The Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, responds to ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating

Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT

Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich nursery has been given the worst-possible Ofsted rating after an inspection raised concerns over leadership, safeguarding and outcomes.

Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT

Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

The Treehouse Nursery, which opened in Clapgate Lane five years ago, was given a judgement of ‘inadequate’ by the education watchdog. Bosses insist the rating does not reflect their “hard work” and pledged rapid improvement.

Inspector Karen Harris said staff do not consistently promote good health or record information about children’s dietary needs which compromises health and safety, the deputy manager does not have a suitable understanding of their role, and a challenging or enjoyable environment is not always maintained. But work with other professionals to help staff understand individual care needs was identified as a strength.

The 93-pupil nursery for children aged up to four was previously rated ‘good’. It was given an ‘inadequate’ rating in all four key areas: leadership, teaching, personal development, and children outcomes.

Mrs Harris said: “Safeguarding is ineffective. Staff generally recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and know appropriate action to take (but) information about all children’s dietary requirements and food allergies is not recorded so staff are fully aware of every child’s dietary needs, posing a significant risk to children’s health and welfare.”

Staff performance is not monitored sufficiently to identify training needs and the teaching quality is variable, resulting in insufficient child progression.

“(Staff) do not ensure that toys, resources and activities sustain children’s interest and attention. As a result, some children’s behaviour deteriorates,” she said.

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Children’s safety and welfare are not fully assured. Not all wash their hands before eating and they are not taught how to use knives safely when spreading butter on crackers. Licked knives go back into the butter, the report said. But staff have positive interaction with children who happily explore activities and materials.

David Finch, managing director of Alpha Nurseries, which runs the nursery, said: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of the Ofsted inspection.

“We do not feel it truly reflects all the hard work carried out by the staff and the manager at the setting.

“We are working closely with Suffolk County Council who are supporting the setting and are confident when re-inspected that the setting will achieve a good rating. The nursery will be given any support it needs to achieve this.”

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