Second branch of Brighton and Hove nursery closes after damning Ofsted

Posted On 02 Apr 2015 at 8:00 pm

The second branch of Brighton and Hove nursery chain Little Oaks has closed after being rated inadequate by Ofsted.

Little Oaks noticeThe Islingword Road site was given the disastrous report after an inspection in November last year – and a further spot check in January found it was still not up to scratch.

On Friday, the nursery was told it would no longer get early years funding from Brighton and Hove City Council because it had lost its Ofsted accreditation.

And on Tuesday, parents were given just half a day’s notice it was closing its doors for the last time.

One parent, Margrethe Wallenius Houghton, said: “We were gutted to receive the news on Tuesday.

“We were told about a month ago that early years funding would cease, and that is when most parents (understandably, given the financial impact) started moving their kids out.

“A lot of parents were happy to stay on whilst they sorted out what was mainly managerial issues – the staff has remained fantastic to the end, and I am gutted for all the girls who came into work on Tuesday to find out they didn’t have a job anymore.

“Thankfully the vast majority have got something else lined up.”

Another, Vikkie, said: “My understanding is that they received the poor Ofsted report on the 18 December and had until 5 January to address all points to their satisfaction.

“Given that the nursery shut on 21 December for the Christmas break and was closed until 5 January, it didn’t give them much time to sort all the listed problems.

“It is very sad. The poor girls who worked there were devastated when it closed on Tuesday. Even the ones who had sorted somewhere to move on to.”

This follows the Hove branch in Goldstone Villas closing just before Christmas last year, also following an inadequate rating by Ofsted and the cancellation of its registration on December 18.

Following its December inspection, the Islingword Road nursery was told it had to maintain a daily register of children, ensure staff are trained in safeguarding children from abuse or neglect and ensure the premises were safe.

Little Oaks exteriorIn January, inspector Mara Conroy said while it had effectively refurbished play areas, maintained attendance records and booked staff onto training, it had not done all it needed to stop being closely monitored.

A third branch in Stanford Avenue, Brighton, was also re-inspected and inspectors found it had done enough to bring the nursery up to standard so its next inspection will be a standard full one.

  1. Sunny Reply

    Two down , one to go .
    How disgraceful parents were only given half a days notice.
    Shame on the owners of these nurseries .

  2. A concerned parent Reply

    Once again Brighton and Hove news shows itself for the second rate journalism it provides. Number 1 rule of any piece of journalism is to ensure your source of information is accurate and reliable and this article is neither. Without a doubt there have been issues but the OFSTED rating of this nursery had nothing to do with its closure. Undoubtedly the staff at this nursery worked incredibly hard to provide good quality childcare in very difficult circumstances. Whilst the article praises the staff and this goes some way to correct it’s falseness nonetheless the implication that the nursery was closed by OFSTED would suggest a fault with the efforts on the ground which is not true the issues leading this company to close were financial.

    So perhaps if Brighton and Hive news had spent less time concocting stories based on minimal evidence and did proper research we might see a good piece of writing reflecting the truth. Alas until then the near slanderous fairy tales will continue to flourish.

  3. anonymous Reply

    This story is a load of rubbish. All 3 nurseries are no longer open due to it going insolvent.
    OFSTED did not do their job with any of these nurseries and seemed instead of them having the hassle of shutting them down they just kept waiting and waiting as the financial situation got worse and worse. All the monitoring visits they did they were made aware of the problems and still kept saying one more chance. Even after seeing one of the nurseries had no cleaning equiptment or toilet tissue anywhere.In the end parents and staff starting leaving rightly so.
    On Friday 27th March stanford avenue closed and on Tuesday 31st all of the staff and children lost a nursery place or a job.
    I really wish brighton and hove news would get all the facts before writing pointless stories that aren’t even factual.
    This just proves you should never believe what you read.
    And as for all the staff that now will be waiting up to 6 more weeks just to get their final pay this is horrific how is anyone supposed to live with nothing for another month maybe more.
    I am happy that the staff are now all free from this nightmare and eventually little oaks will be all forgotten and in the past.

  4. X Reply

    The jounrolist who wrote this article should learn that having accurate information is what makes an article. This is a load of rubbish! The staff who worked for this company did there upmost to improve the ofsted rating so much so that they worked through a very difficult time of not being paid, think about how that effected their lives. The children were always provided with the a safe and caring environment to flourish within their development, the parents across all sites were very supportive through everything and were kept updated with all information that staff had which was very limited, the staff were given the same amount of notice as the parents about the company closing, the people you should be blaming is the owners and not the staff!

  5. A parent Reply

    My daughter has been attending this nursery and has been very settled. It’s very frustrating and upsetting as she has literally just become settled at this setting and now it’s shut. We got absolutely no notice at all. In fact the only reason I became aware of any of this is due to my seeing an article on Facebook!!? The staff were always very caring, incredibly professional and did more than they could to make the setting work and the children happy. The lack of clear communication was atrocious from the start, and over the past few weeks has been deteriorating. It leaves us parents feeling foolish and anxious about what really happened to our children when they were left there??? I dread to think, havibg said that every time we went it seemed perfectly clean, full of fun bright stimulus and a safe environment?! It is a very sad situation, I feel for the staff, as they now face unemployment at such a difficult time. I do not think they deserved to be treated in this way. The while thing is really quite terrible. I’ve read things about the owner and shocking things about her son and it will certainly make me cautious next time I seek a childcare setting. It’s so hard to tell from a visit what is really going on and has made me think twice about venturing down this path again. Truly a horrible experience for all concerned.

  6. kit Reply

    Terrible nursery!! Glad it closed! My son had numerous bouts of gastroenteritis there and all the family caught it too! Glad I rang Ofsted to complain before any children came down ill even worse and got hospitalised!! Glad they closed and very glad my son doesn’t go there anymore!

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