Inadequate Ofsted for Ipswich playgroup over quality of teaching and ‘weak’ supervision of children

Little Sprouts Nursery in Ipswich, which has closed after going from outstanding to inadequate in tw

Little Sprouts Nursery in Ipswich, which has closed after going from outstanding to inadequate in two years. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Staff

Staff at an Ipswich playgroup which has gone from outstanding to inadequate in two years are “disappointed” with their latest Ofsted rating.

Inspectors visited Little Sprouts Playgroup in Bramford Lane, which looks after up to 60 children aged from two to four, in December.

They found committee members who had not had their suitability to work with children checked were allowed access to confidential information about the youngsters and their families.

Supervision procedures were found to be weak and the quality of teaching was not consistent.

Children with English as their second language were not supported well enough, inspectors said, and were often left with gaps in their learning.

Their findings, published in a report released this week, ranked the playgroup as inadequate for leadership and management, personal development, behaviour and welfare.

This is despite inspectors hailing it as outstanding at its last inspection in 2014.

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“The leadership team does not monitor the quality of the playgroup well enough,” chief inspector Daniella Tyler writes in the report.

“Consequently, there are several breaches of the learning and development, and safeguarding and welfare requirements.

But she added: “Effective procedures are carried out to ensure the premises remain secure.

“Records of accidents are completed accurately and appropriate risk assessments are in place for outings to keep children safe.

“Staff can identify the possible indicators of abuse and know the appropriate action to take if they have child protection concerns.”

Teaching staff were also praised for helping children develop their independence skills.

Many of the youngsters on roll were able carry out everyday tasks like washing up and preparing food for snacks.

The playgroup, set up in 1994, must now address the concerns raised by inspectors in their report by February 14 or further action will be taken.

A Little Sprouts spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the findings of our latest Ofsted rating.

“The committee, management and staff are working hard to rectify their findings and are working in conjunction with Ofsted and Suffolk County Council.

“We would like to thank parents for their continuing support at this time.”

For the full report, click here.

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