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Worried about DS nursery and who I should report too?(15 Posts)
DS started nursery September 2018 an enjoyed it throughout the year. However, since returning in September he’s been really hesitant to go and often gets upset.
DS has mild ASD and struggles with communication, so he only tells me a few things about his time there.
A few weeks back I went early to collect my son. When I walked in DS ran straight to me and told me two staff members names and said they put water on his clothes and on his hair and face.. I noticed spray marks across his chest and he had a soaking head of hair which was running down his face and neck. I looked at the staff member and one was holding a half full, screw cap style, water bottle with a pierced hole through the lid.
The nursery staff denied any wrong doing and said “he’d simply been caught up in their water fight”.
(Neither looked wet to me)
I’ve complained to the nursery director, that was 3 weeks ago and I’m yet to hear back.
My question is.. who should I be reporting this too? Any help would be appreciated
Report to ofsted. It’s strange that the nursery director hasn’t got back to you...
Would you feel more comfortable removing your DS? Why would the nursery staff be having a water fight anyway (especially in autumn)? If they were, it’s not exactly professional. I wouldn’t be happy with this situation at all.
Has he been back in the time since the incident?
Gosh that's awful- and I just posted about issues with a nursery menu when this kind of thing is going on- puts things into perspective sorry op.
Your poor boy.
Have you sent him back?
How old is he?
I'd keep him out of that nursery and definitely contact Ofsted.
Poor boy 😕
Staff having water fights? In front of the children! That is unprofessional. When we had the heat wave we put the hose on for the children to run in and out of but that was their choice. I would be concerned as you mention ASD this puts him in a vulnerable position. Did you give the manager a date to respond by? I would actually go as far as making a "what if" call to the Local Authority safeguarding hub. This story doesn't sit well with me. I think you are right to be concerned
Thank you everyone. He is only 3 and half. I’ve not sent him back since the incident and he refused to go anyway.
I was also confused about how long these things take. The director said it “may take some time to review CCTV”. But I am concerned about 3 weeks passing by it seems like nothing is happening.
DS also really doesn’t like water on his head or near his ears and I’d made nursery aware of this so I was really upset and confused as to why they would do this to him. And I think a water fight (if this happened) is a terrible idea in autumn also.
And I didn’t give the director a date to reply by, do you think it’s worthwhile sending another email? Thanks again everyone and I will be reporting to Ofsted and local authority safeguarding just trying to find their contact details
If you go onto your county council website they will have contact details for the safeguarding hub. Try searching for Laddo. Does your son have an official diagnosis? Because if his sensory difficulties are surrounding water and they are aware then they could be in serious trouble. I would give a gentle reminder. Perhaps an email saying dear xxxx further to my query regarding my son and a water fight etc... Please could you make me aware of your findings as to exactly what happened to my little boy. I would make sure that you include the phrase 'little boy' because it highlights just how little and vulnerable he actually is. Hope this helps. Even if nothing comes of this with Ofsted and safeguarding hub you need an explanation of what happened. Especially if staff haven't apologised. I am still finding a water fight in an early years setting unacceptable. There is a time and place for staff antics and in session is not one one of them. The whole ethos of nursery staff is to be a good role model. Would the children be expected to behave that way? I expect not.
I also forgot to add ask a question as to how log they expect it to take to get back to you. Then if this gets you no where state a reasonable length of time for them to respond I think 2 weeks is more than generous.
Complaints need to go to the nursery management, Ofsted and the local authority safeguarding hub, if you consider this a safeguarding situation.
Ofsted’s standard procedure is to note any complaint and follow it up at the next scheduled inspection. They generally only inspect in response to a complaint if they deem a child to be at immediate risk, or a serious safeguarding matter.
They may well ask you to await the nursery's response to your original complaint and call them back if you aren’t satisfied.
You should retain all evidence. Request a copy of the nursery's complaints policy, and ensure they follow it. They must also make you aware of how to complain to Ofsted.
Even if there’s nothing to the incident, they’ll be in breach of regulations if:-
they fail to respond to your complaint within 28 days.
they fail to provide you with their complaints policy.
they fail to inform you of your rights and how to complain to Ofsted
Ring ofsted and make a complaint
0300 123 1231
I’m a nursery manager and I don’t say that lightly as my first instinct would be to let the nursery deal with it but they have had long enough
In my company you would have a response that day or by the next
The nursery should also have reported your concerns to the LADO and ofsted themselves
Shocking behaviour by the staff and the director
There is a possibility the nursery might bill you for fees in lieu of notice. For this and other reasons, you need to handle things correctly and retain evidence to support your case.
That does mean following the proper process, even if the statutory 28days seems a long time to wait for a response. I would still note that it seems an unreasonably long time to run a cctv check, which may indicate the manager is not taking the matter seriously.
If you do email them, do not in any circumstances refer to the incident as "a water fight". It is important not to concede this’s point. Even though staff horseplay is bad enough, they could be using that as a cover story for deliberately teasing and tormenting a vulnerable child. Don’t accept any sort of excuses nor try to apply your own interpretations at this stage; stick to the known facts.
The cctv footage seems crucial to this case, and needs to be preserved and used properly. In addition to the above advice, I suggest.....
Contact the nursery ASAP and demand they make a secure copy of the cctv footage for the date in question. Also submit this instruction in writing. There is a very real danger this evidence could be lost, because many surveillance systems automatically delete or overwrite after 30 days or so. At a sinister level,this could be why the director is delaying... "oops, oh dear, the images have been lost; sorry." Or the nursery might deliberately delete anything they don’t want anyone to see.
Call the local authority’s safeguarding team and tell them you’re concerned the cctv evidence could be lost/destroyed. Ask them to contact the nursery formally to support your request that this vital evidence be preserved.
The nursery must be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data handling, including cctv use. They should, by law, have given you their ICO registration number and details of how they use, store and protect your data. Presumably, safety and child protection are the key reasons for using cctv. But the delay in investigating the incident brings this into question. So I would be raising a complaint with the ICO because they are not using cctv/data in accordance with their registration.
As a parent you have rights on your child’s behalf, including access to data and images. This means you can, and should, make a 'subject access request" to the nursery, to see the relevant cctv footage. The ICO website has a template letter for such a request. The nursery can make a small charge: £10 is usual. I’d half expect the nursery to refuse/ignore/stall or make some excuse. Demand their response in writing, as even a refusal will provide evidence of how seriously they aren’t taking your complaint. You should also complain to the ICO about any delay/refusal to comply with a subject access request.
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