Monday, 30 September 2013

Knowle nursery closes over inspection "delays"

A KNOWLE nursery closed today as owners hit out at education inspectors.

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Tommy Nursery School in Warwick Road was due to shut at 6pm because its owners said it did not have enough available staff.

It was rated inadequate – the worst possible rating – by education inspectorate Ofsted in February, compared to good in 2011.

Ofsted said activities are “limited”, staff have a “poor awareness” of learning, some children who are “upset, play alone and do not learn effectively”.

A letter to parents said said it had “striving to improve our knowledge” of requirements.

It said: “Unfortunately, a great number of our parents have left us, presumably to go to other nurseries.”

It said “other nurseries in our area have been judged inadequate” but did not give names.

A re-inspection yesterday rated the nursery satisfactory, it said, but hit out at “Ofsted's unreasonable delay to return to inspect us”.

It said: “Bearing in mind if we were that inadequate they surely would have returned much sooner as they have done with other inadequately graded nurseries has come too late.”

The manager has retired but another staff member has not accepted the post while the deputy manager has left, it said.

The letter said: “As we felt that we had a good staff team now and to ensure less staff turnover as part of the process of re-establishing and building the business, in a similar manner to 'John Lewis' we offered all the full time staff the prospect to become 'partners' in the business.

“Disappointingly, not enough of the staff members are interested in this opportunity.

“Without a manager or deputy manager we are in an impossible position and as such we are unable to remain open.

“We thank you for your loyalty over time and we are committed to using these unforeseen circumstances to take the time to refurbish our beautiful unique building to return to offer care for children in the future.”

It comes as another nursery - Wittsend Day Nursery, Eastcote – that was also rated inadequate in February is told by Ofsted it is now making“satsfactory progress”.

It was criticised in February about child safety over smells from the boiler and staff deployment and the quality of teaching and learning.

It says: “An action plan has been drawn up to address the required improvements.

“Staff have undertaken training within the nursery to improve their knowledge and
understanding of procedures to follow to meet both health and safety guidelines and

child protection procedural guidelines.”
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