite a lot of nursery schools take photographic records for parents and files. So I assume it has to be done on a ‘school camera’ rather than a personal phone. Automatic downgrading – just seems ridiculous.

  2. Nairb1

    It is ridiculous. A pre-school local to me has recently been downgraded to ‘inadequate’ because they had not notified Ofsted that they had new management committee members. A safeguarding issue is an automatic ‘failure’ for Ofsted and some of them are bureaucratic drivel.

  3. MatthewRHead

    SchoolsImprove downgrading seems extreme. But Taking personal data home is MAJOR risk. Wd u put CP info on own device? What wd u do then?

  4. bentleykarl

    SchoolsImprove In a nutshell this is why OfSTED should go. Advice and guidance should have been offered here not the threat of unemployment

  5. TonyBrennan

    It is important to note that Cherubs pre school had mobile phone policies and image policies that more than complied with DfE guidance. All staff mobile phones are kept in a secure location as they were on the day of the inspection. The report suggests otherwise and despite the strong protest Oftsted will not acknowledge their outsourced inspector from Tribal could be wrong. They do not consider parents and staff witnesses. Basically the nursery are guilty and charged without the opportunity of a fair trial. Even the press state “team of inspectors”…. It was one person! Ofsted seem to have too much power because they allow their inspectors to make subjective judgements on fairly loose guidance from the DfE. This is tragic because apart from the poor children who need stability, the businesses have an important part to play in the local community. I agree if that in childcare you are negligent you should be closed immediately but a lot of downgrades seem to be relatively small issues that could be rectified there and then!
    I hope that the attention this has brought will not prejudice the forthcoming inspection.

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