Shrewsbury nursery is inadequate, says inspector

Staff at a Shrewsbury nursery were found to be compromising the welfare and safety of the children they look after when a government inspector visited last month.

Ofsted inspectors have now rated Meadow Farm Pre-school, which is based at The Scout and Guide HQ on Field Crescent, as inadequate.

On the January visit the inspector witnessed one child almost pull a heavy piece of furniture on to themselves while playing.

In her report, which was published this week, Ofsted inspector Karen Laycock said: "Although staff caught the furniture in time, the manager did not take any action to remove the hazard afterwards. The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. The manager does not ensure that staff are deployed effectively to keep children safe.

"During outdoor play, staff failed to notice a child struggling at the top of the steps of a slide, with a toy hat on which had become lodged over their face. Staff fail to understand or risk assess the level of supervision required for some activities in order to ensure that children are safe as they play.

"Most staff are well qualified but this does not have a positive impact on children's learning. Staff do not plan activities that precisely match children's learning needs. As a result, children are bored and they wander around for long periods aimlessly. When children try and engage adults in their play, staff do not respond promptly or with enthusiasm. Activities are uninspiring and staff do not understand how to encourage children to become fully engaged to promote their learning.

"The weaknesses in leadership and management compromise children's safety and welfare. Children are not provided with good enough learning opportunities to enable them to make good progress."

The pre-school's leaders have now been given a number of requirements they need to fulfil by the middle of March.

A spokeswoman for the committee-run nursery, which has been operating for more than 40 years and currently has 43 children enrolled aged between two and four years old, said: "We had a very positive inspection at the end of June last year with three areas of good and only one requiring small improvements.

“We do not feel that the recent inspection is an accurate judgement or a true reflection of the practice within our setting. We have made a formal complaint and appeal against the judgement and the inspector with Ofsted and so cannot comment on the recent inspection as we don’t want to affect the outcome.”

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