'Inadequate' nursery failed to vet its staff

A nursery has been rated “inadequate” by Ofsted for failing to properly vet staff members.

The Beeches Montessori Nursery School in Banstead was visited by an inspector from the education watchdog for the first time earlier this year.

In the report inspector Jacqueline Carolan said: “The provider does not carry out the required Disclosure and Service Barring checks [formerly Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority checks] on new members of staff.

“Discussions with the provider demonstrate that she has not obtained a Disclosue and Barring Service check for some staff working in the setting who work directly with children to assess their suitability.  This puts children’s welfare at significant risk.”

But, Ms Carolan added, staff do still have a “sound knowledge and understanding of child protection matters”.

The privately owned nursery in Osier Way, which was registered in 2013, has 50 early years pupils on its books and eight staff who work with children.

To meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage – a set of statutory standards all early years providers must meet – the nursery must improve in four other areas besides the vetting of staff.

These include ensuring children with special educational needs and/or disabilities have “equal opportunity to spend time with their key person in order to learn through the context of a secure relationship” and ensuring children’s learning experiences “consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child”.

Although the nursery has been given the lowest rating possible by Ofsted, Ms Carolan does include praise in her report.

She praised the owner’s “ambitious” plans for the nursery and commends a recent event at which staff, parents and children all came together to view the moon from the premises.

Inspector Carolan’s report also noted: “Children are happy and settled.

“They generally develop sound relationships with staff who are nurturing and sensitive to their care needs.”

Ofsted’s rating means the nursery will be monitored and inspected again within the next six months.

Beeches Montessori Nursery School failed to comment before the Mirror went to press.

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jackie hyde