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Toilet area does not protect privacy for children at Rhymes Nursery in Martlesham, claims Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 12:03 30 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:03 30 September 2015

Rhymes Nursery at Martlesham Heath.

Rhymes Nursery at Martlesham Heath.

A dispute over whether children’s privacy at a nursery is protected when using the toilet facilities is at the centre of a “frustrating” Ofsted report.

Rhymes Nursery in Martlesham was rated ‘requires improvement’ – the third worst out of four categories – by the education watchdog after an inspection in August.

The rating is better than the ‘inadequate’ – the worst possible mark – given by Ofsted in July last year, but the same as December last year.

But in the latest report, published on Thursday, Ofsted claimed the pre-school in Hawker Drive was not yet rated ‘good’ for two reasons, such as the toilet area not being “organised in a suitable way to meet children’s individual needs and ensure their privacy”.

A spokesman for the nursery vehemently denied this was the case. She said: “We were both pleased and frustrated with the report. If it is read in its entirety, you can see the majority of the inspector’s comments were really positive.

“We were told very early in the inspection we would receive ‘requires improvement’ because of the lack of privacy for children in the bathroom.

“Many nurseries have screens, but no doors, which was felt to be better for safeguarding but now we must have doors and a private area for potties.

“We are therefore in the process of organizing new toilet cubicles to address this issue. We have made this statement in order to pass on the information to other nurseries due for an Ofsted inspection.”

A total of 44 children up to the age of five attend the nursery, where staff were also criticised for failing to ensure that their interactions with children were of a “consistently good quality”.

“They do not ensure that all children are engaged and motivated to learn,” it added.

But the report stressed managers are “committed to the continuous development of the setting” and said “steps have been taken to address the actions and recommendations from the last inspection”.

It added: “Children are happy, settled and develop emotional attachments with staff. Babies seek out familiar staff for cuddles and reassurance. Older children confidently invite staff to join in their activities.

“Children behave well and respond positively to the consistent boundaries. Staff are good role models.”

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