AN ‘INADEQUATE’ nursery on the Wiltshire and Hampshire border has been slammed by Ofsted for its staffing, hygiene and curriculum.

Norman Court Montessori Day Nursery was visited by Ofsted on May 4, and was marked as ‘Inadequate’ in all areas, including quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

The watchdog is now taking enforcement action against the West Tytherley establishment.

'Any learning is incidental'

With the overall effectiveness of the site ranked as ‘Inadequate’, Ofsted said in its report, published on June 10, that “children’s health and wellbeing are compromised”, and “any learning that takes place is incidental”.

The inspection highlighted that children are not being challenged enough to progress, and there has not been enough support and coaching for staff.

The report comments: “Staff interactions do not meet the varied learning needs of the children. For example, staff do not understand the intent of their curriculum, and activities for older children are not well planned and lack purpose.”

Another comment said: “Staff fail to respond promptly to support children’s individual needs and routines, leaving children distressed or crying.”

It was noted that “inconsistent staffing” means strong and trusting relationships are not formed between the staff and pupils.

Other incidents recorded during the inspection included staff frequently leaving the room, a potty remaining in the toddler room within children’s reach after a child had used it, and staff being prompted to wash children’s hands between playing outside and lunch - raising hygiene concerns.

'Understanding roles and responsibilities'

This was the first inspection the nursery has had during the Covid-19 pandemic, but in the last 12 months the nursery has received two regulatory visits from Ofsted, following childcare provision complaints.

In order to improve its rating, Norman Court managers and staff must receive effective coaching “to fully understand roles and responsibilities”, and children must be supervised effectively so their needs are met.

Care needs to be tailored to the individual, and the quality of the curriculum needs to “ensure that all children receive the support they need to make good progress in their learning and development”.

Nursery 'disappointed' with report

Responding to the inspection, Norman Court said the site has been recovering from the impact of the pandemic, but has taken "swift steps" in rectifying the issues raised.

In a statement the nursery said: "Sadly on the day of inspection several key factors left the nursery unprepared and the announcement of Ofsted at the door conveyed a feeling of anxiety amongst the team.

"Key management were not at the nursery on the inspection day, senior leaders stepped into the nursery to support.

“The inspectors saw a snapshot of the nursery and we were disappointed that the visit did not demonstrate the good practice that we see in the nursery every day."

Describing safeguarding as "a priority", the nursery added that appropriate training for staff has now been booked where necessary.

'Turn this outcome around'

The nursery spokesperson continued: "This is not the outcome that we were working towards or that we have consistently delivered over the past years, we strive to give the very best for each and every child that we care for.

“Since the initial inspection we have had a second unannounced Ofsted follow up visit and we are thrilled to report that we have met all the welfare points given to us in a three-week window.

"[The inspector] fed back that she can see the progress we have made in a short space of time to ensure the smooth running of the nursery. We are delighted by this feedback and are keen to continue our swift progress to enhance our nursery.

"We are determined to turn this outcome around and achieve a good grading at our next inspection."

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