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Ofsted set to take “Enforcement action” against Dizzy Ducks Nursery

Education: Secondary / Wed 13th Aug 2014 at 11:13am

OFSTED have announced that they will be taking enforcement action against a Harlow nursery.

Ofsted first put the Dizzy Ducks Nursery into special measures in October, 2013. Since then, they have visited them a further four times.

But it seems that Ofsted’s patience is wearing thin and in their most recent inspection just published have informed the nursery that they are taking “enforcement action” against them.

The nursery is based at the Harlow Leisurezone but YH would like to stress that the Leisure Zone are merely “landlords” and not involved in the running of the nursery.

Here are the highlights from the June inspection.

The report said:

As a result of our inspection on 20/03/2014, we sent you a notice to improve.

During the monitoring visit, the inspector talked with the nursery manager and the director of operations and childcare about the steps you have taken to address the actions raised in the notice to improve. The inspector looked at the action plan, observed activities and staff interaction with children. The inspector spoke to individual members of staff during the monitoring visit and observed children, both inside and outside during their play. She also observed staff practice and discussed planning documentation with some staff. Observations and assessments of children, which staff are in the process of rewriting, were also looked at during the monitoring visit.

The inspector found that you have created robust procedures for recording any accidents that occur within the setting. A new procedure, which you have implemented, ensures that management are quickly informed of any incidents that take place. A manager’s signature is now required to witness the recording of an accident. Consequently, children’s health and well-being are supported and accident records are completed in a timely manner.

The inspector looked at a range of learning journals, some observations of children at play and planning documentation, as well as observing staff practice. The inspector found that, although staff are completing regular observations, these are not being used effectively to identify children’s next steps in learning. For example, staff are evaluating observations every six weeks to form a progress report for parents. The progress report identifies the next steps in children’s learning and these are then incorporated into the planning. However, with six weekly intervals between progress reports, the identifying of children’s next steps is not effective in promoting sufficient challenge and therefore, staff are not promoting children’s progress and achievements against all areas of learning.

During observations, the inspector noted that some staff use open-ended questioning to encourage children’s thinking further. However, not all staff ensure that this technique is used and less experienced, less confident staff are not effectively supported to promote children’s communication and language skills. This means that staff have yet to improve their teaching strategies to enhance children’s learning and development.

The inspector found that the management team carry out regular supervision meetings with staff to discuss training needs and opportunities. They have taken action to support staff knowledge and understanding by promoting opportunities for them to attend further training. However, this setting is struggling to make improvements without further support and they have not taken sufficient prompt and effective action to improve the weaknesses in practice.

The inspector found that the local authority advisers have been very supportive of the nursery. They have worked together to develop the staff’s knowledge and understanding of planning to ensure that children’s learning and development is promoted. New observation and planning procedures have been implemented and all staff have received some guidance, through supervision and team meetings, to support their understanding of these new systems.

During the monitoring visit, the inspector observed that some children’s behaviour was consistently challenging. Not all children were engaged in activities and staff demonstrated a lack of understanding of the behaviour management strategies in place to promote and manage children’s positive behaviour. As a result, children are not learning about appropriate ways in which to behave and staff are not providing consistent messages to support children’s understanding of staff expectations.

Having considered all the evidence, the inspector is of the opinion that the setting has not taken prompt and effective action to address the points for improvement.

Next steps

We will take enforcement action to ensure compliance with children’s welfare and/or learning and development requirements.

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