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Children at ‘significant risk of harm’ at Barrow out of school club

Posted: 5th August 2022

Children at an out of school club were being put at ‘significant risk of harm’, inspectors said.

The Cumbria OSC in Barrow had its registration suspended following a damning inspection by education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors said children’s safety was being compromised by ‘significant failings’ in leadership at the club, based at Newbarns School.

Ofsted said there was no suitable manager in place at the club and no named deputy to take charge in their absence.

And children were further being put at risk because no staff members had been trained to act as designated safeguarding lead.

The club is run by Cumbria Childcare Ltd in the school’s children’s centre. The company is registered in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

Ofsted said the provider needed to make urgent changes following the inspection.

A report said: “Children’s safety and well-being is compromised due to significant failings in leadership and management at the setting.

“The provider’s significant lack of oversight has resulted in several breaches to the requirements of the early years foundation stage.

“Children are placed at significant risk because the provider has failed to ensure that there is a suitable manager in place to lead the setting.

“In addition, there is no named deputy in place to take charge in the manager’s absence.

“Required documentation, such as evidence of staff suitability checks, qualifications and training are not on site and available for inspection.

“Children are placed at further risk because the provider has not ensured that at least one member of staff is trained in the role of designated safeguarding lead.”

Because of a lack of documentation staff are not equipped to deal with any emergencies and are unsure who is responsible to deal with any concerns they may have about a child’s welfare, the report said.

Inspectors also found staff had little contact with the provider, leaving them feeling ‘very anxious’ and ‘left to fend for themselves’.

Despite the concerns raised, Ofsted said children enjoyed their time at the club and ‘talk fondly about their friends and the staff’.

It said staff worked well with the children.

The service was rated ‘good’ in its last inspection in 2017.

Source: The Mail

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