Borough nursery loses "good" rating


Babies are being cared for by nursery staff without appropriate skills, according to education inspectors.

Ofsted found employees looking after babies at Sunbeams Atherton did not support their emotional well-being.

They also did not use good hygiene practices, such as sterilising equipment used for food or washing hands before preparing bottles of milk.

The findings led to the Bolton Old Road nursery being judged as “inadequate” overall, dropping from the “good” rating it was given in 2016.

Inspector Liz Fortune-Price wrote: “Safeguarding is not effective. Staff do not have knowledge or experience to meet the needs of babies. The leader in the baby room does not have suitable experience of caring for babies. The manager has failed to provide staff with adequate coaching and supervision to improve staff practice in the baby room. This has led to significant weaknesses in the care, learning and development for babies.”

She found teaching was “variable”, with less-mobile children appearing “bored and disengaged” due to “poor staff interaction and the lack of stimulating activities”.

Those working with older children sometimes failed to build on what they knew.

Staff did not support the emotional well-being of babies, leaving them to cry, and there was “no apparent bond” between staff and babies.

The inspector said the “lack of stimulation and engagement through play and activities” did not ensure babies made good progress. However, older children were “settled and appear content”, enjoyed “freshly prepared meals” and had opportunities to become independent. They gained skills to prepare them for their next stage in learning. Staff were aware of how to keep children safe and workers in the pre-school room supported children’s thinking skills and understanding of the world.

They used “positive behaviour management strategies” and children behaved “well”, according to the inspector.

Ofsted rated Sunbeams Atherton, on Bolton Old Road, as “inadequate” after an inspection

Safeguarding is not effective. Staff do not have knowledge or experience

Nursery staff are ‘very disappointed’

Ofsted listed eight changes that should be made at Sunbeams Atherton, including six to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and childcare register.

The improvements included ensuring at least half of staff working with babies received training specific for caring for them, and making sure the person responsible for the baby room has suitable experience.

They must also improve hygiene practices in the baby room.

Angela Williamson, from Sunbeams Atherton, told the Post: “We are very disappointed with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection, but would like to assure parents that following the findings in the report we now have a comprehensive action plan in place to make the necessary changes.

“With the support of Ofsted and Wigan Council, and the backing of our parents and staff, we are working hard to regain a ‘good’ Ofsted outcome.”