Highgate Nursery Montessori rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors for second time in a year

A “chaotic” Highgate nursery has been slammed for “hindering children’s learning” by inspectors who have rated it “inadequate” for the second time this year.

Highgate Nursery Montessori, in Woodside Avenue, was given the lowest possible score in an Ofsted report published this week following an inspection in September, made after safety concerns had been raised.

The government watchdog said it will now be taking enforcement action to “ensure every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs” and to improve relationships with parents.

Cllr Sophie Erskine, a Lib Dem member for Fortis Green on Haringey Council, said: “It is worrying to hear that Ofsted have raised concerns about this nursery. I hope action is taken swiftly to address the issues.”

The nursery was first rated as “inadequate” in March for weak relationships with parents, a low standard of teaching and not having a named deputy in place, a breach of Ofsted’s requirements.

In June, the nursery’s sister site in Muswell Hill, for children aged between three months and three, years, was also given an “inadequate” rating.

Inspectors said that improvements have been made at the Highgate branch, which has places for 25 children aged between two and five, costing up to £343 per week, but staff have not done enough to earn it a higher rating.

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The latest visit by Ofsted came about after concerns were raised about the safety of children in the garden, according to the report.

Two children had gone into the outside space unnoticed and were left unsupervised while playing, but when inspectors visited the nursery, they noted that staff had installed a safety gate to prevent a similar incident happening again.

Although safety was not found to be a problem, inspectors reported the nursery was “chaotic” and that staff were “disorganised”.

The nursery, which uses the American Montessori teaching method, was criticised for “weak” partnerships with parents.

While established parents said staff were “friendly, approachable and keep them informed”, newer parents were not given “adequate support”.

The Ham&High contacted the nursery for a comment but it did not respond in time.