Nursery downgraded by inspectors over sleep and safety concerns

Fount Nursery sign

The Fount Nursery in London Fields has been downgraded by Ofsted - Credit: Google Maps

A nursery has been downgraded from 'outstanding' to 'inadequate' after Ofsted found children were not being kept safe around electrical sockets.

The education watchdog said the Fount Nursery in London Fields had a number of problems, including staff putting kids to sleep when they did not want or need to, as well as safeguarding and teaching issues. 

Ofsted inspectors rated the nursery 'inadequate' overall and in every area of inspection – the lowest score given before special measures are introduced.

The Family First nursery group, which has run the nursery since October, sought to reassure parents and said it was working to improve on the problems Ofsted had raised.

The inspection brought the nursery down from its previous top rating, which it received in a report in September 2017. 

In the most recent report, published in May and based on a March inspection, officials criticised how the nursery was being run.

The inspectors said: “Children’s safety is compromised because leaders do not identify all potential risks to children’s safety. This includes no clear risk assessment for the safe management of electric sockets in children’s play areas… Children do not always experience nurturing relationships with staff to help them feel safe and secure.”

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They added: “During sleep time, staff encourage children, including those who are not ready or requiring sleep, to stay lying down. They try to stop them from moving from their sleeping mats by patting or rubbing their backs. Staff are not clear, even with intervention from the manager, about the length of time they should persist with this before eventually supporting children to get up and join an activity.”

The Ofsted officials also said those in charge of the nursery were clear on what they need to improve on and were working to do so. However, they added that staff did not properly teach children the curriculum and said there were a number of areas the nursery would have to do better in.

A spokesperson for Family First said: “The safety, education and wellbeing of our children is our highest priority, and we are therefore extremely disappointed with some of the findings in the recent Ofsted inspection.

“In the short time since we acquired the nursery in October 2021, we have appointed a new manager and senior leadership team who have worked hard to identify the improvements that need to be made.  We have already made significant improvements in all the areas highlighted in the report and have an extensive action plan in place to make further improvements.

"We would like to reassure parents that every effort is being given to ensure the highest standards of care is provided to all our children.”