A BASINGSTOKE nursery and preschool has been told it must improve after concerns were raised around child safety and staff training. 

Bright Horizons Copper Beeches Day Nursery and Preschool, in Cliddesden Road, was visited by Ofsted on Friday, September 8 and a report published on Tuesday, October 10, rated it as 'inadequate'. It was previously graded 'good' in 2021. 

Potential hazards and risks to children's safety were highlighted. This included serving dishes being given at mealtimes which were too hot to touch, and obstructed fire exits which were described as "not sufficiently robust to ensure children's safety in case of an emergency".

The report said that there have been 'significant changes' to the leadership and staff at the nursery. It continued: "The manager, who is new to her role, is ambitious and recognises some weaknesses in the nursery. However, there are breaches of requirement relating to risk assessment and fire procedures that compromise children's safety.

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"Although the manager has a clear vision of what she wants children to learn and achieve, this is not understood or followed by all staff. The lack of clear intentions for older children's learning means that children do not benefit from purposeful or challenging experiences."

The report said that while staff have good relationships with the children in their care and the management has a clear intention for the nursery's curriculum, arrangements for ongoing support, mentoring and coaching for staff are not good enough to ensure they have the skills and understanding to offer "high-quality learning experiences" to all children.

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The report added that staff are 'kind and caring', with children happy to leave their parents at the door and settle quickly into the nursery routines.

The report also stated that parents speak positively about the nursery and feel their children are well supported and cared for by the staff and that parents commented favourably about the activities their children do, such as cooking and outdoor play.

Copper Beeches was given until Friday, September 29 to meet requirements given by Ofsted. These were to improve risk assessment procedures, ensuring emergency evacuation procedures are effective in all areas of the nursery, and to ensure all staff understand how to plan and deliver a curriculum that is precisely tailored to the individual needs of each child.

The report also said staff must use effective behaviour management strategies to give children support and guidance on behaviour, and that staff must be provided with appropriate coaching and support to ensure they offer good quality learning experiences and effective support and interaction for all children.

A nursery spokesperson said: “Following this recent disappointing inspection judgement we have taken Ofsted’s feedback very seriously. Our commitment as always is to the wellbeing and education of the children in our care and our partnership with parents.

"We have a development plan underway at the nursery and have prioritised measures that address the safety aspects that Ofsted raises about fire safety and the serving of hot dishes. While we draw some comfort from the positive comments within the inspection report, we remain focused on the observations that have led to this overall rating.”