Little Jems Nursery owner launches staunch defence after Ofsted judge provision requires improvement

The owner of Little Jems Nursery in Jarrow has launched a staunch defence of their provision after Ofsted judged the nursery as requiring improvement.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:59 pm
Little Jems Nursery in Jarrow has been judged as requiring improvement following its latest Ofsted inspection. Photograph: Google

The nursery on Swinburne Street, which was judged as good at its previous inspection, was deemed to still be good for behaviour and attitudes but was judged as requiring improvement for quality of education, personal development and leadership and management.

A key area of concern was curriculum provision which the inspector said the manager “was not confident in”.

The report stated: “She’s aware her knowledge of the curriculum and what staff are teaching children needs to improve, so she can ensure

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children's learning is sequenced effectively throughout the setting.”

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While safeguarding overall was judged to be effective, the inspector did highlight some welfare concerns.

The report stated: “The manager and staff do not use risk assessments robustly enough to ensure potential risks to children are always minimised. Due to recent high winds, the artificial turf has lifted in the outdoor play area and now does not lie flat.

“The manager has plans to get this fixed. However, children still access the area, which could be a tripping hazard. In the communal areas, the adult toilet on the ground floor is not secure to stop children entering and accessing an antibacterial spray.

"Staff do not consistently ensure good hygiene is promoted. Children aged under two share a bowl of water to wash their hands before eating.”

Responding to the report, owner Vivienne White said: “As you can imagine, I’m gutted by the judgement. The pandemic hit the nursery hard and we’ve worked unbelievably hard to bring it back and then we get this report.

"The turf had been lifted up by the storm which happened a week before the inspection. You’re obviously dependent on companies being able to fix things and the date we were given was the day after the inspection and it’s all sorted now.

"We did let the older children play out but they were all told to be careful about tripping over it.”

Vivienne also questioned concerns over the security of the adult toilet which she said “had not been raised previous inspections and children in that area were always accompanied by an adult” and disputed any dummies had been on the floor.

The nursery owner made a formal complaint to Ofsted regarding the inspection. Ofsted did apologise for the draft report initially stating the nursery’s safeguarding was overall not effective, which was incorrect and changed to effective.

Despite requiring improvement overall, the report did praise the nursery for its caring environment and the children’s behaviour.

It stated: “Children are cared for in a warm and nurturing environment. They form close attachments with staff. Staff focus on children's personal and emotional well-being. They have good settling-in procedures that gradually introduce a child to the setting. New children settle well.

"Children's behaviour is good. There’s a nice calm atmosphere in the nursery. Staff find out about children's likes and interests from parents before they start.

This helps them to make children feel welcome.

“The manager understands how to support children who may have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Along with staff, they work hard to identify

any early concerns. They work with external professionals where necessary to meet the needs of these children."