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Aberdeen private school given closure deadline

AN Aberdeen private school has been given less than a week to make urgent improvements to child care - or face closing down.

The Hamilton School Nursery in Aberdeen was served with an improvement notice amid “serious” concerns relating to child medication and nutrition.

The school has been ordered to identify all children who need life-saving medication and make sure staff know how to deal with an emergency situation.

Staff have also been told to help children eat and drink to ensure their nutrition and hydration needs are being adequately met.

Record-keeping also has to be improved by February 18.

Effective management systems have to be put in place so that proper provision has been made for the health, safety and welfare needs of children attending the facility.

Scotland’s care watchdog, the Care Commission, served the city centre school with the improvement notice this week.

Dr Robert Peat, Director of Inspection, said: “A more detailed report of our inspection will be published in due course, but on Friday and Monday we identified serious concerns about medication and nutrition.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of children is our top priority, so we have served an improvement notice on the nursery.

“We require specific, urgent changes to be made in the coming days and are working closely with the nursery to give them the necessary support and advice.

“Children with specific, serious medical conditions must receive the right medicine quickly in the event of an emergency, and staff caring for them must know what to do. We therefore require further changes to how medicines are administered.

“Children must receive sufficient assistance during meals and snacks to ensure their adequate nutrition.

“We also require that the management exercise sufficient oversight and leadership to ensure the proper care of children attending.

“We are working with the school to make these improvements but will not hesitate to act further if necessary.”

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Police launched an inquiry at the Hamilton School Nursery after an anonymous blog about the facility appeared online last month.

Last week owner and principal Kathlyn Taylor, 65, and a 25-year-old female employee were charged in connection with the investigation.

A report will be sent to the Crown Office.

The Care Inspectorate improvement notice has also ordered the school to demonstrate that capable and competent staff are working in the facility by March 28.

Failure to comply with the terms of the improvement notice could lead to the Care Inspectorate cancelling the school’s registration which could lead to the facility being shut down.

The family-run school caters for children between the ages of three months and 12 years and is based in the west end of the city.

It was founded by Ms Taylor in 1975 and is Scotland’s only privately owned independent day school.

The school website states that the curriculum is based on a highly creative approach and that children are placed in groups according to their social and emotional needs.

Any concerned parents of children at the school can contact the Care Inspectorate on 0845 600 9527.

 

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