Last reviewed 4 December 2020

More nurseries and pre-schools than ever before have been judged as good or outstanding, according to Ofsted’s new Annual Report for 2019-2020.

The report reveals that 98% of nurseries and pre-schools were judged as good or outstanding which is 1% higher than the previous year. Overall 96% of early years settings (which include childminders) were judged as good or outstanding showing that the sector remains highly effective despite the huge challenges it has faced this year.

Launching this year’s Ofsted Annual Report, Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman warned that the invisibility of vulnerable children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a matter of national concern.

The report also highlights that pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have been particularly affected by the pandemic. Their access to additional support and healthcare was sharply reduced during the lockdown, and early identification and assessment suffered when they were not in nursery or school. For some children, this will cause lasting harm.

Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector at Ofsted, said:

“When nurseries and schools closed in March, they were told to remain open to the most vulnerable – which of course meant those whose need was already identified. And even of these, we know that relatively few actually attended. The rest stayed at home – some, inevitably, in harm’s way.”

“This has been an extraordinary year, in which education and children’s social care, like the rest of society, have been hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen heroic efforts made, and I would like to thank all our teachers, social workers, childminders, leaders and everyone working in education and children’s social care for going above and beyond in the most trying circumstances, and continuing to put children and young people first.”

The full report is available here.