I was horrified to read in the news that a 3 year old girl had been picked up by her mother from nursery looking like she had been ‘attacked by a dog’. If you have seen the pictures on the news it is a heart wrenching sight – she suffered a ‘bite mark to her cheek, bruised lips and gouges under her nose’.
Her mother believes that the injuries were inflicted by another 2 year old in the nursery at the time, but this has not been confirmed and the matter is being investigated by the education watchdog Ofsted and the local authority. However, the police have been left powerless to act against the alleged attacker as they are only 2 years old and therefore below the age of criminal responsibility. Furthermore it was reported that the mother received a report after the event, which named 3 other previous incidents that had not been reported to her.
Surely an incident such as ‘another child hitting Katie on the head with a plastic yellow drainer’ should be reported in the first instance when the child’s parents come to pick them up?
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) who are currently investigating this incident, are responsible for inspecting and regulating services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Their website (www.ofsted.gov.uk) provides a host of information about what sort of services they provide, along with a useful guide to schools and nurseries in your area. Ofsted carries out regular inspections of schools and nurseries and there is even a useful tool on their website to view the inspection reports for these institutions, which you can search by location or name.
I will shortly be having another child of my own and will thereafter be looking for a suitable nursery when my partner returns to work. According to recent statistics the average cost of full time nursery is approximately £177 per week and for such a cost you would expect a safe environment for your child and nothing otherwise.
Although I knew of Ofsted previously, I did not know that they offered a facility on their website to check out reports for local schools in the area, so I will be sure to check this before making any rash decisions.
I would urge any concerned parent/future parent to do the same and to be extra vigilant with the care that they arrange for their child.
By personal injury specialist, Dave Buck