Children’s “safety compromised” at Lincoln nursery, say inspectors

Ofsted has published a damning report of a Lincoln nursery and said staff do not ensure children’s safety.

Cherry Tree Nursery, which is based on Dixon Way, has been found to be ‘Inadequate’ in all areas by inspectors when they visited the site.

Inspectors found the premises to be unsafe and also said that the manager does not carry out all required vetting processes for staff.

Inspector Hayley Ruane said: “The manager and staff do not ensure children’s safety. Their risk assessments do not minimise all risks to children with regards to the premises.

“The provider’s recruitment procedures for new staff are inadequate. The manager does not carry out all required vetting processes. This compromises children’s safety and welfare.”

At the time of the inspection the fire exit from the younger children’s room upstairs was blocked and the radiator guards in the room were broken.

Ofsted has said that it will be visiting Cherry Tree Nursery again later in August to ensure that risks and hazards posed by the building are addressed.

These are the following areas which were rated as ‘Inadequate’ in the report:

  • Effectiveness of leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for children

Staff were praised for encouraging good behaviour but inspectors said that they do not challenge children enough during group times.

Cherry Tree Nursery was previously rated as ‘Good’ overall when it was inspected in April 2017. The most recent inspection was carried out in July 2019.

Nursery owner Roger Jennett said: “We are all passionate about Cherry Tree Day Nursery and all of our children and their safety is paramount.

“There are two areas which needed to be addressed and these have now been completed. Daily risk assessment outside were not robust but has now been enforced. Staff recruitment, we omitted to follow up one member of staff’s reference this is now in place.

“The inspector’s findings does state that staff are well qualified and that the special educational needs coordinator extends her professional development. This helps her to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). She puts targeted plans in place to meet their individual needs.

“Staff speak to parents daily and share some information with them about their children’s day. For example, they tell parents what children have eaten and the activities they have enjoyed.

“Staff actively encourage positive behaviour. For example, they clap their hands to praise children’s achievements. Staff remind children to do ‘good listening’ when they talk to them. Parents say that staff know their children’s individual needs and support their children to manage their behaviour.

“Children enjoy warm relationships with the staff, who are kind and caring. Children have opportunities for fresh air and daily physical exercise. In the garden, children ride on bicycles and jump off tyres. Staff support children’s social skills, health and well-being. For example, children follow good hygiene routines and experience sociable meal and snack times.

“Staff also offer children healthy food. Older children serve themselves food and drinks. This enables children to manager portion sizes and promotes their independence. The manager and staff make sure that babies can see and hear staff and older children in the next room. This promotes their emotional well-being when they move rooms because they become familiar with staff and children.

“Throughout the inspection, the inspector was unable to speak to our lead practitioner because of conflict of interest.

“The owners, management and staff team are thriving to ensure that we receive good in all four areas at our next Ofsted inspection which we have been informed will be within six months. The nursery is actively engaging in support from the local authority to secure an improved outcome at the next inspection.”