Blackpool nursery given ‘improve’ notice

Primrose House Nursery in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool (Pic: Google)
Primrose House Nursery in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool (Pic: Google)
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A Blackpool nursery that forced an apology from Ofsted after being rated inadequate has had a fresh inspection – and has been told to improve.

Primrose House Nursery called in the lawyers after it was accused by the education watchdog of potentially putting children at risk, a claim that was later retracted.

Bosses there say they will build on work done since taking over the Whitegate Drive business in January after being given a new rating of ‘requires improvement’.

That’s a step up from ‘inadequate’, but still below ‘good’, and ‘outstanding’.

Owner Anthony Brocklehurst said: “We have introduced many improvements so far, such as complete redecoration, purchase of new furniture, and children’s resources.

“In addition to this, we have introduced robust policies and procedures, as the inspector acknowledges in her report.

“These have not had time to become fully effective.

“I would like to add that we have just spent two stressful months of the team’s time and energy overturning the previous judgement.

“I would have hoped to have spent this time on embedding our robust policies.”

Last month, Ofsted backtracked and apologised after admitting inspector Jacqueline Midgley had not followed evidence gathering guidelines.

Claims of legal breaches, which Insp Midgley said ‘impacted on youngsters’ well-being and development’ were withdrawn, while in her report, which was removed from Ofsted’s website, she accused nursery managers of not having ‘a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities’.

However Lynne Naylor, carrying out a fresh visit, said: “The newly-formed leadership and management team has a good knowledge of legislation and an accurate view of the nursery.

“They are making appropriate changes and improvements, which have not had time to become fully effective. For example, monitoring of the quality of teaching and the tracking of the progress of different groups of children are still being embedded.”

She said staff were not best using information gathered about children’s progress and their future learning to ensure their development is consistently planner for and supported.

And ways for parents to get details on their children’s learning, and to share home learning, were not fully effective yet either, she added.

But she said relationships between staff, children, and parents are ‘relaxed and positive, which helps youngsters feel emotionally secure.

“Children enjoy attending the nursery, demonstrate appropriate behaviour and play well together,” Ms Naylor added.

“Babies and children explore a stimulating environment indoors and outdoors with confidence, choosing from well organised, accessible play materials.”