Struggling Sunderland nursery pulls itself out of special measures

Staff, children and parents at the Millfield Community Nursery, Bell Street, Sunderland, celebrate a good rating from Ofsed
Staff, children and parents at the Millfield Community Nursery, Bell Street, Sunderland, celebrate a good rating from Ofsed
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A Wearside nursery school has made a dramatic turnaround after being placed in special measures last year.

Millfield Community Nursery School was given a damning report in February 2014 after Ofsted bosses found it inadequate in almost all areas.

I have only been here since September, but have seen there is a fabulous community spirit.

Shelagh Morpeth

However, following a huge amount of hard work by everyone involved with the Bell Street school, a recent inspection by the education watchdogs found it to now be good in all areas.

Headteacher Shelagh Morpeth, who took over at the nursery in September, said: “We were confident of being taken out of special measures and to do so well is fantastic.

“It is particularly pleasing that it is a solid good report, with use being rated good in all areas.

“It is wonderful news, especially for the staff who have worked so hard over the past two years, while under a lot of pressure.

“I have only been here since September, but have seen there is a fabulous community spirit and the nursery is a big part of the community.”

Following their latest visit, inspectors said: “An external review of governance has successfully united governors with a passion to give children the best start to education that they possibly can.

“The newly appointed headteacher is ambitious for the school, always leading by example.”

They said teaching, learning and assessment have continued to improve and are now good.

The inspectors wrote: “Children engage in exciting learning opportunities, quickly developing skills under the supervision of vigilant staff. Outcomes for children are good.

“Staff have excellent knowledge of children as individuals. Arrangements for health, safety and welfare are thorough. As such, good support is provided for children’s personal development and welfare.

“Attendance has improved because children enjoy coming to nursery. The early years curriculum is good, with a particular strength in promoting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.

“Children are now well prepared for their move to reception classes by the time they leave the nursery.”