A Wantage nursery has vowed to address points made in a new Ofsted report which labelled it ‘inadequate’ and said children’s safety and wellbeing are not assured.

The report on Rockwell House Day Nursery and Nursery School, released yesterday, said that staff do not effectively tend to children’s needs and do not have a ‘proactive approach to establishing what may pose a risk to children's safety,’ with youngsters having been observed walking round at mealtimes with cutlery in their hands, climbing on furniture and running water onto the floor.

The nursery was given an ‘inadequate’ rating overall and in all four areas of assessment: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

The report said that systems in place to support staff are ‘not effectively embedded’ thus leading to ‘inconsistency in the quality of teaching.’ Criticism was directed at staff, noting that not all ‘interact confidently with children,’ further stating that ‘they lack a secure understanding of how to support and extend children's learning and development to help all children to achieve.’

Further concern was highlighted with safeguarding, noting that current arrangements are ‘not effective’ and that whilst ‘leaders demonstrate a suitable knowledge of the signs that indicate a child is at risk of harm’ some staff ‘are unable to identify signs that indicate a child or family may be at risk of radicalisation’ despite leaders implementing ‘appropriate recruitment and vetting arrangements’ to check their ongoing suitability.

The report is based on a visit to the nursery which was conducted by Ofsted on September 25 this year. The previous inspection, conducted on January 24 2020, rated the nursery as ‘good.’

The nursery, which is owned by Busy Bees Nurseries Limited, has endured a period of turmoil in recent months, with a staffing shortage resulting in a temporary closure in late July. The report noted that recent ‘significant staff changes’ have ‘had an impact on the quality of care, interactions and expectations of what children can learn’ however praised leaders for ‘working hard to meet ratios and ensure sufficient staff are working directly with the children’ and said they ‘have a clear vision and demonstrate that they have the capacity to make improvements.’

Niki Eyles, area director for the Busy Bees Nurseries said: “We recognise that there were areas found during the inspection where we could do better, however we have taken action to address all the points within the inspection report.

“The care of children in our nursery is at the heart of all we do. We are keeping parents up to date with everything we are doing and the positive impact those changes are having at the nursery.”