A BASINGSTOKE nursery has been told 'children's safety is put at risk' due to 'weaknesses' in safeguarding.

Otters Nursery School, a nursery for children from the ages of three months to five-years-old in Farleigh Road, has been rated 'inadequate' following an Ofsted inspection on April 10.

Inspectors noted that children were not being supervised while eating, with some children handed cooked meals 'observed to be too hot for them' resulting in 'children crying and others removing the food quickly from their mouths'.

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Staff deployment is 'poor' at the nursery, according to the report. It continues: "Staff do not always know what the children are doing, which means that at times children's actions do put themselves and others at risk."

Teaching quality was noted to be 'variable' with some children receiving a 'suitable amount of attention and support' however, this is not 'consistent for all'.

"Not all children are engaged, and too often they are seen to spend periods of time wandering the environment with little engagement in purposeful activities. Despite this, key-person arrangements are suitable, and staff demonstrate that they know the children well," the report continues.

However, inspectors have noted that staff 'show they are kind and considerate to children when engaging with them' with managers ensuring that 'sufficient qualified staff are on duty to care for the children'.

Management policies and procedures were deemed to be 'appropriate', ensuring that all staff working with the children are 'suitable'. The report added: "All visitors are supervised when in the proximity of children."

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An Otters Nursery School spokesperson said they take safeguarding 'extremely seriously', adding: “We are understandably disappointed with the outcome of our latest Ofsted inspection, particularly given our previous rating of Good.

"However, we were pleased to note the inspectors’ findings that children are happy in the setting and treated with kindness and consideration by our staff.

“The safety and wellbeing of all children in our care is always our absolute priority and we take safeguarding extremely seriously. We are committed to quickly addressing the challenges raised in the report and are working to a detailed plan which has already actioned the areas identified for improvement. 

"We are determined to turn around the current rating as rapidly as possible and remain closely supported in this work by the local authority. We continue to keep parents regularly informed about our progress and want to thank them for their ongoing support.”