Preschool says it let families down after child safety concerns raised by Ofsted inspectors

May 03 2022
Preschool says it let families down after child safety concerns raised by Ofsted inspectors

MANAGERS of a Chipping Sodbury preschool say they are determined to put things right after education inspectors said it was "inadequate".

Ofsted inspectors visited Raysfield Pre-school Playgroup, which operates from Dodington Parish Hall, in early March and raised concerns over multiple issues, some of which they said "significantly compromise children's safety and welfare".

Their report rated the playgroup inadequate in all areas - quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Ofsted took enforcement action, issuing a legal notice to make improvements in 14 areas, from safety and security to the curriculum.

The preschool has 68 children aged one to four on its roll and was rated 'good' at its last inspection in 2018.

Inspectors Karen Allen and Lisa Large said the manager and staff "do not fulfil their roles and responsibilities to promote children's welfare", and the committee failed to monitor quality.

They also criticised recruitment, risk assessment and supervision of children.

The inspectors said: "The manager and staff do not always ensure that the entrance doors to the premises are secured when children are present. This means that individuals can access children without challenge from staff or children can leave unsupervised.

"Closed circuit television footage of children is taken home by managers and on occasion CCTV footage is viewed from home. This means that individuals outside of the nursery could have access to images and footage of children.

"Staff do not supervise children sufficiently to ensure their well-being. These weaknesses in safeguarding children significantly compromise children's safety and welfare."

The inspectors said that "most learning is incidental" at the preschool, with a curriculum that was "not well designed".

They said staff did not supervise children adequately at all times, adding: "When outdoors, staff do not notice that children push and fall off plastic crates onto each other until children start to cry.

"When toddlers hit each other trying to get to the books indoors, staff do not help children to understand what is expected of them.

"Staff sit with their backs to babies in high chairs who are eating their lunch while they tend to other children. These failures put children at risk of choking."

The inspectors stressed that staff "are friendly and demonstrate they are caring", adding: "Some children show they are happy and settled."

They also said children "have opportunities to sing songs, share books and listen to stories" and "enjoy being physically active indoors and outdoors".

Ofsted made a return visit after three weeks and said the preschool "had met some of the safeguarding and welfare actions but not others".

Mobile phone, CCTV and e-safety procedures had improved but there were still concerns over supervision and staff deployment.

In a statement the management committee told the Voice: "We accept the findings of the Ofsted report and are disappointed for letting our families down.

"We addressed the safeguarding concerns raised quickly and are determined to make this right. 

"We are using this as an opportunity to review our practices and to get our preschool back to the high standard it was.  

"We are working closely with Ofsted and the local authority to ensure we take all the appropriate actions needed to improve."

Picture: Raysfield Pre-school Playgroup operates from Dodington Parish Hall