Ofsted raises safety concerns at Leeds nursery

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Improvements have been ordered at a council-run children’s centre in Leeds where education inspectors found staff did “not understand child protection issues”.

Ofsted has rated City and Holbeck Nursery as “inadequate” in every category of a new report, and raised serious concerns about safeguarding children.

The watchdog criticised risk assessments at the nursery, in particular for nappy-changing, use of apparatus and the security of the site.

In its inspection report, Ofsted said: “Despite undertaking training, some staff are unable to identify possible signs of abuse or neglect, or indicators that children may be at risk of harm from extreme behaviours and views.

“Unauthorised persons are able to gain access to the nursery through the open windows to the side of the building.”

The council said it took over the City and Holbeck Children’s Centre in August 2016 when the previous owners, 4Children, ceased to operate.

Ofsted said that the new management team is developing an action plan but it has not been implemented quick enough.

However, inspectors praised the nursery for its support for children with special needs.

Steve Walker, Leeds City Council’s director of children and family services, said: “We are very disappointed with this judgement from Ofsted as Leeds City Council Children’s Centres generally have an excellent track record in terms of providing good quality childcare provision.”

He said new staff training has been introduced, and that a series of further safety measures have been put in place following the inspection.

Mr Walker added: “Our aim is for all children in Leeds to get the very best start in life. We are working with staff to ensure that rapid improvements are made and that children at City and Holbeck Children’s Centre enjoy high quality provision.”

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