PARENTS and staff closed ranks at Bright Start Day Nursery in Penhill after a damning Ofsted inspection exposed an unreported injury to a child in March, according to manager Cathy Parker.
In a report published on March 26 by the education watchdog, the Everleigh Road nursery, which operates under the Sure Start banner, was ruled as inadequate in two of three areas.
The main focus of the report was on the management’s failure to ensure Ofsted was informed of a child trapping their fingers in a door within the required 14 days.
Ms Parker said the nursery is in the process of making a complaint about the report and said staff had the full backing of parents, including the mother of the injured child.
“It gave everybody a fighting spirit in the nursery. We are a close team anyway. Our parents were very much behind us too,” she said.
“Some were very rude, too rude for print, about the report from Ofsted. We all felt the report was unfair.
“They are the ones who know how we work and what we do. They don’t just get a snapshot, they know their children come here every day and are treated right.”
The manager branded the injury to the child as an honest accident and said an action plan was put together off the back of the incident, some time before the Ofsted inspection.
She also said the child concerned was still a regular attendee at the nursery up until last week.
Ofsted has since returned to Everleigh Road and conducted a monitoring inspection after the inadequate rating in March.
Improvements have been made, according to the national director of early education, Nick Hudson.
In his letter to the nursery, following an April 23 inspection, he said: “The local authority’s early years consultant reported to the inspector that, in her view, the nursery manager took prompt and effective action in addressing the weakness found at the inspection, particularly in regard to the incident that triggered it.
“For example, on the same day as the incident, a door-jam was put over the door to prevent a recurrence.
“The manager reports that you have ensured that the nursery's risk assessment was reviewed and, from this, the process for daily visual checks of the premises was changed.
“Staff now have to sign a new checklist form to state that they have undertaken the checks stipulated, thus showing accountability. They record too any potential hazards.
“The inspector talked with staff, who demonstrated to the inspector that they understand the new ways of working, about which they were enthusiastic.
“This positive attitude means that the changes are likely to be sustainable in the longer term.
“Parents spoken to at the visit were complimentary about the nursery provision, noting that since the previous inspection there are ‘more dressing- up clothes’ and reporting that they like the introduction of ‘helpers.’”