EDUCATION inspectors have handed a Colchester playgroup the lowest possible score following an inspection which found children showed “uncaring behaviour” and safeguarding procedures weren’t followed.

St Johns Green Playgroup had received a good score from Ofsted when it was last inspected in 2019.

Officials at the time said senior leaders “aspired to run high-quality provision” and all children were making good progress.

An inspection which took place last month, however, found weaknesses in the management of the playgroup which, in turn, led to inadequate safeguarding procedures.

The playgroup, which looks after 52 children from aged two to four, employs seven members of childcare staff and is open from Monday to Friday during term time.

Gazette: Concerns - St John's Green Playgroup in Colchester has been rated Inadequate Concerns - St John's Green Playgroup in Colchester has been rated Inadequate (Image: Google Maps)

Ofsted reaches a final rating by judging four key metrics of an education provider: the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Each of these was rated as inadequate, which is the lowest out of four possible ratings.

Specifically, inspectors said staff did not show children the consequences of their actions when they misbehaved, adding that staff’s knowledge of safeguarding is not secure to ensure children stay safe.

One section of the report read: “When children push others in play, staff comfort the children who have been pushed, but do not consistently remind those pushing that it is unacceptable.

The report read: “When children throw resources on the floor, they are rarely asked to help to clear them up before going to play with something else.

“As a result, some children demonstrate uncaring behaviour as they run around and, on occasions, refuse to help when asked to.”

Though there were some positive aspects which Ofsted officials identified, such as cheerfulness of the children and the good relationships managers have with parents, they were overshadowed by safeguarding concerns at the playgroup.

A lack of planning, the report read, meant youngsters did not get the best possible experiences.

The report continued: “Those children who benefit from sensory play have limited access to the playhouse created for them, which has been decorated with colourful lights, fidget toys and sensory equipment to meet their needs.”

St Johns Green Playgroup was contacted for comment.