Dalling Road Nursery Rated as Inadequate by Inspectors

Lack of supervision and poor quality teaching highlighted

Dalling Montessori Nursery. Picture: Google Streetview

A Hammersmith nursery has been rated “inadequate” by Ofsted after inspectors found staff forgot to bring water and rain covers on a class trip. The education watchdog also found teachers were leaving children to wander around and look for something to do.

Dalling Montessori Nursery in Hammersmith and Fulham has been given the worst possible rating by Ofsted at its first-ever inspection. The nursery, which has 14 children on its roll, was forced to move to a temporary home after its building was flooded in July 2021.

In an inspection report, Ofsted also said one child was left unsupervised on a spinning carousel. An Ofsted inspector said, “The provider works well with parents to ensure that packed lunches that children bring meet their dietary needs. However, on occasion, staff do not support children’s health well. For instance, they fail to bring water and rain covers for an outing. This has a negative impact on children’s well-being.

The inspector added, “Although children generally behave well, they are not consistently taught well enough about how to keep themselves safe. For example, a child is left unsupervised on a carousel, which children from a local school turn around fast.

“This leads to the child attempting to get off while the equipment is moving. Staff do not always supervise children effectively and their existing risk assessment for outings is not sufficient.”

Staff were criticised for the quality of teaching at the nursery. On one occasion, inspectors said teachers put out cutters and rollers for the children to use – but did not give them any play dough to use with the toys.

Children are also taken for a walk every day, even when younger kids are visibly upset about having to walk for a long time. The nursery’s leaders also weren’t fully aware of how to report allegations made against staff members.

But staff were praised for taking time to talk to each parent when the children arrive and they reassured toddlers with cuddles when they were upset. Since the inspection, the nursery has hired a new deputy manager and worked with an independent nursery consultant to see what else they can improve on.

The nursery is still struggling to hire qualified teachers due to staff shortages. The nursery’s director Connie Chen said, “We are a new nursery and have never been inspected before. We opened our doors in April 2019, eight months later, Covid started and had a significant impact on our children and staff.

“In July 2021, the building suffered severe flooding due to heavy rain. We had to move to a temporary location to operate. We lost some of the staff and children because of it.

“We only moved back two weeks before the inspection. It was the first time for the majority of our staff and children to be in that building. They were still settling in and trying to get familiar with everything when the inspection happened. We do believe we could have had a better outcome under different circumstances.”

The nursery is now waiting for a monitoring visit from Ofsted to see if it can get a better rating.

Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

October 31, 2022