Sunday, 24 February 2013

Updated: Knowle nursery "inadequate"

A KNOWLE nursery has slumped to the worst possible rating from education inspectorate Ofsted.
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Tommy Nursery School in Warwick Road has been rated inadequate compared to good from a 2011 inspection. Ratings go from outstanding to good, satisfactory and inadequate.

A December visit found some children do not have a key person assigned to them which “means their individual care and learning needs are not fully met”.

The Ofsted report adds there is a “limited range of interesting and appropriate activities in the toddler room” and staff have a “poor awareness of the prime and specific areas of learning”.

Youngsters “do not have enough time to finish activities and are moved to other areas of play before they are ready which does not benefit them or cater for their interests” it says.

The nursery had not used self-evaluation and review to identify improvements, it adds.

It says: “Some younger children do not settle or make secure attachments with staff and are often upset, play alone and do not learn effectively.

“Planning is weak and the educational programme and interaction from some staff fails to adequately inspire or challenge children in their play.”

It goes on: “Children's behaviour is sometimes challenging with children snatching toys from others due to a lack of available resources for them to share within some activities.”

A lack of suitable activities means some children “wander around in the room selecting some toys for themselves, but do not show enthusiasm and excitement”.

Each child must get a key person, there must be more planned “purposeful” play and a better understand of staff of what children need, it says.

Children must “have sufficient time to finish activities before they move to other areas of play” it adds.

Yet it said the nursery has "appropriate relationships with parents" and "provide sound information about their service". Dietary needs are met it said and staff have an "adequate understanding" of safeguarding. Appropriate recruitment and induction procedures are in place, it added.

The nursery will be inspected again within 12 months.


In a statement, the nursery said the report is “unbalanced”, adding: “If the full report is read, you will see that none of it questions the children’s safety, security and wellbeing which is the most important factor when leaving your child, not whether they can read and write by the time they are two and even an education programme for babies!!!! Don’t they want our babies to be babies anymore!!!”

It said there are “are no risks at our nursery” and it has “robust” vetting procedures.

It says the inspector “expects our children to be isolated in one room all day which we do not agree with”.

It adds: “We have various rooms with lots of facilities such as a theatre, interactive whiteboard, computers but she concentrated on the fact that some pencils were not sharpened but doesn’t this prove they are actually used.

“Our parents who really value their children’s happiness and welfare are fully supportive of us.”

It said the key worker system “is not the be all and end all as if staff are sick, on holiday etc, it can leave the child unsettled and we believe all our staff should know all the children which was commended in our last report”.

The statement adds: “Our staff ratios were well within the requirements.”

It says: “We view this report as nothing short of disgraceful and is still the subject of the complaints procedure.”