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Nursery at Royal Free rated ‘inadequate’ for the second time by Ofsted

Royal Free apologise to parents

22 August, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

The nursery is for staff at the Royal Free Hospital

A NURSERY for children of staff at the Royal Free Hospital has been given the lowest grading by the education watchdog for the second time.

Ofsted inspectors said children are exposed to the “risk of injury” and that staff knowledge of safeguarding is “weak”.

The Royal Free Hospital Staff Day Nursery, which can take up to 46 children from newborn to two years old, lost its previous 2016 “good” Ofsted rating when it was inspected in February.

But a visit to the Pond Street base five months on has failed to raise the rating any higher and is still overall “inadequate”.

In the February report, Ofsted said: “Safeguarding is ineffective. Leaders do not follow the local safeguarding procedures. They did not inform the local authority designated officer of a member of staff who was alleged to have behaved in a way that may have harmed a

child, prior to an investigation taking place. In addition, they did not inform Ofsted of the allegation, as required.”

After the follow-up inspection in July, inspectors said in their report published this week that improvements had been made but maintained that the effectiveness of leadership and management remained “inadequate”.

They added that staff complete daily checks but fail to remove items such as cleaning products from children’s reach. They said the quality of teaching is “inconsistent” and requires improvement.

Outcomes for children also “require improvement” while the category personal development, behaviour and welfare is “inadequate”.

However, Ofsted did note that parents were “very pleased” with care and learning of their children and that staff share “warm, positive relationships” with youngsters.

“Babies squeal with delight as they are encouraged to explore the feel of paint with a brush and their fingertips,” the report says.

The nursery has been given a list of improvements required.

A spokesman for the Royal Free London said: “We take our safeguard- ing duties extremely seriously and have moved quickly to implement all of Ofsted’s recommended remedial actions.
“We are pleased that inspectors found improvements following their visit in February but would like to apologise to parents that these were not considered far- reaching enough.

“No external action was deemed necessary by Ofsted or Camden Council following the complaint in February and we have now updated our reporting procedures.”

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