Essex kids club 'inadequate' - report

CHILDREN'S safety at an Essex after-school club has been compromised due to a lack of security at the premises, a report has revealed.

James Hore

CHILDREN'S safety at an Essex after-school club has been compromised due to a lack of security at the premises, a report has revealed.

Inspectors have warned the Colchester Kids Club at Christ Church in Ireton Road that its provision for protecting children from harm and neglect is “inadequate” and must improve.

The club, which cares for up to 26 children at a time, looks after youngsters from the ages of four to 11 from 3.30pm to 6.30pm during term-time.

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An Ofsted report carried out last week judged the overall quality and standards of care as “inadequate” and the club has been given a “notice of action to improve”.

Inspector Sarah Johnson wrote: “Children's safety is compromised as staff do not take appropriate steps to ensure the security of the premises is maintained at all times.

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“Staff conduct formal risk assessments but these fail to ensure all entrance doors to the premises are secure. Consequently, the possibility of children leaving the premises unattended or coming into contact with unwanted visitors is not sufficiently prevented.”

The club also breached regulations because it did not have an accurate record of any complaints and information about the grievance procedure was not available, the reports states.

And organisation was judged to be “inadequate” - with no records on the premises about the checks carried out on staff.

The club has now been ordered to -

n Ensure the premises are secure at all times and establish an effective system for managing access.

n Make available to parents a written statement providing details of complaints procedures as well as keeping a record of grievances and any action taken.

n Provide all records of staff training, vetting and recruitment procedures and have them ready for inspection.

n Ensure Ofsted is notified of any significant changes and events at the earliest opportunity.

The report also contained praise, saying the children are cared for in a “comfortable and welcoming” environment which makes them happy.

“They [the children] have established friendly relationships with the staff and each other as they interact well in their play and often choose to chat to each other about their time at school and general interests,” it states. “Children's behaviour was judged to be 'sound' thanks to the staff creating a relaxed environment which encourages respect.”

Colchester Kids Club at Christ Church is one of two out-of-school provisions run by Colchester Kids Club Ltd.

It was registered in 2005 and operates from two rooms within Christ Church, Ireton Road, in the town and employs four members of staff.

No-one from the club was available to comment at the time of going to press.

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