Ofsted to take enforcement action at Castleford nursery where staff failed to comfort children and did not recognise signs of abuse

The education watchdog will step at a Castleford nursery where it found staff failed to comfort upset children and did not recognise signs of abuse.
Unicorn Nursery Castleford. Picture Scott MerryleesUnicorn Nursery Castleford. Picture Scott Merrylees
Unicorn Nursery Castleford. Picture Scott Merrylees

Ofsted said that Unicorns Day Nursery, off Leeds Road, had not improved areas it was told to, following a previous inspection, and said its quality of education was poor and safeguarding was ineffective.

As a result, Ofsted will issue a welfare requirements notice requiring the provider to improve staff's understanding of how to manage children's behaviour appropriately, ensure the safeguarding policy is implemented consistently, provide all staff with child protection training, improve opportunities for staff to access appropriate training, and ensure staff receive regular, effective supervision meetings.

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In its report, the watchdog said: “The provider has not made the necessary improvements since the last inspection.

Child playing with blocks - stock imageChild playing with blocks - stock image
Child playing with blocks - stock image

“As a result, the quality of education is poor and safeguarding is ineffective. Some staff do not promote children's positive emotional well-being and use inappropriate strategies to manage their behaviour.

"On occasion, toddlers become upset and staff fail to offer comfort to them.”

However, inspectors did note some positive aspects of the nursery.

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The report said: “Children arrive at the nursery happily and are pleased to see their peers and the staff team.

"Older children access resources independently and begin to enjoy using paints, brushes and water to make marks.

“Some staff use effective praise and play games with children.”

It added: “Staff who work with babies provide secure foundations for their learning.

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"Overall, staff promote children's good physical health. They enjoy freshly cooked meals and follow good hygiene routines.”

At the heart of Ofsted’s concerns were that some staff did not understand how to manage children's behaviour appropriately and did not speak positively to them during activities.

It said at other times, older children use inappropriate language during play outdoors and staff use threats such as taking outdoor play away, to try and resolve the behaviour.

It said that safeguarding measures were ineffective and some staff were not trained to recognise signs of abuse.

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Ofsted added: “Procedures for recording concerns about children's welfare are not followed.

"However, the provider ensures safer recruitment procedures are followed for new staff and checks ongoing suitability through annual declarations.”

The nursery’s owner, Nigel Corner, said he accepted the report’s findings and was working alongside Wakefield Council to make the necessary improvements.

Mr Corner said: “As a nursery we are deeply disappointed by the grading received from our recent Ofsted report, as owners we accept the report was fair and we also fully accept responsibility for it.

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“It is not good enough and we are working very hard alongside Wakefield Council to put this right and to get the nursery back to at least a good grading which has always been our minimum expectation.

“We apologise to all our parents and can only thank them so much for staying loyal and believing that we can and will get the nursery back on track, we are extremely confident of doing just that and look forward to Ofsted’s next inspection.”