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AFTER SCHOOL CLUB SLAMMED; Early years provision needs a 'significant improvement'.


AN after school club at a Middlesbrough primary school has been heavily criticised by Government inspectors as lacking in safeguarding under-fives.

Stay and Play Out of School Club, at Nunthorpe Primary School, was deemed by Ofsted as needing "significant improvement" in its early years provision.

The club, which is run by a private charitable organisation at the Guisborough Road school, was visited by inspectors in early October and a report was subsequently published.

Only two of the 45 children enrolled fit into the age category assessed, from birth to five years old. The headteacher of the primary school - which was separately inspected and received an overall good rating - has spoken on behalf of Stay and Play to clarify steps taken to rectify issues since the visit.

Ofsted's report said numerous specific legal requirements had not been met, which "seriously compromise the children's safety and welfare".

Written policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding were deemed "not up to date".

While staff supervise the children and a written risk assessment had been introduced, the report said it was not sufficiently detailed.

The daily register did not include hours of attendance, it said - which is a legal requirement.

And the club was said to have failed to notify Ofsted of important changes to the organisation.

In numerical ratings Stay and Play was given a four, meaning inadequate, for the extent to which the under-fives feel safe and the effectiveness of safeguarding. However, other areas were rated as three, meaning satisfactory, including the effectiveness of deploying resources, promoting equality and diversity and engaging with parents and carers.

They also received a satisfactory rating for the extent to which children achieve and enjoy their learning, adopt healthy lifestyles, make a positive contribution and develop skills for the future.

Alexa O'Gara, headteacher of Nunthorpe Primary School, said: "A greater understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework is needed to ensure they meet statutory requirements.

"The deputy is now the nominated EYFS key person and also volunteers in school in this capacity."

She said there was a safeguarding policy in place, but her name, as the new headteacher from September, had not been added to the policy.

She added: "In addition to this the nominated person for safeguarding for the school was also the nominated person for Stay and Play. "This was criticised by Ofsted as the club is open in the holidays therefore should have its own nominated person."

She said this has been rectified as there are now two nominated people.

Ms O'Gara said the risk assessments have been made more detailed as required. She added: "On a more positive note children's emotional and social development is fostered well, children are enthusiastic about joining in.

"Inspectors noted that children are respectful to one another and staff and follow instructions to help stay safe. The children and parents who use this facility are very happy."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 18, 2011
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