A Dorset nursery has been rated ‘inadequate’ after Ofsted inspectors found that ‘children’s safety is at risk because of staff’s limited knowledge of safeguarding.’

Dean Park Day Nursery on Cavendish Road, Bournemouth was inspected by Ofsted in February, with a full report being released this week.

The nursery received an ‘inadequate’ rating, after previously being rated ‘good’ in April 2022.

In their report, Ofsted said that a lack of permanent staff meant that agency and bank staff ‘do not know the children or understand their needs.’

As a result, children struggle to form secure attachments because the staff ‘are not consistent,’ which negatively impacts their health and wellbeing.

Ofsted added: “Most nursery staff have a suitable understanding of safeguarding and the procedures to follow if concerned about a child's welfare.

“However, agency and bank staff do not. Agency and bank staff do not know the children well enough to support them.

“This is particularly evident with the younger children. At times, staff are confused about children's care needs.

“For example, staff are not aware of babies' sleep routines. They do not recognise when babies are tired or in need of a sleep. Consequently, babies become distressed.”

The report states that staff do not have a good enough knowledge of safeguarding because ‘leaders have not ensured that agency and bank staff know how to recognise when a child may be at risk of harm which compromises their safety.’

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A spokesperson for Dean Park nursery said: “We are disappointed by the outcome of the inspection report and would like to reassure parents and staff that we have been pro-actively engaging with OFSTED to implement a clear and transformative plan for the future.

“We had been working closely with them in dealing with a number of challenging matters over the past nine months.

“Just six days prior to the OFSTED inspection we were inspected by the Local Authority, who raised no concerns whatsoever about the nursery.

“Furthermore, on the same day as the OFSTED inspection our sister nursery, just up the road at Park School (which has the same governance and management structure) was given the equivalent of an ‘Outstanding’ rating.”