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Aberdeen nursery staff ‘ignored crying children’

All Stars Nursery in Aberdeen. Picture: Hemedia

All Stars Nursery in Aberdeen. Picture: Hemedia

  • by ALLISTER THOMAS
 

A DAMNING report has ordered a nursery to make urgent improvements after inspectors saw staff ignore crying children.

The Care Inspectorate report said workers at the All Stars Nursery in Aberdeen had accused children of being spoilt and had left one child to cry itself to sleep at lunch.

When asked why the children were disturbed, the staff replied that some were “bosied”, meaning spoilt, and would “eventually stop”. The latest criticism, based on an inspection carried out in October, comes after five years of attempts by care bosses to shut the nursery amid fears that children were at risk.

Managers at the Don Street nursery recently won a legal battle to stay open but this latest inspection has raised fresh concerns about the care youngsters receive. The report stated: “We saw occasions where staff did not respond in a sensitive and caring way towards the children. We observed a number of children who appeared unsettled and who cried for lengthy periods of time on both days of the inspection.”

The All Stars nursery was allowed to stay open after a Supreme Court ruling last year, despite the Care Inspectorate upholding complaints about youngsters being force-fed and given out-of-date food.

Owners Sheila Davis and Maureen Mowat mounted appeals at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the Court of Session and the Supreme Court after the commission was replaced by a new body during proceedings. The pair argued that the body could not continue the case of its predecessor and the sitting judges agreed.

Since the nursery was allowed to stay open, it had a surprise inspection which outlined concerns including a baby sleeping next to a plastic bag and youngsters having easy access to packed nappy bins. The nursery has now had yet another surprise inspection, which noted there were few qualified staff on hand and raised concerns about attitudes towards the children.

The care authority did acknowledge attempts to improve conditions since the last inspection but stated: “There remain significant areas of concern.”

The inspectorate graded the nursery as “weak” on this last visit – the second-worst standard – stating the service must continue to improve “in all areas” and children needed to receive “consistent” and “sensitive” care.

Owner Ms Davis declined to comment on the latest findings.

Last month, the Scottish Government ordered the closure of Hamilton School nursery in Aberdeen after an inspection report raised serious concerns about children’s safety.

The Care Inspectorate’s chief executive said inspectors acted quickly when allegations surrounding the standard of care at the private school came to light.

The Care Inspectorate also issued a 14-point list of “immediate concerns” about the nursery.

Kathlyn Taylor, 65, the school’s owner and principal, and a 25-year-old female employee at the school were charged with “criminal offences against children” and reported to the procurator fiscal following a police investigation, which was launched after both the Care Inspectorate and Aberdeen City Council looked into concerns raised by a former staff member.

 

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