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Suffolk County Council advisers allocated to drive improvements at inadequate-rated nurseries and playgroups in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 14:57 19 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 19 February 2017

Ofsted has rated three providers inadequate in the last month. Stock image. Picture: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Ofsted has rated three providers inadequate in the last month. Stock image. Picture: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Suffolk County Council has allocated special advisers to three failing nurseries and playgroups in and around Ipswich, after the third early-years establishment in the last month has been rated inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

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

An inspection report published by the education watchdog last week branded Busy Bees Day Nursery in St Andrews Walk, Rushmere St Andrew, as inadequate in all areas – just two weeks after the Little Sprouts playgroup in Bramford Lane, Ipswich, was given a similar rating.

Inspectors last month rated Birch Farm Complex Day Care Nursery in Silver Hill, Hintlesham as inadequate, which the nursery said it planned to appeal.

As part of the agreement between Suffolk County Council and education providers, no new funding will be available until they improve.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said that to be eligible for funding and to be included on the county council’s list of providers, establishments must be judged requires improvement (or satisfactory under the old Ofsted guidelines) and above.

The council’s early years and childcare service has written to the providers outlining the current sanctions.

“The service allocates an early years and childcare quality and access adviser to work with any provider judged inadequate, to monitor progress,” a county council spokeswoman said.

“We expect the provider to work co-operatively with Suffolk County Council to address the concerns raised by Ofsted.

“The adviser keeps the authority informed of the progress being made.

“We are working closely with Busy Bees and Little Sprouts in connection with their recent Ofsted inspections and will continue to monitor the progress being made in preparation for the next inspections.”

Last week’s Busy Bees report now means there are 11 early years education providers in Suffolk that are currently rated inadequate out of 493 registered across the county – the equivalent of 2% of providers.

A further 19 providers (4%) are presently rated as requires improvement by Ofsted.

A county council spokeswoman said it would be monitoring the progress of all its providers rated inadequate closely.

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