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Anti-extremism training not good enough at Norfolk pre-school, Ofsted finds

PUBLISHED: 09:52 02 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:52 02 November 2016

Scole Pre-School website. Photo: Screenshot/scolepreschool.weebly.com

Scole Pre-School website. Photo: Screenshot/scolepreschool.weebly.com

Archant

Scole pre-school has been branded “inadequate” by inspectors amid numerous concerns, including staff not being trained to spot signs of extremism in children.

Inspectors found a litany of problems with Scole pre-school, which caters for two to five year-olds, including leadership problems and child welfare.

A spokesman for the pre-school, which has eight pupils, said: “We acknowledge that we must make significant improvements and we have already completed the actions required around safeguarding.

“We have an action plan in process for the speedy resolution to the remaining improvements that we need to make.”

Education watchdog Ofsted gave it the lowest possible rating of “inadequate” for “effectiveness of the leadership and management” and for “personal development, behaviour and welfare” after an inspection on September 30 this year.

That marked a decline from an inspection last year when the pre-school was given the second lowest score of “requires improvement”.

This time inspectors found “further significant weaknesses” with the nursery, which is based in Scole Community Centre on Ransome Avenue.

They said: “Staff are not aware of the risks associated with vulnerable families being drawn into extreme behaviours, or of the signs that children could be at risk of significant harm from extreme views.”

That measure is applied to all schools to stop radicalisation as part of the government’s anti-terrorism programme, called Prevent.

Inspectors mark schools on how they prevent radicalisation and extremism.

Ofsted did not raise any specific concerns about extremism in Scole but since September 2015, schools and nurseries have a legal duty to stop children being drawn in to terrorism – whether the provider is a small Norfolk nursery, or a large inner city secondary school.

Inspectors also found the pre-school had failed to make sure committee members understood their roles.

It also criticised the management, saying there was “poor capacity to lead improvement”.

The pre-school has until October 31 to give Ofsted information to conduct checks on all members of the school’s committee, ensure committee members understand their roles, update their child safeguarding, and give support and coaching to the pre-school’s manager.

According to its website, the pre-school is looking for a new chairman, committee member, treasurer and secretary.

Previously schools have been failed by Ofsted for failing to monitor extremism in response to specific concerns.

In 2014 the Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Red Coat Church of England School in Tower Hamlets, east London, was placed into special measures after inspectors found it failed to monitor the activities of the sixth form’s Islamic Society.

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