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Do better, nursery staff are told
A NURSERY due to close down on Christmas Eve had been deemed inadequate by the schools watchdog in its second inspection in the course of a year.
Toad Hall Nursery, in Victoria Road, announced its closure in October because it was unable to afford vital building work.
But a report published last month showed Ofsted had also criticised the teaching provision, leadership and management at the nursery.
The previous inspection had taken place only a year earlier, when inspectors praised the nursery, with all aspects considered good.
But 12 months later, following a fundamental change in the inspection criteria, inspectors found the nursery required significant improvement and possible enforcement action.
Early year providers are generally inspected once in a cycle of four years, but visits can be brought foward if Ofsted has information that provision is not meeting legal requirements.
The report criticised all aspects of teaching, as well as leadership and management.
It said: “Children are not making adequate progress in their learning. The quality of staff observations, assessments and tracking of children’s progress is variable across the nursery, with some staff failing to track children’s learning.
“Groups of young children sit for continued periods of time. They wait in the hallways until staff are ready to take them outside. Staff fail to inspire children in their learning because they are unclear on how to interact purposefully with children. Parents are provided with very little information on how their child is progressing.
“Personal, social and emotional development is not supported as children are left to wander around, sometimes with little adult involvement.”
Safeguarding measures in the nursery were said to be adequately met, and children tended to respect proper behaviour.
Ruth Pimental, chief executive of Toad Hall Nursery Group, said the nursery would close because the schools inspector demanded it do construction work to bring the building up to scratch.
She said that would have required an increase to the charges for parents and carers, so the best option was to stop operations in Swindon.
“It was not an ideal building,” she said.
“The report did highlight some areas we need to work on, and we decided it would be almost impossible for us to meet the requirements and generate sufficient fees to pay for it.”
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