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Children unsafe, 'poor' teaching and 'poor' hygiene: 'Inadequate' Shropshire pre-school slammed by Ofsted

By Andrew Morris | Oswestry | Ofsted reports | Published: | Last Updated:

Children at a pre-school are expected to wash their hands in a muddy bowl of water before eating, while rotting fruit and veg is left floating in a bucket next to them while they play, inspectors have found.

Ofsted inspectors say the pre-school is inadequate

Children are not safe and hygiene is “poor” at Park Hall Forest pre-school in Oswestry, which has been branded inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

It has been severely criticised by inspectors, who found that teaching is "poor", staff members are not supported by management and the welfare of youngsters is compromised.

In a hard-hitting report, inspectors ruled that children are not safe at the pre-school.

Ofsted said the pre-school needs to improve drastically and has set a number of conditions it must adhere to by January 20.

Anne Dyoss, inspector, said: “Hygiene practices are poor and children’s health and safety are not prioritised.

“Staff expect children to wash their hands in a bowl of dirty, muddy water used by other children, after going to the toilet and before they eat.

“They leave a bucket of rotting fruit and vegetables in stagnant water in the area where children play. This exposes children to risks to their health.

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“Children are not safe as a result of weaknesses in safeguarding procedures and poor systems for reviewing accidents and injuries.

“Children’s welfare and safety are significantly compromised.”

She added: “There are serious concerns about the provider’s ability to meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the early years foundation stage.

“This has a significantly negative impact on children’s experiences at the pre-school and they are not safe.

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“The provider fails to ensure that staff are clear about their roles and responsibilities.

“Safeguarding arrangements are weak. The provider has not appointed a member of staff to take responsibility for safeguarding matters. This compromises children’s safety.

“Risk assessment is poor and children’s health and welfare are not prioritised.

Challenge

“They are exposed to health risks due to poor hygiene practices at the pre-school.

“Staff do not maintain an accurate record of children’s accidents. Children do not receive the support they need to prepare for the next stage in their learning and school.”

Ms Dyoss added: “The monitoring of teaching and learning is ineffective and the key-person system is weak.

“Staff do not plan activities that target children’s individual needs and interests. Staff fail to exchange information with the other settings that children also attend.

“Children do not receive learning experiences that challenge them and help them to build on what they know and can do. Children have a clear understanding of the behaviour that is expected from them and understand the boundaries that staff set.

“The provider does not fulfil her statutory duties or support the daily running of the pre-school.

“Having received a recent welfare requirement notice relating to safeguarding matters, she has failed to address this.

“Further weaknesses have been identified and the quality of the provision has declined even further.

“The provider fails to support the manager of the pre-school. This has a significantly negative impact on children’s safety, welfare and learning experiences.

“Although the manager offers staff some training and coaching, she does not provide effective ongoing support so that all staff are clear about their roles and responsibilities.”

The school has been contacted for response. A spokeswoman told the BBC it was working to address the issues raised by Ofsted, some of which, she said, were because paperwork had not been available to inspectors on the day. She said the rotting fruits and vegetables were the school's compost heap and that work was ongoing to improve handwashing facilities.

Martyn Hughes, director of the Park Hall Countryside Experience said: "The Forest Pre-School has no connection with our business. The only association is that is uses a piece of land on our premises that we do not use."

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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