By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
A failing South London nursery where staff left plastic bags out near young kids has been warned it faces closure if it doesn’t improve.
Rising Stars School in Peckham Hill Street, Southwark, was rated inadequate in all areas for the second time in six months by Ofsted following an inspection in July.
The nursery – which looks after kids up to four years old – was criticised for exposing children to unnecessary risks. Plastic bags were left lying around and cupboards were unlocked when Ofsted visited.
The nursery told an inspector that children needed to learn about risks and it did not remove hazards. But Ofsted said Rising Stars School was breaching rules and kids were put in harm’s way by staff who failed to ensure the nursery was safe.
A report published on July 27 reads: “The provider says children need to learn about risk and does not take action to remove hazards. Staff do not take all reasonable steps to ensure children are not exposed to risks.
“For example, plastic bags are left out and cupboards are left unlocked in the toilet area. This is a breach of statutory requirements. Staff cannot ensure the nursery is safe and this puts children at risk.”
It went on to criticise Rising Stars School for failing to ensure smoke detectors were working properly.
Ofsted also said the nursery’s safeguarding policy didn’t cover staff’s use of mobile phones and cameras, which undermined kids’ wellbeing.
The report continues: “Leaders have not ensured that appropriate fire detection equipment, for example smoke detectors, are in working order. Parents and visitors are not notified that CCTV is in use on the premises. These are breaches to statutory requirements that put children’s welfare, safety and privacy at risk.
“Leaders have not ensured the setting’s safeguarding policy is up to date and covers staff use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting. This is a breach of statutory requirements. This compromises staff’s ability to follow procedures and fulfil their safeguarding roles. Consequently, children’s well-being cannot be assured.”
Ofsted issued the nursery with a Welfare Requirements Notice, meaning it had to make a number of changes or face closure. The improvements include: ensuring children are not exposed to risks and supporting staff to minimise potential hazards.
Despite multiple failings, the report praised the nursery for taking kids on trips out to parks and playgrounds nearby.
The report said: “Children clearly enjoy these opportunities to explore the local area and extend their physical skills. They waste no time fetching their shoes when it is time to go outside. These outings help children learn about the community and the local area.”
A previous inspection in January blasted Rising Stars School for leaving babies unsupervised. The Ofsted report published in May said: “When staff had to leave the room, such as to answer the door, babies and children were left alone, out of sight and hearing.”
Rising Stars School has been contacted for comment.
Pictured top: Rising Stars School in Peckham (Picture: Robert Firth)