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Purley nursery accused in sickness alert

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A NURSERY has been accused of putting children at risk by potentially contributing to an outbreak of diarrhoea.

Ofsted visited Purley Day Nursery & Montessori Centre after claims that poor food preparation had caused children and staff to fall sick.

While the spot-check found that food was being prepared hygienically, Ofsted found the nursery may have contributed to the problem by failing to follow health and safety guidelines.

As a result the nursery was judged to be "inadequate" – Ofsted's lowest rating – but has launched an appeal.

On March 21, Ofsted received a complaint about an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea at Purley Day Nursery, in Burcott Road.

An inspection was unable to determine the source of the infection, but found the nursery was not following Health Protection Agency guidance about "excluding" children for 48 hours following a bout of sickness.

"This puts children in danger of contracting illness from infected individuals and compromises their wellbeing," inspector Lesley Hodges' report, published this week, said.

In a letter to parents and Ofsted this week, owner Sharman Allerton rejected the accusation but said policies had been altered to include a 48-hour exclusion period.

Ofsted also accused the nursery of "compromising children's safety" by relying on criminal records checks completed by previous employers when hiring staff rather than doing its own.

Ms Allerton said she had followed official guidance and insisted none of the nursery's 93 children had been put at risk.

Claims that staff do not give younger children enough time to answer questions, which "impacts on their development of their communication skills", were branded "incorrect" by Ms Allerton, who pointed to other sections of the report where the nursery was praised for its quality of teaching and activities.

Despite the damning overall verdict, Purley Day Nursery was rated "good" for how it meets children's needs.

It will be subject to monitoring visits and a full inspection within six months. Purley is the fifth Croydon nursery to be criticised by Ofsted this year.

Purley nursery accused in sickness alert


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