Staff at a Southampton pre-school have said they are "disappointed" after a damaging watchdog report told them to improve.

Longoak Pre-school has been rated 'requires improvement' in the most recent Ofsted report published on July 19.

The Chamberlayne Road school was inspected on May 23 this year, and all four categories - quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management - were given a 'requires improvement' rating.

The Longoak Committee Chair said the report "highlights a number of positive aspects", but added the school was "understandably disappointed by this latest outcome".

READ MORE: Bullying and discrimination left children feeling 'unsafe' 

Inspectors highlighted that there is no system in place to check risk assessments are effective.

They said gates are not always locked and small items, such as batteries, could become a hazard for younger children.

Although staff support children with their speech, and can identify those who need additional support, inspectors said staff do not always make swift referrals to gain extra help.

Healthy eating and lifestyles are built on by staff to help children understand, however children are not encouraged to prepare their own fruit or pour their own drinks.

READ MORE: Nursery where children are 'free to express themselves' praised in watchdog report

Inspectors said this doesn't support children's independence skills.

Despite this, inspectors found that children are happy and have "good attachments" with their key person.

Children show a positive attitude to their learning, and are curious and join in with adult-led activities.

Staff encourage them to use manners and praise them for their efforts.

READ MORE: School told to 'improve' quality of education in Ofsted report

The Longoak Committee Chair said: "The Ofsted report highlights a number of positive aspects and we were particularly pleased to note the inspector’s findings that children are well settled and have a positive attitude to learning.

"Given our consistent record of ‘Good’ inspections previously, we are understandably disappointed by this latest outcome.

"However, we are determined to address the challenges that have been raised and indeed have already taken positive steps in this direction.

"We have reviewed and updated our risk assessments where necessary and are putting new measures in place to further improve our processes relating to paperwork and referrals for children.

"We are also reviewing our curriculum and identifying areas where we can integrate new ideas.

"We are continuing to work alongside the Local Authority, who are closely supporting us in all of these areas. "We will continue to keep parents informed about this ongoing work and remain committed to doing all we can to rapidly turn around the current rating.

"I’d like to thank all of our families for their continued support."

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