Blackpool kindergarten ‘shocked’ by inadequate Ofsted rating

West Park Kindergarten on West Park Drive, Stanley Park Blackpool.
West Park Kindergarten on West Park Drive, Stanley Park Blackpool.
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A Blackpool nursery has dropped from good to inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors found that the quality of practice at West Park Kindergarten, on West Park Drive, has deteriorated since its last inspection three years ago.

Risk assessments did not ensure children were able to play safely, medication was not properly given, and staff did not consistently communicate with each other.

Some children were not sufficiently challenged in their learning at the nursery, and that staff sometimes did not use ‘the correct language’ when talking to children.

Some children had to wait for long times before receiving food during mealtimes.

As a result, the kindergarten was ranked inadequate in all four categories: effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, personal development, and outcomes for children.

Nursery owner Debbie Easter said: “We, along with the local authority, were shocked by this result and we will work alongside them to ensure the issues found are dealt with as a matter of urgency.

“The inspector found a medication form for some eczema cream. This was completed with all statuatory signatures but did not have a witness signature.

“When the inspector visited the baby room, they found the floor had quite a lot of toys lying around. She insisted our risk assessments were not robust enough to keep children safe. As the parents of the babies are aware, this is a normal occurrence and we can assure you that children in our care are safe and secure.

“The inspector observed a member of staff working with babies read a book about farm animals. The practitioner called the pigs ‘piggies’ and the lambs ‘baa lambs’. The inspector considered this to be incorrect language.”

The Ofsted report said children at the kindergarten were ‘happy and settled’, staff were ‘warm and welcoming’, and that parents appreciated their friendliness and flexibility.

To improve, it said the kindergarten must support staff to develop their teaching skills further, and review the organisation of mealtimes so that children are not kept waiting.