Failing Wigan borough nursery where ‘child was left outside alone’ could now be turned into apartments

A nursery in Leigh where a child was left alone outside and play equipment was found dirty could now be turned into apartments.
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Following Squirrels Children’s Day Nursery damning Ofsted report which dubbed them “Inadequate” plans have emerged to scrap the site and redesign it as three new homes.

The applicant, Dr Krishnan Satkunam, is asking for permission to build two one-bed homes and one another with four or more bedrooms within the old church building.

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Squirrels Children’s Day Nursery on Cook Street, LeighSquirrels Children’s Day Nursery on Cook Street, Leigh
Squirrels Children’s Day Nursery on Cook Street, Leigh
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The Cook Street site closed down earlier this year due to a lack of staff – shortly before the Ofsted inspectors came to visit in March.

A string of "Inadequate” ratings from the regulator meant they failed to meet a number of requirements set at previous inspections. Two Ofsted visits saw the nursery rated as “Inadequate” following a serious incident back in 2021.

In February 2021, the Cook Street site notified Ofsted “that a child was left alone, unsupervised, in the nursery garden, out of sight and hearing of staff for approximately six minutes”. This concern, which required actions to be taken by Ofsted, was followed by inspections in August 2022 and March 2023 which marked them as “Inadequate” in all categories.

“The outside area has not been risk assessed or maintained in a way which ensures that it continues to be suitable for play and learning,” the Ofsted report published on March 31 stated. “Some equipment is weathered, unclean or in disrepair.

“There are a number of water-gathering containers, which would be accessible to children and pose a risk of harm. Additionally, there is still no safe area for babies to play, as previously required.

“The provider’s representative fails to demonstrate an ability to implement an effective safeguarding policy and procedure. They are unclear about how they would respond to an allegation made against the manager or a staff member.

“This hinders the provider’s ability to protect children from harm.”

Wigan Council has not made a decision on whether the nursery will be turned into apartments currently.