Alphabet House Day Nursery, in Newcastle Avenue, was given the rating after its quality of education and behaviour and attitudes was rated as requiring improvement following a recent visit, but was judged as inadequate for personal development and leadership and management.
Manager Magda Kelham has hit out at the ‘unfair inspection’, stating that the report was ‘not factual’ and based on 'incomplete or omitted evidence’ due to it taking place during the February half-term when less children attended, including just one older child.
She also said the inspector failed to acknowledge that the nursery is a Montessori setting, which is an educational approach that allows children to learn through freedom within limits.
The inspector stated a key area of concern was the older children’s curriculum, where activities provided by staff ‘are not always challenging or inspiring’, and that ‘older children do not make the progress they are capable of.’
Children’s safety and welfare was also ‘compromised’ because ‘managers do not ensure that all staff have a secure understanding of child protection and safeguarding practice’.
Despite this, the report also stated that the children are happy, behave well, and enjoy their time at the nursery.
Children learn to share toys, take turns, and develop their independence skills appropriately. Parents also gave positive feedback and stated that the nursery staff are very approachable and supportive.
Responding to the report, Ms Kelham said: “Alphabet House is a Montessori setting, we praise ourselves on high quality education, scientifically designed resources and qualified teaching staff.
“We employ four qualified early years teachers and experienced and dedicated practitioners who cherish every child in their care.
“We know our children, care for them and make sure they are safe.
“Yet, an Ofsted inspector, following a seven hour visit and meeting just four of our cohort of 55 children makes a highly opinionated and damaging personal judgement that has nothing to do with the reality - and we are forced to accept it.
“The whole inspection experience brought on all of us a feeling of misery which comes only with the realisation that you have been deeply wronged, but can do nothing about it.”
Ms Kelham submitted a 16-page complaint to Ofsted in response to the inspection which included the behaviour of the inspector and them not having a clear picture of the nursery given that there was only a handful of children, including one child aged 41 months, whose normal area was closed due to low numbers, were present.
Ofsted responded to Ms Kelham addressing each of the concerns raised.
When approached for comment, an Ofsted spokesperson said: “If providers have concerns about any aspect of their inspection they can raise them through the complaints process, published on our website.
“We do not comment on individual complaints, but we take all complaints and concerns seriously.”