Much improved report for ‘‘caring’’ Cumbernauld nursery school

BETTER INSPECTION: Ms McCoull and pupils with the report which is an improvement on the last one.
BETTER INSPECTION: Ms McCoull and pupils with the report which is an improvement on the last one.

A Cumbernauld nursery which now caters for children with special needs has received a much improved report from education watchdogs - with quality of leadership rising from ‘‘Unsatisfactory’’ to ‘‘Very Good’’

Baird Memorial Early Years Support Unit hit the headlines earlier this year when it was announced that it would be accepting disabled youngsters from the nursery at Redburn School which has now shut.

However, the Condorrat facility had drawn a lukewarm reception from the Care Inspectorate back in March 2013, with the highest grading being ‘Adequate’ This referred to quality of care and support, environment and staffing. The quality of management and leadership was however branded “unsatisfactory’’.

An unannounced visit from another of its inspectors seven months later saw all the “Adequate’’ gradings in these categories were upgraded to ‘‘Good’’ - with the sole exception of management and leadership which remained at ‘‘Unsatisfactory’’

Now we can reveal that each one of these key categories has been upgraded to “Very Good’’ after another visit from an inspector in October 2014. This is the second highest category within the inspection scheme.

The report stated: “The service provides a caring and calm environment where children feel comfortable and welcome. They continue to consult extensively with parents and carers and other agencies to ensure that they are meeting the specific needs of each individual child. The nursery promotes inclusion and works hard to ensure that children are supported to reach their full potential.

The nursery was also praised for the way it had developed information sharing sheets for parents to hand over to the nursery. This provided staff with information so they could communicate meaningfully with pupils about their home life.

It was recommended that all children ‘‘had access to the same experiences’’ which the nursery has taken on board.

Head teacher Elspeth McCoull who joined the staff in January 2013 said that the result was just what everyone had been looking for.

She said: “The staff are all absolutely delighted with the raised grades for all areas inspected. I would like to commend the hard work and dedication of the staff who have been fully committed to improving the service.

“We have an excellent team in the nursery who are committed to providing high quality early education and care to children with additional support needs.

She said that the provision now offered to the Redburn pupils had been ‘’a huge change for staff’’ and that all had worked extremely hard to learn about the needs of the children involved.

The next challenge for the school will be to raise the cash for a wheelchair accessible minibus for the youngsters.

A very successful Ladies Night in November saw £1075 raised to this end, thanks to generous locals.