Sheffield nursery rated “inadequate” by Ofsted

A Sheffield nursery “compromises children’s safety” because staff do not have up-to-date knowledge of child protection, say inspectors.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:53 am
Hope Nursery, Sheffield

Hope Nursery on Leigh Street, Attercliffe, has been found inadequate in all four categories of an Ofsted inspection.

The inspection was a result of a risk assessment, following information the watchdog received. Hope Nursery has declined to comment.

Along with safeguarding issues, the report also highlights a language barrier with staff. In addition, some workers sit next to children and yawn during activities, it is said.

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The report mentions a weaknesses in management which has a “significant impact” on children’s welfare, safety, learning and development. 

But it says despite this, children enjoy their time at the nursery. They have bonds with staff and are confident. They behave well and play with their friends. Children follow good hygiene routines before they sit at the table to enjoy their healthy snacks and they develop independence.

The report says: “The provider does not ensure that all staff, including those with lead responsibility for safeguarding, have a secure, up-to-date knowledge of child protection issues and reporting procedures. This compromises children’s safety.

“The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. The deputy manager does not have the required knowledge to take the designated safeguarding lead role in the manager’s absence.

“She has a poor understanding of wider issues surrounding child protection and current legislation. The deputy manager is not aware of reporting procedures in the event of an allegation against a member of staff.”

The report also highlighted issues with language. It says: “The provider does not make sure that staff have a sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the wellbeing of children.

“Some staff do not have a sufficient command and understanding of the English language to undertake their role effectively.

“They cannot explain child protection procedures or how to summon emergency help if needed. The provider does not ensure the safety and welfare of children.”

But the report says children who speak English as an additional language do have opportunities to develop and use their home language in play.

Another criticism is weaknesses in teaching children which has a “significant impact” on their learning.

Observations of children’s achievements are not regular enough, assessments of their progress are not accurate and parents are not kept up to date.

The report says: “Staff provide some activities, such as circle time and children sing songs and copy actions. However, these experiences lack purpose and challenge because staff do not use this time to support and extend what children need to learn next.

“At times, staff sit at the side of children and yawn. They miss opportunities to interact and enhance children’s self-chosen play.”

The report says children don’t make the progress they are capable of and don’t attain the range of skills they need for moving to school but adds: “Nevertheless, children enjoy using tools to make marks in play dough. This helps them to develop the small muscles in their hands that they need for early writing. Children develop some early mathematical understanding, such as recognising shapes.”

Procedures and staff training were also criticised. “They do not record information about staff qualifications, identity checks and vetting processes to demonstrate their safe recruitment practice.

“The provider does not provide suitable coaching, training or support for staff to ensure they offer good-quality learning and development experiences for children.

“Although some staff have undertaken mandatory training courses, there is not enough focus on improving the quality of teaching.

“Despite the failings, the manager is experienced and knows what to do to improve practice. However, action taken by the provider to tackle areas of identified weakness is insufficient.

This has a negative impact on children’s outcomes.”

The full report can be read here