What to do After a Failed Ofsted Inspection – What next?

Action to take after a failed Ofsted InspectionMany times, running a nursery can feel precarious, and crisis points frequently seem to be around the corner. However, few events are more likely to put everyone who works in an institution into a state of anxiety resembling panic than a failed Ofsted inspection.

Ofsted inspection is a vital process in the education system of the United Kingdom. Ofsted, short for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, is an independent organisation responsible for inspecting and regulating early years centres, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions.

During an Ofsted inspection, a team of trained inspectors visit the institution to evaluate various aspects of its performance, including the quality of teaching, leadership and management, student outcomes, and overall effectiveness.

The inspection aims to provide an objective assessment of the institution’s strengths, areas for improvement, and compliance with educational standards.

The findings and ratings from an Ofsted inspection have significant implications for the institution, as they can impact its reputation, funding, and future development. Schools, nursery’s and colleges strive to achieve positive ratings to demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality education and support for their students.

The Ofsted inspection process plays a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the standards of education across the United Kingdom.

Action to take after a failed Ofsted Inspection

Following a failed Ofsted inspection, a children’s nursery must take swift and decisive actions to address the identified areas of improvement and regain a positive rating. Firstly, the nursery should carefully review the inspection report and fully understand the reasons for the failure.

This will help them prioritize the necessary changes and create an action plan. The nursery should appoint a dedicated team or individual responsible for overseeing the implementation of the required improvements, ensuring accountability and progress monitoring.

The nursery should focus on addressing the specific concerns raised in the inspection report. This may involve enhancing staff training and development programs, improving child safety measures, strengthening the curriculum, or enhancing communication with parents.

It is essential for the nursery to involve all staff members in the improvement process, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Regular staff meetings, training sessions, and workshops can be organized to address the identified areas of weakness.

Additionally, seeking external support, such as educational consultants or training providers, can provide valuable expertise and guidance to help the nursery implement effective changes. By taking prompt and comprehensive actions, the nursery can demonstrate its commitment to quality and work towards regaining a positive Ofsted rating.

Actions in brief:


  • Accept Ofsted’s conclusions unless you formally contest the report.
  • There may be legal or human resources difficulties, so be as truthful as you can.
  • Engage parents as much as you can; they can be strong online advocates for the institution.

Do not

  • Disguise, spin, or lie
  • Feel as though you must respond to all inquiries from journalists; a statement you have sent should be sufficient.
  • Add unnecessary details to the narrative or consent to being shot outside the school gates while appearing dejected or depressed

Take control

If journalists haven’t been in touch by now, they will very soon.

Keep in mind that they have a job to do, and if you don’t interact with them, they might run with opinions from anyone who seems knowledgeable or even just marginally informed, no matter how incorrect those opinions turn out to be.

So be prepared to make your own statement. It should be succinct and straightforward, and above all, it must emphasise the promising path ahead.

Things to think about include:

  • Are you dissatisfied, irritated, or saddened by this report?
  • What are you currently doing? Has action been taken to address the problems that Ofsted identified?
  • What are your main concerns? Explain these in straightforward language.
  • Whom are you collaborating with to guarantee improvement?

When compared to the work that must be done to really improve your nurserys, all of this may seem simple or even irrelevant, but good PR now can have a significant long-term impact.

After all, bad news never goes away in today’s digital world, and the message you send out now will always be accessible with a simple Google search for very time.

FAQ’s for a failed Ofsted visit 

What happens if you fail Ofsted inspection?

If your nursery or early years centre fails an Ofsted visit you maybe allowed to continue to operate, we will monitor your progress in meeting the welfare requirements notice.

What happens if a nursery gets requires improvement?

If your nursery has received a 'requires improvement' or above rating from Ofsted your setting will continue as a registered provider, though if you are judged as requiring improvement you will be inspected again within 12 months.

What do Ofsted inspectors look for in nurseries?

In nurseries Ofsted inspectors look at how staff keep children safe. watch the children play. ask children what they're learning from the activities and experiences staff provide them with.


In conclusion, when faced with the decision to close an early years or nursery facility due to a failed Ofsted inspection, seeking expert advice and guidance becomes essential. By completing the online enquiry form and reaching out to organisations specialising in business closures, nursery owners can access the necessary knowledge and support to navigate the complex process effectively.

Through obtaining professional advice, they can ensure a smooth and compliant closure while prioritising the well-being of their staff, families, and the wider community.

Taking these steps demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and responsible decision-making in the face of challenging circumstances.

Steve Jones Profile
Insolvency & Restructuring Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline

With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.