|Inadequate Rating for Acton Montessori Nursery|
Inspectors say safety compromised by failures of previous management
An Acton nursery has been slammed by Ofsted after inspectors found staff were changing nappies near a food serving area. Acton Montessori Nursery And Preschool was deemed inadequate after an inspection this summer by the education watchdog.
The nursery faced its first inspection in August and was handed the lowest possible rating in all areas. Education, behaviour, personal development and leadership were all rated inadequate by the inspectors that visited the site on Palmerston Road near South Acton train station.
In the report, which was published on 25 October, inspectors said that children’s safety was “compromised” due to the failings of the leadership and management team. According to inspectors, staff did not talk to children enough, rushed mealtimes without letting children eat independently, and were not confident enough to make children safe during wet play.
Children were also found to be eating from the same serving dish, using their hands instead of cutlery. At the park, babies washed their hands with wet wipes, which inspectors said was “poor hygiene practice”.
Nappies were also changed near food, inspectors found. The report said, “Children’s privacy and dignity is not respected during nappy changes. The placement of the changing unit means children are exposed during this intimate care routine.
“The positioning of the change table is next to the food service area, so hygiene practices are also compromised. This was moved during the inspection.”
Inspectors further said that staff did not know when children arrived in specific rooms, with less confident kids left watching from a distance instead of being included. The report stated that “children’s emotional well-being” was “not fully supported” by staff.
But, inspectors did note that there has been a change in management. The report said, “The new managers feel they are now fully aware of the failings in the setting’s practice. Although they have yet to make changes, they do show a drive to improve.”
The report further noted that children often enjoy cuddles with staff members and a number of one-to-one interactions. Inspectors added that staff and managers have good relationships with parents for feedback after each day.
Linda Bowden, Area Manager for Little Inventors Montessori and Pre-Schools, said, “We were very disappointed with the outcome of our inspection, we discussed whether we should challenge the result though decided not to. We have a strong leadership team that profusely challenged the outcome and statements, a healthy discussion was had with our inspector, though the outcome remained for her the same, therefore we decided to work with our inspector and not challenge it further.
“We are committed to raising standards and delivering outcomes for our children. We have a comprehensive improvement plan in place to enhance the setting. In addition, we are pleased to have the continual support of parental involvement within our setting.
“Early years faces many challenges, we are committed to deliver for our children and families and look forward to showcasing our setting at the next inspection.”
Megan Stanley - Local Democracy Reporter
November 21, 2022