A BASINGSTOKE nursery school has been ordered to improve because it is putting children ‘at potential risk of harm’.

Busy Bees Day Nursery at Basingstoke hospital, in Aldermaston Road, was visited by Ofsted inspectors in April who have graded it as ‘inadequate’ in all areas including overall effectiveness, quality of education, and leadership and management.

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It was served a ‘welfare requirement notice’ which required the nursery to take action by May 2 including in relation to its safeguarding practices.

Inspectors, who visited after receiving information about the provider, found that children “do not receive the care and education they deserve”.

A report published following the inspection highlighted issues with staff not having safeguarding knowledge to adequately protect children; bored children; poor leadership; inadequate recruitment processes; and poor hygiene practices.

The nursery, which has 101 children on its roll and 29 members of staff, is open from 7am to 6pm five days a week, for children aged two to four.

Inspectors found that children become upset and unsettled when key persons are absent, adding: “Children do not consistently experience good-quality interactions and do not always have their individual needs met. As a result, several cry and others wander, with little to occupy them.”

The education watchdog found that generally, children behave well, but that they “struggle to sustain concentration and resilience in their learning due to boredom”.

Inspectors saw children lying on the sofa and rug saying, ‘I am tired’ because there were “no planned experiences to engage them”.

The report said leadership and management at Busy Bees was “poor”, adding: “The provider does not identify and address weaknesses in their management and staff practice. As a result, there are breaches to the legal requirements.

“The provider does not ensure that all staff, including the designated safeguarding lead, have a good understanding of safeguarding issues and local procedures.

"Leaders have failed to ensure that notifications made to Ofsted and other agencies happen in a timely manner. This puts children at potential risk of harm.”

Ofsted found Busy Bees does not have “robust recruitment procedures in place” with staff not fully checked for suitability.

The report said: “Therefore, children’s safety and welfare are not assured.”

It found hygiene practices were not consistent, with older children not always encouraged to use soap to wash their hands before mealtimes.

Younger children were not supported to wash their hands before snack time.

Children were seen by inspectors with runny noses which were not “cleaned promptly to ensure their comfort and wellbeing”.

Inspectors found the quality of education was inadequate. The report said: “Not all staff are confident in their abilities to teach children. This means they do not reach their full potential.”

Busy Bees was asked to make various improvements, including implementing a complaints policy to include a written log of complaints and how these were investigated.

Ofsted revisited Busy Bees on May 5 to check whether it had met the safeguarding and welfare actions raised during the inspection.

A report said staff had “improved their knowledge and understanding of child protection and procedures and now fully understand their responsibilities”.

It had also improved its recruitment procedures to ensure that all adults looking after children are suitable.

Additional training had been provided for all staff, with future training scheduled.

Inspectors also found hygiene practices had improved, with new routines established to “promote children’s good health”.

The report said: “We are satisfied the provider has met the safeguarding and welfare actions raised.”

Busy Bees, which runs 379 nurseries across the country including in Chineham and Hatch Warren, has been asked for a comment.


Busy Bees has since responded with a statement which can be read here. 

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