Do better, nursery staff are told

This Is Wiltshire: Toad Hall Day Nursery, in Victoria Road Toad Hall Day Nursery, in Victoria Road

A NURSERY due to close down on Christmas Eve had been deemed inadequate by the schools watchdog in its second inspection in the course of a year.

Toad Hall Nursery, in Victoria Road, announced its closure in October because it was unable to afford vital building work.

But a report published last month showed Ofsted had also criticised the teaching provision, leadership and management at the nursery.

The previous inspection had taken place only a year earlier, when inspectors praised the nursery, with all aspects considered good.

But 12 months later, following a fundamental change in the inspection criteria, inspectors found the nursery required significant improvement and possible enforcement action.

Early year providers are generally inspected once in a cycle of four years, but visits can be brought foward if Ofsted has information that provision is not meeting legal requirements.

The report criticised all aspects of teaching, as well as leadership and management.

It said: “Children are not making adequate progress in their learning. The quality of staff observations, assessments and tracking of children’s progress is variable across the nursery, with some staff failing to track children’s learning.

“Groups of young children sit for continued periods of time. They wait in the hallways until staff are ready to take them outside. Staff fail to inspire children in their learning because they are unclear on how to interact purposefully with children. Parents are provided with very little information on how their child is progressing.

“Personal, social and emotional development is not supported as children are left to wander around, sometimes with little adult involvement.”

Safeguarding measures in the nursery were said to be adequately met, and children tended to respect proper behaviour.

Ruth Pimental, chief executive of Toad Hall Nursery Group, said the nursery would close because the schools inspector demanded it do construction work to bring the building up to scratch.

She said that would have required an increase to the charges for parents and carers, so the best option was to stop operations in Swindon.

“It was not an ideal building,” she said.

“The report did highlight some areas we need to work on, and we decided it would be almost impossible for us to meet the requirements and generate sufficient fees to pay for it.”

Comments (2)

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6:47am Thu 12 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

What a shame; my kids went there a good few years back when it was Oakley Court and then became Toad Hall. It was a wonderful environment with its haphazard internal structure and had brilliant staff and the kids absolutely loved it.
It's a shame it has come to this and I hope the staff are able to find reemployment and the kids aren't too upset by having to swap childcare (and thus losing friends) for reasons they don't understand.
Regarding the building though, please, please Swindon Borough Council, keep an eye on what happens to the sale or lease of the building and do not let another architectural gem in Swindon become dilapidated and end up being pulled down. It is a beautiful building right next to the flagship regeneration project at the old college site. It shouldn't be left to rot.
What a shame; my kids went there a good few years back when it was Oakley Court and then became Toad Hall. It was a wonderful environment with its haphazard internal structure and had brilliant staff and the kids absolutely loved it. It's a shame it has come to this and I hope the staff are able to find reemployment and the kids aren't too upset by having to swap childcare (and thus losing friends) for reasons they don't understand. Regarding the building though, please, please Swindon Borough Council, keep an eye on what happens to the sale or lease of the building and do not let another architectural gem in Swindon become dilapidated and end up being pulled down. It is a beautiful building right next to the flagship regeneration project at the old college site. It shouldn't be left to rot. Wildwestener

8:52am Thu 12 Dec 13

LynzBull says...

My children have just left Toad Hall due to the closure and have thankfully settled into a new nursery. However what is being said in this article is very unfair on the staff who work/worked here.
There are issues with the building yes but we were aware of this but I do not agree with how the staff have been portrayed in this article.
I was updated daily on what both my children were doing, kept informed on their learning and development and with regards to them being left for long periods in the hallways... well, this is referring to the hallway of the nursery, which leads to the garden. Yes the children do sit in here but is only until all children had coats on and ready to go out all at one time together.

At no point have I ever been concerned on how my children have been cared for and am so grateful to all the staff and how they have been involved in both my children’s early years.

Thank you to Jane and her team for the last 3 years effort and hard work you put into my children, they and I miss you all ****
My children have just left Toad Hall due to the closure and have thankfully settled into a new nursery. However what is being said in this article is very unfair on the staff who work/worked here. There are issues with the building yes but we were aware of this but I do not agree with how the staff have been portrayed in this article. I was updated daily on what both my children were doing, kept informed on their learning and development and with regards to them being left for long periods in the hallways... well, this is referring to the hallway of the nursery, which leads to the garden. Yes the children do sit in here but is only until all children had coats on and ready to go out all at one time together. At no point have I ever been concerned on how my children have been cared for and am so grateful to all the staff and how they have been involved in both my children’s early years. Thank you to Jane and her team for the last 3 years effort and hard work you put into my children, they and I miss you all **** LynzBull

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