A WINCHESTER nursery has closed after it failed to resolve a welfare concerns and children did not make good progress in their learning.

The Lido Nursery School and Activity Club was inspected by Ofsted and has been branded ‘inadequate’ in three areas. It was rated ‘requires improvement’ in behaviour and attitude.

The provision in Worthy Lane, run by Hartley House Montessori Limited, aims to raise environmental awareness amongst young people and follows the Montessori method which encourages children’s natural development.

A complaint was made surrounding welfare concerns at the nursery earlier this year and Ofsted ordered it to act to “ensure that the minimum adult-to-child ratios are met, at all times and that staffing arrangements meet the needs of all children attending”, but it failed to do so by the time inspectors visited in May 17.

According to the damning report published on June 14: “The owner has failed to ensure that the staff have a secure understanding of their roles and responsibilities. She has also failed to meet a welfare requirement action raised at a previous visit.

“Staff are unable to offer children consistent levels of teaching to extend and challenge their development. For example, staff frequently leave the room to answer the door or obtain equipment. This leaves insufficient staff available to meet the children's needs, which at times has a negative impact on their learning and the intent of the curriculum.”

The nursery is run by Hartley House Montessori Limited, whose director is Susan Hartley-Raven. Mrs Hartley-Raven was the founder of Norman Court School, in West Tytherley, which closed following concerns for pupil safety and the way trustees were running the school. A Montessori nursery remains on the site, but it was this month rated ‘inadequate’.

According to the Lido Nursery’s report: “The owner has implemented a key-person system. However, this is not well embedded.

“This means that children are not being supported effectively for their future education. Staff do not recognise how to extend and challenge children's development. Therefore, any learning that takes place is incidental. Children do not make progress they are capable of.”

Inspectors found that some children struggle to learn how to feed themselves as “they are not provided with knives and so use their fingers to push their food onto forks”.

They also observed that staff were not vigilant and failed to notice that children spent long periods of time out of sight in the toilets. This was only addressed when the inspectors notified them.

The company was contacted for a comment.