A preschool in Romford has been given the worst Ofsted rating in a recent report.

YMCA Thames Gateway Romford Preschool in Rush Green Road was deemed ‘inadequate’ overall by the watchdog after its visit on July 13.

The report, published on October 17, claimed that “children are not protected from dangers” at the preschool and staff do not follow risk assessment effectively.

It found that places like the kitchen area are not risk-assessed sufficiently, with some cupboards fitted with faulty safety catches. This, it said, could mean that children can trap their fingers in the doors.

The provider, Ofsted added, “does not plan and implement an ambitious curriculum” with experiences set up that are not “stimulating or interesting”.

As a result, it stated that while children are learning, they are “not making a good progress of which they are capable”.

It added: “Children are not learning the value of listening to their friends and staff.

“For instance, when staff ask children to stop running, children often stop, pause and then continue running. Staff do not consistently challenge this behaviour.”

The safeguarding arrangements at the preschool were also found “ineffective” by inspectors.

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On the positive front, they noted that children come into the pre-school happily and that staff are given adequate training to support pupils with special education needs and disabilities.  

The outcome of the inspection was however “strongly contested” by the preschool, which specially flagged 17 areas of the report.

A spokesperson for the organisation told the Recorder that on Tuesday (October 10), they received a response to their complaints.

While three of the aspects raised by the preschool were said to be reflected in Ofsted’s response, it was claimed that inspectors upheld the initial judgement overall.

The spokesperson added: “While we are incredibly disappointed with this outcome, and disagreements remain, we are committed to taking this feedback on board and have set out an action plan to address the areas outlined – some recommendations have in fact already been implemented.”

The parents, they said, have been informed and reassured by the preschool and the venue is hoping for a reinspection in early 2024.

“The development and safety of all children, and the support of their families, is of the utmost importance to everyone at YMCA Romford. We will continue to provide the best possible care and experience for them”, the spokesperson added.

The 'inadequate' rating marks a drop from a 'good' rating the preschool received at the previous inspection in March 2018.

The Recorder contacted Ofsted for their response, but it refused to comment beyond the findings in the report.