Pre-school teachers criticised for failing to spot signs of extremism and radicalisation
Staff at a pre-school in Hove have been criticised by government inspectors for failing to spot the early signs of radicalisation in its children aged two to five.
Little Ducklings, which was previously given an ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted inspectors, has been told it now requires improvement.
The new Ofsted report said the nursery ‘must ensure all staff use the information gained through training to improve their knowledge of the prevent duty and wider safeguarding issues’ by tomorrow in order to meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage and the Childcare Register.
Staff at the nursery, in Hangleton Community Centre, Hove, East Sussex, say this deadline has now been extended until the pre-school opens for the new autumn term in September.
Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools and childcare providers must adhere to the ‘prevent’ duty, which means staff must be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.Chaos as bridge into Wales is closed because of ‘staff sickness’
Ofsted found: ‘Although the manager and staff have reviewed some aspects of their safeguarding knowledge and updated the policies and procedures, not all staff have a secure understanding of how to protect children who may be at risk from extreme behaviour or views.’
A spokeswoman from the pre-school’s management committee said they were ‘disappointed’ with the Ofsted result.
‘We are working closely with the early years team at the council who are supporting us to help improve our rating,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘We are also working alongside Ofsted and informing them of our plans for improvement which includes refreshing staff training on safeguarding and risk.’
The report said that parents had praised the school’s ability to care for their children.
One mum whose four-year-old son attends the nursery – who asked not to be named – said: ‘This is bonkers – absolutely ludicrous.
‘Of course it’s important to stop children being radicalised, but come on, Little Ducklings hardly strikes you as a hotbed for international terrorism.’
Elsewhere the report said that in terms of monitoring for the effects of drugs or sexual abuse, ‘arrangements for safeguarding were effective. The management team and staff know what to do if there are any concerns about a child’s welfare or a member of staff, including management.
‘Overall, the management team and staff have an appropriate awareness of the signs and symptoms of possible abuse.’
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade, said: ‘Clearly in this case there is work to do in some key areas but thanks to this inspection report we know where the challenges are and I’ll be doing all I can to support them, as I know the whole team there will be doing what it can to get things back on track without delay.’