CHILDREN are not being sufficiently safeguarded at a pre-school rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Helmshore Pre-School, in Rhodes Avenue, was heavily criticised after an inspection last month, the results of which have just been pub-lished.

Inspector Michelle Jacques said the privately-run nursery was ‘in breach of a number of legal requirements’, and ‘leadership and management is weak’.

The rating, the worst the Government education watchdog can give, comes after the pre-school was rated ‘good’ after its last inspection four-and-a-half years ago.

In her rep- ort, Ms Jacques said: “Children are insufficiently safe-guarded because vetting procedures are not secure and a valid insurance certificate is not available.

“The quality of teaching is variable, and staff do not effectively plan and provide activities that engage all children.

“As a result, some child-ren’s engagement in their learning lacks motivation and focus.

“The leadership and management is weak, with a lack of effective monitoring of the provision.

“This has resulted in a failure to assess the impact of the quality of teaching for all children, and how their needs are to be addressed.”

However, she said: “Pos-itive relationships with parents ensure there is a joint approach to children’s learning and to promote the importance of home learning.

“Childr-en are emotionally secure and happy as there is a strong key worker system enabling them to feel safe.”

She went on to praise the staff, saying: “Staff act as positive role models for behaviour and are calm and polite towards the children as they remind them of their manners. This they do by using words, such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to encourage children to think about their actions.”