South Tyneside nursery criticised over child safety

Ashfield Nursery in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital
Ashfield Nursery in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital

A South Tyneside nursery has been criticised by education bosses over child safety.

The Ashfield Nursery & ELC, has been rated as inadequate in all areas by Ofsted inspectors during a recent visit, which was prioritised due to an accident.

Risk assessments do not swiftly identify hazards


Watchdogs said the nursery, which is in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital, is not putting the safety of children first.

In a report, which said leadership, teaching, development and outcomes are all inadequate, inspectors said: “Leaders and staff do not ensure the highest priority is placed on children’s safety and well-being.

“Risk assessments do not swiftly identify hazards within the environment. Staff are not vigilant in supervising children.”

They went on to say that although accident and incident procedures are in place, staff do not respond to accidents in a timely manner, which compromises the safety of the children.

The inspection was prioritised following concerns about an accident involving a child in the outdoor play area, where no risk assessment had previously been carried out on the piece of equipment.

Inspectors added: “Although the apparatus has since been removed, other risk assessments are weak and are not monitored to prevent further accidents.”

The report also said that staff do not provide a range of play opportunities in a stimulating environment and do not make accurate assessments of children’s learning.

They said: “Children do not demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning and become bored and disinterested.

“Activities provided do not focus on what children need to learn next or challenge them. Children do not make good progress towards the early learning goals.”

They said that children are, however, provided with opportunities to develop their mathematical language and their physical skills by running and climbing in the large outdoor area.

Ofsted bosses said: “Staff provide children with praise and encouragement, which helps develop their self-esteem. Staff support children to develop an awareness of making healthy choices during mealtimes. Children tend to their own self-care needs, pour their own water and serve themselves. This helps to promote their independence skills.”

To improve the nursery was told it had to ensure accurate risk assessments are in place, ensure good levels of supervision are in place and all accidents and injuries are dealt with in a timely manner, develop assessment systems that accurately plan for what children need to learn next, offer appropriately challenging activities across all areas of learning and  provide a variety of play opportunities in a stimulating environment that helps develop children’s enthusiasm for learning.