Failing Highgate nursery regains Ofsted praise in just six months

A nursery which was failed by Ofsted for putting children’s safety at risk has been hailed for making drastic improvements in just under six months.

Inspectors handed Konstam Children’s Centre in Highgate a ‘good’ rating after judging the Camden Council-run nursery as ‘inadequate’ earlier this year.

The scathing Ofsted judgement prompted parents at the time to leap to the former ‘outstanding’ centre’s defence, branding the report as lacking detail and accuracy in a passionate letter to the Ham&High.

Cllr Angela Mason, Camden’s cabinet member for children, said: “This very positive Ofsted report is great news for staff, parents and children at Konstam Children’s Centre. Congratulations to everyone at the centre for achieving a ‘good’ rating overall and in each inspection criterion.

“It shows how our early years service is helping to prepare children well for school, which is so vital to their future progress and wellbeing.”

The previous report published in April this year heavily criticised the children’s centre for not securing all its entrances, meaning that anyone could walk in off the street without checks.

It also found the Chester Road nursery to be in breach of some of its legal safeguarding and welfare requirements. But following an article in the Ham&High about the problems, a group of 13 parents said the report failed to recognise the “outstanding level of education” offered at the nursery, which also operates a play scheme for children up to the age of eight.

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They wrote: “The safeguarding issues highlighted by the report are being addressed by the management but are the fault of the architecture of the Victorian building and not the staff at Konstam.”

Since the last Ofsted inspection, the centre has now fixed all problems, according to a follow-up inspection report published last month. Inspectors also praised the nursery for its broad range of well-planned activities for children, and the management’s strong commitment to offering a high-quality service.

The report states: “Staff have a good knowledge of safeguarding issues and know what to do if they have any concerns about the welfare of the child. They provide a safe and secure environment for children to play safely.”

But inspectors said the nursery still needs to make a few minor improvements to return to its ‘outstanding’ status. These include taking more opportunities to promote children’s independence skills.

It was last rated ‘outstanding’ in 2009 and held the status for six years.